Have it Your Way / Can’t Eat Won’t Eat / The Naked Allergy Debate

Gluten free

Ever heard of the saying ‘from small acorns…’ Well we at Vassaliki have had an experience of this in our restaurant.  What started with a simple omelette for a travel weary guest has now developed into a fully functioning restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, evening meals, cuisine night,, BBQ’s and themed buffets!  However, as usual our guests constantly set us new challenges and now we are experiencing a new trend that is opening new culinary avenues for our chef to explore through dietary requirements and lifestyle choices in terms of food consumption.

There is an increased awareness in our clientele that what we eat can have an impact on our health and well being.  This being the case, we have made every possible effort, here at Vassaliki , to accommodate those diners who would in previous years, have been thought of as fussy.

Allergies are increasing!fresh ingredients

The latest surveys show that rates of allergies throughout the world are increasing and affecting 30-35% of people at some stage of their lives.  Recent studies have confirmed a significant increase in the incidents of food related allergies.  A large number of children are diagnosed with an allergenic condition, and guess what they become adults.  It is still unclear what is causing this growth in food intolerance and food allergies.  But one thing is clear, it is something the modern restaurateur has to take into consideration and it can no longer be brushed aside by chefs as an inconvenient fad!

Nut allergies and their potential severe, possible fatal reactions (anaphylactic) have been well documented. Sufferers know to avoid obvious foods and notify the restaurateur of their condition.  However other less common and less aggressive allergies are becoming more prevalent.

Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disorder that is known to affect 1 in every 100 people.  The ingestion of gluten leads to damage of the small intestine.  ConsequGluten freeently some of our guests require a full gluten free diet.  Others have a yeast intolerance or just feel better when they reduce their intake of these two products.  Our experienced chef Nick has developed a number of recipes using imported gluten free ingredients, baking gluten free pastries and making yeast free bread for those guests who require it.

Some of our diners are lactose intolerant, unable to digest milk products.  We have guests with allergies of beef products, shell fish and even one lady with an allergy to pepper.

In many restaurants , these allergies create a problem for the diner.  Not only that he / she must avoid the obvious food stuffs, but also the less obvious such as sauces, desserts, soups, ice cream etc. where hidden ingredients may be lurking.  This is not a problem at Vassaliki because Nick makes all our dishes from scratch and knows exactly what has gone into them.

As well as allergies the discerning chef must also cater for the lifestyle. The vegetarians, pescetarians and vegan lifestyles are all becoming much more in evidence.  It is up to us to cater for these requirements and we hope the guests feel able to tell us about their dietary requirements.  At Vassaliki we pride ourselves, that as a small resort with a high staff to guest ratio and an enthusiastic and talented chef, we are able to offer an individual culinary experience.  We have even catered for vegetarians who don’t like many vegetables!

Our chef offers delicious vegetarian dishes as an alternative to a meat course. In fact some of them are so tempting that our veggie dishes sometimes out sell the meat options.  All our food is locally sourced and our dishes made with the freshest ingredients.

So do not hide away, you are not awkward, a problem or fussy.  You are part of a growing population with alternative dietary needs.  It is your choice, your health, your holiday and here at Vassaliki we strive to make it a memorable and gastronomically satisfying experience.

Written by Sheryle Daniels

5 reasons why you should go on a naturist holiday with children

Here are 5 reasons why travelling with children as a naturist is a great idea and with a few rooms still available during May half term and the school summer holidays, Vassaliki is the perfect resort to bring your family to.  As you will :

Family1. Save money and time

When you travel as a naturist you don’t need as much clothing which will save you a lot of packing/unpacking and might even save you a fair deal of money. Many low cost carriers don’t include luggage in their prices (except for hand luggage), they will charge you a great deal extra for hold baggage.

Example – RyanAir has a fee of 25 to 50 EUR for a 20kg bag – each way. If you are a family of 4 and normally need to bring 3 bags then you probably could save, at least one bag while travelling as a naturist. 50 to 100 EUR saved – that is not bad at all!

2. Easier for the children 

Families with small children will find it easier travelling as a naturist for many reasons. You don’t need to help the kids to get dressed when they want to go outside. Plus the number of times children get mucky playing in the grass / sand or get an ice cream everywhere, it is easier to shower them clean than accumulate a pile of washing that’s hard to get through in a bathroom sink. Applying sun cream to a child is easier when they are naked, you are less likely to miss patches and therefore cause the children discomfort if they burn.

3. Children learn to accept their body and others in a positive way

We live in a society where everything is hidden and everything is shown at the same time.

Lack of communal changing in schools encourages our children to shy their body away, BUT at the same time, nudity is also shown a lot in the media. However what is shown, is discouraging to our children’s confidence.  It is either a perfect body which has been photoshopped and manipulated OR it is shown in a titivating manner, suggestive that showing your body is the wrong thing to do.

This mix gives a very confusing image of the human body – no wonder many children and young people have perplexing body image issues.

