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Tom and Henry Herbert – the Fabulous Baker Brothers from Channel 4 – took their families to the Peligoni Club on the Greek island of Zakynthos for a recent holiday. But the brothers, one a baker, the other a chef and butcher, didn’t escape the kitchen completely, as Tom explains…
We had heard that the Peligoni Club, situated on the tranquil north-east coast of Zakynthos, was a bit of a carefully guarded secret among families in the know.
If you look at the club’s website you can see why – there are lots of organised activities for children.
And, as we all know, if your children are busy and happy on holiday, this means the parents can relax and enjoy themselves too.
It’s called a ‘club’ but this isn’t another Club Med or even a Mark Warner.
There is a club area, where all the activities happen, but guests stay off site in a variety of splendid villas not too far away.
The club acts as a travel agency, renting out these properties on behalf of the owners.
Booking one through the club gives you access to the club facilities – those who rent villas can eat at the club and take part in loads of sports and activities.
We liked having the split between our villa and the club.
You can enjoy all the attractions of the club during the day, but in the evening you return to your villa to enjoy another type of family activity: sharing the events of the day over a home cooked meal.
You could actually spend the whole holiday in your villa but this would miss the point of the Peligoni and its clubhouse, where there is a bar and open-air restaurant ringed by a shady veranda.
Nearby is a sitting area of rattan sofas and brightly coloured cushions under a roof of bamboo and coloured awnings.
Paths lead down between white-painted wooden platforms and sunbeds to the inky-blue sea.
An easy way to take a dip is to go beyond the bar and into the leafy grounds where there is a large pool with swim-up bar, and a tennis court.
‘The Peligoni Club is all about lifestyle,’ says the online brochure. ‘Relaxed and informal, we believe in quality service with a smile and a chat.’
And this is really how it is.
Our villa was a ten-minute drive uphill from the club.
We were about 900ft above sea level with an amazing view. We had a big infinity pool, which was a great place to laze and look out at the wonderful view.
Our villa was huge – it could sleep up to 22 – but there were only nine of us. So there was a whole section of the house that we didn’t really go in because we didn’t want to make it dirty.
However, it totally suited our holiday needs.
One of the benefits was that it had a big barbecue.
We used our super-sized grill four times, but for most of the rest of our meals we went down to the club: it made life so easy.
We found a great local market where we bought fresh fruit and vegetables. And in our garden, artichokes were growing.
We also found spinach and fresh mint and rosemary.
It smelt so good. When we barbecued, we bought lamb steaks, marinated them and grilled them off, then washed them down with lots of beer.
The kids loved the food but they loved it more down at the club because there were many other children to play with.
And we all tried out some of the watersports, including windsurfing and sailing. Learning to sail was something we’d never done before, so that was great.
The way the watersports are organised makes it very safe for children and our lot were out on the water the whole time. They absolutely adored it.
My brother and I enjoyed it so much that we’ve agreed to return for ‘September Club’ – just the two of us this time – to do some cooking demos.
And we’d all be happy to return for our main holiday next year. I can see why so many people choose to go back to the Peligoni Club every summer.