Monday, 21 December 2009

Festivities well on their way in Athens


Image via In your pocket Athens

Sunday was total chaos in the centre of Athens, with shoppers picking up last minute gifts for their friends, family and of course, themselves. Once a year Athens retails on a Sunday like the UK (every Sunday though) near X mas time.
As we came out Monistiraki metro, there were DJ's lined up pumping out some phat sounds and tourists drifting along with the crowds towards food (it all smelt so good) and Ermou street. I'd never seen Athens so packed! Probably wasn't the best idea, but we headed up Ermou for a spot of shopping and got caught in the heaving crowds with their super shopping bags. Every shop we went into was hot, crammed pack full of people and the tills had endless queues. It was actually quite organised of me (for the first time ever) to get all my X mas shopping done via the net (asos.com, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop, Kurt Geiger, Abercrombie & Fitch, Play.com, Amazon to name a few) and to have a helpful sibling currently State side to help with the odd bit, so that was a relief!

There's a lot going on in Athens this Christmas, the big ole tree is already up in Syntagma Square, looking every inch the perfect, brightly lit x-mas tree and with the odd individual dressed as Santa, Reindeers and Elves... The Zappeion and the National Gardens are to be transformed into a Christmas Fairytale with a Carousel and a spectacle dome, we didn't have time to check it out yet, but i'm sure it'll be a festive wonderland... Yup, Christmas brings out the inner child for sure... It's going to be magic!
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Monday, 7 December 2009

Swallowing London

Cor blimey, that week went fast. I managed to see what the fuss was about in 2 of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Saga... good read indeed, just haven't seen the movies yet, I just don't particularly want to be let down either by a movie if the book is good.

Anyhoos, what did I see, do and eat in such a short space of time?
Jom Makan 5-7 Pall Mall East 020 7925 2402 for a bite of Malaysian
Breakfast At Tiffany's - Anna Friel did a pretty good job of Holly Golightly at the Haymarket theatre, but there wasn't enough of Audrey's quirkiness. I'm still wondering why there was any need to get naked - that applies to both Joseph Cross role as William 'Fred' Parsons and also Anna - what was the reason for getting buck naked eh?
Pho at Westfield - Shepherd's Bush/White city. Nothing was going to come between me and my beer Lao - haven't tried it? Well it's the best darn beer i ever tasted, for real! Oh this is a speciality Vietnamese restaurant with authentic tasting dishes/noodles/pho etc
Dim T - Dim sum in a nutshell. Great little chain (went to the Charlotte st branch by Goodge st tube), I'd rate this over Ping Pong and the cocktails were good, but my love still lies with Yauatcha.
Bloww - 4 Regent Place - the only place to get your hair cut, coloured, styled, whatever! My Nick has been doing my hair for yonks and it always looks fabulous!
Bincho Yakitori - 16 Old Compton st. Amazing Japanese restaurant with a million varieties of Sake - i stuck to the hot stuff and enjoyed some seriously delicious Yakitori skewers of grilled seafood, meats and traditional dishes. The staff were really friendly helping us pick out some food and yup you can get overstuffed from Japanese snacking.
Annies - 162 Thames Rd, W4 - near Kew bridge. I was there for one of my oldest pals birthday celebration and we had a bloody good time. My friends couldn't have said it better, the circle of friends was complete. This was a great place for food, great service and lots of people getting together, with an offering of vegetarian/vegan dishes too. What else was brilliant? My other mate had a Black cab as her car giving the drunken ones a ride- love it!
China Boulevard on the River - No. 1 The Boulevard, Smuggler's Way, SW18. I needed another hit of Dim Sum and this was where my mate summoned us to. We ordered way too much, but managed to eat almost everything in sight. Oh Dim Sum how much i've missed you.
Pizza Express - Can't go wrong with this chain for Pizza's. Actually I seem to remember choosing the Greek St location for convenience for everyone who was dropping by. Also at this point i'd spent a hideous amount of money dining out, so thanks to their 2 for 1 offer, this was most certainly the most ideal & budget friendly place to eat.

I think that rounds of a rather large amount of dining out action. Now back to cooking and preparing the Greek X mas goodies.
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Thursday, 26 November 2009

Breakfast At Tiffany's

I can barely contain my excitement, as i'll be making a trip to the Haymarket Theatre this weekend to see Anna Friel in Breakfast at Tiffany's. By far one of my favourite movie of all times, so we'll if this lives up to all the rave reviews.

