Both @HelenaFleur and I love London. I mean, really love it. We’re the kind of girls you will find singing the praises of this fine city to everyone we meet, and defending it’s honour if anyone dares to criticise. This is our home, our place of work..and our playground.
However. Like anything you love, sometimes it’s good to step away, take some time out and have time to miss it. So, as the seasons changed and London started raining, these little ladies packed up our troubles and headed off to the gorgeous island of Paxos, in Greece.
I am a long time lover of the Ionian & Aegean Islands, having visited a quadrillion times as a child – however, I had never been to Paxos. Helena on the other hand, is a true island girl, with a wonderful house, the Villa Adriana, perched high in the hill above Lakka, so she promised to show me around. Not that there is much to show, sizewise. It’s teeny.
Anyway, after flying into Corfu on good old Easyjet, we hopped into a sea-taxi and sped off to our destination, with the wind in our hair, smiles on our faces and suitcases packed full to bursting with bikinis and dreams. The touristy, semi-commercial shores of Corfu disappeared into the background as we reached the landing point and prepared to disembark onto one of the most beautiful islands I have ever encountered.
It’s true. From the moment you arrive on Paxos, you feel enveloped in warmth and romance. The locals all called out hello to their returning blonde Goddess, and there were hugs and smiles all round and we jumped into one of only about four island Taxi’s to take us to the house. Helena sat in the front catching up with the island gossip, while I sat quietly in the back seat, looking out across the lush, green island, with it’s beautiful villas and wonderful vistas. Instantly, I was in love with this place!
The house itself is incredible too. Set in the hillside amongst what seems like 1000 olive trees, the stunning villa has been perfectly restored by Helena’s family, with help from the locals. It’s packed with original features, perfectly combined with every mod con you could wish for. Artwork adorns the walls, the bookshelf is packed with holiday reads, the beds are ridiculously comfortable (imported from the UK) and outside, the views are spectacular. The pictures on the website cannot possibly do it justice – it’s almost too good to be true.
As we walked down the hill to the village, things got even better. We stopped to see the view of Lakka Bay for the first time and I caught my breath – the sea is bright turquoise or deep navy and completely clear; the pebble beaches are sparkling white; the houses white or pink with green or blue shutters – it’s like something from a film set. The Bougainvillea dances in the subtle breeze and the smells of barbeque waft under your nose, and none of it seems quite real. The village itself is beautiful and quaint – everyone called out hello, asked after the family, engulfed me in hugs and made me feel at home from the moment I arrived.
It is wonderful.
The 10 days we were there unfolded in front of us, and we did nothing but laze, eat heavenly (and calorie laden) local dishes, enjoy morning frappes, drink the odd little Mythos and Sfinaki, read, tan and laugh. Productive days were those when we left the local beaches, to explore those at Mododenri a mile or two away, or hop into a speedboat and visit the even smaller Anti-Paxos, which is unspoilt beauty at it’s finest… (and worthy of a mention by Giles Coren, who fell in love with it on a recent trip).
This is a place to lose yourself. I’m completely and utterly in love with the island, and would happily return again and again, as so many do.
Here are some of our holiday snaps..
To visit Villa Adriana yourself, click here. The studio sleeps 2, the main house sleeps 4 – or you can have the whole thing, complete with 3 terraces, for 6 people! It’s stunning, and the view is second to none. Love it.
Can we go back yet?!