The last few months have been weird, haven’t they? (Sorry, that’s an understatement).

When lockdown first happened, I was already working from home in my little studio and very quickly my husband was also asked to work from home. Our daughter was home for study leave from Bristol University and would eventually take her exams and continue her studies online.

Once the whole situation began to materialise, I realised that my primary purpose would be the health and happiness of my family. Obviously, I would help anyone else in need, my friends and anyone in our community, but the mental and physical health of my husband and daughter were paramount.

My husband and I had already missed one holiday because of Thomas Cook going into liquidation, and our trip to Greece would be cancelled due to lockdown. However, we were still ok, and very grateful for what we have.

After a few weeks of meal planning and going out on the family shop once a week, I had an idea, why couldn’t we have our Greek holiday at home? All three of us love food and love cooking, it would be an at home adventure. I also love making people laugh, so decided I would post ‘holiday’ updates. Having announced my idea to my Facebook friends I had a momentary panic when I realised I would have to write something at least a little witty each day, no pressure at all then!

It was quite ironic when we had to postpone our virtual holiday for a week because my husband was called out to work! 

The best comment from Facebook – Blimey Sally. That’s rotten luck 😞. With luck like that I’m just wondering if you have any holidays booked for next year just so I can avoid those dates!


Day 1

We finally manage to arrive at our staycation Greek island holiday. We remain in the lovely little village of Blythaklion, in the fabulous hotel Brownika. The weather is a little chillier than expected but it has been sunny.

Last night the chef (Aesop Slowcookerdopolopodus) created some fabulous Kokkinisto which we had with herby potatoes. It was so nice I asked for the recipe and we might have it again some time.

This morning breakfast was Fetoydia, the Greek version of eggy bread, I had half with honey and the other half with cinnamon sugar.

One disappointment is the island wide shortage of filo pastry so menus may be limited. This evening we’re going to have meze in a fabulous Taverna called Loungeronika.

day one breakfast

Behind the Scenes

Shopping during lockdown has been a little hit and miss. We will forever remember people panic buying toilet rolls, we watched in disbelief and got down to our last two rolls before finally finding new stock in the supermarket. It was also interesting having to go to the back of a local independent shop to ask for bread flour, for it then to be brought out from the back room, I felt as though I was buying something illegal!

Once we had decided on our Greek menu for the week and found all the recipes, I went to the supermarket unsure that I would be able to buy everything. It was going well until I looked at the pre-made pastry section, no filo pastry. Anyone who has eaten Greek food will realise that it is a Greek staple and we would have to re-think quite a few of our meals.

However, we are so lucky to live in an amazing little community, within minutes of my first Facebook post going live I had a personal message from a friend and local landlady telling me that her husband was sure they had some filo pastry in one of their freezers! Social distancing collection the next day and disaster was averted.

Day 2 – Post Card from Blythaklion

Another lovely meal last night, at the fabulous Taverna called Loungeronika, you really can’t beat Meze. I am loving fried squeaky cheese, not sure what they call it over here, but it really is scrumptious. The evening was almost spoilt when Robert realised he had forgotten his wallet, we got over our embarrassment when, thankfully, the restaurant owner was kind enough to let him do the washing up.

Later, in the Hotel Brownika garden, we had a lovely time in the evening sunshine drinking our newly discovered ouzo cocktail.

We have our fingers crossed that the taverna kitchen has sourced some filo pastry, so on the food front all is not lost!!


Day 3 – Post Card from Blythaklion

Another great day at Brownika Hotel. After breakfasting on some lovely freshly baked Koulouri Thessalonikis with honey, (of course, there were stuffed olives too) we went for a walk in the Greek countryside. There were some areas where it was just like being at home.
We are joyous, a fabulous couple from another local taverna found some filo pastry and sent it to our local Loungeronika, where we have decided to visit yet again. They promised to make us some Sfakianopita, it did not disappoint. Great thanks go to Gillyopadus and Pauletetees who run an excellent local hostelry, the Redeus Hearteus. It’s such a shame they can’t open at this time, as we’d love to pop In and have a drink with them.

