OUR FINAL full day and we walk up via the hairpin bends through the olives and pines for a last coffee at the Garden of Dreams, at the San Merino wine and snack bar at Milia, on the terrace opposite the Achillion Palace. Theodorus Vassilakis the owner (above) treats us to a glass of red wine made with grapes from his vineyard, a five year old vintage, and a toasted olive sandwich – his own olives of course – which is delicious. He sits patiently as I draw him. He runs a traditional Corfiot distillery, producing kumquat liqueur, which you can sample here.
After lunch we’re probably a little overenthusiastic as we set off along the road to Corfu town, a walk that takes us about 3 hours to complete and which takes us alongside one of the islands busiest roads with no pavement in several places.
We stop at a small bar halfway and manage by gestures to make the barman understand that we’d like two mugs of tea but, when he brings them, we have the problem of asking for the milk. In the three weeks before the holiday I made a half-hearted attempt to learn some basic Greek phrases but I had to resort to an internationally understood impression to make myself understood by saying ‘MOOoooo!’
We find our way to the Liston Square, where we sit at a cafe table at the Libro d’Oro in an arcade overlooking the park in front of the fortress and have a fresh fruit salad, which is something of a work of art. I try the honeyed tea. The waiter speaks English so there’s no need to do my impression of a bee.
We walk back through the old town along streets wide enough for two donkeys to pass each other then take the bus back to Benitses.
Link Vassilakis and Sons