Taverna by the Sea

One Greek Island Summer

by Jennifer Barclay 

The Taverna by the Sea – an enchanting travel memoir about a once-in-a-lifetime experience of running a Greek beach taverna for an event-filled summer. From a best-selling writer, this rare account of life on the rugged Aegean island of Karpathos is a light, engaging and amusing read, infused with messages about trusting instincts and taking risks.

Published:  02nd Sep 2022
Size:  130 X 198 mm
Edition:  1
Number of pages:  224
Format AvailableQuantityPrice
ISBN: 9781784779481
In stock
£9.99 £8.99
eBook (ePUB)
ISBN: 9781804690925
£4.99 £4.49

About this book

The Taverna by the Sea is an enchanting, funny, poignant travel memoir about answering the call of adventure by taking on the challenge of running a Greek beach taverna. During a walking holiday on the island of Karpathos, a chance encounter with a Greek-American hotel owner results in a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Jennifer Barclay. The best-selling travel writer and long-term resident of Greece drops everything, returning with dog and tent to the remote bay that will form her home for one hectic, event-filled summer.
This book offers a rare account of life in north Karpathos in the South Aegean, famous for its traditional community and dramatic, rugged landscape. While primarily a light, engaging, amusing read full of anecdotes, one-liners, twists and turns – perfect for summer – Barclay’s fourth book about life in Greece also conveys the life-affirming importance of trusting one’s instincts, taking risks and grasping opportunities.
Wake with Jennifer to experience a summer of pink dawns over the olive grove and an empty bay, and swim with her in moonlight, hearing only the waves. Or help yourself to local cuisine – creamy yoghurt and local honey and warm figs, olive oil and rosemary, freshly baked bread, and wine on tap.
Alongside a cast of characters from farmers to fishermen, mad guests and a wicked witch, meet Minas the hotel owner, a creative, unconventional Greek-American with the ability to fix anything mechanical and create money out of thin air with food, plus a penchant for drinking, singing and falling asleep. Experience days full of music, days of no running water, and days with a goat tied to a tree – but also nights when the overworked taverna manager awoke convinced there was a large fish in the tent, and customers outside waiting to be served.
In The Taverna by the Sea, Barclay reveals what happens behind the scenes of an apparently blissful, peaceful paradise, capturing both the magic and the difficulties of island life. Underpinning an entertaining read for lovers of Greece and its cuisine is an inspiring call to live life to the full – and even escape the rat race.

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About the Author

When Jennifer Barclay was a baby, her mum left her in the pram with the shopping and returned to find her eating a raw potato, which probably says a lot about her: impatient, impulsive, hungry. After graduating from Oxford, Jennifer moved to Greece in 1992, cleaning hotel rooms in Santorini while wearing a swimsuit. She then worked in Canada and France, and back in the UK, before returning to live in Greece in 2011, where she helped in a beach cantina run by her fisherman-boyfriend before spending an intoxicating summer at the taverna by the sea. The British travel writer has written about food and travel in her books (Meeting Mr Kim, Falling in Honey, An Octopus in my Ouzo, Wild Abandon and A Literary Feast) plus many major newspapers and in-flight magazines, has eaten noodles on Korean television and discussed kimchi with comedian Sandi Toksvig on BBC Radio 4.


“A feel-good book to put you instantly in the holiday mood” – Irini Tzortzoglou, MasterChef champion 2019 and author of Under the Olive Tree

“Full of enthusiastic, vivid descriptions of the landscape, tender reminiscences of people. a love letter to the Greek summer” – Kathimerini, Greece

“This book has changed forever how I see the tavernas by the sea that we so often visit (and love) while in Greece” –

Additional Information

Table of Contents

The Hotel on the Mountain
The Taverna at the Beach
Open for Business
Lunch and Live Music
New Arrivals
Speedy George
End of the Season
After the Summer

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