Monday, 5 August 2019

Armeni Restaurant, Oia, Santorini, Greece.

Thinking back, the most memorable meals are those that are so engrained in specific a time and place, those unique singular moments in life where there's almost magic in the air. So it was with our dinner at Armeni Restaurant, Santorini.
It was the last night of a wonderful trip away, mainly in Naxos but with a few days in Santorini before we were due to fly home. The island itself is just as breathtaking as you imagine it to be. The picture postcard white villages and blue domes hanging on to the top of a volcanic crater are already so familiar from stock photos of Greece, you can hardly believe you're actually there.
I'd pre-booked a table at  Armeni as I'd got a tip from a pal on twitter. It shuts at 9pm so actually a 7.15pm booking is pretty much the latest you can eat in the evening without rushing. Google maps told me it was just a short walk from our apartment in Oia. I knew it would be downhill but it was slightly treacherous in parts with a minor landslip of small rocks but nothing that can't be handled if you're fairly able. Actually the walk down the cliff face was part of the whole experience.
We arrive to a warm welcome as is usually the case in Greece. Greek people really are the most hospitable folk. The taverna is at the very bottom of the volcanic crater right on the seafront. They have sun-loungers for customers going out to the quay and kids are running round with locals cats. The whole scene is so Greek with an informal slightly scruffy sea swept charm.
We order loads of smaller plates althought they offer you a look at the catch of the day.
All the dishes pretty much came at once which we didn't expect but it was all great, anchovy, smoked mackerel, octopus, scallops and smoked eel... It's just one of life's joys to eat food like this on the seafront as the sun is setting.
After we'd eaten they mentioned to us that we could have arrived on their complimentary water taxi from a nearby port as it is easier to manage the return walk up the cliff to Oia. So we took up their kind offer of a return boat ride back around the cove.
The water was choppy and a the ride a bit bumpy but right there and then was one of those moments you never forget. Fortuitously just as we turned the corner into the little port, the sun was setting on one of those famous Santorini sun sets. We couldn't have timed it better if we'd have tried. It was one of those rare moments in life when just fleetingly, life is perfect.

Thanks to Markos on twitter for the tip.