Clive and Bifi’s house is as damn near perfect a holiday house we have ever stayed in! It’s such a beautiful property, inside and out, with everything you could need for a comfortable holiday, in a fantastic location – and well away from the commercial tourist traps of northern Rhodes!
The house is in a tiny, hill-top, whitewash village, only 2km from a long, empty beach with sparkling turquoise sea. Bougainvillea hangs from nearly every house creating colourful tunnels along the lanes, too narrow for cars to pass through. You park at the Platanos tavern at the bottom of the village and the house is just a short walk up through the lanes.
Made from two traditional two-room houses linked by a modern, two-story “bridge” between them, you have the benefit of gorgeous traditional features, such as open cooking fires and platform beds, with all the mod cons, such as wifi, a wet room and an ipod dock!
The interior is beautifully decorated with well-chosen furnishings in all shades of Agean blues intermingling with oddments and antiques. The three, large, double beds come draped with mosquito nets and “Greek” mattresses (quite hard!) and there’s plenty of cupboard and hanging space.
The open plan kitchen/diner/lounge is large, very well equipped with plenty of pans and utensils, and holds a 6/8 seater dining table (though you’ll want to be eating outside in the very pretty courtyard when it’s warm!). An added bonus is that there are some basic cooking ingredients to get you going, such as oils, salt, pepper, herbs and spices to get you going, plus foil and food bags (of course anything used up should be replenished for the benefit of the next guests/owners).
Upstairs there’s a mezzanine with an additional sofa, TV and DVD player – grown-ups and kids can inhabit separate spaces but still be within hollering distance of each other!
There’s another, small kitchenette in one of the traditional wings of the house. It’s very basic (only a two-ring gas stove-top) but has the added bonus of an open cooking fire – the perfect place to BBQ!
The roof terrace affords stunning views over the valley, especially at sunset, and a wonderful place to watch the moon and the stars after dark. If it’s really clear you’ll get the milky way thrown in too!
Locally, Platanos tavern is unbelievably romantic, with its outdoor tables under the plane trees next to the illuminated church, and serves very good quality, traditional dishes. Our favourites were the lamb shank cooked in lemons with potatoes, the deep-fried courgette and aubergine balls and the stuffed cabbage leaves. We found it hard to spend more than 35 Euros for two, with drinks, so exceptional value.
The other two restaurants at the top of the village are not quite as good, but offer that authentic “local” experience – no menu, they let you know what they’re cooking that day and you can choose what you fancy. It’s a culinary adventure! If you are anxious about how much you might spend, ask how much it will cost before you agree to the final order, but it’s unlikely that it’ll come to more than 40 Euros for two, including a litre of wine. All the owners are farmers, so most of the veg will have come from their plots.
We also highly recommend The Fish Restaurant at Plimiri harbour, just 10 minutes away. The very friendly owners take a selection of the catch from the day boats and you just choose what you want to eat from the refrigerated counter. There’s a large selection of fish and shellfish and it’s all sold by weight, so you know exactly what it will cost for each fish as they weigh it for you. You can watch it being cooked for you on the open brazier in the restaurant. We shared a Scorpion fish (bright white, firm and juicy flesh, though very ugly!), some pan-fried scallops in their shells, a couple of raw oysters and a very unusual giant whelk, taken out of its’ shell, chopped up and pan-fried in garlic butter. An interesting experience though not at the top of our favourite foods list!
Another not-to-be-missed experience is watching the sun set over the sea at Prassonissi beach. Ask if you can take your drinks from the Oasis bar/restaurant down onto the dunes and be rewarded with the sun sinking slowly into the sea while the sky turns yellow, orange, vermillion and purple. It’s amazing!
In summary – you will definitely miss out on a unique experience if you don’t stay at Clive & Bifi’s house. I don’t believe there’s a more perfect place to stay on the whole island!