With October fast approaching and sun in the UK starting to give up its high- summer punch, we decided to look for a week in the sun.
I normally opt for activities to keep me entertained, but with my wife 6 month’s pregnant, she held all the cards, and they were marked with “rest” & “relaxation”. Hard to argue with, really.
So the search commenced for a high probability of sun, taking in the contenders of southern Italy, Portugal and Greece. Having settled on Greece for the food, we started looking at island and accommodation combinations, and the wife got stuck into some Tripadvisor action.
This led us to Kefalonia and My Little Place on The Hill, a collection of white apartments raised high on this island of many hills. It’s been operating since 2011, run by Alex and Vicky, who left acting/property developing and finance (respectively) for a life in rural Greece. They both have Greek heritage, and their style and influences are distinctly pan-European in design. They also make time to travel regularly which seems to influence a lot of the fantastic touches.
To call My Little Place functional does not even begin to do justice to the varied assortment of decorative and useful things dotted about the place, but it’s a start.
All the apartments have balconies that either over look stunning countryside and sea vistas, or the significant swimming pool. This is a serious draw for me; too often pools are either too small, or “elegantly” designed for proper swimming. I’m all over a quick dip to cool off, but being able to actually swim lengths is a massive bonus.
Back to the apartments; they are a good size, with a kitchen, a spacious hallway, an office/lounge, bathroom and bedroom. There’s tons of storage space, and having this space added to the feeling of relaxation. Something about being able to leave your stuff all over the place without it feeling cluttered is distinctly refreshing.
From the moment you enter the rooms to find a beautifully presented and welcome pack, until the moment you go to bed and find switches to turn off the main light, you are aware of the thought that has gone into making My Little Place something special.
Speaking to Alex and Vicky you get a sense that they are natural hosts, not that it’s easy, but there are so many corporate/boutique hotels and resorts that attempt and fail where they succeed. The whole atmosphere is one of relaxation and they clearly revel in ensuring guests have an amazing time. Their care and attention is a huge part of what makes the place special.
My Little Place is in the south of the island of Kefalonia, and only 15 minutes from the airport, so after a 3.5 hour flight from London you can be in the pool within an hour of getting off the plane.
It’s well-located for a number of beaches, but the best was the closest one, Avithos. Only 10 minutes away, it is a sandy beach with a little beach bar renting out sun loungers and providing liquid refreshments. There is also a fantastic taverna perched just above the beach where you can savour some excellent Greek Cuisine. We even went back there for dinner on our last night for a selection of starters.
There are some other gastronomic treats in close proximity:
Only a 10 minute walk from MLP is a simple and friendly taverna run by George, and his family. The food is fresh and delicious and the atmosphere is great. There are daily specials and a fine selection of local cuisine.
On high, by the entrance to George’s castle, is a fantastic lunch stop serving some incredible dishes, such as stuffed peppers and homemade pitta with fresh dips. Run by a Greek / English couple, they also have a taste for tea, and the walnut cake we scoffed was delicious.
Another tip for dinnertime is an organic restaurant called Kastro that serves a lot of its own produce and serves a mean cheesecake! It’s small menu is perfect with delicious, simple food cooked perfectly.
There is also a Wednesday night Barbeque hosted at MLP which was a great opportunity for a night without driving and a chance to meet some other guests. We found that most people were like-minded, friendly and had some good tips to share about their experiences. The food at the BBQ was hearty, fresh and filling, and there’s something great about being able to wander back to your room after dinner and a number of drinks.
Whilst I was on a short-leash regarding activities, aside from visiting beaches and the castle, we also decided to rent a boat. We’ve done this in the past in other places, but this was so well organised that it became a cherished experience. Opting for the more powerful 30hp engine, we had a briefing telling us some beaches to look out for, loaded up our cooler full of food and a couple of beers (for me), and commenced our training session. We were about 5 minutes into it when a freak burst of torrential rain had us rushing off the boat for cover! It soon passed and we were back on the boat learning some boating basics when another freak storm broke out! Hardened sailors as we now were, we braved it and finished the session, heading out into the blue unknown, just the two of us, some food and some snorkelling gear. There was something amazing about adventuring on the water and finding completely secluded, remote bays that we could claim as our own. It definitely was an activity that everyone who comes to the island should try and experience.
All in all, we had an amazing time in Kefalonia and cannot recommend My Little Place highly enough. If you need some R&R and a break in the sun with hearty, healthy food and a couple of excursions to make you feel like you’ve done something, then this should be top of your list.