Mousses, Lefkas, Greece
Amanda, Henry (aged 3 and a half) and Grandma find the living easy in Lefkas
For more information on Mousses, contact Amanda@babygoes2.com.
The first thing that impressed me about booking with Simply Travel was the travel documents. A stylish branded canvas wallet containing matching luggage tags (that wouldn't fall apart before we got on the plane) and very clear instructions. I now keep all our passports and insurance documents in it! After a short 3 hour flight from the UK we arrive and immediately the pace of life slows down. We pick up our little car and Simon, our simply fabulous, Simply Rep helps us make sure the booster seat is securely fitted and gives us easy directions. 30 minutes later we pull into Mousses where Maria, the owners' daughter meets us, takes our bags and shows us our 'residence'. All of the residences, whether semi detached or detached, have exactly the same layout. 2 bedrooms upstairs, one twin, one double with a loo and wash basin, an open plan living area with full kitchen and shower room. The welcome pack was very welcome, tea bags, coffee, milk, bread etc. All the things you need straight away. And a bottle of chilled wine and some cans of beer and soft drinks. They also have TV (yes we found Fimbles, Tweenies, etc on the English Language channel) and a CD player, so don't forget to pack your favourite tunes. All the residences face either the pool or the garden. French doors open onto your own terrace with table and chairs, so eating al fresco is easy without having to move furniture around.
The pool is beautiful. L-shaped, shallow at one end and deep at the other. And right next to it a small children's pool. Henry is 3 and a half and can swim with armbands but if you have crawlers or new toddlers they need to be kept and eye on, and ideally kitted out with buoyancy aids. Andreas is looking at how best to gate the pool and hopefully that will be done soon.
Life at Mousses
It's hard for brochure pictures to do justice to Mousses. The 10 residences are nestled between fairytale-trunked olive trees (the original site was the family's olive grove) which offer welcome shade and great places to explore and play. After settling in while Henry played with his new 'little friend' we were invited to take our children to the crèche. What a great idea. While the children got to know each other, and the brilliant nannies, we all went to the bar, where Simon told us a bit about the local area, eating out and where things were etc. It was really useful and informative stuff.
Mousses is a self catering property but I have to admit to never cooking. There is a mini market about 3 minutes walk away that sold delicious pan au chocolat which we had for breakfast. The bar also does a good selection of Greek dishes and a great selection of children's food, burgers, fish fingers, and the best home made chips I've tasted. Once a week Andreas and Eleni (the owners) host a BBQ for guests. What a feast. Plenty of meat, fish, salads, all freshly prepared and several puddings! Mmmm.
Children at Mousses' .
All the staff love children and make a real fuss of them. Simon has a two year old daughter so understands exactly the needs of parents on holiday. Children's menus, free ice cream and being allowed to do exactly what you want is all part of life here. Henry was booked into the crèche for 5 half days (afternoons) but enjoyed it so much that we asked if he could go for some full days as well. The crèche operates to a strict child/nanny ratio but as we were there out of season and it wasn't busy, they were able to fit him in. It was really sweet seeing all the children with their Simply UV protective sun hats and suits and back packs going off every morning. The crèche itself was fantastic. Big air-conditioned rooms, new toys, music playing and genuinely interested nannies. You have to fill in a very comprehensive form before leaving your child in their care. It covers everything from peculiar habits to medication. Henry does go to nursery in the UK but some children had never been left before and the nannies really spent time with them making sure they were settled and happy.
Grown-ups at Mousses '.
So, what did we do while Henry was being taken care of? A lot of the time, nothing. I spent a lot of time sitting by the pool with a chilled glass of wine, just thinking about starting a book. I managed a whole book in one week! We also did lots of exploring. The beaches are beautiful and there's plenty of cultural sites that fill the island. And everything is not too far away as Lefkas is a relatively small island. We walked to the beach nearest to us which took about 10 minutes. Watching the other parents was also an amusing past time. I had tears rolling down my cheeks with laughter whilst watching one couple – yes you know who you are – leap into the pool with armbands on their ankles to see what would happen! Another couple strolling hand in hand gazing into each others eyes, maybe remembering a time before children! The transformation of the parents was quite amazing. They were nothing like those I saw at the airport when we arrived.
And finally, The Marine Adventure. You must do this trip. It is a really fun, interesting, hands on experience for everyone. And the kids will love it. You're taken on a boat (I think there were about 15 on our trip) to a number of coves and caves. We were taught to snorkel and shown some of the marine life. Then the fun starts. Whilst we're eating the crew create a marine tank on the boat, diving for octopus, sea cucumber, sea anemone, star fish, what ever they can find. This is bought onto the boat and put into the tank. Then starts the most interesting marine biology lesson I've ever had, with the crew acting out the courtship ritual of the octopus. The children on the boat were encouraged to touch and feel the different sea creatures which they loved. One the way back we sailed around Onassis island and were told all the local gossip by one of the best storytellers I've heard.
This was the first time I'd been away with Henry and put him in a crèche. And it was fantastic. All the parents agreed that having their children looked after for some time during the day meant that they had a holiday as well.