Sometimes, the prospect of inspecting villas on Mykonos is less alluring that you might think – another white house with driftwood mirrors, no bedside lights, a pool and pergola with built-in barbecue, a dark basement room masquerading as a “guest suite” and an owner telling you proudly that she or he doesn’t need a/c as it has thick walls and is always cool, and that while the neighbour’s house is very windy, hers or his isn’t.
Well, this trip will teach me never to get blasé and always remember that I probably have one of the world’s nicest jobs even if holidays are a thing of the past for me….
House 1- Triple A location above the New harbour, 7 wonderful bedrooms, a soothing palette of whites, dove greys and pretty splashes of colour, thoughtful touches everywhere, and the sweet and elegant nature of the owner radiating throughout the whole property. The guardian is clearly devoted to the whole family and in the end, there is nothing that I like more than a happy house – no amount of driftwood furniture and bling can replace a house with a good vibe.
Talking of technology, (which the guardian who is also an electrician did at some length and in Greek,) you now need to have a degree in engineering to understand the specifications of some the these houses music, security, television , climate control and telecommunications systems. Just when I had understood Apple TV, along comes UVP current regulation.
House 2 – an artist’s eyrie facing out to sea with its back to Paradise Beach – built like a small monastery around a courtyard with a happy olive tree and pots of geraniums, a feeling of nostalgia, romance, peace and a bohemian life well and interestingly lived. 100 steps go down the hill to a stone guest house, and a further 100 steps go down to the sea where the nimble and keen can dive in and scramble out again, drying off by the time they get back up to the house.
House 3 – A very beautifully done property with 4 houses and half way along the footpath from Paranga to Paradise beach. Owner ; “My ideal client would be an Arab with several wives who would like to bond with eachother ”
House 4 – a super-modern house with stunning architecture unlike anything I have seen on Mykonos – a couple with exceptional taste who have built the perfect entertaining house – and as a plus, a modern interpretation of a Greek chapel. The young English architect and his photographer happened to be there when I visited, we discussed how the sun would shine through one of the chapel windows and hit the altar on a certain date that was important to the couple – A strip of blue lighting ran under the rim of the cupola, I told the architect that if he changed the light colour to amber, red and turquoise, he would create the traditional effect of the light coming through the stained glass used in Greek churches as it falls on white walls.
House 5 – I may have been a bit (very) drunk from the ouzo, basil and pepper cocktails at Ode’s opposite Enny di Monaco, the best boutique in Mykonos, on the first warm night for a while, but I think that around 10.30 at night, I found myself with a couple of friends in a neoclassical town mansion on Matoyiannis St in Chora, looking up at 3 metre high peeling stucco ceilings with crystal chandeliers, portraits of the old King of Greece, while the owner, a very handsome and distinguished older Greek from a generation who knew how to live well and interestingly, spread out photos of Mykonos in the 1920s, and told me that he had, when cleaning out the house discovered plastic handcuffs in an Uncle’s cupboard that his Aunt had clearly known nothing about. And a whip made of whale foreskin. I declined his offer to show it to me.
House 6. A beauty on Aghios Sostis above a private beach – we discussed where to place strategic cacti in terracotta pots to stop drunken adults falling off edges. One has to think of these things…
House 7 – Enough – if you want to know more, call us.