A friend of mine proposed that we had our long due coffee rendezvous in a place called “Stolidi Ena”Café (which in Greek lit. means Ornament One) in the center of Kalamata. All he said was that the cafe is very special, quaint with friendly atmosphere and that it used to be a real household in the past. I have found the place quite easily despite of the pouring rain and the one way roads traffic so characteristic for Kalamata. Even from afar I noticed a cute neoclassical building so diverse from the surrounding tall apartment buildings. I did not plan to use my camera this time but let’s say that this beautiful house from another era and its festively decorated windows “promised a lot”. The holiday decorations were inspired by the surreal “Alice’s Adventures in the Wonderland” stories, a very fitting theme considering the holiday season and that the building was a parallel reality to its modern neighborhood surroundings. In the book Alice lives many hallucinative stories such as the Mad Tea-Party…but of course in the Greek version it would not be Tea but Coffee… hence…a Mad Coffee-Party or a Mad Frappe-Party…or Raki if we were not in a Café.I arrived early to my meeting and had a time to chitchat with the owner about the history of the place. It turned out that the house belonged to his grandmother, who was actually well remembered by the friends I was meeting as a sweet lady sitting on a low terrace and greeting them as they, then little boys, were passing by. If it was not for a tremendous earthquake which hit Kalamata in 1986 and caused extensive damage in most parts of the town, many old neoclassical houses would be still around. All the spaces in the cafe were private rooms sitting just one party with an exception of a living room with more sitting capacity.
There is a large garden belonging to the property which opens in warmer weather… It turned out it is a meeting spot for the artistic crowd of Kalamata and I bumped into many acquaintances having a cosy break in “Stolidi Ena”!