When children are on a naturist beach, naturist resort or other places where nudity is ok, then they will discover that all people have different and imperfect bodies, there is no such thing as a normality they should strive for. This will help the children accept their body as it is.

Acceptance of diversity really leads to acceptance of yourself. This doesn’t just count for the children but also for you as parents.  When you meet other people who, like you, have chosen to do something different than the norm, this makes you feel that this might be a great idea.

Meeting other people and seeing their different bodies, will also help make you accept that your body is equally different but perfect in its own way. And yes – you might think your hips are a bit too large and you have gained some weight after the birth of your wonderful child, so have many other mothers. That is actually an ok, normal and beautiful thing!

4. Children learn to be less materialistic

In a naturist environment, children will not compare who has got the latest fashionable clothes and who hasn’t. Naked we are all equal. They will find that when they mingle with other children the focus will not be on how they are dressed, but on who they are, thereby accepting other children as who they are. They will form truer friendships and learn to be great judges of character as they will learn not to jump to conclusions about others based on initial materialism. These are invaluable things to learn as a child.

5. Get back to being ‘you’

Living together and accepting your own body and your family members means you will spend less time worrying about who you are and more time actually being who you are.  Get back to being you!

When you are happy with yourself, this will rub off on to your children.  It is incredible how much our children learn from our body language, negativity etc. as much as from what we outwardly try to teach them.

In a naturist environment you will find that everyone else is more accepting and interested in you as a person. They tend to spend more time listening to what you say instead of forming judgements or studying your body.

It is really satisfying that you can find an inner peace in just being you.

This article was written drawing inspiration from another similar article we found online, however we apologise as we cannot remember the source.

Brexit and Vassaliki

How will Brexit effect Vassaliki?

This is a big question that we get asked on a daily basis both by our guests but also by our suppliers on the island who rely on our business and money. BREXIT-logo-3

Samantha and I keep a close eye on the news online and on TV but many of our questions seem to remain unanswered.

One thing we know is that the vote to leave the EU has already caused the pound to drop sharply in the wake of the June 23 vote, especially against the Euro. It has recovered slightly, but it is still lower than €1.30 on the day before the referendum. This means your holiday is going to be more expensive this summer both when purchasing your accommodation and when you purchase food, drinks and excursions while on holiday. We will have to wait to see how this changes as we go through the long process of Brexit.

The other big cost on you holiday is your flight. The huge success of the no-frills airlines and opening up new routes was enabled by the EU’s removal of the old bi-lateral restrictions on air service agreements and the introduction of more open competition on routes between Union countries. Now that Britain is leaving the EU, arrangements will have to be made for new air service agreements if British airlines like easyJet, are to continue to operate freely across the EU.

Whether the wide choice of routes and low fares we now enjoy will continue, will depend on the results of those negotiations. Lets hope they can continue to offer us the affordable prices we have been receiving over the last few years.

It seems certain that once we have completed the leaving arrangements, British citizens will not need visas to travel into the EU on holiday, though we will, like now, have to pass through passport control when we first enter. And we will no doubt be consigned to the queue for non-EU citizens – so we may have a longer wait at the airport.

For all the team at Vassaliki our ability to work in Greece without a work permit may come to an end, we may face restrictions, or at least more bureaucratic obstacles when we want to work in Greece. But all this depends on each of the EU members individual agreements to be made with the UK.

We must not forget over 56% of UK tourists travel to an EU country, spending approximately 20 billion pounds a year. This is money no country is going to want to miss out on. With 1.7 million Brits visiting Greece each year I feel confident that both the UK and Greek governments will negotiate a fair and workable agreement that will allow us all to continue to enjoy the Greek sun for our holidays.

(Numbers and information from The Telegraph)

Merry Christmas from Vassaliki

Samantha, Mark and all the team at Vassaliki

would like to wish you and your family

a Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year!

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Well it’s that time of the year when we enjoy special times with our family and friends, eat too much food and enjoy a few (too many…!?) glasses of wine!! The TV is full of Christmas films and programs, but what you may or may not have noticed, is that the large tour operators have already started to tease your taste buds with their alluring adverts for your next summer holiday.

Straight after Christmas and into the gloomy month of January is our busiest time of year for bookings, with people looking forward to spending their well earned holidays in the sun.

But we at Vassaliki have a small issue! We are already fully booked for many popular periods of the summer and have only limited availability at other times of the year.

But don’t panic!  We have, over the last two years, been working on a small plan to expand our resort with an addition of four brand new rooms. The rooms are being built this winter and we have been promised they will be finished for the start of the coming season.
New Suites5

The new rooms contain a double bedroom with an open plan living area and kitchen over-looking a large patio. Each room will also have a shower room and toilet.

We are hoping to achieve a high quality finish to the rooms and are looking into offering free broadband internet in each room. The units are set apart from the main block on a piece of private land adjacent to Vassaliki with direct access to all the resort facilities. Each unit will have sea and mountain views.

We have done a lot of work and research into this upgrade to make sure we don’t lose the magic atmosphere we have at Vassaliki. We will be doing a small number of improvements to the pool area and bar but everything else will be same! Just how you like it!!

