We stayed at a much loved hotel in Mani recently just outside Areopoli. It’s called Antares. Antares is the brightest star in the Scorpio cluster and in summer you can see it clearly from the balcony or terrace you may have in the hotel if you are out sitting and looking up at the stars….
The Hotel is owned and run by Giorgos and Mina. I will tell you all about the hotel but I wanted to start by telling you about the amazing breakfast that they provide….
I will do this to show you what wonderful things you can make for your guests if you have the taste and the love for what you do….
Firstly there is no buffet. The breakfast is specific and changes daily. So you sit down comfortably at one of the chic little tables and they start serving you!
There are always whatever type of coffee or tea you wish as well as water and freshly squeezed orange juice (no packet stuff here).
At this point I should say that Mani is an especially wild area of southern Greece and the soil and water are limited. It is therefore difficult to find and source whatever you wish here. It means that you have to expect to travel many miles to get fruit and vegetables of good quality.
After the initial drinks there is a large plate of peeled and cut fresh fruit in season. Tasty and juicy.
There is wonderful bread and butter and homemade made jams and marmalades and their incredible sage infused honey which is their signature hotel offering…If you go there and you must…..ask for their fresh multi herb tea with sage honey. I guarantee you will love it.
The next dish is a wonderful local yoghurt with various toppings made especially for the hotel! Thick, tasty, sweet and you will believe it is the best yoghurt you have ever eaten. And on top they put whatever toppings they happen to have. And never the same each day..sweet carrot..sour cherry..sweet aubergine.grapes etc etc..
Together with the yoghurt they serve a different gluten free cake each day with carrot, with grapes, with cocoa, with apples….!!!!
As if this isn’t enough we have the “main” course..light and almost always inspired from traditional Mani cuisine.
We ate cured pork “Siglino” the local speciality with Graviera cheese, little pies with anthotiri and honey, salads with fennel and orange, vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, milk pies..each one better than the last..
As for the eggs… they get them from a local grandmother next door who has about thirty chickens.. the yolks are a deep super yellow and the eggs smell aromatically of the herbs and wildflowers eaten by the chickens.. too good to be true? Well it isn’t! Everything is as good as the people who run this place!
I saw that this time they were a little tired..Things are difficult they told me and they are not sure how much longer they can go on..I understand them..but we all hope and pray they can do for years to come!!!