Well, finally the summer is over…
It’s a time to relax a little and reflect on the events of the season, what happened, what went right and where we need to improve . It’s crazy to look back and reflect at how fast it all went. We saw old friends, and made new ones. Thanks to everyone who stayed with us over the year so far. We enjoyed having you and you will always be welcome at the Margarita studios. We appreciate all the support and love from all of you.
PEOPLE make the magic happen !!!
Your smiles are still around us…around our breakfast buffet, the drinks and the meals by the pool, the kids fun, the cooking lessons, your voices and your laughter, the joy of escape, the joy of togetherness ,the joy and the art of hospitality, the beauties of Paros,Naoussa ,Ambelas are still here, in the empty space …
What a summer! I’m so proud of what happened at Margarita’s place this summer! Our Family & the Margarita’s staff, Kvetka, Desi, Fatime, Kostas & Margarita poured their heart, energy and soul into everything they did this summer and I’m so thankful for that. It’s so exiting to see that even after 25 years, “Margarita” is still running an amazing & unique guest experience and be home for so many people around our small world
It’s always tough closing the gates for the final time each year, but we closed up this year following a great season, and we’ll be back before you know it!
Winter in Paros …it’s hotel renovation time again for us!
I cannot tell you how excited I am for next year, and what new memories and experiences it brings!
Hope to see you all next summer!
THANK YOU ALL ❤
PS. STAY TUNED !!!
Join our delightful hands-on cooking lesson & dinner !
Taste & sample Greek Parian traditional foods and discover «off the beaten path » the real taste of Greece
Join us in the kitchen and see, smell & taste what will be served as for your dinner.
* starts at 4:00 pm
* Monday to Friday
* meeting point ‘Margarita’s’ restaurant in Ambelas
* booking is necessary
* small intimate groups
* Welcome meeting, complementary drinks.
Your friends and family can join you for dinner at our reduced rates, please contact us for details @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a look at trip advisor about our Paros cooking lessons
Get the Parian recipes, enjoy specialties with local wine and impress your friends at home.
Σας περιμένουμε με αγάπη για το χειροποίητο, καλό φαγητό.
Προσφέρουμε οικογενειακή φροντίδα , ατμόσφαιρα θαλπωρής, την πολυτέλεια της απομόνωσης, έμπνευση και δημιουργικότητα με φρέσκες πρώτες ύλες αυστηρά επιλεγμένες και δουλεμένες ,με πλούτο γεύσεων .
Μην παραλείψετε να δοκιμάσετε την αστακό μακαρονάδα μας.
ΜΑΡΓΑΡΙΤΑ στον ΑΜΠΕΛΑ , γιατί…
«Το πολύ φαγητό πολλοί μετάνιωσαν ,το δικό μας ουδείς ! »
‘ 22840 52362
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail Published on Thursday, Apr. 01, 2010 5:24PM EDT Last updated on Sunday, Apr. 04, 2010 11:54AM EDT
You can believe, or not believe. But you can’t fail to be immersed in the spirit of Easter in Greece.
It’s the most important holiday in the Greek Orthodox calendar: a bigger to-do than Christmas. The Greeks, as we know, invented theatre – and Easter is a giant, living, breathing, immortal piece of it. From Athens, the spectacle spans to the tiniest of the 160 permanently inhabited islands, and everyone is into it. So don’t go looking for a party-mate at 11 p.m. on Easter Saturday. Virtually the entire country will be in church.
The island of Paros does Easter better than anywhere else. It’s the third largest in the Cyclades group, where you’ll also find Mykonos and Santorini. Picture whitewashed churches with blue domes, orange blossom and bougainvillea tumbling down nearly every wall, mysteriously interlocking streets with no names that are no wider than the expanse of your outstretched arms, sugar-cube houses piled up on hillsides, or dotted sparsely on the windswept edge of a cliff. Paros’s charm feels effortless.
Ordinarily, it has a population of 17,000, but this doubles around Holy Week. Tourists, most of them Greek, arrive for the festivities – especially for the re-enactment of the Passion of Christ. On Good Friday, the hillside village of Marpissa puts on a series of tableaux performed by locals, dramatizing the last days of Christ’s life. Acting? Or have we biblically time-travelled? You could almost be fooled into thinking it.
There’s a huge build-up to Easter, but it really gets going with the decoration of eggs on Holy Thursday. Families dye the kokkina avga the traditional red (to signify Christ’s blood, with the egg representing new life) by boiling the skins of yellow onions in water and vinegar.
Locals say there are 200 or so churches on the island – many are the size of your master bedroom – and congregants keep an all-night vigil around the epitaphios, the bier that bears a replica of Christ’s body. Women adorn it with fresh flowers; great pride is taken.
