Greek food has to be one of my favourites, we spent an amazing week in Corfu this summer. It baffles me when in Greece that I am constantly offered pasta when Greece has so many amazing vegetable dishes, I often order two starters instead of a main just to try them all. I loved Briam, a spicy vegetable stew, served with Olive bread. Of course the pasta was lovely, sometimes spiced with cinnamon, sometimes fiery chilli, but for me there are many more dishes I associate with Greece. The best pasta I have tasted in a long time, was at Corfu Club.
We stayed at the Corfu Club after winning some travel vouchers from On the Beach, for writing a post about Italy. It is a really special place to stay. Just a handful of apartments around a pool, the club is run by family and their close friends, and the love and care that goes into that really shows. The gardens, food and atmosphere are really something magical. When we saw Corfu Club on On the Beach’s site we could tell it wasn’t your average holiday summer sun apartment complex.
The food is what has inspired me to write today. We went on a B and B basis, but ate either a lunch or dinner there most days. The food is all cooked from a little shack by the pool, using home grown vegetables. By the end of the week I was begging for recipes to take home, and a tour of the veg patch. Once the staff realised I was vegetarian, they cooked me some incredible dishes, including an amazing Pumpkin pie. They also encouraged my kids to play chess.
Back to the pie, its laced with feta, dill and parsley, so the flavour is incredible. I will share the recipe, but the magic thing is you put flour in, so there’s no need for pastry, it makes its own crust. Kind of like a soufflé I guess.
Every day there was a different home cooked dish of the day, using vegetables from the garden. The gardens are beautifully maintained and bursting with colour and drama. You can order your food and, once its ready, someone will let you know so you can move to a table. So relaxing!
Nik promised to give me the recipe for the Pumpkin Pie. First he showed me where all the ingredients were grown, for the pie and all the other dishes I had loved. Peppers were plentiful and I was amazed to learn sun dried tomatoes only take 4 days to dry. I imagined months, I am sure it would be in England! The tomatoes were so big and juicy, totally different flavour, just amazing in Greek salad. The chillis too thrived in the sun, look at the size of them! I don’t think I have ever seen aubergines growing, look at that glorious deep and shiny, purpleness basking in the sunshine, they tasted amazing in the briam stew.
Food is served all day and into the night. During the day the kids had enough room to run around, to have some freedom without getting lost. It’s a very safe environment and they loved the playground, and chasing kittens and lizards through palms and under the walkways draped with grapes and figs. Our twin roomed apartment was very spacious in the bedrooms and the living areas, with lovely balconies running the length of the property, overlooking trees and formal gardens.
The first thing I did was order a Greek salad, 10 years ago when Mr A and I first came to Greece, I remember flying down lanes of olive trees on a motorbike to reach the most beautiful beach hut restaurant and eating Greek salad as we watched the sunset. Greek salad always takes me there. It felt so good to be back. This one topped any Greek salad I had ever eaten in my life. Served in a big bowl, cucumber and tomato ripened in the club’s garden, topped with the most gigantic slab of fresh, salty feta. It was heaven.
The kids really enjoyed a kind of pasta bake, made with giant penne pasta and tiny pieces of aubergine and courgette.
Outside our apartment great big shiny lemons were ballooning in the sunshine. So Mister G, having been well taught by his mother, and my mother before me, was straight to the tree on a scrumping mission. The perfect slice in my G and T.
Breakfast was a feast of fresh coffee and juices, heart shaped waffles, Greek cakes with swirls of chocolate or lashings of honey and lemon. Eggs, watermelon, meats and cheeses. And of course everyone was furnished with chocolate pancakes. Cake for breakfast, a real holiday treat.
So the ‘pumpkin pie’ recipe, Nik found it on the internet, but its something his mum makes too. It was definitely courgette in it when I ate it, not pumpkin, but marrows, courgette and pumpkin seem to be fairly interchangeable. I’ve made it a couple of times with marrow and with courgette, and because its based on cups it has come out differently each time, both yummy, so I think I have nearly cracked it enough to pass it on.
Watch this space!
Corfu Club was a perfect base to explore the island. It is a really calm, leafy green oasis, perfect if like us, you want a base for more adventurous island exploring rather than a resort to stay in all week. Gouvia was in walking distance and was fun to explore, if a little faded and too resorty for us, although we dodged the football bars and ate a good meal in a taverna by the gorgeous bay.
Club Corfu is only 20 minutes, if that, from the airport, it is right next to an amazingly well priced supermarket/cash and carry. The apartments are well placed to explore all the island, being just a short drive from loads of really beautiful family beaches where you can hire a boat and take yourself from beach to beach, moring up for refreshment. I recommend Kalmari, home of the Durrell family, and Paleokastritsa. It’s also really near Aqualand which we loved, but far enough away from the mayhem of Kavos.
We flew Ryan Air, which although seemed pricey for what was on offer, and not particularly well stocked on our return flight, was clean and welcoming and stress free. It was the height of the summer I guess.
On the Beach was easy to use, its easy to search online for flights and accommodation, and find trip advisor reviews of each property. On the Beach give you a dashboard with all your holiday details in one place. Response times were slow on the phone but amazing via Twitter. Email queries were handled well. The variety of accommodation you can choose from is impressive.
We stumbled upon a real gem here!