As I mentioned before we spent a week sailing in Greece, I know sailing sounds super posh and something you do when you live in the Hamptons, but seriously, it’s not. It’s more like camping…on water. So for anyone who hasn’t been sailing here are a few things I learnt, take as little as possible, no seriously, if you think you might need it, you probably won’t. I’m talking max 2 bikini’s, a pair of shorts and a few T-shirts. Oh and shoes, you definitely need shoes. Sunnies are crucial too, it’s bright on the water, especially when you only went to bed at 2am but make sure they’re not your favourite ones because if they land in the water they’ll sink like a stone. And don’t forget the sunscreen!
At 32″ we were the baby of our flotilla and most definitely the naughty kids at the back of the bus, last to arrive in port, staying up the latest and last to leave in the morning but hey, we had a blast! One thing we realised early on was that we needed a bigger boat. Pick the boat you think you’ll need and add at least another 4″. Your toes, head and elbows will thank you. We spent 7-days in the Ionian Islands, setting sail from Lefkas and visiting numerous Ports on Kalamos, Meganisi and mainland Greece. Above was our first stop, Port Atheni a small, quaint little port. Below was our dinner at the only restaurant in town, but it was oh so good! Every meal we ate HAD to be accompanied by a side of Tzatziki and a Greek salad, oh and sagnaki of course, hmmm. If you’re lucky the brother’s who own the place might just do a spot of Greek dancing.
We didn’t only eat out, we managed to fend for ourselves at least once, the boys did some fishing and caught, a couple of sea urchins, a giant clam and 4 fish (2 of which were delicious) we threw the other 2 back in the water, poor things.
Our next stop was Kalamos. Recommended dinner spot: George’s, you literally have dinner on the beach!
On our third night we just stopped off at a random deserted beach for the night and had a barbecue right there, complete with bonfire and music! It was pretty awesome!
I was kinda petrified to jump off the boat into the deep, dark sea and it didn’t get easier, it got my heart racing every time!
On day 4 we were left to our own devices, we sailed past the amazing caves on Meganisi but we were absolutely starving so regrettably we didn’t stop, seriously wish we had! We had lunch in a little bay and it seemed like we were eating in someone’s backyard, totally random but like everywhere other meal we had it was delicious. After lunch, we made our way round to Little Vathy where we stayed the night. Loads of restaurants to try out, I think it was my favourite stop of the week.
There I am at the helm, the weather was pretty tame, we only managed about 2 days of really good sailing. Our days were mostly spent, eating, swimming and snorkeling which is awesome because the water is super clear. Below is a magical little spot called Varko bay, our yacht is literally the furthest tiniest one in this photo and we thought it would be a good idea to swim to shore for cocktails. It was like a scene from James Bond except a lot less graceful. Emerging from the water with a plastic bag so our money didn’t get wet but the cocktails were definitely worth the swim. Bartenders are pretty heavy handed so beware!
We spent our last night at sea back on mainland Greece in Paleiros where we had a fun night out and ended the evening on the beach listening to a guy and his guitar. On the last day we made our way back up to Lefkas stopping off in a few bays for swimming, snorkeling and lunch. Highlight of the week, winning the ‘Bear Grylls’ award from our crew (for all our fish catching skills)!
As I mentioned in a previous post Gary and I hopped over to Greece for a little break. We were invited to a wedding in Kefalonia and thought we’d make a holiday out of it. I’ve split it into two posts because if I didn’t there would be a serious photo overload! Part one is on Kefalonia and part two is all about our sailing adventure!
This picture pretty much sums up the holiday, almost every beach we went to looked like this – so beautiful! This was the view from our little beach in Lassi, where we enjoyed some serious chill time. Most of our days were spent on the beach and in taverna’s stuffing our faces, we ate so much tzatziki!
We invested in a GoPro before the trip and it was so worth it, this was our first day playing around with it, hence the underwater feet photo! But how cool?
This was the day of the wedding and yes, it was in a cave (Melissani Cave), on boat! The cave is a mix of fresh water and sea water and is 30m deep, the water is so clear you can see straight to the bottom and it has this beautiful turquoise glow. The beach with the colourful umbrellas was our view from the reception, too pretty!
The next day the whole wedding party headed to Myrtos Beach, the winding road to get there definitely didn’t help those nursing hangovers but it was so worth it and yes, the water really is that colour. Word of advice, if you do plan to head to Myrtos beach, take a pair of shoes with good soles or swimming shoes. This isn’t just a pebble beach, it’s more like a rock beach – ouchie! It’s also the beach where the filmed a few scenes of Captain Corelli’s mandolin. And bougainvillea just because I’m obsessed, they were everywhere. Part 2 coming soon.
