On a Corfu Olive Farm, a Much Longed-For Reunion of Friends

On a Corfu Olive Farm, a Much Longed-For Reunion of Friends

To the uninitiated, Christina Martini and Apostolos Porsanidis-Kavvadias’s 18th-century farmhouse, with its whitewashed facade and green shutters, might seem the very picture of Corfiot rusticity. In fact, the houses on the Greek island, which borrow from Venetian, French and British architecture, are more commonly painted ocher, orange or pink. But this one was white when Porsanidis-Kavvadias’s grandparents Thalia Kavvadias, a homemaker, and Apostolos Kavvadias, an orthopedic surgeon, purchased it as a holiday retreat in the 1950s, and it has remained so ever since. Thalia also insisted that another anomalous feature of the structure — a 200-year-old wood and stone olive press on the ground floor — remain untouched despite a 1960s renovation.And with good reason. Located in the northern half of the island in Tzavros, about six miles up the coast from Corfu Town, the house sits on some 50 acres that are verdant with olive groves and pine trees. Many of the olive trees are ancient examples of the Lianolia variety, while about 200 others are Thiakos that Apostolos Kavvadias planted over half a century ago, when he was flirting with the idea of becoming an olive oil producer. He abandoned the plan, but 35 years later, Apostolos Porsanidis-Kavvadias, now 44, decided to take up the career himself, leaving behind his life as a product designer for the architectural and interior practice RDAI, founded by Rena Dumas — in which capacity he dreamed up everything from coffee cups to leather stools to cutlery for brands including Hermès and John Lobb — and launching his own line of organic, polyphenol-rich olive oil made in large part from the olives grown on the property. He named the line Dr. Kavvadia.Martini has stayed in the design world — since 2010, following stints at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton, she’s been the co-founder (with Nikolas Minoglou) and creative director of Ancient Greek Sandals, beloved for pared-back, hand-crafted designs that look tailor-made for mythic gods and muses — but she also takes much comfort and inspiration from the property. Both born in Athens, she and Porsanidis-Kavvadias met as students at the Camberwell College of Art in London in the mid-’90s, at which point they started visiting Corfu together every summer. “I’ve been coming here half my life,” said the designer, 44. After the birth of the couple’s first child, Stefanos, now 11 — their daughter, Daphne, is 8 — they decided to leave Paris and live full-time on the farm, which the family shares with chickens, ducks, turkeys, countless cats and their beloved pair of Italian mastiffs, Baba and Blondie. “Living here has really changed my love for Corfu,” said Martini. “Before, it was all about the beach, but now it’s evolved into an appreciation of the landscape and the majestic scenery. It’s really the most beautiful place to make a home.”It’s also a place they take pleasure in opening up to others. When Porsanidis-Kavvadias isn’t cultivating his olive oil or tending to a sprawling vegetable plot that, depending on the season, is abundant with peppers, kale or sweet corn, he’s slowly renovating the stables and storehouses into a pair of guesthouses. The idea is for visitors to enjoy wine, olive oil tastings and cooking classes and, come olive-picking season in late October, to help harvest the crop. But while the complete farm-stay experience won’t be in full swing until late winter, he and Martini are already consummate hosts.Last month, they invited a vibrant group of their friends from the island, Athens and beyond to enjoy a laid-back weekend on the farm. “It was the reunion that we’ve all been yearning for for so long,” Martini said of the party, whose attendees included the jewelry designer Lito Karakostanoglou; the ceramist Myrto Zirini and her Norwegian partner, Morten Damsleth; Stratis Andreadis, a sailor and the owner of the accessories line Salty Bag, which makes use of upcycled sails; the Greek-Egyptian painter Farida El Gazzar; and Thanos Karampatsos, a co-founder of Greece is for Lovers, which offers an irreverent take on stereotypical Greek design, and his partner, the Japanese-Greek illustrator Yuri Kumada.The weekend’s main event was a celebratory Saturday supper cooked by Aristotelis Megoulas, another friend of Martini and Porsanidis-Kavvadias’s and the owner of Pomo D’Oro restaurant in Corfu Town. Megoulas, who was born in Paris, grew up in Athens and…

Διαβάστε περισσότερα στην πηγή: nytimes.com

Ειδήσεις & Νέα από την Ελλάδα και όλον τον κόσμο | ediseis-news


Ειδήσεις & Νέα από την Ελλάδα & όλον τον κόσμο,