“A warmly-stylish manor house with pool and walled garden in a tiny village on the NW coast of Corfu”
Bedrooms are all in the old house, which stands 20 paces beyond the pool. Rooms on the ground floor are cooler; those on upper floors look over the hills or the village. The ground-floor Suite opens onto a second (smaller) courtyard garden that is geometric in design, while the first-floor Junior Suite overlooks the pool and gardens. Lovely rooms (all named after tracks on ‘Treasure’ by the Cocteau Twins) are light and airy and similar in style. Expect Corfu colours (reds, yellows, pinks and blues), cast-iron beds, thick stone walls and painted beamed ceilings. Crisp white linen covers the beds, green shuttered windows help keep you cool at night.
You might get a mirrored armoire, an old wood dresser or an exposed fireplace. There are bathrobes, towels for the pool and bathroom, furry lime green blankets and a carafe of home-brewed liqueur. No clutter; instead, the natural grace of the building is allowed to sing. Don’t feel you have to splash out on the best room; Classic Doubles up in the eaves are well-sized, very pretty and have great views, while Superior Doubles have high ceilings and one has a private entrance up a stone staircase in the garden. You’ll find TVs, fridges and good bathrooms, too.
Breakfast is served from 9.15am until 11.30am; lie-ins are obligatory. One tree in the garden provides sweet oranges, the fruit of which is pressed for breakfast. Much is homemade and home-grown. Marmalades (you can buy a jar), olive bread and home-buzzed honey from the village all make it to table, along with lots of fruit, cakes and yoghurts, even feta. You can eat in the dining room or outside on the vine-shaded terrace by the pool.
Wander round the garden and you’ll come across a very productive vegetable garden. Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce and aubergines are picked, washed, sliced, eaten. If you’re around for lunch, Loukia will happily whisk you up something simple on request: fresh fish and omelettes, salads and Corfu sausages, delicious home-made cheese and vegetable pies.
Dinner, available on request (give notice though as everything is made from scratch), is more substantial. You might start with lentil soup or courgette balls, then move onto a Greek salad, find room for a main course (lamb or beef pastitsada, ocean-fresh fish, stuffed tomatoes and peppers), then polish it all off with delicious puddings: wonderful orange pie or strawberry and almond cake (a Corfu specialty).
You’ll find simple tavernas sprinkled along the north coast, ask Loukia for recommendations. If you want to head down to Corfu town (a 40-minute drive), you’ll find plenty of restaurants that spill onto pavements and squares. For the best food on the island, dine at Italian restaurant Etrusco’s, but make sure you book.
Villa de Loulia is a quiet romantic place and therefore not recommended for children. However, the 2 suites have a single sofabed available for children aged 12 and over.
Teens (over 12)
Book either of the 2 suites as they have a single sofabed and plenty of space.