On Good Friday, a solemnity falls on usually convivial Greeks. Funeral bells ring out all over the island, this mourning melody carries across the swell of the blue Aegean, where brightly painted fishing boats bob alongside the real working boats that feed the island and send the fresh daily catch to the businesses in Athens. Flags fly at half-mast. Even the horn of the Blue Star ferry wails in respectful lament.
From midday on, each church has its bier lying in state. A steady stream of people comes to pay their respects. Many don’t stay for the full service, yet in Paroikia, the island’s capital, the Church of Our Lady of a Hundred Gates is almost impossible to leave. The strange humming of voices is hypnotic. I watch the course of impenetrable rituals from the open doors, then I sit outside on the step, eyes closed to the sunshine beating on my face, lulled by the sombre rhythm of a language and devotion that I don’t understand. I may be the only person not dressed in black.
At nightfall, everyone heads to Marpissa. From afar, this amphitheatre of a white village is a-twinkle with hundreds of candles carried by the crowd that follows the epitaphios through the main streets. The pitch of their grief can’t fail to move you. A choir sings; women sprinkle flowers and oregano, and burn incense. Others lean off balconies. The procession stops along the way, and at each pause, men, women and children dressed in costume perform various chapters of the Easter story in an orb of light: Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, the repentance of Mary Magdalene, the Last Supper, Jesus praying on Mount Olive, the hanging of Judas and the Crucifixion. The whole thing is eerily realistic.
On Easter Saturday night, the church congregation sits in darkness holding long, unlit candles. When the clock strikes midnight, the priest lights the holy flame to symbolize the resurrection. The light from one candle is passed on until every candle is lit, then firecrackers burst into the sky. Christos Anesti. Christ is Risen! they shout. Alithos anesti. Truly, he is risen!
And from there on, it’s a party. People mill about, carrying their glowing candles, winding the labyrinth streets to their homes, where the candles will be placed above the front door to burn in the shape of a cross. After the egg-cracking – a metaphor for Christ freeing himself from his tomb – everyone tucks into supper. It’s traditional to start with mageiritsa, soup made with lamb organs, but it gets better after that: hiroméri, smoked salted pork; touloumisio, local cheese aged in goat skin; tsoureki, the sweet, braided, egg-washed bread; grilled vegetable dips to make you crave your five servings a day, and plenty of wine, ouzo and souma (a particularly head-blowing brew of pure alcohol made from distilled grape skins). The feast goes on all night.
Sunday brings more eating: The Marpissa football grounds is home to a Festival of Love, all laid on courtesy of the municipality. It’s a merry occasion, with traditional music and dancing while a whole lamb revolves over a charcoal fire. Relish this with salads, seafood specialties, wine, ouzo and more ouzo. Everyone is invited. If you’re on Paros at Easter, someone somewhere is going to make you forget that you are a tourist.
Then, on Monday, everything returns to normal. You’re done with Easter, and eating, but you may never be done with Paros.
The gleam of morning sunshine is almost painful on the eyes, and seems to endlessly reflect off the white houses and mellow sea. And while, in April, the sea might not be at its warmest, if you stroke through the ribbons of sapphire and emerald, you’ll experience that ebullient illusion of being the only person swimming in the Aegean. As the Greek composer Giannis Markopoulos said, “In the Cyclades you are never a stranger. Immediately the earth, human, sea, its sky and houses make a dialogue with you.”
And this is true. From the minute the tiny Olympic Airways flight circled the island to land, Paros spoke to me, and kept on saying all the right things. On my first venture into town, an elderly man gave me a rose. Someone else tried to offload a kitten (cats run amok on Paros because the Greeks don’t spay and neuter; some people own about 20). The clothing boutique owner couldn’t bear to see me in flip-flops – 26 C being winter for a Greek – so she gave me a free pair of brand-new imported Italian shoes. When I protested that I couldn’t possibly accept her offer, she charged me a token two euros. Then, ironically, I did catch a cold, and the local café owner fed me a bottomless cup of hot souma with honey, and someone else bought me socks. As a tourist, I was hardly a rarity. But Parians take an interest in you. Of the Northern Europeans I met in the month I was there, it was easy to see why they had been coming back for 20-plus years.
Thankfully absent are the rows of accommodations that pockmark the shoreline of so many of the bigger islands popular with budget-conscious travellers. On Paros, you don’t feel like you’ve been segregated to your designated zone by locals who don’t want to see you in your drunken glory or your Union Jack shorts. There is a sense of the undiscovered here, especially in low season. You can spend days exploring diminutive churches, rarely seeing anyone who isn’t Greek. Or hike the Byzantine Way down to the sea from Lefkes, the island’s highest village with one of the most breath-catching 360-degree views I’ve seen in all of Europe. Or check out the sound of silence in the Marathi marble quarries – the stuff used by ancient sculptors to make, among other things, the Venus de Milo. Then there is always the neighbouring island of Antiparos, which I had almost circumnavigated before I spotted a single other car on the road.