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Eating London

Yup, that's what i'll be doing for the next 7 days... Some of the places i'll be stopping at include the following inexpensive but stylish settings:

Noodles
48 Dean Street
W1D 5BF

Nove - Italian
8A Sackville Street
W1S 3DF

Dehesa - Charcuterie & Tapas Bar
25 Ganton Street
Soho

Melati - Indonesian & Malaysian
30-31 Peter Street
Soho

Well all i can say is yum yum yum.
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Thursday, 19 November 2009

Cashmere hot tip

Whilst sorting out stuff for the cake shop & having some odd tv show in the background I overheard the best solution for preventing moths & their little critter of eggs ruining your cashmere... First, they hate Cedar - so spray some oil onto a piece of kitchen towel (or equivalent) and pierce a little hole so that it pops over your hanger, and hang one pieces on every 5/6 hangers which should keep those little buggers away.
If your wardrobe is rammed like sardines full of wool, cashmere etc... it's more than likely that your cashmere has moth eggs - yuck-o-rama!
How to get rid???

Chuck your cashmere into a frozen zip lock/see through plastic bag - make sure it's sealed and place in your freezer, yup FREEZER over night. This will kill the eggs for sure.
BTW the eggs are so tiny, they're not visible to the eye...
So there you have it!

Victoria Beckham's Carmontelle Cashmere pencil dress @ StyleFinder & Net-a-Porter
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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Fabulous Show - Anna Vissi

So, I want to know what the hoo-ha is about this The FABULOUS Show, starring one Anna Vissi (ΑΝΝΑ ΒΙΣΣΗ). Don't know enough about the lady, but do know that she is definitely one of the biggest and most successful artist in Greece & who knows where else. I have to admit, I don't know enormous amounts about the music people here, but I will say that (from what i've seen so far) she is the only one that truly stands out as a professional, talented-as in she can sing (live!), probably writes her own music too and dance as an artist. Yup, that too and she's far more imaginative/creative than her peers. She's like the Madonna of Greece.


Image via Gossiptv.gr
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Friday, 13 November 2009

Super cool stylist: Kirsty Drury


For those who don't know this face, this is Kirsty Drury stylist to the stars who is fast gaining a brilliant reputation in the styling world. Having recently teamed up with Wonderbra, check out the OSOYOU interview below for all you need about the seasons new trend, Gok Wan and more!

OSOYOU interview

Stylist to the likes of Kylie Minogue, Claudia Schiffer and Cat Deeley, Kirsty Drury knows just about all there is to know when it comes to fashion. And just before she jetted off for a 10 day shoot in Cape Town, we managed to catch up with her to pick her brain on what’s hot this season, her favourite designers and all importantly, who she'd love to get her hands on next!

As Kylie Minogue’s stylist, you must have got to know her pretty well. Is she as sweet as she comes across?

"I have styled Kylie and she is wonderful. She has her own fantastic sense of style, but enjoys listening to a stylist's ideas too."

Who’s been your favourite celebrity to work with?

"Gok Wan. I'm the Fashion Producer of the Channel 4 series Gok's Fashion Fix. He is hilarious and his sharp tongue and quick-witted retorts have me crying with laughter. He has a great eye when it comes to styling."

Is there anyone in particular you’d love to get your hands and re-style?

"Angelina Jolie. I want to get her out of those sombre dresses and dreary colours she's recently taken to wearing."

Do you have a style icon?

"At the moment I'm into Betty Draper and Joan Holloway in Mad Men. Or Grace Jones."

As a stylist to the stars, you must get loads of freebies, what’s the best thing you’ve ever received?

"Jean Paul Gaultier gave me a pair of made to measure gold sequined trousers."

Where do you love to shop?

"Oxfam on Wesbourne Grove, Topshop at Oxford Circus, TKMaxx early mornings, Rellick on Golbourne Road."

What are your top 3 style tips for the new season?

"A strapless dress worn with long gloves and a dusting of gold glitter across the collar bone and shoulders. Black sheer tights, with a tiny spot print if you're daring, are the new opaques. Wear them with party dresses for a glam eighties vibe. Black glossy ankle boots with a cone heel will update any outfit."

Have you ever made a fashion faux pas? If so, what was it?

"In the late 80's tights didn't have so much lycra in them and tended to sag between the legs so girls would wear a pair of knickers over the top of their tights. This particular night all I had left in my pants drawer was a pair of huge white knickers, which I wore over my thick black tights and under a long black knitted skirt. The boy I really fancied thought it would be funny to lift my skirt up over my head as I was stood with a big group of people under a streetlamp and my fashion faux pas glowed big, bright and white and everyone just laughed and laughed at me. I never lived it down."

What’s in your handbag right now?

"I've just arrived in Cape Town for a ten-day shoot so my bag is stuffed from the overnight flight. In it is my Gucci sunglasses, Topshop pink fluffy socks, Korres lipgloss, yoghurt raisins, The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer."

