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Reports from the Greek Hovel: Served supper by the village murderer

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 10 April 2023

Olive harvester T has expressed great concern about the Kambos taverna which was once Miranda’s after its owner but was then run by not so lovely Eleni and finally by the very lovely Barbara and her two young sons until they threw in the towel last month. As of Saturday, it is now open again and under new management. I have good news and bad.

The bad news is that those men of my age and T’s with whom we swap tales of olive harvest battles every December as they down their ouzos and tsipouros and smoke for Greece, appear to have decamped. They now gather at the ouzerie away from the main square and opposite the olive press. T and I have been there too as we waited for our olives to be pressed but it is now quite busy.

Like the old place it allows (illegal) indoor smoking and has the best toilet in town, a low bar I concede. It is cheap and the food, which was very poor last year, is now most excellent and cheap.

The good news is that the new owners of Barbara’s appear to have hired one of her sons and and are making a good show. The food is very good in the Kambos way, simple Greek country cooking and very, very good value. The family who now run it lived above the supermarket and so one of them is a cousin who is now out on parole, a muscular lad in a body building way.

You may remember that when I first arrived in this area there was a bit of an incident, that is to say the murder of two body builders reneging on a steroids deal with some local lads. The bodies were dumped below the second oldest bridge crossing the gorge between here and Kalamata. Anyhow the charming and muscular young man serving us on Saturday did not actually pull the trigger, that was his mate. But he was there and helped in the dumping of the bodies.

He is now out on parole although the families of the victims have appealed so there may be a waiting job going spare in Kambos at some point later this year.

Pro tem this village of c500 souls now has four places to get good cheap food: the ouzerie, the murderer’s joint, Lovely Eleni’s Kourounis taverna and the restaurant of Thomas, grandson of the original Miranda. We are spoiled for choice.

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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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