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 […]

Hot chocolate in Athens at Le Petite Fleur

Le Petit Fleur

A day without chocolate is a day without sunshine Wintery weather in Athens demands hot chocolate on a Sunday. But not any old hot chocolate will do. We’re at the elegant Le Petite Fleur in the upper crust suburb of Kifissia. The tiny interior is pink, white and pastel girly chic, with splashes of pillar […]

To Kati Allo homestyle Greek fare

Horiatiki salata at To Kati Allo

In a narrow street directly behind the state-of-the-art Acropolis Museum, Leonidas and Ioanna have been serving traditional food to Athenians and visitors at To Kati Allo restaurant for over 30 years. Oven-baked peppers stuffed with rice, spit-roasted lamb, robust fish soups, hearty moussaka, salads, baked chicken with lemony potatoes. Comfort food that Greeks love 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 […]

Best autumn beaches in Greece

Small cove at Varkiza copy

Greek summer is done but autumn’s divine. Come on in, the water’s fine! Many Greeks stop swimming in September. You’re more likely to see peeps in their 20s or 30s, or older and retired Greeks – the type who swim for their health until it’s really too cold (and occasionally old dudes with that creepy […]

Driving me crazy in Athens

Athens traffic 2

This is a view of Athens in autumn from the Acropolis, looking towards the cone shaped mountain of Lycabettos with the city centre crammed, rather than sprawled, beneath the two pinnacles. How beautiful, you say. The Greek capital in all its Hellenistic glory. Stately neoclassical buildings with red-tiled roofs, autumn sun glinting off white buildings […]

What are the hardest languages to learn?

Acropolis

I was shopping for veges at an Athens urban produce market and in my dodgy Greek I asked for a hot dude, not a lettuce.  If you’re travelling through a foreign language country, or spending some time living there, do you learn the language, at least some useful phrases? Or do you assume English will […]

Best and worst liveable cities

Melbourne 1

One of the joys of travelling is finding an exciting new city where you’d like to put down roots for a while. If you’re looking for a criteria, this will help. The latest results of the  2014 Economist Intelligence Unit Liveable Cities survey rank the best and worst liveable cities with Damascus at the bottom […]