Finally, what are your 3 can’t-live-withouts this season

"A Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless bra is perfect for under all those strapless dresses. It's so sexy it can even been worn on it's own with a high waisted pencil skirt or trousers for that underwear as outerwear look that is so now. Long leather gloves to go with 3/4 sleeved coats. Over the knee boots to wear with mini dresses or hotpants and tights."

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Thursday, 12 November 2009

Thieving so & so's

Today I experienced something that i thought would never happen to me, only because i've usually got my wits with me and am very careful.

But today, there were 2 young teenage boys who were hungry and poor, so i offered them food (from the cake shop), and what did they do? Well one distracted me with their rather excellent thieving skills and the other stole my mobile phone. So I guess all i have to say is what comes around goes around, karma works in a very peculiar way.
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Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Steak House night: Oro Toro


Hangovers are so bad I can barely type this. A bloody Mary is what I need right now to sweat out whatever it was I consumed. I love meat, which helps considering I'm based in Greece now and dinner here is usually meat, cheese and wine. Although having said that I do prefer that option at least once a week and the majority of the time, food with high water content is consumed on a more regular basis - much healthier too.

So for all you meat lovers, this is the place for you - Oro Toro, an amazing Steak House with a great vibe, fantastic food and service. They have 2/3 restaurants in Athens but the word is on the street, is that they're expanding fast with perhaps another 3 or 4 more restaurants lined up.

What's so good about this place? Well, the way the meat is cooked for a start. The owners were really taken by the grilling techniques of the Parillas in Buenos Aires. Yup this is like an Argentinian Steak House with excellent meat. We tried the Cowboy steak and also a fusion dish with rib eye steak and chilli & lime prawns. I don't know much about Steaks and Steak Houses, but I enjoyed the experience and the food and a French bottle of Chateau Neuf Du Pape - one of my faves...

I've been to a few Argentinian Steak Houses dotted around London such as the Gaucho Grill (impeccable service too), La Pampa Grill in Clapham & Santa Maria Del Sur - where the food is practically cooked in front of you - mouthwatering stuff especially when you're hungry. Want to check out more info on Steak Houses in London, UK? The Steak Club blog are in search of the best Steak in London ever, with full on reviews based on 6 key things (Steak, Venue, Menu, Wine, Waitress & Value) in which they rate out of 10 (except for the steak which is rated out of 10 then x5). Anyhow, let's hope they find this heavenly Steak House.
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Monday, 9 November 2009

Monday, 2 November 2009

Monday Morning Lust


Oh man, I love this dress, the shoes and a bit of feather. Nuff said.



ASOS plum organza crini dress £100

ASOS bubble suede studded ankle strap boots £95


ASOS black feathered cape £38
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Saturday, 31 October 2009

UK's Best Young Stylist search!

I have to say, this is a brilliant opportunity for young fashion folks alike. Nintendo have teamed up with UK value fashion retailer New Look to find the UK's Best Young Stylist in association of the launch of their new game Style Boutique. This is the opportunity for someone who has an eye for fashion, oozes style and has fashion running in their bloodstream to style their very own New Look fashion show.
This competition ends 19.11.09 and you can enter as often as you like, submitting outfits and a detailed description for the look you have chosen.

For more information get clicking here.

images via Ninetendo STYLE BOUTIQUE
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Sunday, 25 October 2009

Tips for coping when making a big fat move to Athens


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Recently I came across David Leibovitz top tips for coping with living in Paris as a newcomer and living in a foreign country, I must admit I pretty much concur with everything he mentioned... Paris je t'aime!

So what have been my coping mechanisms for making my big fat Greek move and adjusting to Greek life? Hmmm, this list is likely to expand into some mega list.

