Thursday, 13 December 2018

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Christmas is almost here - Getting the Village Hou...

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Christmas is almost here - Getting the Village Hou...: Christmas is Coming - Getting the House  Ready - With being the 12 days of Christmas, which my parents taught me, toda...

Christmas is almost here - Getting the Village House Ready.......








Christmas is Coming - Getting the House 
Ready - With being the 12 days of Christmas, which my parents taught me, today was the time to decorate the house, I started today.  Now in fairness when I first arrived in Greece almost 36 years ago Christmas came and went with not much happening, I will say the 1st Christmas I stayed in Greece and I was only 23 years old then and after a very lively and lovely Summer in Corfu was asked to join a family over on the mainland for the Winter ( I taught English and did Babysitting too). However that first Christmas I actually cried - there was no Turkey, no tree actually nothing, no Internet, No WI-fi, Skype chat, Facebook or even English Programmes on TV just 2 channels then known as ERT1 & ERT 2 run by the government, I was totally alone but the family I lived with did love me but couldn't understand my tears and in those days I spoke very little Greek to explain my pain -  it was just a Pubic Holiday I really wanted to be back in London with loved ones, family, friends and unwrap my  presents and have some fun but felt all alone even though this wonderful family looked after me.  In those days people sent Christmas cards by post so I ventured everyday day to the local Post Office in hope of some UK or friends contact which cheered me immensely......in those days I received many cards and this helped me through my first Christmas abroad....




 However over the years I mostly (due to my then management position for a Tour Operator)  had to then work away in other resorts overseas away from Corfu, here being only a 6 month destination and being employed back then 12 months of the year, had to go where I was posted to cover other Managers holidays,so again during the tour operators busiest times which meant once married I still never really got to enjoy Christmas with the hubby, so the first Christmas 11 years ago, when I hung up my Clipboard -  I was adamant I wanted a Turkey just as mum made it - well I paid a fortune and bought a fresh one - yes it was delivered live,  well the Greek husband knows all about killing,  feathering and hanging but it was RANK I have to say!!!!  So the following Christmas still determined to have a Turkey I bought a frozen one - well once again not up to standard so can I blame it on the cook or the oven - just wasn't how I remembered my London Christmas'  I suppose its a bit like drinking Ouzo or having a Greek salad once back from Greece it just never tastes the same it's the ambience's or what or where you are. So every year since I have bought a lovely leg of lamb, dressed it with fresh mint grown in the garden, lemons picked from the garden, Olive oil grown and produced here too and added Garlic - Christmas now is very low key for us but I do buy the Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, have crackers on the table and bring from UK after the summer has ended whilst there is still direct flights mince pies and Christmas pud (I know others make these but I am not so clever)....

So tonight as we light the outside lights for Christmas I wish all my followers here on my bog spot a very Merry Christmas and also add a photo from our local village which will display in the village square over the Holiday period - Happy Christmas to All........

I would also like to add a Special Thank You for my Christmas Angel made by hand by Anne Wenz Dourou -




Friday, 7 December 2018

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Home is Where the Life of Love Is.....

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Home is Where the Life of Love Is.....: A Week in Our House in the Village.... So this week we decided after a full-on busy Summer we needed to look at our own house and home. ...

Home is Where the Life of Love Is.....

A Week in Our House in the Village....

So this week we decided after a full-on busy Summer we needed to look at our own house and home.

It started with buying lots of new paint as the weather has been very favourable for the time of year to paint the outside.  Having a husband as a painter does definitely cut the cost but also you need to beat the whip as if not its always tomorrow (avrio).


So paint bought easily without a trip to Corfu Town as we are now fortunate to have within a few kilometres of the village a local chappie whom has opened a lovely shop with parking outside (very important). Nikos Louvros. He speaks English and he and his wife will advise re paints, brushes and all extras and are open everyday (except Sundays). I recently bought a lovely Neff Neff shower curtain from them - it's Cotton so is washable and doesn't stick to you either.......great price and many colours too I chose Light Grey to go with our bathroom tiles......

Anyway so the house now has gone from the normal Magnolia of the past 15 years (painted before we married) to a lovely fresh Sage Green with light Grey borders - very shabby chic and modern.  It fits in the with garden furniture but also suits the great name sign we bought from a  Ceramic shop in Agios Stefanos (San Stefanos NW) from Hippopots ....



