Old House Café-bar, Zia, Kos Island, Greece

The Old House Café-bar is a short walk up beyond the naff souvenir shops and the church heading up the path towards the Dikeo mountain trail and the edge of Zia village. The staff are exceptionally welcoming, helpful and friendly. We visited last year for drinks and dessert while watching a great sunset and it seemed to me to be essential to revisit this year.

The amber nectar

We ordered a couple of large glasses of Mythos, a Greek salad and a hotdog (for Siggy). We were supplied with a large bottle of water and glasses with ice while we waited on the highest varnished wooden balcony area with a hazy view of the coastline, neighbouring islands and slowly sinking sun. It was amazingly relaxing with ambient chillaxing music playing.

The Greek salad was big enough for two to share with two types of traditional cheese – one with a harder consistency than feta more akin to firmly crumbly Lancashire cheese. The salad contained the usual constituent components along with the interesting addition of strips of de-skinned blanched red pepper. There was enough juice from the tomatoes and cucumber mixed with oil to provide a fresh tasting dipping opportunity with the bread provided.

Greek salad Old House style

As the sun set, we ate two pieces of delightfully messy chocolate cake and ice cream. The portions were so big it was a challenge not to spill it everywhere. In fact my notepad has a chocolate fingerprint on the page I’m referring to when typing out this post. The sunset this year was lacklustre due to the haze, but the cake was awesome. Our host (it sounds dumb to call him a waiter) was so nice that he actually apologised for the sun set.

Death by chocolate

When it came to paying the bill I thought he had missed off charging for one of the portions of cake and ice cream but he explained that it was on the house, and he gave us 10% discount vouchers. Suffice to say they got the biggest tip of the holiday and win the price for the most excellent service. I just hope that, given the lack of tourists that seem to be visiting Kos this year because of the bad media reports last year, the Old House continues to operate. They are very good at what they do and so different to any of the other feed-the-masses-off-the-coaches tavernas in Zia.

I almost put my knee out on the step outside the WC but that’s another story…

All photography (c) Matthew Haynes.