A Travel & Lifestyle Blog

A wonderful day out, in Athens

It was so tempting to start this post saying "a wonderful summer day" ,but I just realised that summer isn't officially starting for another month or so. Well, in London-terms 30C is as summery as it gets, so forgive me for making this mistake. 

Strolling around Kolonaki today, trying to avoid the sun and catch a breeze, I got the urge to buy some books. I used to eat up, rather than just read, anything that came my way; unfortunately, lately I've been so busy that I just couldn't find anything interesting enough to read. But as Paolo Coelho's new book "A manuscript found in Accra" caught my eye in a shop window, I knew this non-reading phase was over! Plus I haven't read a book in greek for a long time. There are a couple of independent bookshops on Patriarchou Ioakim Street, like BookLoft, with lovely collections and no pushy assistants.

                                          Christos Costarellos designs

It's not often that my day starts with a fitting in a designer atelier! I was even more excited that it was in my absolute favourite's  Christos Costarellos atelier. I find his romantic gowns just right for special occasions because they fit perfectly and bring a touch of elegance along with soft colours and flowing fabrics.  What's also nice is that the designer is always around, smiling, offering his personal touch and advise on all pieces.

Summer tones from Alexi Andriotti accessories
Kolonaki is the high end shopping area around Athens, yet I discovered a matchbox bijoux place, Alexi Andriotti, full of summer clutches in bright, happy colours and bangles, necklaces and scarves to match. My appetite for accessories increased exponentially as soon as the assistant said "it's all 60% off"! 
Next, two candles caught my eye in Mavriki & Co shop window. They had "Mr & Mrs" tags on them and I had to have them! This type of candles are used for Easter Service in Greece, but they can easily be used for wedding or home décor too!

Halva desert, sweetened semolina with cinnamon
Lunch in Plaka...tell us something new, right? well...with a sneak peek of the Akropolis between the old classic residences, lunching here takes you back to simpler times, when chatting with the shop owners was the way to go and lunchtime meal was the highlight of the day for the whole family. Nice break to catch up with my mum and sister over some spanakopita (spinach pie) and "kleftiko" slow-cooked lamb. 
You'd think that restaurants around here are for tourists only, well it depends where you go really. If you stay closer to Ermou & Mitropoleos Streets that neighbour the Financial and Commerce district next door, you'll see enough Athenians lunching here too. 

Winter Garden, Grand Bretagne
My wonderful day wouldn't be wonderful unless I met my good friends! I have to admit that Grand Bretagne hotel provides the perfect escape from mid-day heat. It's a touch pricier than your average coffee shop and funny enough we sat in the "winter garden" but a glass of espresso freddo, chit chat and good company certainly make the day a whole lot better!


  1. Don't know what part of me made me buy this one. In this book, Coelho tries to bring together the solutions to various aspects of our life, like enmity, hatred, love, loneliness, but he fails to dilate your pupils. He presents these ideas as answers to the questions asked by the people of Accra. Infact, had the book been full of cliches of our lives, it would have been a bit better. But Coelho went on his own way to write a "GOSPEL", when everyone knows that such things can only find utterance in one's own precarious state. Paulo Coelho is in the prime of his career, and it seems he has forgotten those philosophies that previously drew readers to his books.
    If you are in a precarious state, searching for purpose in life, do not read this book. Instead, go for self-help books, they are really better and will encourage you.
    Or you may read Coelho's other books, but mind you, this one is a disaster.

  2. Thank you Paheliyan, I admit that the last couple of books didn't measure up to Coelho's previous style. This one is probably an attempt to go back to the principles of "the manual of the warrior of light" that made him so famous. It tries to touche upon issues that concern all of us and then it's up to each reader to interpret how much soul searching they are willing to do. thanks again for the lovely insight!


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