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Feelings of shame and treachery as I sample the new restaurant in Kambos

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 19 July 2021

The Guardian-reading lefties L&G had invited Joshua and me for Sunday Lunch at the new restaurant in the Kambos town square, the one with starched white tablecloths run by the grandson of Old Miranda. But the night before, Joshua and I wandered down for supper and I suggested that we try the new place for ourselves. Don’t get me wrong.

The old Miranda’s run by not so lovely Eleni, as nobody can be as lovely as lovely Eleni, does great food. But after three weeks of potatoes and chicken or pork, one might get a bit bored. And so we wandered into the square where the first place you pass is Old Miranda’s. The chap who owns it said “Yas Tom” and looked at me with his big doleful eyes. What could we do? I pulled up a chair at one of his tables and we ate as per normal. Potatoes and pork, a small jug of rose and an orange juice for Joshua. 9 Euro.

The next day we approached the square from a different angle, meaning that we might avoid old Miranda’s, as we prepared for our lunchtime act of betrayal. L&G had chosen a table in the shade where we could not be spotted and L gave Joshua a plastic fly swatter which is now his new favourite toy for hitting imaginary flies or his father.

The food was not that amazing and more fully priced than at the other Kambos eateries but our lunch was made more pleasant by a reunion with an old friend: the carpenter who made the table at the Greek Hovel, the wood in the rood, the floors, windows and much else.

This is the man whose catch-phrase before never delivering on time is that he swears he will deliver on time “on my mother’s life”. And who was sitting at his table? His poor ageing mother. God only know how she has survived. Anyhow, as possibly his best customer, he insisted on buying two more bottles of wine for our table which made L’s insistence that I really must read the latest column of crazed Guardian eco-loon George Monbiot that much more bearable.

As Joshua had a post lunch ice cream c/o the really lovely Eleni I downed enough coffee to enable an eventual return to the hovel. Since Sunday lunchtime, there have been no more acts of betrayal. Nor will there be in future, though the Mrs will try the new place but, I suspect, only once. When it comes to winter, the new place may be taking a break. I need the shelter of Old Miranda’s with the smell of tobacco and ouzo all pervasive to offer a warm meal for myself and other olive harvesters. Old Miranda’s needs to survive.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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