To follow the feta and spinach pie, the lovely pastry chef Georgianou baked some amazing Amygdalota cookies, if you like almonds you’ll love these. It was a lovely after dinner treat and went perfectly with our cocktail the Greek Deb. Robert yet again did the washing up. Maybe he’s missing home!!

I think we need to bring some cookies back! Kali orexi!


Day 4 – More adventures from Blythaklion our Greek paradise

After a lovely breakfast of fruit and Greek yoghurt, another walk in the beautiful countryside. We dangled our feet in the natural pond next to the waterfall, but some of the golden fish got a bit curious & I didn’t fancy nibbled toes.

After a dinner of Soutzoukakia and kolokithokegtedes we sat between the olive grove and lemon trees, drinking more cocktails.

On Sunday, Robert has booked me in for spa at Bathradite, he says there is an excellent Bulgarian masseuse called Ivor Ticlychesticov. I’m not sure whether I should be worried or not!!


Day 5 – Further adventures from Blythaklion, last few days

This was the first day we were disappointed with breakfast, Teganopsomo sounded lovely, but was very unexciting, we were worried that the chef was having an off day.

We decided that sunshine and a walk would cheer us up. The countryside around here is beautiful, lots of farmland and rolling hills. We thought we’d go for a paddle and try walking to the beach but soon realised that it was way too far. Robert might have a few comments about that on Trip Advisor.

A cat seems to have adopted us, she just wandered in through the patio doors of our suite. I wonder whether she visits all hotel residents because she’s acting as though she lives here!

At dinner time we discovered that chef Sallonika had redeemed herself with Souvlaki, tzatziki and tomato salad. The Baklava for desert was a triumph as the last of the filo pastry on the whole island was used up. Luckily this will last us until we come home.
Kalí méra


Day 6 – The final adventures from Blythaklion, sadly our last day

I woke up excited, today was my trip to the spa!! I would visit Bathradite, and meet the Bulgarian masseuse, Ivor Ticlychesticov. ❤️
What I wasn’t prepared for was the extensive cycle route Robert had half planned, I say half planned because his route was as follows, we go down Worksopiki Road out of Blythaklion, over the river, turn left down a track he had spotted and see where it takes us. Anyone familiar with this area knows how hilly it can be and how bumpy some of the tracks are, (Robert got his comeuppance on said tracks) we cycled miles and miles.

We arrived at a lovely village called Osbertonika and at a lock discovered we could cycle along the side of a canal (who knew that Greek island had canals!). I only almost fell in once, the canal went on and on, until we got to Ranbyaklion. A short road ride until we got back onto the canal path and on to a lovely roadway called Prásino míli which translates into Green Mile. From there it was a long trek to Torworthekia and finally back to Blythaklion and our hotel.

Boy did I need Ivor!! However, can I just say, What happens at the spa, stays at the spa.

Dinner was lovely, one of our favourites which we have at home, pastitsio, strangely it had peas served with it apparently the restaurant had a freezer emergency and had to defrost it, so we ate peas. This was followed by Mosaiko made by the fabulous pastry chef Georgianou.
So it’s back home tomorrow, thank you for following our virtual Greek holiday adventures. I can fully recommend it and we have many new recipes for future use.
Sally xx


Life went back to the new normal.

We enjoyed our virtual holiday and we gave our friends a few chuckles, so mission accomplished. We have been extremely fortunate during this time and are very thankful. We also inspired a few others to try a virtual holiday.

My heart goes out to those who have suffered during this pandemic and who are still having a bad time. I’d also like to say a big thank you to all the key workers who have been doing a fabulous job throughout. You are amazing.

This was a great distraction for us as a family. I am an artist and designer in my day job, if you would like to see what else I do please visit my website or have a look around my Print Shop

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