So being at home all week and no time for supermarket shopping as we set down to full on - "Lets get this House Painted" whilst the weather is great one needs to eat.....

As the weather has been kind the lettuces we planted in October are flourishing so lots of lovely salads were consumed, drizzled with Olive Oil from a kind neighbour whom picks and presses their own olives via the local Olive Press
in our village.  Nothing better then adding to the Olive Oil than a  few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice - again picked from the garden.


Well we did have a few days of rain which is a great breeding ground for the famous Greek Wild Greens, known as Horta.  A great source of Iron, picked, washed and boiled and served with a Garlic Sauce which can be made either with stale bread soaked or a mixture of bread and potato but you do need a mortar and pestle - I bought mine years back from the Olive Wood shop in resort.  Using a blender is just not the same.  Use plenty of garlic too so to enjoy this Greek dish handed down over the years from the YaYa's and older wise ladies whom knew how to really live off the land, especially when times were hard.

So today sat outside in December with mild temperatures of 16c, although we do now need heating in the evening when the sun drops, I noticed our Hot Pepper plant is growing fruit - all down to this crazy winter weather.....

And lastly lets not forget the abundance of Oranges, vital Vitamin C also picked from the garden which as well as using as Juice I have added to a few dishes in the oven including roast potatoes sprinkled with Orange Juice not only give a wonderful colour - the taste is amazing too.....

Oh Life in a Corfu Village - just lovely so until next time I hope you enjoy too.....

To find Lovros, Hippopots and Corfu Selections - check out Facebook for more information.






Sunday, 18 November 2018

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Winter Dining Dates - Kali Orexi......

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Winter Dining Dates - Kali Orexi......: Our hillside village boasts one of my own favourite places to dine, Ilias Taverna and come the Winter months as we all retire back u...

Winter Dining Dates - Kali Orexi......



Our hillside village boasts one of my own favourite places to dine, Ilias Taverna and come the Winter months as we all retire back up the hill when, we now have time to spend with our friends and family whom are also likewise and otherwise too busy working during the Summer Season here so we now relax a little.  Now we can enjoy a meze or two at Ilias Taverna.  See www.iliastaverna.com.  A popular venue for holidaymakers too during the hot and humid summer nights 'Under the Vines' - see photo.

Nothing is better during the long, often cold winter months, than an evening spent enjoying the delights of a Meze at our local taverna, supping a few glasses of wine and delighting in the local tastes freshly prepared here.

A delight in the summer, as you sit outside and take in the village views and countryside below under the Grapevine Pergola, which shades you from the intense summer heat - come the winter months it offers a warm and welcoming venue too as George and his brother Ilias light their wood burning stove.  You can almost feel you are sat outside as they have an outdoor area, glassed in, so still plenty of views or if you prefer, dine inside and enjoy the amazing array of photos from times gone by in the village. 

Food delights are freshly prepared : including their homemade Tsatski and Taramasalata dips, Chicken and Pork kebabs, a freshly made Greek Salad or my own favourite being Felafel's Balls all served with  Hot Pitta bread and mouthwatering freshly prepared chips to name just a few delights.  Always ask as they often have a Special Dish too.....

At least once per month a few of us 'girls' meet up and enjoy a good ole chat and catch up, exchanging news, views and our own Winter menus and of course remembering some of the events and highlights of the summer just past.  We have time to relax, enjoy, laugh and also not worry about getting up the next day too early!!! - Very Important......

So if you are visiting or stay nearby out of season drop in or if holidaying during the mainstream holiday months you should certainly pay a visit to this taverna.

During the summer, Ilias Taverna is also open during lunchtimes and can be reached by local buses - during the off season Winter months it doubles up as a great meeting place during mornings and lunchtimes for locals as a Kafeneion too. 

However for me, many years back,  once I discovered this little gem it so quickly became a favourite and authentic place to dine.  I lived in the main town area years back then and would drive an hour or so on a precious Day Off to enjoy.  So now I am fortunate it is almost on my door step oh OK at least 5 minutes walk away!!!!.............
Yammas and Kali Orexi.......

Ilias Taverna can also be found on FaceBook.......