There’s nothing like being wined and dined in a beautiful setting with views of the sea in the distance. Obviously there’s the boring bits like prep and cleaning up, that’s why our team of Villa Hosts are on hand to come to your villa and look after it all. To find out more, we spoke to Starzie Brown, one of our wonderful Villa Hosts…
HOW DID YOU COME TO BE WORKING AT PELIGONI?
I did my first season at Peligoni last summer. My boyfriend has previously been a guest for a few years, and then he ended up working 2 summers ago and told me that I should apply. It didn’t take much persuasion as lots of my school friends have been in the past (sadly the one year I was supposed to go as a guest I ended up not being able to make it), and had told me all about it. I finished my second year of university last June and instead of spending my summer sitting behind a desk doing work experience in something I probably wouldn’t pursue a career in I thought that Peligoni would be the perfect way to escape from all of that, and I wasn’t wrong! I also decided at the end of last summer after Peli that I want to go on to do 9 months Chef training in London, which I start in September after this season. So having had two years of university panicking I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, Peli also discovered that for me.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE A VILLA HOST?
I have always loved cooking, and at university it can really go one way or the other with how lazy or enthusiastic you become with it, and I have always tried to be the latter. I also did a ski season 4 years ago where me and another girl were cooking in a chalet for 5 months and I guess that’s what really decided it for me. It’s the same kind of work but in the sunshine not the snow, and so I felt comfortable with what the job might entail. I also love being able to get creative with food, work alongside friends and then be able to go up to the villas in the evening and interact with the guests. I’m not very good at anything too monotonous, and I love the diversity of the job, and that’s what really appealed to me. During the day I’m often on the Club boat Odyssey hosting lunch for a family and that evening up I head up to one of the villas to cook and host supper. It’s also really fun when a family books Villa Hosting a few times during their stay because you get to know them which I think is such a special part of the job.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT A GUEST CAN EXPECT FROM A VILLA HOSTED EXPERIENCE?
We have a few different experiences. The classic experience is when we come up to your Villa in the evening and cook and serve you supper. We have a selection of menus that either have 2 or 3 courses and we also do BBQs which tend to be great if you want your evening to be a little more informal. You then let us know what time you want us and how many people we are catering for. Depending how many you are, either one or two of us will come to your villa, lay the table, get your supper ready, some of which we prepare in our Villa Host kitchen that day and then anything that needs cooking up in the villa we do when we arrive. We then serve your supper and do all your clearing and washing up, so if the guests are heading down to the club after supper they don’t need to worry about any mess either before they go. I think it’s also really great to be able to have supper in your villa without having to go to any hassle on a holiday that is meant for relaxing. My mum makes us do our own version of Come Dine With Me when we go on summer holidays in Villas so she only has to cook and clean up once…
We also host on Odyssey, mentioned before, where we do breakfast or a slightly longer trip where we serve breakfast and lunch, just lunch, or sunset canapés in the evening. It’s the same concept as hosting in a Villa but this time on a boat. It’s a lot of fun, our Skipper takes you around the Island, you can take paddle boards and go into all the caves, jump off the boat or just lie in the sun, then we give you your breakfast, or lunch, or both, whatever you’ve gone for, when you want it. Breakfast is fresh pastries, greek yogurt and honey, smoked salmon, fresh fruit, juices, tea and coffee. Lunch also caters to everyone, we usually do lots of salads, quiche, sandwiches, charcuterie boards, smoked salmon platters, fresh bread with homemade hummus and tzatziki. For sundowner canapés, we do a selection for 4 or 5 different ones with a couple of glasses of prosecco to hand for the guests too, and it’s such a nice way to spend a couple of hours before heading on to supper. I had one afternoon last year where the guests had just finished lunch and suddenly a huge school of dolphins appeared in front of the boat which was a pretty special moment for everyone.
As well as this we do breakfast hampers which are sent up to your villa in the morning unhosted and left for you, or if you prefer it hosted one of us will come up and cook. We also do lunch hampers which are similar to the lunches we do on Odyssey. For any special occasions such as birthdays, anniversary’s etc. during your stay we also make cakes in all shapes, flavours and sizes, which can be delivered to your Villa or you can have in the club.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WORKING AT PELIGONI?
Where do I start?! You can’t beat the setting. The island is beautiful, the sun is always shining and you don’t have to worry about another ‘English Summer’ where you live for the one week the forecast is better than 18 degrees. The friends you make are amazing and there’s a great group of us going back from last year, which makes it even more exciting. When we aren’t working we get to use the club facilities, and the evenings in the club are always a lot of fun, open-mic night being a personal favourite, although you will never see me with the microphone as singing is not my strong point! On our days off we tend to jump in a day off car and go and explore the island or collapse in the sun on a beach.
TELL US YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE AT PELIGONI?
On my first weekend last season we had a huge event at Peli. I didn’t know many people and I was pretty nervous. I was up in Figari preparing canapés with the other hosts where drinks where happening before the guests had dinner in a marquee back at the club. Then one of the most unbelievably thunderstorms I have, and probably will ever encounter hit the island. In true Peli style though everything carried on. When we got back to the club to help out with dinner, it was still in full force, I hardly knew any of the staff and anyone I did know I couldn’t see through the sheet rain anyway! It was one of those moments where we all just went for it and it was such a fun evening. Luckily the rain subsided the next day but it was a pretty immense 12 hours and definitely memorable.
WHAT IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST-DO AT PELIGONI?
Make the most of all the trips that are on offer. I would say the Shipwreck trip is one of the biggest must-do’s, you can’t really explain how beautiful it is until you see it. Get out on the water too, I regret how little I did last year and have promised myself this year to get more water-skiing in, especially as the sea is warm. I used to water-ski in Cornwall where I had to get pushed off the boat by my sister because there was no other way of getting me in because it’s so freezing. And in the evenings make the most of the nights the club put on.
If you would like to book villa hosting or hampers during your trip, head to our guest hub and fill out the request form.