Friday, 8 March 2019

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: What Do You Do in the Winter?

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: What Do You Do in the Winter?: What Do You Do In the Winter then? Probably the mostly frequently asked question from visitors is " What Do You Do in the Winter&... This weeks blog for your enjoyment......

What Do You Do in the Winter?

What Do You Do In the Winter then?


Probably the mostly frequently asked question from visitors is " What Do You Do in the Winter"?

One of my hobbies. which consumes these days, most of my free time especially over the Winter is the promotion of our local area and businesses.

Our house is in the village above the resort.  The village sits proudly on the hillside and offers the local community and visitors the best of both as a place to live and to explore.  Here we find our local Butchers, Bakery, Chemist, Post Office, Hairdressers, various Mini Markets, Kafeneions, Churches, the Doctor, Patisserie and some wonderful tavernas too.  All of which are open throughout the year, not just during the Summer months.  Up here you will always find somewhere to eat, drink and enjoy people

watching too - a popular Taverna being Ilias Taverna - Under the Vines with amazing views across the valley below - see www.iliastaverna.com





Just below the main village is the resort area, Agios Stefanos, Avlioton (often referred to as San Stefanos) and just a 30 minutes walk downhill or an 8 minutes drive or you can if you prefer - take the local Green bus, known as the Ktel route (One can check times to/from the resort on www.greenbuses.gr ) to the long sandy beach with amazing clear blue, shallow water and now also famous for the stunning sunsets in this area on the North West coast of Corfu when at dusk the sun changes its vibrant colour as it slowly dips down below the neighbouring islands and into the sea.

The resort area is where you will find the majority of the Summer's holiday accommodation lets, ranging from budget studios, apartments, villas, family run hotels, up to boutique hotels and suites with Private Pools. apart from the major Tour Operators, many owners have rooms for you to book directly. After many years deep friendships have been formed with our visitors whom return each Summer, some several times a year and out of the main season too.  Naturally booking directly supports the local economy - the ethos of my hobby and can be found on my websites www.corfuselections.com , www.sanstefanosapartments.com & www.sanstefanosvillas.com

There is an extensive assortment of Local Greek
Tavernas and restaurants always serving amazing Corfiot cuisine, as well as Fish restaurants offering the local catch of the day and a Bistro for fine dining too - see www.beachcombersbistro.com


A variety of bars offers the choice from chilling out and watching the world go by with a refreshing drink through to enjoying a Tribute act or band.  The resort has no Clubbing Venues hence making it a popular choice for those seeking a more relaxing style for a holiday vacation.

There is a good variety of shops too with tempting unique Greek designs in Jewellery, both Gold and Silver.  A boutique for lovely linen clothing.  Shops offering a wonderful selection of bags, shoes, Bars, Supermarkets, Bakery, souvenir shops or why not make your own Pottery souvenir at Hippopots overlooking the beach and close to the beautiful church of Agios Stefanos proudly looking over the far end of the bay.  Really, something to suit all tastes and ages.

During the Summer months, those whom enjoy the daily news, can find a good choice of Foreign newspapers and magazines at the Emporium known as Peli & Maria's centrally located towards the road down to the beach.

Although there are no Banks in resort, there are 3 ATM's as well as several Travel offices offering money exchange facilities.

The local bus will take you to/from Corfu Town or any of the villages along this route.  During the months from Mid June to Mid September there is an additional service (Check Summer Special on the bus website) over to Arillas & Agios Georgios (Pagi) making Agios Stefanos a great base for your holiday destination and stay.


Those wishing to be more Independent can hire cars, quads, bicycles or mopeds from a wide selection of outlets in the resort too.

And if you prefer to let someone else take the strain you can discover Corfu Town and other villages by coach or cruise over to the Diapontian Islands, a group of islands visible across the water from Agios Stefanos, by booking an excursion.  Many delightful treats are on offer at the local travel agencies. I would suggest Kassiopi with its lovely harbour and the wonderful  bay looking out toward the Albanian shore and twinkling lights of Agia Saranda  (well that's another worthwhile day out you could book from the local agencies in Agios Stefanos and a visit to the Heritage site of Butrint, made famous by our lovely Joanna Lumney for more information ) I have personally visited Albania on numerous occasions , yes it is slowly developing tourism -  but do go if you can to visit Albania) and maybe too a coach trip via perhaps Perthia Old Village as an option.....

For the more energetic, there are some amazing walks either within the resort area where you will venture into the Olive Groves or perhaps over the hill at the far end of the resort past resort is our church and down into the harbour to sit and watch the local fishermen bring in their fresh catch.  There is a small refreshment stop here, known as the Kantina.  Further afield up and over the ridge this walk will take in breathtaking views over both Agios Stefanos and Arillas below. maybe stop off for a refreshment or a spot of lunch too. For the very fit and keen walkers why not venture on to the neighbouring beach of Arillas or even up to the sleepy village of Afionas overlooking the long beach of Agios Georgios where Scuba Diving is available too.

Probably one of the main attraction on offer is the long sandy beach of Agios Stefanos.  As you arrive in the resort either from Arillas or from Avliotes, the beach will capture your heart as you see the glistening sea below you with its clear blue and shallow waters. This stunning scene attracts visitors every summer.  Miles of sand providing you with plenty of space for a totally relaxing day or evening too.  Here you will find sunbeds and sun parasols for rent, tavernas literally on the beaches edge, water sports, such as Para kiting, Ringo's, Water Ski-ing and Boat Hire too.  Further along the sand towards the area close to the cliffs, close to Cape Drastis you may prefer to bring you own umbrella and towels and sunbathe and swim.  This area is also known for Nude bathing - for those wanting an all over tan.  Or perhaps if Yoga is your Passion this area is for you.

