Home stay or hotel?

airbnb

Airbnb and other home stay companies allow travellers to stay in frugal or fantastic accommodation all over the world. The concept opens up destinations to people who couldn’t otherwise afford it (yes, that’s me), and to people who want to engage with communities and cultures at a grassroots level. Is that you? The idea of […]

Taste the Cotswolds

Cotswold Tourism Tours

Enterprising Cotswolds residents Becky and Robin Simpson have taken the quaint villages tour one step further. They invite travellers into their historic, thatched cottage home to eat the best of quintessential English food this region has to offer. I met the couple on Twitter, we got chatting, and I was intrigued about their venture which […]

No way to beat the crowds at Parc Güell

Parc Guell

Barcelona’s marvel Parc Güell is one of the most over-loved cultural spaces on the planet. It could do with a million less visitors per year. Get there pronto first thing in the morning to minimise your crowd crushing experience. If you haven’t bought your ticket in advance, you can expect to wait in line for two […]

Syros scrambled eggs and salad recipes

Syros scrambled eggs and salad recipes

Staying or living on a Greek island means al fresco dining, any time of day, in all seasons except when it’s really wintry. Here’s my Syros scrambled eggs and salad recipes made simply using fresh, local ingredients and whatever we could find in the fridge for brunch. We did pop out to get fresh bread […]

New Greek food at Athens’ oldest restaurant

Mille feuille

WHAT: Vassilenas claims to be Athens’ oldest restaurant opening its doors in 1920 and introducing a degustation menu as early as 1928. Serving traditional Greek food, seafood and no meat, it comprised only three tables in 1920, owned by Istanbul-born Thanasis Vassilenas. It quickly morphed into an established taverna. Among the rich and famous to […]

Devour Barcelona

Pickled peppers, Gracia, Barcelona

If you want to get to know the real Barcelona, then you must come to Gràcia and eat. I’m staying two minutes from this lovely square (pictured above) in the area, where sunlight is dappled on a cold morning. Terracotta, russet and greens dominate the late autumn palette. People linger at cafes over coffee and […]

I’m an Athenian

Athens towards Lycabettos

I’m an Athenian. I first came here in 1980. No other city has ever challenged me so much. It’s richly cultural yet abrasive and tumultuous. I’ve had my fair share of love-hate with the ancient Greek capital. My Athenian-born children spent most of their childhoods in Australia. But I keep coming back. So do they. Many visitors […]

Trash ‘n treasure at Athens Flea Market

Athens Flea Market

Welcome to the Athens Flea Market where ancient, Byzantine and modern glories are all packed into one gloriously overcrowded mishmash. The entrance is on Monastiraki Square, opposite the Tzistarakis Mosque, built in 1759, which now houses the Kyriazopoulos  pottery collection. You might want to start with a freddo cappuccino and get some fruit to snack […]

Amazing island of Andros

Gavrion on Andros

Andros is a Greek island that blossoms in winter, spring and autumn. In winter it’s green, in spring it’s smothered in wildflowers. In summer it tends to get bashed about a bit by the fickle Meltemi winds sweeping the Cyclades. When there’s no wind, it’s damn hot. Another sweltering rock in the Aegean. By summer’s […]