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The Greek Hovel summer 2022: Visiting the new ouzerie in Kambos

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 25 July 2022

It is situated on the main road about 300 yards from the main square opposite the olive press and it has drawn some custom from the main square if only because it allows smoking inside which is, of course, illegal. That, and a report that it had the best loos of any watering hole in town persuaded me to take the family.

I had hoped to be among old men sipping ouzos with a bowl with a few olives and a bit of feta in front of them, the air thick with cigarette smoke. Boy how I miss a bit of smoking. The only noise I had expected was the click of dice as the old men played backgammon. I was disappointed on every count..

The place looked like a modern bar of the sort you find on a tourist beach. The music blared out and was modern and awful. Middle aged men and women vaped as they sipped frappes.  We ordered a mezze hoping for just a few nibbles. After what seemed like an eternity a pile of bought in cheap meat and cheese heaped on top of some tired tomatoes and cucumber arrived with some greasy chips..

The bill for this, a glass of industrial wine a lemonade and a 200 ml bottle of ouzo was 25 Euro. By contrast up at Barbara’s ( formerly not so lovely Eleni’s, formerly Miranda’s) tonight we paid 23 Euro for 500 ml of Rose ( with another bottle of the same size given to us as a gift) one lemonade, two portions of ice cream, a large pasticcio ( a Greek pasta dish), a very well cooked pork in lemon sauce and chips and a large Greek salad.

I fear that many in Kambos might regard the arrival of the beach style bar as progress. Some folks who live here crave modernity. But it is a charmless, expensive and unappealing modernity which we visiting Hellenophiles loathe. I realise that I have no right to stop Kambos craving progress but I can’t support it. Under no circumstances, notwithstanding is allegedly nice loo, shall I visit the bar again and I urge all those passing through to give it a wide berth too.

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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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