Spending a few days on a Greek island, staying at an original 19th Century stone house that once belonged to a great Captain, is definitely a unique experience.
Last September I was lucky enough to visit Serifos again after two years. Only this time I would spend my days and nights in an old Captain’s Mansion, ‘Captain’s House Serifos’, that was lovingly restored by Manos and Emmy, to return to its original form, retaining all those elements that take you to the past, when the Lord of the house was sailing the seas. Manos and Emmy decided to leave their hectic lives in the Greek capital and have a more relaxed and balanced life on the island of Serifos. They made over the house with their own hands, little by little, bringing it back to its original state.
We had to climb a few steps of Kato Serifos to face the old mansion, -next to the Primary School and the Folklore Museum- with the red vintage door and the red wooden shutters, as tradition dictated. In the Captain’s houses and generally in the houses of affluent people, the frames were usually painted red, in contrast to the blue uniformity of the Cyclades. The house belonged to Captain George Peloponnese (1868-1945), the grandfather of Manos, who built it in the late 19th century. Through this house, Manos and Emmy narrate their family history to people from all over the world, offering a real time travel, and their hospitality is truly special.
After enjoying a glass of iced tea with rosemary on the terrace of the Captain’s House overlooking Livadi, the port of the island, we opened the imposing red door next to the bell. An impressive corridor with vintage concrete tiles stretched out in front of us and our journey back in time began. The house is decorated with antiques and vintage furniture that belonged to Captain George. The hall is dominated by the photo of the Captain who looks at us sternly while his rosaries are spread out on the ornately carved buffet, which he definitely must have brought from a trip to Asia. It is like he is absent on a trip and will soon make his way back home.
The two bedrooms in the background with iron beds and vintage wooden wardrobes that are real ornaments welcomed us warmly with the sunbeams piercing through the shutters and spreading a golden light on the white sheets. There is another room, the dining room, before entering the kitchen, with embroidery, an impressive caravan, the chandelier dating from 1907 and a chest that challenges you to search, as if you will find a hidden treasure with secrets of the past.
Captain’s House has an equipped kitchen and a lovely bathroom, that are modern but retain elements of the past. In the kitchen, with its impressive black and white floor, for example, features a tiny marble sink that has been preserved, as well as an old wooden oven , which resembles a fireplace. Manos and Emmy would leave fresh eggs from their hens in our fridge, while various herbs and teas from Serifos were waiting in the cupboard to get into the vintage cups.
We loved this house because it made us feel like we were the protagonists of a historical film.
*Images by Polina Paraskevopoulou © (Copyright)