Casa de Blue Restaurant - (Restaurants in Lourdas)

Pete D           

We tried Casa de Blue on our third night (after trying La Mer, Tricolore and Spiros) and quite frankly were not very impressed. The place itself is pretty, with an attractive raised terrace which would have a pleasant aspect towards the sea if it were not dark! The apartments' pool is to the rear of the terrace, with relaxing reflections playing onto the front of the building. Our drinks order was taken by a young man (9 or 10) who spoke very good English. We played it safe by ordering two Mythos beers which arrived in frosted glasses. The meal order was taken by the manager who looked like his mother had just died. We ordered Prawn Cocktail and Shrimps in Cheese for starters; and Grilled Swordfish and Chicken a la Creme for main. The manager went to great pains to recommend Sea Bass over the Swordfish, but I was not tempted. The starters arrived in about 10 minutes brought by an equally miserable waiter; we were surprised that no bread was provided with them. The Shrimps in Cheese were delicious, but the Prawn Cocktail was spoiled by a rather dodgy-looking grey-coloured prawn, which prompted my partner to leave the remainder. The garlic-butter type sauce which the Shrimps in Cheese came in begged to be soaked up with a piece of bread, but alas had to be left. It took about 30 minutes for the main course to arrive, accompanied by a complimentary Greek Salad. The Swordfish was fine, accompanied by some chips, rice and salad, but again, my partner was disappointed that the Chicken a la Creme only contained about 8 small cubes of meat rather than the piece of breast she expected, the remainder consisting of too many sliced mushrooms in the cream sauce. The bowl of Greek Salad consisted mainly of grated cheese in mayonnaise with the odd slice of cucumber and tomato. The most striking thing about Casa de Blue was how miserable the staff were, and the miserable music that was being played through the speakers, which appeared to be tuned to the local radio station. We decided to leave then, but were basically refused the bill and were offered complimentary drinks ~ we presumed to keep us there a bit longer to help make the place look busier than it was. But we refused, standing by the entrance insisting on the bill - "To loghariesmo, parakalo!" Eventually the bill arrived, accompanied by two large glasses of Metaxa Brandy (he said), complimentary of course. At 35 it was the most expensive meal of the week ~ and the manager insisted on kissing and manhandling my partner before we left - and it was the only night of the week that I threw up (probably the brandy - I swigged the lot!) Yes it was OK, but No, I would not recommend it.

Antanitsa Apartments - (Accommodation in Lourdas)

Pete D           

We booked an "allocated on arrival" holiday to Kefalonia with Olympic Holidays, and the Antanitsa Apartments are where we ended up. They are situated on the main road through Vlahata village, about 2km from Lourdas itself. They are the "self catering" type of a pleasant design on 3 floors, there are 24 apartments altogether. We were allocated apartment 22 on the ground floor, which means going down quite a few marble steps into a very noisy corridor. The room was basic, but served our needs. There's a kitchenette with sink (constant hot water), fridge and 2-ring hob. There were 3 plates, 1 wine glass, 1 beer glass, 1 fork, 2 knives and a metal pan (just big enough to boil enough water for 2 cups of tea) provided. A quick visit to the nearest supermarket, all of a 10 metre walk, enabled us to buy essentials and a couple of souvenir mugs for a brew. We arrived in the afternoon, and the view from the patio doors was stunning. I imagine travellers arriving at night must be very pleasantly surprised when opening the curtains the next day! I've posted a picture of the view. The patio doors can open from the top about 20 cm, allowing ventilation but keeping the room secure. There were 2 comfortable single beds, a dining table with 2 chairs, a wardrobe and dressing table but nowhere comfy to sit. The bathroom had the usual, but typical of Greece the shower head is fixed at waist height (why?). The terrace had 2 chairs and table. The apartments appear to be quite new, as there are wires and pipes sticking out of the walls and floors - I did not try to check if they were live! In fact, health and safety appears to be non-existant, as the cleaners would leave the marble steps soaking wet and there are no handrails so it would be very easy to slip and fall which could end up in a serious injury. We were always extremely careful on the steps - especially after a few drinks! There is a lovely pool, about 8 metres x 5 - very easy to reach from the ground floor by walking straight out of the room and across the lawn - with sunbeds, a pool bar and the incredible view. The pool is open to anyone who cares to visit, but it never got crowded. The bar serves all the usual drinks, ices and snacks, but is a little pricey, and the fact it's staffed by a very young girl (about 14) during the day is a bit off-putting (she does make good chips though!) The bar plays some decent relaxing music, but more often than not is drowned out by the "music" from the pool bar at the Marianna next door. The sunbeds are the white resin type with no cushions provided, so even lying on a towel gets a bit sore after a while. Can't fault the location, with 5 supermarkets, 6 or 7 restaurants, car and bike hire places, a music bar and other shops all within 10 minutes walk - all on the same level. Vlahata is situated on a very steep hill, and I did not envy the climbs people who were staying in accommodation above or below the main road would have to make! If you fancy a walk down to the beach, forget it unless you're very fit. It's about a 2km walk down the steep hill - and taxis refuse to pick people up from the beach! You could try and make your way along one of the cliff paths, but make sure you have plenty of water! The best bet is to hire a car or a bike, or cadge a lift off a neighbour. Be warned though, the car and bike hire places won't do rental periods less than 3 days. Kefalonia is such a beautiful island though, that transport is essential to see more of it. The public bus leaves at 11am to the capital, Argostoli, but returns at 2pm, leaving only an hour to explore. Expect to pay around 20 for a taxi there or back (18km). If you miss the transfer to the airport (like we did!) a taxi will cost you 30 for a trip of 5km. The only down points were the corridor outside the door echoed so much that you could hear other conversations, and a door closing was like a gunshot. The woman in the apartment above us seemed to wear stiletto heels constantly, so trying to sleep while she paced around her tiled floor was impossible. You are also sharing a room with a fridge, which seems to get noisy at night, and the extractor fan in the bathroom seemed to pump in other people's smells, rather than get rid of ours! Beware, too, that the cleaners open your doors and leave them open, even if you're out for the day, so take all your valuables with you. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our stay, and wouldn't mind staying at Antanitsa again.

