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#11441 Buying Raki In Britian

Posted by Francis Boyle on 03 July 2007 - 06:13 PM in Living in Crete

Hello! I've just come back from Crete and something terrible has happened. The transfer coach driver was really late and we only just got to Heraklion Airport in time to catch the plane. So, we could not get to the duty-free shop for fresh supplies of Raki! What shall we do? Does anyone know if you can buy Raki in Britain and from where?

#11440 Valentonos Taverna, Bali

Posted by Francis Boyle on 03 July 2007 - 05:58 PM in Reviews

Valentinos Taverna, Bali.

Bali is a developing resort. It is beautiful and still quite quiet, although that may change. It is full of good tavernas. They are inexpensive, the food is of a high quality - and quantity! Having tried many of them, in my opinion, Valentinos is the best. The food is especially good and there are plenty of options for those who would rather not eat meat, especially if they are prepared to eat fish or seafood. But, it faces stiff competition in terms of the quality of the cuisine, for example, I ate a Rabbit Stifado at the nearby Mythos Taverna that was truly amazing. However, it is the ambience of Valentinos that gives it the edge. It has a glorious and truly romantic setting; most of the tables are set along a terrace overlooking the tiny harbour and accompanying beach with magnificent views of the Western Crete hills behind. The waiters bring the food to the table on large, square, traditional trays. They are charming, helpful, friendly (as you would expect) and efficient! The whole place , even when busy, runs like clockwork. There is a team of two men and two women and I hope that I am not being sexist when I say that the women are radiant examples of Cretan beauty. The whole experience of eating there is wonderful. My wife and I noticed how many other visitors, like ourselves, came back time and again. If you are in Bali, do have a meal at Valentinos; it will only add to the pleasure of your visit to Crete.

#8172 To Petrino, Kokkini Hani, Crete

Posted by Francis Boyle on 19 July 2006 - 04:06 PM in Reviews

To Petrino (The Stone House) Restaurant, Kokkini Hani.

To Petrino can be found on the main through road in the seaside resort of Kokkini Hani, twenty minutes east of Heraklion. Although I am not given much to superlatives I would have to rate this restaurant 9-10.
At the front you will see a few tables sitting on the paved courtyard. On the central table sits the menu for passers-by to browse. The main menu is in English. However, you may notice that there is also a menu in French. On entering the restaurant, a smiling proprietor guides you through into the garden behind. It is a hidden gem: quiet, secluded and romantic. Greek bouzouki music plays quietly in the background. Very soon, you will be greeted by Amanda, the waitress. Amanda is marvel. She hails from the Channel Islands, so English-speaking guests are easily catered for, but, being a natural communicator, she seems able to serve guests from any country, whatever the language. Amanda is efficient, chatty, friendly and cheerful. And then there is the menu. Besides the usual large range of dishes as is found in many Cretan eating-places, there is a full vegetarian menu. The chef is also a marvel. The food is so good it is hard to describe. It would not be out of place in some of the finest restaurants in Europe rather than a modest establishment in a relatively small seaside resort in Crete. It was so delicious that we went back three times in one week; it was clearly the best food in a town with a wide selection of tavernas all of which served good food. Even the raki was especially nice. Looking at the comments in the little book that they keep for such things, we were by no means the only ones. I would more than recommend a visit. It is a little more expensive than some of the other eating-places in Kokkini Hani, although it is still much cheaper than the inflated prices asked in the lakeside tavernas at Agios Nikolaos, for instance. It is worth every cent.

Francis Boyle, United Kingdom