The rooms are now online to book at www.viglanatura.com/rooms

Flights

All the flights have now been launched for summer 2017. This is the time to start keeping an eye out for a bargain flight. We have been using a great site http://www.momondo.com which shows the best flights and prices and has live updates, so prices change on the screen instantaneously.

End of another amazing summer

Well that is it for summer 2016. We have now closed the resort down for the winter and Samantha and I have just returned back to the UK via a short visit to our friends and colleagues Cliff and Quee from Fig Leaf Villas, a small naturist facility on the Greek Peloponnese. We also took the opportunity to visit a few of the famous Greek attractions before boarding our ferry to Italy and then on to the UK.Mark and Samantha

We have had a very busy summer this year and are really pleased that so many of you were able to join us, its always great to see old friends again and also to make new ones. It never fails to amaze me what a great group of people come out to Kefalonia each year.

We hope to have news very soon of some new improvements to Vassaliki which we are in the pipeline. We are just sorting out some final details as this newsletter goes out.

We have also heard some local gossip that the German company Fraport who now run Kefalonia airport are planning to do a large expansion to the airport to allow up to ten aircraft at time at the airport and to drastically improve / expand the terminal and its facilities. This is great news for the island and we hope this will result in more flights from more countries visiting this stunning island. We will keep you updated.

Flights

Kefalonia Greek travel aircraftWell keeping on the subject of flights, most of the flights have now been launched for summer 2017. All the charter companies have set their schedules with the cheap airline Ryanair only launching from 1st of June to 18th September at the moment but we have been told this schedule should start earlier in the summer and run to the end of September. Easyjet have been a little slow this year but have just launched to the end of September.

This is the time to start keeping an eye out for a bargain flight. We have recently been using a great site http://www.momondo.com this shows the best flights and prices and has live updates so prices change on the screen instantly.

Vassaliki

We have our online booking system all up and running and we have launched our 2017 prices and dates on our website www.viglanatura.com/prices You will see we have not changed our prices but we have decided to open a little later in May than usual.

The busy months of June and July are already filling up very fast. With June already over 90% booked with a waiting list of couples waiting for rooms if people drop out. July is also popular and if you are planning a trip to us we do recommend you book this period early to avoid disappointment.

  Book Now

nickWe are pleased to announce that our amazing Chef Nick will be returning for his third summer with us and has some new and exciting ideas to make your dining experience even better.

Nicky our superhuman housekeeper who somehow manages to keep all our rooms serviced and ready for our guests is set to stay with us for what will be her ninth summer. Most of you will have met her when you visited the resort and I am sure you will agree with me that she really is a huge asset to our business. Trust me I did housekeeping here for two weeks last year and it is a huge task to undertake.

A huge goodbye to Simon and Sheryle who have retired to their house in Valencia, Spain after being a tremendous help and support over the last four years.  They will be missed by all we are sure and they take with them lots of luck from all the Vassaliki family and guests.

Samantha and I will be busy this winter looking for two new members of staff to help us with the running of the resort. We have had a good response to the jobs that are on offer for next summer and some interviews have already taken place. We will continue to interview back in the UK and hope to be able to introduce our full team in early January.

Car Hire

We have been working now with Mercury car hire here in Kefalonia for 10 years. Back in the winter of 2015/16 Mercury called to tell me that they were taking all the Suzuki Jeep Convertibles off the fleet.

Well we now have the new replacement Jeep Renegade. These jeeps are all hard top versions with air-conditioning as standard. The high ride gives you plenty of clearance for those of you who want to explore a little further afield! The 2.4 litre engine gives you lots of power to climb the steepest of hills and the cabin space has plenty of room for four adults to sit in comfort.

We were lucky enough to be given one of these brand new cars to test drive earlier this year and we were very impressed with the overall look and comfort of the car. The driving position is nice and high giving you a good view of the road and views. My only concern is they are in my opinion a little expensive to rent starting at just under 600 euro a week, but who cares we only live once!!

Free weeks holiday.

We have been giving out one free raffle ticket to each of our guests for every €100 they spend at our bar, restaurant and excursions. All the ticket have been put in a hat and the winning ticket drawn is number 338 which is booking number 111.

Congratulations

Mr and Mrs P & J Robinson. You have a free weeks holiday next summer at Vassaliki!

For those of you who were lucky enough to get a loyalty card back in 2010 you have only next summer (2017) to collect your final stamps. Once you have all five stamps you can then claim your free week, but you must book and take the free week before October 2018 as the loyalty card will then become invalid.

Last but not least.

We are very lucky to receive many guests letters and emails thanking us for their holiday. Some people even arrive with gifts for Samantha and chocolate for me which we really do appreciate.  But this summer, two guests have gone a step further and have written, composed and performed a Vassaliki song. We had a debut performance in August at a Vassaliki BBQ night and we now have a recorded copy for you to hear.

Be careful when you listen to the song as you will be singing it all day and this may upset your work colleagues when you stat singing about being happy to be naked!

 

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