Antanitsa Apartments - (Accommodation in Lourdas)

Pete D           

We booked an "allocated on arrival" holiday to Kefalonia with Olympic Holidays, and the Antanitsa Apartments are where we ended up. Situated on the main road through Vlahata village, about 2km from Lourdas itself, they are the "self catering" type of a pleasant design on 3 floors, and there are 24 apartments altogether. We were allocated apartment 22 on the ground floor, which means descending a few marble steps into a very echo-y corridor. The room was basic, but served our needs. There's a small kitchenette with fridge and 2-ring hob. There were few utensils provided causing a 10 metre walk to the nearest supermarket to buy essentials like a couple of souvenir mugs for a brew.
We arrived in the afternoon, and the view from the patio doors was stunning. Travellers arriving in darkness will be pleasantly surprised when opening the curtains the next day! I've posted a picture of the view. The beds were comfortable but there was nowhere comfy to sit. The bathroom had the usual, but typical of Greece (it seems) the shower head is fixed at waist height. Hot water is always available. The terrace had a plastic table and 2 chairs, and it was lovely to sit with a drink and look at the views.
The apartments are quite new, and there are unconnected wires and pipes sticking out of the walls and floors - I did not try to check if they were live! In fact, health and safety appears to be non-existant, as the cleaners would leave the marble steps soaking wet and there are no handrails so it would be very easy to slip. We were always careful on the steps - especially after a few drinks! There is a lovely pool terrace at the back - very easy to reach from the ground floor by walking across the lawn - with sunbeds, a bar and an incredible view. Like many of the pools in Vlahata, it's open to anyone who cares to visit, but it never got too crowded. It seems to get windy in the afternoons, which means all the parasols get taken down. The bar serves the usual drinks, ices and snacks, but is a little pricey. The bar plays relaxing local music, but more often than not it's drowned out by the "music" from the Marianna next door. The sunbeds are the white resin type with no cushions provided, so even lying on a towel gets a bit sore after a while.
Can't fault the location, with 5 supermarkets, 6 or 7 restaurants, car and bike hire places, a music bar and other shops all within 10 minutes walk - all on the same level. Vlahata is situated on a very steep hill, and I did not envy the climbs people who were staying in accommodation above or below the main road would have to make! If you fancy a walk down to the beach, forget it unless you're very fit. It's about a 2km walk down the steep hill - and taxis refuse to pick people up from the beach! You could try and make your way back up along one of the cliff paths, but make sure you have plenty of water! The best bet is to hire a car or bike, or cadge a lift off a neighbour. Be warned though, the car and bike hire places won't do rental periods less than 3 days. Kefalonia is such a beautiful island though, that transport is essential to see more of it. The public bus leaves at 11am to the capital, Argostoli, but returns at 2pm, leaving only an hour to explore. Expect to pay around 20 for a taxi there and back (18km). If you miss the transfer to the airport (like we did!) a taxi will cost you 30 for a trip of 5km. The only down points were the corridor outside the door echoed so much that you could hear every word of conversations, and a door closing was like a gunshot. You're also sharing a room with a fridge, which gets noisy at night, and the extractor fan in the bathroom seemed to pump in other people's odours, rather than get rid of ours! Nevertheless, we enjoyed our stay, and wouldn't mind staying at Antanitsa again.