Astir Palace: The end of an era

A ripple of excitement swept through the calm as Brigitte Bardot stepped onto the beach wearing a tiny bikini, high-heeled sandals and an enormous sun hat.

Statesman Constantine Karamanlis had a favorite cabana and in the evenings would order a whisky followed by a meal of one boiled egg, a plate of steamed zucchini and grilled fish.

Socialist leader Andreas Papandreou preferred lighter dishes that could be prepared quickly, and screen icon Melina Mercouri had a fondness for fresh apple with caramelized almonds and mastic-flavored ice cream.

Frank Sinatra breakfasted on Egyptian pistachios and coconut milk and one night had to sneak out the back to avoid a throng of paparazzi at the entrance.

Shipping magnate Yiannis Latsis liked to handpick the tomatoes that would go into his salad and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat took home the recipe for eggplant dip.

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