Things have been a little quiet round here lately, I spent an amazing two weeks in Greece on a yacht so I’ll be posting about that soon but for now, cheesecake! On a very rainy Friday afternoon, with my parents, niece and nephew in tow we braved the wet weather and headed for a pick your own farm, our persistence was rewarded with a whopping 3.5kg of cherries! Perfect to make this recipe twice, which I actually had to do because the first one disappeared so fast I didn’t have a chance to photograph it!
I love the ombre effect that’s happening here, deep purple, a delicate lilac and the light creamy colour, gorgeous! Remember to only weigh your cherries after you’ve pitted them and just a heads up, when you’re pitting them, it looks like a scene from Carrie.
150g digestive biscuits
420g cherries pitted and halved
2 Tbsp cherry brandy
400g cream cheese
250g ricotta cheese
50g castor sugar
zest from 1 lemon
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
icing sugar and extra cherries to serve
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C. Before we get going on the base put your cherries in a small saucepan with the cherry brandy and simmer for about 5 min, then take off the heat and let it cool. Now it’s time for your base, I have a little cheat, put all the biscuits in a sandwich bag and smash them up with a rolling pin until they’ve all turned to crumbs. Transfer to a small bowl, add the butter and pop it in the microwave for 1-2min, just long enough for the butter to melt, mix it together till all the crumbs are coated in the melted butter and press firmly into your cake tin for an even base. That’s it! Much easier than getting your food processor out.
Next mix together your cheeses, sugar, eggs, zest and vanilla until smooth, swirl in your cherry mixture but be gentle, you’re going for a marbled effect. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 60min. Once it comes out let it cool and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I added the zest and vanilla the second time round and I think it really brought out the flavour of the cherries.
Once it’s baked and cooled it’s time to dress it up a little. Place a combination of whole and halved cherries on top and with a sieve gently dust with icing sugar.
Eat it quick because I can guarantee this one will disappear fast!
(Recipe from an old Waitrose magazine)
I’m jetting off on a summer holiday on Wednesday, 10 blissful days on the Greek Islands and leaving Vicky to man the fort. I think summer officially arrives here in the UK on the day we leave, temps of 33 on Wednesday, WHAT!! Here is what’s on my list for my getaway, the holiday essentials.
1 – I have been eyeing this necklace for months, it would make the perfect date night accessory with a little black dress on a warm summer evening.
2 – This breezy dress just screams holiday!
3 – You can never enough pairs of sunnies, I love this light blue pair from Anthropologie.
4 – Another fun accessory for date night, a tropical clutch!
5 – The perfect bag for toting around all your beach essentials.
6 – I was a huge Gilmore Girls fan growing up so when I heard Lauren Graham had written a novel I had to have it. Looks like it’s going to be a fun summer read.
7 – Every girl needs a wide brimmed hat to hide away from the sun under, I love this bright ombre yellow one.
8 – These shoes match the tropical clutch perfectly and I found them totally by accident! Aren’t the cute!
9 – Make sure a mani pedi is on your to-do list before jetting off, I love all the new colours from Essie.
10 – Full swimsuits are seriously in this year, there are so many gorgeous options!
Vicky and I were at the garden centre last week, we stopped off for lunch and had the most delicious spring salad ever. It was really simple, just green beans, asparagus and pine nuts but I thought, as good as it was I bet I could make it better with some added ingredients. So here it is, a recipe for the greenest salad you’ve ever had that tastes like spring in a bowl!
Before I get stuck into the recipe I am just going to go off on a tangent and talk about pea shoots for a second. I did not know they existed before this spring, I had them on my plate in a restaurant a few weeks ago and I was amazed, they are so yummy and fresh tasting, there is no way to describe them other than the taste of spring! So if you see them in the shops, snatch them up, I have a feeling they won’t be on the shelves for very long. Ok, back to the recipe that gives new meaning to the term green salad.
Any greens you like, especially ones that are in season, I used: Asparagus, Broccoli, sugar snaps, fresh peas, spring onion, pea shoots
a large handful of pine nuts
juice of ½ a lemon
good glug of olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper
Lightly toast the pine nuts and set aside. Finely slice the spring onion. Chop the broccoli and asparagus into bite sized pieces and gently fry in a little olive oil until just tender. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together. Now it’s time to plate it up, start with your pea shoots, scatter your broccoli and asparagus on top and sprinkle over the spring onion and pine nuts. Lastly scoop out big chunks of avo with a teaspoon straight into the salad.
Now all that’s left to do is dress it, toss it gently and tuck in! We had ours with leftover roast chicken and it was a treat!
terracotta serving bowl | mini salt & pepper shakers