April 2006by Suzanne Goulart
Sunday started off with brunch at Apollonia Bay restaurant, followed by a swim at the brand-new pool at Villa Kerithium. I later joined the rest of the crew at Agios Ioannis beach, where we rented beach chairs & umbrellas (inexpensive) and lunched at Manoulas, one of 2 tavernas on the beach. At night, a little shopping and dinner at Spilia, a small family run restaurant I discovered while here in 2000. The food is homecooked and reasonable, and surely has the best moussaka on the island. Tried to order their acclaimed flan dessert, but due to popular demand, they were out of it - maybe next time! Hopped in a 5-euro cab and 10 minutes later, I was home.
On Monday, I awoke to calm seas (the only day I've been here so far that hasn't been windy). Started the day with Maria, the Aqvaliving rep. We began with LIV VOI, a nice, basic house, with lots of outdoor seating, gorgeous sunset views & pool (with steps on 1 side & submerged seating on the other). No AC, no TV. The villa works best as a 4-bedroom as the studio rooms are very small. (Located next to Blue Rock, which was occupied).
After lunch, Hayden & I joined up to see Villa Taky Mou, a basic family villa, yet only a 5-minute walk to Platis Gialos & Psarou Beach, 2 good swimming areas for families, with lots of tavernas. No pool, AC only in studio rooms, but all rooms have fans. I've stayed in this area before and like it very much. Next, we headed for Agios Sostis Retreat on Panormos Bay, a secluded part of the island. Interior-wise, this was one of my favorites: stylish, comfortable, lots of outdoor seating, attractive pool area with Jacuzzi, great colors, plasma satellite TV, spotless (although no AC). Gorgeous views. This villa is excellent for a family or group wanting privacy & quiet. The 4th bedroom is in a small house called the Pigeon House - an adorable studio. It's about a 15-minute drive to town & 5 minutes to a supermarket.
LIV LEM was our next destination, just across the bay from Agios Sostis Retreat. Truly a piece of art - I can see why it's been featured in interior design magazines. Live-in housekeeper, Balvil, was great and proudly showed us around his home. (I only wish I'd been able to photograph this villa). Has it all: great lap pool, incredible kitchen with gas stove, Surround Sound stereo system, satellite TV, DVD, interesting art (some of the nudes will need to go into storage when our clients are there). Even has an intercom system. I loved the 3-sink subterranean bathroom which looked into the pool from beneath the surface, very aquarium-like. There's a wonderful herb garden with the fragrance of lavender, all surrounded by spectacular ocean views! (Please note that clients will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle). LIV LEM is meant for the client who wants complete privacy; best for adults.
After a sunset swim at Kapari Beach, I headed to "La Cucina di Daniele" to sample the restaurant's superb cuisine. Daniele has been hired by Federico as head chef for our clients who opt for this additional service and, I must say, they'll be in for a treat! Daniele himself is from Siena, and has been a chef for over 20 years. (Federico tells me that competing restaurateurs on island have tried in vain to copy his innovative dishes-imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!)
As an example of Daniele's cuisine, this was our menu:
- Beef Carpaccio with fresh asparagus and crispy potatoes - Green Leaves salad with Burrata cheese - Fresh Foie Gras sauteed with Marsala wine & Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena - Risotto with fresh asparagus and Vanilla Tahiti - Fresh Duck caramelized with citrus fruits - Guinea fowl in salmi with Julienne vegetables & white truffle pate - Mascarpone cream with strawberry marinated in Aceto Balsamico & Basil, served with chocolate pearls Valhrona - Hot dark chocolate mouse
Plan Your Santorini and Mykonos Vacation