So here we are after a 20 minute walk into town. In my opinion the best restaurant in Skiathos – Taverna Alexandros run by Magda Mavrogialis and her family. Don’t take my word for it Trip Advisor have the low down Alexandros Taverna reviews Address is Εκκλησία Τριών Ιεραρχών, (Church of the Father Son and Holy Ghost) Skiathos 370 02, Google Maps code Greece, 5F6Q+R3 Skiathos, Greece. Tel +30 2427 022431
I was introduced to this restaurant by Flora and Terry. We met port side and had an aperitif at one of the bar/restaurants that has nice armchairs where you can sip your Gin and Tonics and Ouzos and watch people go by. Of course, nicely showered, coiffured and dressed in our going out togs you would think that we wouldn’t recognise each other since there would be few reference points but we did. Thats the thing about naturism, you talk to each other and focus on what is being said and people’s faces. Naturists tend to be much more attentive and engaging than other folks. So no we didn’t have that jokey sorry I didn’t recognise you with your clothes on moment.
The Greeks are a generous nation and even though you only ordered drinks they brought us little bowls of nuts and crisps at no charge. We sat in the comfy armchairs under the string of overhead lights, sipped our Gins and watched the waiters hustle the main tourist trade. Suddenly being a breed apart felt comfortable and natural. OK I was with Flora and Terry and they were practically locals, but we weren’t being hustled and it was relaxing to chat about the day with no thought of the outside world and just discover our commonalities. That six degrees of separation conversation where you find out your are both related to Louis XIV or have an aunt that lives in Cambridge; not that we have either in common.
After a bit of chit chat and some people watching, oh and Terry getting up every 5 minutes to talk to someone else that knew him – people of all nationalities, Dutch, Greek Norwegian, Phillipino and Welsh. Whatever Terry was you couldn’t say he wasn’t gregarious. We headed off along the harbour side up to the “Steps” Now the Steps are the main evening attraction, people meeting place and general hang out place. Cocktail bars, Wine bars, Beers and Margaritas on one side whilst the steps themselves are covered with brightly coloured cushions and little hand made tables all at low level right up to the old fence that prevents you falling down the cliff onto the lower harbour side. It’s a favourite place to sit and take in the warm evening air and watch the twinkling lights of the boats below and the occasional fishing boat coming in from their days hard work. It’s also a magic place to watch the European Cup Football but thats a story for another time.
Up the steps to the Church square where children run around playing and squealing until the small hours then a quick left and right up the small alleyways to the small open area where Alexandros is located. You can’t be mistaken as there’s a very old mulberry tree, white painted trunk as is traditional, in the middle of the square, strung out with lots of fairy lights.
We are met by Magda and she introduces us to her brother Mikalis in the kitchen, Grandma and Alex the waiter. We have a nice table in front of the old stone house opposite the restaurant which gives a view up the street and more particularly the spot where Dimitris and Kristof will sing and play the bouzouki and guitar later. Dimitris Palantzas is Magda’s husband and they own Mustang Car Rentals, but his real passion is playing the bouzouki, see the video clip below.
The chairs are traditional upright rustic chairs but we’re with regulars Flora and Terry and within a moment out come the cushions 🙂 The tables are small and square with red and white check under cloths and white linen table cloths. Each table comes with its own wooden levelling system; a couple of wedges which you can adjust when the table starts to rock.
With no fuss a plate of lovely fresh crusty bread arrives with a small dipping bowl of gorgeous Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. You can order imported wines or beer with your meal but Magda is very proud of the local produce and rightly so; they and other restauranteurs make their own wine or get it from the farmers on the hills around Skiathos town. We had a carafe of the house wine and as expected it’s a chilled light rose and very palatable, just what you need to accompany a delicious meal on a balmy evening.
Who doesn’t start a meal in Greece without a Greek Salad? It was lovely; large black Kalamata olives, lots of sweet tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, onion, feta cheese seasoned with salt and oregano (a large fat flat slice which we broke up into chunks and mixed into the salad), and dressed with home pressed olive oil. All the while Dimitris and Kristof serenading the diners as they do every night.
For mains we had the Kingfish that had been caught that morning. The Fish was a beautiful sight, glistening and colourful, hung up in the restaurant by the tail, easily 1.8 metres long being prepared into succulent steaks. The steaks were lightly pan fried in butter and came with a Mustard cream and caper sauce and sliced potatoes cooked in milk. It was filling and yummy.
Mains finished and feeling replete, no room for dessert, but in true Greek style waiter Alex came out with complimentary Brandy digestifs. A very pleasant surprise but an even better surprise was when Magda quickly followed Alex out with a large plate of complimentary cherries and Greek yoghurt. How could we refuse? Just had to squeeze that yummy dessert in. Now properly full to bursting it was a late night waddle back through the narrow whitewashed lanes, across the now deadly quiet periferiakos skiathou and up the lane to Camelia studios. The walk was twice as long on the way home but well needed.
Slept well that night…………..see you in the next episode.
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