Zoned Out – Zonars – a legend lost

While learning Greek, about a million years ago, my rather innovative teacher, Dimitris, ditched the standard translation texts – they were dreadfully turgid – and instead he gave me chunks of fiction to render into my faltering Greek. Usually they were excerpts from Agatha Christie ‘whodunnits’ – I blame Dimitri for my ongoing obsession with…

Market Madness and ‘The Greek Kitchen’

There is something about a market that draws me like the proverbial bee to the honeypot- no matter where, the mere glimpse of fresh produce on a trestle table and I am totally ensnared. Of course, some markets are more memorable than others. High up on the list is Barcelona’s  La Boqueria, with its incredible…

Athens in autumn – with a souvláki on the side

Autumn in Greece arrives surreptitiously – it creeps stealthily through September and most of October with such a gradual readjustment of temperature and sunlight that summer feels almost endless. Spending this time in the southern Aegean we have been truly spoilt – swimming in warm seas well into the second week of this month – but…

Myths and More -and a bit of kolokithópita

For someone who is an extreme Philhellene, I have a confession to make. Don’t worry – I’m not about to admit to a deep dislike of sapphire seas and sunlit vistas. I am not going to ‘fess up to an antipathy to the fruits of the olive tree or, an abhorrence of the aubergine. The…

Food Fights Back (and a bit more meráki)

When you think about the reasons why Greece, and particularly Athens, have been in the press over the last few years, Oscar Wilde’s well-known maxim may not be the first thing that springs to mind. Famously he said ‘There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not…

Athenian shopping obsession – Evripidou Street

Migrating birds definitely know a thing or two. Having spent the last few months in Athens, I can confirm that going South for the winter is the sweetest way to spend the darkest months. Obviously, we have not gone as far as Africa, but the weather has been kinder and the days, even in December,…

11/11/15 – A Corner of a Foreign Field.

    Traveling along the Kalamaki – Phaleron stretch of the coastal highway in suburban   Athens is a bit of a mixed bag. The traffic at this part is frenetic, but the endless vista of the glistening Aegean sea all along this road is glorious. The beachside is peppered with cafés and bars and…

November Salad Days – Horiátiki Saláta Greek Salad

  In much the same way as last year, November has found us in Athens again. After a few days of dappled, grey skies, the weather has reverted to type – the sky the deep azure of the Aegean, with a warmth reminiscent of late spring rather than early winter. Feeling blessed by this winter…

Benaki Museum Eats – Black Eye Beans with Chard

It is probably true to say that eating in museum or gallery cafés is, on the whole, a disappointment. At best, it can be glorified canteen food and at worst, it can be really bad canteen food. Things have improved in recent years, but it is hard to produce fresh, interesting food on that kind…