Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Imagine you're on vacation in the Greek islands, let's say, Santorini. Specifically that most beautiful, most chillaxed of all villages along the caldera - Oia. Well, it's an island, right, and you feel like going to the beach, and decide to follow the signs downhill to Katharos beach. Don't let the wind-y road fool're going the right way, and at the end - voila!

A black pebble beach. Santorini after all was once an active volcano; hence the black. It's a good beach - it doesn't have the chairs and umbrellas but it's close to Oia and isn't too busy. After a nice swim and soaking up some sun, you are hot and hungry. Fortunately as you walked down from the parking lot you noticed a little cafe perched just above. Really cool music comes floating out of there, and you decide to head up and get a drink, and maybe some food.

This is Katharos Lounge. My friend Bronte and her Greek husband met here 5 years ago, and last year purchased it from the previous owner. Since last season they've completely overhauled the place - not just the physical building but the menu and I'm guessing (since I didn't manage to visit until this month) even the ambiance.

Oia's famous for its sunsets, and Katharos - with its amazing food and drinks - is a great place to have dinner and watch the sunset and (to my mind, even better) the afterglow of sunset. This sunset in particular had "Teardrop," by Massive Attack on the soundtrack, which was special to me, as it's one of my belly dance choreographies. Bronte's always been an amazing cook, she taught me how to cook Korean and Greek foods both, and her cooking has only gotten better since the last time I visited. All the food is made from scratch, including the dolmades (which take quite a bit of work...I know, as she taught me how to make them).

If you stay past sunset, the sky gets dark, the moon comes out, the candles get lit, the breezes blow - it's magic.

The Saturday that I was there, Bronte and Vasilis had the Tamuz Jazz Trio performing. The fourth musician, that stud on drums, is none other than GDA-survivor Joe, who pulled out the bongos and added some rhythm at the end. It was an ideal venue for their sound, and I was grateful I got to visit for it.

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