Its 2013, just, and we are revived from a few days off.

Windbreak – first trees!

When the weather has allowed, we’ve been busy in the garden.  We’ve planted 3m cypresses, pine trees and ficus in an embankment of rocks at the North edge of the plot which we had constructed.  We’ve had to make up our own soil – adding peat, sand & fertilizer, as the native stuff is so full of clay its almost impossible to work.  And each tree has to be staked and secured with stays in three directions to stop the winds blowing them over.  Every morning when we wake up we check to make sure they haven’t been blown over during the night!

Inside we’ve been experimenting with bread making, and have now got a super and reliable country loaf – good texture and crumb, crisp brown crust, and the most wonderful smell of baking when we get up in the morning!  Added to that the aroma of hand crafted coffee – each round individually ground and filtered from beans which we unashamedly say are one of 8 varieties we get from Starbucks (my do they do good beans!), and we hope you are already yearning to be here!

Recipes which have made it include pork loin wrapped in pancetta tray baked over apples with a sauce of dried figs and apricots, poached in concentrated local grape juice, flamed in tsikoudia (the local spirit, made from the remainders of winemaking), spiced with anise, cinnamon and cloves.  Continuing the winter theme, duck on quince slices cooked in a local pomegranate liqueur, with copious saffron.  The cooked duck meat fried in duck fat with raisins & prunes in Amoroso sherry, and the juice of a fresh orange.  Wow, it was lovely, tho I have to say we did drink a splendid full fruity Santa Alicia Cab Sauv from Chile – can’t always stretch to Cretan wines!

Over the past month or so, the outside works are virtually complete – a crazy paving driveway up the hill, circling the huge fig tree in an oval island; a splendid pool terrace, linking the basement reception room to the pool, all on the level.

New Pool Terrace, almost finished

The website continues to be embellished – we’ve now got a small slideshow of pictures of the accommodation on both floors, and have made some contacts with others offering information or activities in the area – more to be added to the website in due course.