Friday, 18 May 2018

A Greek Feast at Olea Villas Crete


On our recent trip to Crete we had the opportunity to stay at the Olea villas, which are set amongst olive groves facing Loutraki Bay, near Chania Crete The villas are fully equipped with a modern kitchen with all mod cons, crockery and cooking utensils if you want to do self catering. However for those who go on holiday and want total relaxation you can even arrange for a private chef to come and cook a Greek feast for you.

We were very lucky to experience this service. On our second night while we relaxed with a glass of wine, our own personal chef Stefanos Bourdakis and his partner came fully prepared to cook some amazing Greek dishes for us



It was really interesting to watch him create some regional Cretan dishes made from scratch. Being a vegetarian I was amazed that almost every dish he made was meat free and I was able to sample them all.


For starters we had butternut squash soup - Kolokythósoupa. I had a hands on cookery lesson from Stefanos. He sauted onions in olive oil, once the onions were translucent he added the butternut squash, carrots, potatoes in white wine. Once the vegetables were cooked he seasoned it with salt and pepper and added Mytzitahra cheese to it and blended it to a smooth puree. A finishing garnish of Greek yoghurt and cream were added before serving.


We really enjoyed our candle light dinner on the terrace overlooking Loutraki Bay.



The soup followed with a plate of Kolokithakia Tiganita or Deep Fried Zucchini (courgettes). Wafer thin slices of zucchini are soaked in water for half an hour after which they are towel dried. The zucchini slices are then tossed in a seasoned flour to coat them before deep frying them until they are crisp and golden brown. These are so delicious with a squeeze of fresh handpicked lemons straight from the lemon groves.


After enjoying these two wonderful starters there was more to come. Stephanos made us these delectable spinach parcels called Kaltsounia. Greek phyllo pastry filled with spinach and Mytzitahra cheese and herb filling and then shallow fried till until they are golden brown. They are finished with a coating of sesame seeds.  These were served with mini pastry tartlets filled with an avocado salsa.




When we thought that we had finished, how wrong we were there was more to come!!! For the main course we had Simbetherio (συμπεθεριό).This is a type is the Cretan vegetable stew cooked with a medley of seasonal vegetables on the stove top. The meaning of 'simbetherio' comes from the relationship of the parents-in-law of the two members of a marriage; the families become related to each other through marriage (they are 'simbetheroi' to each other). 

The simbetherio dish uses the extended family members of various similar species, cooked in the same pot. This dish had potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines and had a garnish of Mytzitahra cheese. Simplicity at its best!!


To accompany the Simbetherio, we had Melintzanes Stolismenes these are thin slices of eggplant shallow fried and rolled with feta. The eggplant rolls are layered in an ovenproof dish and topped with a spicy tomato sauce and Keseri cheese. The dish is baked in the oven until the cheese is golden brown and crisp.


After this incredible Greek gastronomical feast, our stomachs were aching from the fullness and ready to explode, but there is always room for dessert!!!


So for dessert Stephanos made us these delectable little deep fried Greek honey and sesame coated balls call Loukoumades. They were really delicious and the perfect end to this Greek Feast.

I would like to Thank Stefanos and his wife for spoiling us rotten by creating such a wonderful banquet for us. We were totally transformed into a food journey through Greece with all the flavours and dishes.


In the picture Heidi Roberts, Katilena , myself, with Stefanos and his wife.

If you ever visit Crete and would like Stefanos to cook for you you can contact him via email s.bourdakis@hotmail.com

To read more about my trip to Crete do check the posts below:

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Unicorn ~Bostik Challenge



This month the Bostik box is all about creatures. In our box we had some love glittery foam and pink items. Little M my crafting buddy came over to help me create our monthly craft. We chatted about creatures and she told me her friend had a unicorn themed party so we decided to make a unicorn with the items in the box.

We later had some strawberry ice cream with lots of blue berries and mango as she wanted something to make unicorn ice cream. Little M loves to try foods with different colours. unfortunately we did not get time to take a photo of our unicorn ice cream as it was really hot and the ice cream had started to melt.

To make the Unicorn you will need:



  • 1 sheet white glittery funky foam
  • 1 sheet pink funky foam
  • 1 small sheet gold card
  • Stick on gems
  • Pink rafia or thread for mane
  • Black pen
  • Scissors
  • Bostik Glue


How to make:


1.On the white glitter funky foam draw a circle about 10 cm in diameter and cut it out.
2.On the white funky foam draw two ear shapes and cut them out.


