Friday 1 August | 2014
The most magical of breakfast ingredients is sunshine, and today the whole terrace is dunked it, as we sit under the purest of blue skies. The Aegean sea is laid out before us, dotted with just a handful of sailing boats. Lounge music adds a tropical aura to the distant chatter and scraping of plates, descending from the white stone houses that cascade over the steep hills surrounding us.
This little spot we’ve found, is quite close to heaven.
This is not a dream. In fact it’s 9am on a Thursday, and we are far away from reality in the stunning little village of Oia, Santorini, awaiting our breakfast at the beautiful Art Maisons Aspaki hotel.
The views at this luxurious boutique hotel are breathtaking – but if you can overcome the 180° ocean panorama, and make it past the balcony jacuzzi, swinging lounge chair and clifftop hammock, a short set of steps will lead you down onto the shaded breakfast terrace.
Here the gorgeous stone tables, lanterns, tiers of fresh fruit and candelabras all try to steal your attention from the most perfect view over the sea and amazing Oia, with all it’s fascinations – climbing cats, fluorescent bougainvillea, a blushing new bride, church bells, a local hanging out her washing, donkeys meandering up the hills, and a steady stream of tourists headed to the sunset point.
It would take an amazing breakfast to do this spot justice, and happily that’s exactly what we receive: three courses prepared by the highly trained French chef to leave us feeling relaxed and ready to take on the day… or maybe just that clifftop hammock.
First arrives the rustic wooden basket, filled with croissants, warmed rolls and Greek pastries which change every morning – from savoury fresh cheese and spinach and feta, to sweet pastries with apple, jam, or chocolate. The surprise is always a pleasant one.
Next comes your choice of muesli or porridge, followed up by eggs in one of three styles: the omelette, traditional Greek soft boiled eggs, or scrambled with feta. The scrambled eggs are our winner, showcasing the creamiest of feta, a side of tzatziki and decorative balsamic glaze that also changes by the day.
At the Art Maisons Aspaki hotel, breakfast has a dessert course. That alone makes it a world class destination in my books. And what constitutes dessert at breakfast? Either a freshly prepared fruit salad or the best yoghurt you’ll ever taste, complimented by caramelised grapes in a sticky honey syrup. The quality of ingredients are outstanding here and this level of simplicity really sets them off.
Moving along, this is what happens if you lounge around long enough to turn breakfast into brunch – little sesame toasts appear with juicy sundried tomatoes, a spicy beetroot dip, cooling tzatziki and marinated feta, alongside pork with with rosemary, capers, roasted peppers and a little more of that unbelievable feta.
After breakfast, you can explore the main streets of Oia which are only a few metres beyond the hotel entrance. Drop in to the fabulous Atlantis Books, find yourself a captivating read, and your afternoon is complete.