New Greek food at Athens’ oldest restaurant

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 toContinue reading “New Greek food at Athens’ oldest restaurant”

Hot chocolate in Athens at Le Petite 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 pillarContinue reading “Hot chocolate in Athens at Le Petite Fleur”

Wild about cooking mushrooms in Barcelona

Each autumn and winter beautifully varied fungi are available in abundance in Barcelona. I see them in shops and at the fresh produce markets – Mercat de l’Abaceria Central, at Travessera de Gràcia 186, and La Boqueria Market downtown at Las Ramblas. Foraging for wild mushrooms is an age-old tradition in Catalonia. Once you taste them, you’ll neverContinue reading “Wild about cooking mushrooms in Barcelona”

Devour 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 andContinue reading “Devour Barcelona”

My iPhone’s solo globe-trotting adventure

Departing Greece bound for Australia, I left my iPhone in a friend’s car when I was dropped off at the airport. I went into a clammy iPhoneless panic. As you do when you and your mobile are inseparable travelling companions (pictured above enjoying freddo cappuccino together on Mykonos) and suddenly realise you’ve lost each other.Continue reading “My iPhone’s solo globe-trotting adventure”

The Art of Traditional Italian

The Art of Traditional Italian Rich with culinary wisdom Deliciously designed Packed with perfect recipes WHAT:  In The Art of Traditional Italian, Lucio Galletto celebrates La Cucina Italiana: the flavours, history and techniques of Italian cuisine, perfected over centuries. I like deconstructed updated cuisines as much as anybody, but when tradition is already perfect, why messContinue reading “The Art of Traditional Italian”

To Kati Allo homestyle Greek fare

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 andContinue reading “To Kati Allo homestyle Greek fare”

I’m an Athenian

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 visitorsContinue reading “I’m an Athenian”

Magic of Alexi the bouzouki player

In a tiny mountain village north of Athens in the middle of nowhere special is the heart and soul of Greece. It doesn’t cost the earth, and the experience is priceless. A cool, fickle breeze sends autumn leaves tumbling down the road on a Saturday night. A dog howls. Surrounding hillsides are hushed and dark.Continue reading “Magic of Alexi the bouzouki player”

Dining Out in Paris by Tom Reeves

Dining Out in Paris by Tom Reeves is the book you need before you arrive in the City of Light. A little reading up before you go is always a good idea, but this guide is different. Francophile and blogger Tom has stepped outside the square to find a list of eateries your bog standardContinue reading “Dining Out in Paris by Tom Reeves”