3. On the pink funky foam draw two ear shapes slightly smaller than the white ones and cut them.
4.On the pink funky foam draw and cut out two round circles the size on a five pence piece.
5. Using bostik glue stick the smaller pink ear shapes to the larger white ones and stick both ears to the top of the circle.




6. On the gold card draw and cut out one unicorn horn shape.
7. In between the ears stick the uniform horn.
8. Stick the pink circles to make the cheeks.


9. Using a black sharpie draw the unicorns eyes.
10. Underneath the Unicorn horn stick the pink mane and decorate with stick on gems.



This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors. If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.

Kids Arts and Craft Videos
Kids Arts and Crafts Projects 

Being part of the Bostik 2018 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Chania and Olea Villas - Crete


My recent trip to Crete took me to Chania the western side of the island, which is the second largest city in Crete. Chania has an international airport with scheduled flights from the UK, the main tourist season is from April to October. Ferries also sail to and from Athens (Pireas) daily - the port for ferries for Chania is at Souda, a few kilometres away.
In Chania, you will find the medieval architecture around the Venetian Harbour- the old port. The two most prominent sights are the Venetian light house and the Turkish quarters. Lining the harbour are the waterfront restaurants and cafes, bars and tourist souvenir shops. As you venture away from the old port you will discover leading off the old town, narrow alley ways leading to cobbled streets, old buildings, museums, churches and crafts shops.


Venetian style town houses stand tall and proud with age old shutters, pastel paint work and balconies. Houses are entwined between cafes, tavernas and shops where you can sit and enjoy a meal or a coffee and listen to the gypsy accordion players busking in the Greek sunshine.


Heading further away into the new town, you will find many larger department stores, designer shops, banks, supermarkets, hotels and many more restaurants. Another must visit in this part of the town is the undercover Municipal Market hall known as "Agora" that houses many stalls selling delicious Greek delicacies, olive oil and olives, fish, meat, herbs, spices, Raki, gifts, house ware and souvenirs. 





Whilst in Crete, our home for seven days were the beautiful Olea Villas in Loutraki-Chania. Set in picturesque surroundings overlooking the hills with olive tress and the Loutraki Bay which is only 170 metres away, the villas are stylishly furnished in a modern decor with all the facilities you will need to make your stay comfortable and luxurious for a family holiday.

Photo supplied by Olea Villas
Contemporary and sleek in look, the two three bedroom villas are adjacent to each other, each  accommodating 6 persons. Both villas are on three split levels, the lower ground floor has two bedrooms one double and one twin room; both rooms have sea facing balconies with a table and chairs. 

                                                                       Photo supplied by Olea Villas

On this level there is also has a media room with a 3D Home theatre, Satellite TV, a Blu-ray player and movie collection and Xbox 360 console and Nintendo DS. This will certainly keep the kids entertained. 


The third bedroom is a double bedroom located on the first floor. All three bedrooms have marble ensuite bathrooms, ceiling fans, air conditioning and tv’s.
On the ground floor there is a fully equipped open plan modern kitchen and a terraced dining area with a barbecue on one side.

                                                                             Photo supplied by Olea Villas

The views from the terrace are breathtaking, making eating al fresco so enjoyable at any time of the day.





On the opposite side of the kitchen is a large sitting room that opens out to an outdoor sitting area, leading to a secluded private infinity-edged swimming pool, landscaped gardens with a children’s play area and hot tub where you can relax and soak up the sunshine in style


.There is full wifi access, a laundry room with a washer and dryer, a full security alarm system and remote controlled entrance gates to the property making it totally safe and secure.  


The Olea villas are easily accessible from the airport, 16km from Souda port and 17km from Chania Centre. Nearby the villas there is Marathi Beach 1.3 km away, where there are a couple of beach front restaurants. The nearest village is 2.9 km away and has a small supermarket and a pharmacy.
It is highly recommended to hire a car to get around the island as the location is a little secluded and set away from the hustle and bustle.Whilst we were in Chania, we used the services of two car companies, Kappa Rentals  and Joyriderentalcar.


The Olea villas also have another larger Villa  sleeping 10 people approximately 10 mins walk away. The Villa Alexandros is set on cliff tops boasting panoramic views of the hills and sea. Built on three levels the property has in total 5 bedrooms, sitting rooms, fully fitted and equipped kitchen, a covered sun terrace and swimming pool.

