“I’ve been coming to Mykonos for nearly 20 years, and two summers ago we bought a house – a 25-year-old property that needed a complete revamp and now looks rather nice.
On Saturday mornings I’ll wake up late and head to Veneti – a pastry shop that makes wonderful focaccia and croissants stuffed with salmon and cucumber. I’ll take my daughter and we’ll bring home a few tasty bits for breakfast. We have an outdoor dining area with views straight onto the sea. It’s shaded by chestnut trees and a bamboo roof, so we get that lovely dappled light.
After breakfast, I’ll go for a swim. Mykonos for me is all about the sea. From our house it’s 70 steps down the cliff to a shingle beach in a little bay called Glyfadi. The water is crystal clear and from April to September there’s rarely a single ripple. I’ll put on my mask and snorkel and become at one with the fish.
Exhausted, I’ll read outside until 4pm, when we’ll head out for lunch. We often have friends staying and also know many people who holiday here every year, so this can be a big affair with 12 people.
We usually go to one of the local beaches like Agios Ioannis, which is five minutes from the hill where we live. It’s known as Shirley Valentine Beach, as it’s where the movie was made. We’ll have lunch at Hippie Fish; I like the sea-urchin salad or grilled halloumi, but they also have these amazing falafel-like zucchini balls served with tzatziki and excellent grilled octopus. The sunsets are incredible; with the palm trees and boats silhouetted against the pink sun, it’s pretty special.
For something more lively, we’ll go to Alemàgou. There’s a DJ and bar, and the terraced restaurant serves great seafood pasta. It’s a bit of a scene, with a cool, slightly Ibizan feel, as the music here is better than most; music in Mykonos can generally be a bit Eurotrashy.
We’ll return home after dark and have a siesta. We never head into town before 9pm, as until then it’s steaming hot. Shopping in Mykonos is fairly new to me, but a couple of good places have opened in the past few years. I like Alchemist, where recently I bought some cotton trousers similar to those worn with Indian wedding garb. I’ll also stop at Kopajos, which sells cool sunglasses with coloured mirror lenses; even during the crisis the store was mobbed till 2am every night.
Dinner is at either Nautilus – for the most unbelievable Greek cheese, tomato and fried caper salad – or Sale & Pepe. The latter has a fantastic wine list, which is quite difficult to come by in Greece.
We might go for a boogie at Moni, which has a great hip-hop vibe. Or we’ll go to Queen – it’s minuscule, but has a spacious outdoor area. We’re usually out until 2am, but have been known to stay until three or four. By then I may need to pop into Jimmy’s for a gyro, a fantastic sort of Greek kebab served in a pitta.
Some Sundays we’ll rent a boat or go out on a friend’s. We’ll head towards Delos island – where there are wonderful ruins – and then onwards to Rhenia for swimming. The island has beautiful shallow turquoise-blue waters – plus it’s quiet, with virtually no one around other than the goats; historically, this island was where farmers kept their livestock.
Then we’ll head to Lia – a beach I adore – and have lunch at the traditional Liasti, where my favourite dish is horta. It’s a local plant that’s a bit like spinach but meatier and it is boiled, then chopped up with olive oil, salt and pepper. We’ll while away the hours until sunset on the beach.
Sunday evenings we usually stay in and watch a movie, if the internet is working, that is; the island’s web connections are pretty patchy. I only use it for Apple T – otherwise I like to stay unconnected and let one day drift into another.”