Jan 23, 2018
After designing footwear for Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton, Christina Martini co-founded Ancient Greek Sandals. Each collection is inspired by Greek artefacts and mythology, and the isle that’s her home. Here she recommends the best buys on the island.
Salty Bag accessories
Salty Bag’s hardy totes, handbags and luggage items made from upcycled yacht sails say “holiday” louder than any seagull. No two are alike and you can even commission something from your own sail.
Spirit of Olive wood kitchen utensils
It’s been claimed there are 20 olive trees for every person on Corfu and a walk through the Old Town reveals plenty of artisans peddling olive wood objects. Martini likes the cutting boards, games, and serving spoons and forks at Spirit of Olive Wood on Filellinon Street.
Maska Handmade leather goods
Martini says Corfu has abundant leather workshops, “like almost every island in Greece”. She likes the raw-edge messenger bags, backpacks and sandals at Maska Leather in the Old Town.
Dr Kavvadia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Martini’s partner, Apostolos Porsanidis Kavvadias, uses techniques devised by his late surgeon grandfather, as well as his olive grove, to produce organic olive oil. In this collaboration with Kamarela convent, near the village of Agioi Douloi, the nuns press the hand-picked fruit and bottle the oil.
Patounis olive oil soaps
Patounis soaps are handmade using recipes and techniques handed down through the family since 1850. The shop, a heritage site on Ioannou Theotoki Street, is “absolutely beautiful”, says Martini. “The owner can guide you through the soap-making process at his laboratory out the back.”
Traditional Corfiot treats from Papagiorgis
The Papagiorgis pâtisserie has been operating since 1924, making products such as cumquat sweets and mantoles, which are neatly boxed for travellers.
Myrto Zirini ceramics
Myrto Zirini is an Athens-born, London-trained architect who has made Corfu her home. She creates what Martini describes as “pebble-shaped” ceramics, glazed inside with the colours of the coast.