If there's one thing that has improved immeasurably over the years it has been the attitude of Taverna owners to food. Gone are the days of specially cooled chips, greasy chicken and stale bread. Now one is more likely to be faced with a bewildering array of kebabs, pasta dishes, fish and all sorts of other goodies. However for what you can get look at the foodie page! What is also attractive is the freindly nature of the owners, who on a return visit will remember you, be it a week or a year later! At the welcome evening the tour reps when asked which was the best would just say - any of them - and they were right!
|Our favourite in the early years was George's Taverna, with a wide range of food and drink, and a warm friendly atmosphere, apart from the one year when the Greek general election was on, and it appeared that world war 3 had broken out inside. Just a friendly political discussion said George. The key item here was to avoid pushing one's chair back after a good meal, and disappearing into the harbour with an almighty splash. And yes it did happen but not to me. Sadly George's was closed the last two years, but:-|
|All was not lost, as George opened a new breakfast bar in front of his new apartment block. Funny for a breakfast bar it usually closed at about 2.00 a.m. or thereabouts, after an evenings chat with mainly the locals, as it was well outside the main area of the village and far too far for people to walk. As we stayed close by, it tended to be our stop-off point for coffee and Metaxas (or three or four) before retiring!|
|However, a few miles round the coast was the natural harbour of Sivota, very very quiet indeed, and one of the key points of call for the yachting flotillas based on Lefkas. The Taverna was excellent, with the largest range of fish on the menu anywhere I've been in Greece (and in England too). AS our Greek didn't run to descriptions of fish, it was normal to wander into the kitchen and the proprietor was very happy to show off his huge ice cabinets well stocked with a bewildering array! There was often excellent evening entertainment laid on, but probably at it's best when a large family party was going on, and one usually ended up joining in!|
|For the ultimate experience of a Taverna owner one could never miss Vangelis' place on the beach just north of Aghios Nikitas. The food was good and very cheap, but best of all was Vangelis himself, seen serenading the customers, proudly wearing the Sou'wester he'd just been given by some Dutch friends. His approach was to look at you and decide where you were from and sing you an appropriate song of welcome! And the grilled small fishes were out of this world!|
Of course, this is a small selection of absolutely excellent places - Zeus' on the beach did the most majestic seafood platter, the Campsite was run by Onassis' ex-chef, the Hotel was good as were any of the places we visited. Perhaps the most charming was the little taverna hidden in a tiny village where we arrived one morning for a cool drink to find the owner and his wife were in Lefkas shopping - leaving Grandma and Grandpa in charge, ably assisted by the two young children. It was plain to see as Grandad pushed the children forward that he was saying - you do English at school - find out what they want! Amazing what you can do with a small smattering of languages between us, and we can recommend that place to anyone.
But - again we miss one of our other favourites, The Panorama, set at the far end of the beach which became our lunchtime retreat - and as their English speaking son was away in the army doing his national service, menu choice became a trip to the kitchen to lift pot lids to see what was going on inside - the best Stifado money could buy, and we usually got a glass or two of the owners special reserve of wine made from his own grapes - fabulous!
Getting There! - Around the Island - What to Do.- Wildlife - Locals - Food & Drink - Cats - Tavernas - Shopping