Though it’s not known for its sensational night life and those famous beaches are at least an hour drive away, if you’re in love and want to be somewhere that embraces the romantic things of life, one thing is for sure about this West Coastal, Cretan village…
Rethymno is for lovers.
The ambiance of the entire town is romantic in every sense of the word. And if we’re talking about dinner dates… I can tell you which places represent that eclectic romance best.
An Intimate Venetian Nook…
I came here with a girlfriend of mine I met at the hostel a week before Alex came, and could not wait to take him the moment he arrived. Though it’s also great for a quiet girls night out, with the thick vinery draping the walls of a petite sized dining room, inside an open-roofed, old, Venetian house, it’s easy to say that Castelo is best saved for a night out with that special someone.
Our waiter told us that historically, the house was a gift from a high ranking Turkish official to his wife, the love of his life. Though I have no idea if that’s true or not… the romance definitely still lingers.
Food wise—I had one of those meals you wake up craving at two in the morning wishing they delivered with Uber Eats. It was a “chef’s favorite” grilled chicken in a creamy balsamic sauce with a potato puree. Honestly, I don’t have the greatest memory but this was one of the rare meals I remembered.
A Blooming Courtyard…
This gastronomical acclaimed restaurant is the star PTA mom of all Old Town dining. At least when it comes to hosting cooking lessons, wine tastings, offering luxurious, lounge apartments and historic old town tours.
So needless to say, their Cretan fusion menu is quite the experience…
We went at an odd hour on a quiet, hot late-afternoon. Dining on a terrace, directly above a small private cooking lesson, while a young girl and her grandparents learned to craft together traditional dakos and gemista. The courtyard is entirely homey, bursting with the colors of a Cretan summer, as hot-pink bougainvillea flowers droop lazily over every corner.
It’s beautiful to go during the day, so as to see the lively colors of the garden and Avli’s creative cuisine in full sunshine.
So grab your love and enjoy lunch at this well-known courtyard eatery.
A Darling Hideaway…
Besides having an unbelievable, 4-star boutique hotel, the Veneto mansion has courtyard dining that will leave you savoring more than just the food. Alex and I came here, unfortunately, only able to savor a quick dinner before he had to rush off to work. But I can not stress enough… this is no place to be rushed. We had to peel ourselves away!
It’s endearing and warm, while still holding that exquisite quality that gives date night that special sparkle of feeling like a well, date night.
We didn’t try too much of the menu, unfortunately, but what we had was delicious. If I could transport home any European charms from my travels, Veneto would be on the list of experiences I would love to have again and again.
So to all my couples…
Infuse yourself with all of Rethymno’s romance! There is so much of it to experience. As for the next post… I’ll be talking to all my organic junkies! My experience at Vanity Fair’s acclaimed “Best Organic Farm in The World”. Just a 15 min drive from Rethymno.