My last post was about the lovely people I partied with last month now it’s time to tell you about the food we ate and the restaurants we ate it in.
I must start with my Hotel, The Parga Beach Resort, set right on the beach separated from Parga town by a small headland with a castle on top of it you could if you wish would have a fantastic time without leaving it.
I must admit to being a fan of the breakfast buffet in hotels like this and you must admire their ability to being able to cater for the tastes of all the different nationalities saying there,
I find it great fun spotting the French delicately dipping their croissants in bowls of steaming coffee, the Germans with huge plates of cheese and salamis, the British who ate everything and everybody loading up napkins with rolls, fruit, cheese and meats to eat on the beach later,
Me, I went all Greek and had a bowl of proper Greek yoghurt with the most fantastic honey followed by a double espresso and a breakfast cigar.
It would be easy to sum up the reast of the week with lamb chops, Moussaka, white taramasalata and lots of ouzo and metaxa but there were several outstanding places I shall share with you
On top of the headland is Sakis Restaurant, family owned it has sensational views across Valtos beach, typical Greek food served by friendly staff in a nice, relaxed manner, but beware the potions are very generous,
Kicking off with a plate of fried Zucchini I really struggled to finish my main course of Saganaki, a combination of cheese and prawns.
The meal here kicked off a weeklong debate about the colour of taramasalata, my friend Lisa goes for it every time, but it must be pink and must come with a side of sliced cucumber.
But Lisa likes pink and all we could find was white, apparently the difference in colour is a result of commercial dyeing, they both taste the same, but Lisa wasn’t happy.
Before you leave pop inside and view the vintage juke box, not something you expect to find.
After the meal we walked down into the town visiting at least two bars for a couple of Metaxas I vaguely recall a misunderstanding with a couple of Norwegian ladies, how was I to know they were mother and daughter!
Next a trip on a yacht across to the Islands of Paxos and Antipaxos, enroute we moored up in a couple of bays and dived off the transom, back of the boat to you non sailors, into some of the bluest and clearest waters I have ever seen.
A tip here readers, before you jump off a boat into the sea make sure your phone is not in your back pocket and remember you may not be as strong a swimmer as you perhaps were 10 years ago.
Paxos has no airport and can only be reached by boat either from the mainland or the nearby island of Corfu, not really my cup of tea, very much what would be Disney’s idea of a Greek island with lots of hustling from the harbourside tavernas.
But now worries, tucked up in one of the back streets we found the Vasilis Taverna, loads of Ouzo, white taramasalata and proper moussaka, like many of the restaurants in this area family owned and run
The next day was the reason we were all here, my mate Daryls birthday, and we were booked into The Med Bar high on the headland above Valtos beach, stunning views of eye watering sunsets and food that wouldn’t disgrace any Michelin starred restaurant.
A mouth-watering starter of fish ceviche garnished with cleverly made pearls of pomegranate and grape juice, a great fresh tasting plate of food.
Now its not often that I get frightened by food, but the Black Pig Cutlets must have come off the biggest pig on earth, they were huge, I would not have wanted to come face to face with this beast.
I like the way the Greeks cook their meat, often on MasterChef John, Gregg and Monica rave about how on lamb the fat is perfectly rendered but the flesh is till pink and succulent, actually very difficult to achieve, but here lamb and pork are almost cooked to extinction. Food that you must eat with your fingers, crisp and full of fantastic flavour, whoever was in the kitchen was a real artist the presentation was faultless, and it was almost a shame to spoil it. One of my best ever meals in one of the top three locations I have ever eaten in.
Next day was a tad lazier. Lychnos Beach is a mile or two down the coast from Parga, and there are two ways to get there a hair-raising drive, especially if Daryl is driving, down a sheer cliff or a leisurely boat ride from the harbour in Parga.
Base there was the beach beds if front of The Coral Beach Bar though the arrival there was a bit of a disaster the Pink Shoes got wet during the walk along the beach and have shrunk, they may need to be replaced.
It was a seriously hot day and before to long it was too hot to stay on the beach and the shade of the bar and vast quantities of Mythos beer made life much more bearable.
A simple lunch, White Taramasalata again, Lisa really losing her cool now, followed by my favourite lamb cutlets, you order them by the kilo and as usual got carried away. It takes 22 minutes to eat a kilo of lamb cutlets, my lunch was just over an hour.
You may find it hard to believe but we all went out to dinner that night in Parga Town, to keep it short I had ouzo, white wine, a delicious ravioli and a bowl of fish soup in Souli Restaurant on the front, a fixture there since 1965, if you are ever out there put it on your list.
The last night we were all in a pretty restaurant in a village inland whose name I can’t remember, sadly the food did not match the setting, some disappointing veal but the Ouzo was good
So that was Parga, I am going back In September, I have some unfinished business with a Swedish Fitness instructor but before then its Switzerland for some chocolate.