 Photo supplied by Olea Villas

Two of the bedrooms are on the lower ground floor and three are located on the first floor. The villa is beautifully furnished to the highest standard with all mod cons and come with a maid service.You can also arrange the services of a private chef to come and cook for you. I will feature this service in my next post. I went on the trip with Heidi Roberts from kitchentalkandtravels.com, you can read all about her account here.

The villa owners, Mr George Koletsos and his wife live at the Olea villas. They are very friendly and are always at hand to ensure your stay is comfortable. They even spoils you by bringing piping hot Greek treats straight from their oven for breakfast.
For more information you can visit the Olea Villas  and Villa Alexandros websites  to check out the availability and prices.

I was a guest at Olea Villas, all views  and opinions shared are of my experience. In my next post I shall be sharing things to do in Crete.

NB- All the photos unless marked are taken by citrusspiceuk . The photos supplied by Olea villas are clearly marked.

To read about my Crete adventures you can check the below posts in the series:
A Greek Feast at Olea Villas.




Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Spring Flower Picture ~Bostik Challenge


In my previous post I shared  a post of how to make a spring flower wreath that my crafting buddy Little M and I made. We also make this love spring flower picture to hang in little M's bedroom. In the Bostik box there were some hama beads and a flower shape plate. Little M really enjoyed arranging the coloured beads on the flower plate to make a flower.I was amazed at how much manual dexterity she has got as she was meticulous in the arrangement for a six year old.

Things you will need to make the spring flower picture:


Two pieces of a5 card one patterned and one glitter.
4 inch piece of ribbon
Hama beads
Flower plate to arrange the hama beads on
Bostik Glue
Scissors
Ruler
Pencil

How to make the spring flower picture:

1. Arrange the hama beads onto the flower plate.


2. THIS STEP HAS TO BE DONE BY AN ADULT ONLY- Place a piece of grease proof paper over the hama bead picture and using a hot iron iron the picture gently until the beads stick to each other. Leave the picture to cool.
3. Once cooled gently removed the ironed hama bead picture from the flower plate.


3. Cut out a rectangle by from the patterned card 15 cm x 13 cm and a 12.5 cm x 10 cm from the glitter card
4. Position and stick the glitter card to the patterned card.
5. and stick it onto the glitter card in the centre.


6. Make a loop with the ribbon and stick it in the centre of the top end of the card to make a hanging loop.


This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors. If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.

Kids Arts and Craft Videos
Kids Arts and Crafts Projects 

 Being part of the Bostik 2018 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Spring Flower Wreath~Bostik Challenge



This month the bostik challenge box is all about flowers and spring. We are into April and the garden is finally looking colourful with daffodils and tulips. Hopefully with the lighter evenings if the weather improves we can enjoy the out doors more. At the moment the weather is awful so this Sunday when little M came over to craft we could not go out to the park or the garden as its been raining non stop.
Little M wanted to make some flowers to take for her parents but when we looked in the craft box there were already so many pretty flower cut outs we decided to use those and make a pretty flower wreath with them as a gift. Little M really enjoyed making this wreath, it did not take very long to make so we also made a Spring flower picture with hama beads and card for her bedroom which we will share in our next post.

To make the flower wreath you will need:



Two sheets of stiff card
Some green crepe paper cut into 1 inch strips
Assorted sized cut out flowers
Piece of string approx 12 inches long
Bostik Glue
Scissors
Pencil.

How to make the wreath:

1. On the card using a side plate as a template draw a circle.
2. On the same card using a smaller plate draw another circle.
3. Cut out the larger circle using the scissors.
4. Cut out the smaller circle using the scissors so your card will look like a doughnut.
5. Repeat the process for the second card and then stick the two doughnut shaped cards together using the Bostik Glue.




6. Secure one end of the green crepe paper strip with glue onto the card and start wrapping the green paper all around the card, secure the final end with glue.
7. You should have a green crepe paper ring now.
8. Fold the string in half and tie a knot at the loose end. Loop the string onto the ring to make a hanging loop.


9. Using the bostik glue arrange and stick on the flowers in any pattern you desire.



This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors. If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.

Kids Arts and Craft Videos
Kids Arts and Crafts Projects 

 Being part of the Bostik 2018 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.

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