Southsea Lifestyle – Free Magazine for Southsea, Old Portsmouth, Eastney & Gunwharf Quays

Passion for Greece

Words by Daniel Nowland

I’m writing this feature at a time when some little teasers of spring are in the air, and hopefully we’ve seen the back of what’s felt like a very long, cold winter. It’s funny how in the early spring, those little spells of sunshine feel so special and a cup of tea on a bench in the garden can feel euphoric.

This spring, I am lucky enough to be taking a short holiday in Greece. It is a country that holds a special place in my heart. My grandparents retired there in the 80’s and I’ve enjoyed frequent holidays there ever since, thanks to our small family home in the Peloponnese. This region is a little known gem, as it is part of mainland Greece, but looks and feels like one big Greek Island. As it’s off the main tourist map, it is sparsely populated, quiet all year, and cheap to visit.


Passion for Greece



It was during these frequent trips as a child that I developed a real passion for Greek food, which has stayed with me ever since. Visitors to my deli often ask why we have so many Greek items in the store, and the answer is simply “because I love them”.

In the deli we sell stuffed vine leaves, traditional spinach pies known as “spanakopita”, and our most popular cake is our Greek orange cake, known as “portokalopita”, a recipe perfected by my mum during her time working with me. We even sell Greek beers — which taste best when drunk on sunny days.

Greek food is often underrated, as countries such as Italy and Spain have been better at promoting their national dishes to the Brits. Traditional Greek cooking will vary depending on the region and the season. In the Peloponnese you will find a lot of local lamb and goat on Taverna menus, as the rocky mountainous terrain favours these nimble animals. Beef cattle are nowhere to be seen in the region, as these animals need flatter land, as found in the north. Of course, being surrounded by the sea, the fish is incredibly fresh, and often the octopus would have been caught the same day.

My favourite dishes include various salads (usually piled high with feta), simple boiled vegetables drowned in the freshest olive oil and lemon juice, and aromatic meat stews cooked with tomato, bay, oregano, and plenty of red wine. The food is simple, made brilliant by the freshness of the vegetables and the abundance of extra virgin olive oil.



It can be difficult to re-create this experience back home in Southsea, but I regularly give it a good go at our Greek supper clubs. Every alternate supper club I host is Greek in theme, as it is my primary passion. These are a great opportunity for me to share my passion for the style of cooking and hospitality, and also introduce guests to some surprisingly good Greek wines!

For more information on our supper clubs, and workshops (including Greek souvlaki!), head to

Posted in: Articles, Food & Drink