Anyone whom is not a beach lover can still chill out and enjoy many of the swimming pools within the resort, most are open to non -residents - just ask at the Pool Bars for more information. Most pool bars and receptions provide Book Swaps too as many people prefer a real book from a Kindle whilst on holiday (maybe the glaring hot sun)  so when you have exhausted all your own books just pop in and swap. 

So, anyone thinking of Agios Stefanos, Avlioton for a holiday I hope my post has provided some further information for you and we look forward to seeing you soon.  You can contact me for any questions via my website www.corfuselections.com
And for our returning guests, thank you again for choosing again an also promoting and inviting your friends and family to our little piece of Paradise in North West Corfu.  Looking forward to seeing everyone very soon. For Summer 2019 we are open from May - October



More information on my Facebook page - Corfu Selections and via my websites above.

So now you know One of the things I do over the Winter Months!!!

Thank you for reading my Blog this week.






Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: The Greek Village Loaf of Bread.

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: The Greek Village Loaf of Bread.: A loaf of fresh Greek Bread - After living/staying & visiting in Greece for a few years (well almost 38 years now) you always will se...

The Greek Village Loaf of Bread.

A loaf of fresh Greek Bread -

After living/staying & visiting in Greece for a few years (well almost 38 years now) you always will see the local Bakery busy,  almost every village has their own Bakery with their own delights of cakes, biscuits and especially freshly baked bread.  So whilst we are all sleeping they are preparing the daily staple. Every house will indulge in buying bread daily  - bread is always offered when visiting a household even if you pop in on the off chance - it is normal you will be given a meze with bread, olive oil and feta cheese.. Bread is just amazing in Greece. Not prepacked just bought daily as part of the 'normal' staple. I don't know a day goes by in our small house when we don't buy bread......

Miso Kilo Psomi - 1/2 a kilo of bread - is the normal request. In our village they also offer Polisporos one of my own personal favourites several times per week, a brown bread with sesame seeds hence the name - Many seeds......Poli Spora

Well as everyone here always buys a half kilo of bread everyday, as we do too, what do you do???? Personally we can't eat half a kilo we are just 2 persons. But we need fresh bread every day as Greek Bread is so scrumptious
So this is the life of a bread loaf in our house for you to also consider when you need to do something with the leftovers.....

It a sort of recycling thing really to consider....

So stale bread cut the crusts off and leave for a neighbour with livestock  - they have chickens so you will then be given eggs to use for a later dish to use.... see below.

The soft middle part of the bread can be soaked in a little water to make a Skordalia  - a Garlic Sauce Dip.
All I do is cut off crusts (given to neighbour for eggs see later) soak the middle soft part & then add Garlic which is grown in the garden, perhaps also add some chives if you wish, also grown in garden,  Olive Oil of course widely available from everyone's  Olive Trees so blend and you have a lovely dip to soak your now newly bought bread into. Some recipes suggest potatoes which is also lovely we grow potatoes in garden so it just depends on whether you want a dip/sauce or something more thicker.  (Boil potatoes first like to be soft) all add all to bender it will come out well to dip your fresh bread into ........

Of course we can always use leftover Bread for a lovey Garlic Bread starter or accompaniment - don't think any recipe needed for this - I freeze bread regularly but then reuse by defrosting and adding butter and garlic and herbs (from garden Chives. Parsley etc) for Garlic Bread......

Leftover Bread with your now fresh eggs from Neighbour - A British Bread and Butter pudding Dish.
I use these eggs, bread, sugar, milk and of course our grapes/raisins from the vine to make this dish when its cold which it is often come winter as a real comfort food.

Naturally like most we blitz bread for breadcrumbs to add to Hamburgers and other such dishes but I am interested to know for any other options to use leftover bread for and look forward to your feedback and posts.  What do you do with leftover Bread? I am sure there are many other ideas out there and I look forward to hearing from you........

A loaf of Bread - the Greek Staple so flexible and so cheap to offer you many options.







Sunday, 27 January 2019

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Doors & Windows Tell a Tale in a Village

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Doors & Windows Tell a Tale in a Village: With Christmas and New Year for 2018/19 behind us,the weather in Corfu has been very harsh so far this Winter.  So many visitors in the Sum...

Doors & Windows Tell a Tale in a Village

With Christmas and New Year for 2018/19 behind us,the weather in Corfu has been very harsh so far this Winter.  So many visitors in the Summer ask me about living and retiring in Corfu.  I think based on this Winter,  I may also be harsh & very honest with my feedback.....

So today it was a pleasant and a very welcome surprise after 2 weeks of rain, very heavy rain, dampness , some friends have reported flooded homes and also we had some snow it settled outside in our garden and parking area now that's a first for me in as many years, yes we get Snow on the Albanian mountains across the valley which bring the bitter winds but snow in your garden.!!!!!

So today with the sun shining although a still chilly just 7c at midday -  I ventured out as there was sun - I could at last open the windows and doors I needed fresh air and to venture out and go and look at the little village windows and doors someone asked me about.....

Here are a few windows and doors from our lovely little village, it's a shame to see so many houses now abandoned, is it the economy?  well we know life changes and people move on etc? There is so little employment in Greece many of our youngsters have moved abroad to study and find work in UK, Germany, USA etc so will these houses remain unloved and alone.

There must be many stories to tell ......... So if you know of any stories behinds these facades I would love to hear more......... The one opposite with the grey windows and shutters is from my husband Aris' mother house when she lived in the village almost 50 years ago now abandoned such a shame, although I did see it on a website selling property would certainly be a 'project' as marketing people put the spin on.....
She now lives in the valley on her small farming land at 93 years old......

A Very Happy Sunday from a Sunny Village today.......