I’d like to own a house here. Or come back every year, for Easter, or for any other excuse. To sit one more time in the fishing village of Naoussa, in an open-air taverna at the water’s edge, and eat sun-dried mackerel, charred on the grill, while half a dozen kittens chase after the front-runner who has the whole sardine in its mouth. To dip coarse-textured golden bread into yellow fava beans that glisten in the sun with pools of green olive oil. To sip a glass of insanely affordable Moraitis reserve red from the local vineyard.
Happy Easter? How can it not be?
Bestselling writer Carol Mason is the author of The Love Market.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thank you so much for your inspiring Article
Take a look at Matt Barrett’s site – a LOT of people follow his travel guides to Greece. And look what he put up for Margarita’s Restaurant -Ambelas
Margarita’s Restaurant – Ambelas
by Lornie ‘n’ Miriam
This very special family owned restaurant has the most inviting swimming pool I have ever seen and we found it every bit as attractive as any coastal scene to gaze at over our meal. A huge «rubber tree plant» shades the toddlers pool while the mountains of Naxos provide a beautiful backdrop to this lovely setting.
This is the ideal place to bring the whole family as they pride themselves on being «kid and pet friendly» and there is an extensive, grassy playground where children can also eat if desired. A basketball hoop might appeal to the older offspring and a selection of board games ensure all the little ones will be kept amused for hours.
The restaurant has undercover tables for those who prefer shade or for windy days, and many poolside tables for those who want to eat outside. These become lantern- and candle-lit by night to provide a romantic atmosphere. Roses adorn every table in season and the whole feel is relaxed, comfortable, clean and friendly.
The surprisingly extensive menu contains unusually large selections in each section and ranges from traditional to innovative. Thirteen cold and fifteen hot starters include some we hadn’t come across elsewhere like mackerel salad. A bit too salty for me but I can imagine it going well with ouzo. (I had to put that in or you would never believe all the superlatives in the rest and we were worried about getting thrown out of the food critics union!)
Their homemade taramosalata is the best we have tasted in thirty years of enjoying Greek food. It came served with the best French toasts I have ever eaten (you see what I mean!). I don’t know how something can be moist as well as crumbly and crunchy but they were!
The potato salad was bursting with flavour as were the tomato and courgette fritters. Even the most familiar dishes like stuffed vine leaves, moussaka and the Greek salad were all much tastier than usual.
More than fifteen types of salad include some unusual ingredients for example a Spinach Salad with raw spinach, rocket, orange segments, San Mihali cheese and sunflower seeds with a dressing made from balsamic vinegar, orange juice and honey.
The next section of the menu is intriguingly entitled «For The Adventurous» and includes some dishes that were new to me like the Chickpea Balls with Prawns and the Tuna Fricasse (the dish we are used to enjoying made from Iamb). They have a large choice of cooked to order dishes including lobster chosen from a tank (could you?) and your meal can be finished off with a dessert and coffee.
There is a modest selection of Greek wines as well as beers and soft drinks.
Kiria Margarita who does the cooking insists on using only fresh and pure ingredients, never frozen meats or fish (with the exception of the prawns and then this is clearly marked on the menu). Margarita says that she loves cooking and wants every customer to be delighted with their meal and that she prepares each dish with love and from the look in her eyes I really believe that she does! Her charming daughter Stella speaks excellent English and is a member of the Paros Tourism Committee.
Ramps make the dining and pool areas wheelchair friendly but the loo doorway might be a little too narrow.
Buffet breakfast is served from 09.00 at 10€ for as much as you can eat and drink. A wide variety of herbal and fruit teas (including some made from fresh ingredients) are provided and homemade jams and marmalade complement the freshly baked rolls.
Our lunch here was an occasion that we will remember fondly and repeat often.
Prices are very inexpensive especially when considering the surroundings and facilities. Children’s meals are available for 4.50 €.
A huge field ensures that unless Ambelas hosts the World Cup, they will never run out of parking space.
Located in Ambelas village on the northeast coast of Paros just 3kms east of Naoussa and signposted from the seafront.
Tel 22840 52362.
Thanks to Vicki Preston, the publisher of Paros Life and Naxos Life magazine who sent me these reviews since I have not spent enough time in Paros to eat at all the good restaurants there. For those who have ever thought about living on a Greek Island Paros Life will give you an idea of what it is like for the people who are actually doing it. With restaurant reviews and articles about a number of island topics there is no better way to be introduced to an island community. For information on subscriptions e-mail Vicky at email@example.com