I’ve never been able to resist the gourmet charms of Metohi Kindelis, an oasis just outside the small city of Chania on Crete. Consisting of three spacious apartments within a 17th-century farm built of centuries-old stone, the property is surrounded by lush organic orchards. The fridge is always stocked with stuff you’d have at home (only better), like fresh eggs, homemade marmalade, and just-picked avocados and oranges, while the enthusiastic manager, along with a local food historian and an archaeologist, organizes special history-themed meals under a canopy of jasmine. –G.I.W.
Hundreds of years ago, Crete was ruled by the Venetians. The gorgeously restored 16th-century guesthouse Metohi Kindelis is one of the remaining buildings from that era. Located in the outskirts of Chaniá, the property is surrounded by organic vegetable gardens and orchards of pomegranate and citrus trees. Danai Kindeli, who recently moved back from Madrid to manage the place, stocks the small kitchens in each room with fresh eggs and local cheeses; occasionally she’ll leave guests an orange juice–and–olive oil cake that tastes of the sun.
Kindeli recently began working with local food historian Mariana Kavroulaki to organize reenactments of ancient Greek meals and recipes. (Re-creating the culinary past is a growing trend worldwide, inspired in part by star chef Heston Blumenthal, who researches recipes at The British Library and serves them at his restaurant Dinner.) Kavroulaki, who has produced banquets for The Archaeological Museum of Delphi, prepared an Ottoman-inspired brunch for me. On a wooden table under a blooming jasmine tree, she set out bowls of a fresh quince, dried apricot and fig compote, based on a recipe from ancient Persia. Alongside, she served kaikanas, a dish of scrambled eggs with walnuts and goat cheese, and wheat bread from a recipe that goes back to the 16th century. “Crete has been a home for many cultures,” said Kavroulaki. “Tasting the island’s gastronomic past helps you understand its history.” metohi-kindelis.gr.
Needless to say, when we left I felt homesick. I still do. The magic of this special place is lingering in my bones and I dream of the day I can return.
Conde Nast Traveller UK
“This Venetian estate just outside Chania feels like a Tuscan farmhouse and is a great romantic retreat. Three gorgeous guesthouses, each with its own pool, are set on an organic farm shaded by palms and lilac blossoms. Original arches, stone walls and porthole windows are offset by fine antiques and hand-crafted furniture. Kitchens are stocked daily with local treats and fruit from the farm – the strawberries are famous all over Greece.”
“Metohi Kindelis is an idyllic private haven in a superbly restored Venetian manor on an organic farming estate near Hania… Stone arches from the original olive press in the basement are the most dramatic feature of the lower level apartment, which has exposed stone walls, timber beams and a big fireplace. The second-level apartment has large windows with fine vistas of the estate and an impressive Morroccan-style marble bathroom… The owner lives upstairs in the original family home… While they can sleep four, the majority of guests here are couples wanting an exclusive retreat.”
May 2005 ”This beautiful late-Venetian farm once supplied the entire western region of Crete with fruit and vegetables. Today, part of it has been converted into two apartments. However, organic fruit is still grown here, including strawberries, apricots, oranges and tangerines, which guests can enjoy each morning. Each apartment sleeps up to four people and has a private swimming pool and garden. The farm’s middle-floor apartment in particular offers fantastic views across the surrounding landscape.”
The scent of fresh herbs and roses met me in the morning as I stepped out on the terrace. The garden is surrounded with pomme granate trees so I would love to go back in September/October when they are red and ready to be picked.
In the latest issue of the German Harper’s Bazaar they asked me for my favorite hide away. I answered Metohi Kindelis on Crete.
Taking a cue from the groom’s Greek-American heritage, the destination wedding infused Old World traditions, historic surroundings, and a fresh color palette that took its cues from the setting.
Retomar la idea de ir este verano a Metohi Kindelis, en Creta. Quiero comer los famosos aguacates que cultivan los Kindeli.