I don't have any top tips, but it sure takes a while to get accustomed to living in Athens. I arrived in Greece only knowing the basic Greek language, appalling really, but it is a darn hard language to grasp. -Unlike French or German, which you're taught at school (in Britain) from the age of 12.
I can at least communicate fluently to an extent now (I am fully aware that I will never be completely fluent though) and have taught myself to read the Greek language, but occasionally I pronounce things incorrectly and its hilarious to see the reaction I get from others. One incident I recall was at a restaurant, I asked the waiter if I could order a salad of boys (as opposed to a cucumber salad), you should have seen the look on both the waiter and my boyfriends face - quality!
So, here we go:
  • The lingo. Try to learn a a little more of Greek language other than, 'hello, how are you?, thank you, no, yes, please'. Greek is an incredibly rich language and just like the father of the bride in 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding', I can honestly say that there are so many elements of vocabulary we use that derives from the Greek language. Anyhow, the effort of trying is very much appreciated over here. The Greeks are very friendly & accommodating - yes a passer-by will even try to help you park into your space, if there's not much room.
  • *UPDATE* Getting lost in translation is all about diving into the deep end and going for it. 3 years on, i'll admit that butchering the Greek language whilst gallivanting around Greece is still my speciality. I am a pro at fudging even the simplest words which result in weird looks and also not understanding words used in particular contexts. I did do a secret victory dance in my head when the ladies at my local delicatessen said I spoke very good conversational Greek for someone who has only been in Greece for such a short time.
  • Don't rush, stress or fret! Everyone is so laid back here. There's even a saying 'Avrio' - tomorrow or 'tha thoume' - we will see, this was the response I got from a lot of people, so get used to it. Plus 'cigar cigar', at first I thought Cigars? Wtf? It means slowly, slowly.
  • Driving in Athens. There are no clear road markings one some smaller roads in Athens, so be careful, the Greeks drive like nutters - I will now admit that I am one of them. Oh and watch out for the STOP signs which of course are hidden behind branches, trees, whatever. If you're not sure whether you need to stop before approaching a mini crossroad, go slowly.
    Double parking and triple parking is very common here too, check out the abundance of flashing hazard lights outside or near a bank, atm, bakery, coffee shop.
  • Sun & Style. Get a good bloody pair of sunglasses (and I mean designer of course, cheap just won't do over here, the more bling the better, but then I'm not Greek so go along the lines of whatever you're feeling style-wise), the vast majority of the year here is super sunny and lovely. Just remember to protect your skin too!
  • The Locals. Get to know your local baker, butcher, cake shop, hair dresser/stylist, dry cleaners, mechanic, plumber, electrician, the posse that will see that you get sorted. I've clearly forgotten about restaurants and your local Souvlaki take out - this should be on your speed-dial! Don't know where to start - your landlady will know everyone, or usually someone.
  • Opening Hours. Ok, this should be much higher on the list of should knows, but some shops here close early on Monday-Wednesday-Friday & Saturday - as in by 3pm. On Tuesday & Thursday they usually close by 2/2.30pm then re-open at 5pm ish for a few hours, this is applicable to pharmacies/chemist too. Note that Pharmacies are closed on Saturdays (although one in the area will be open - a list is usually plastered on the front door) & Sundays, and so is everything shop wise. Butchers/Bakery time schedules vary, my local guy stays open for much longer on Thurs, Fri and Sat. As for all things touristy-check the websites, local Athens info guides, however I will say that on Mondays everything closes - museums, art galleries, some hair dressers... yes, it take a while to get used to what's open when. The Mall, Marousi is open til late, and the Post Office rarely has queues is you need to pay bills and is also for a few hours on Saturdays too.
  • The legal stuff If you're looking for answers to EU citizenship, visa's, passports, working in Greece info, your best bet is to head down to your Embassy who should assist you and at least point you in the right direction. I do have a brilliant website to share with you all, as it helped me understand a little more about life in Greece & the legal stuff you ought to know - Living in Greece written by Kat.
  • Phone, internet connection The Greek equivalent of BT, is OTE who run the telecommunications in Greece. You have to get a line/connection with these guys first before sorting out whether you want internet/satellite connection with any of the following providers; ConnX, Forthnet, OnTelecoms, HOL - Hellas online, OTEnet. Some of these companies offer FREE calls to the USA, UK and most European countries, so do check what the benefits are! Locals calls are not charged - what a bonus! P.S you will probably end up waiting ages for connection to happen, we waited almost 2 months and almost a year for our TV box, crazy stuff.
  • Renting an apartment Chances are you may get ripped off if you're not Greek, so just have your wits with you! You'll see places available for rent by red and yellow posters on all over town and on telephone poles - so get calling and find out what you want/don't want. Other places to check out what's up for rent is in the local paper - all in Greek. I didn't find much about online mainly because it's all in Greek. Also, in some cases you may find that you're living in the same building as the landlord/landlady, only because they own the building. People and places vary, you can end up with some interesting experiences, I don't know where to begin... but again just be aware of what and who. When renting somewhere it's likely you will be paying for 'kinokrista' the main building maintenance bill, which includes the elevator use, cleaning, lights etc, electricity and water bills too. Renting is definitely not as expensive as renting somewhere in say London but also nowhere near as simple a process as the UK. Kat of Living in Greece has written a brilliant account of renting here.
  • Things that make you happy Have plenty of back up stuff that makes you feel good and things that make you feel at home, photo's, great classic books, lots of music...a selection of your favourite things. Oh and nothing feels better when you're homesick than a quick call to your best mate along with chocolate and a cuppa PG tips/Earl Grey! That or watch a DVD box set of 'Friends'.
  • Get connected Get on Skype, Facebook, Twitter whatever... Stay in touch with friends & family nowadays has never been easier. Plus mobile phones often have the Skype app avavilable too, if not check if your phone is compatible. Free calls people!!! Do it.
  • Summer Heat, Mosquitos & things Yup, it gets super hot in the summer months, so remember to protect your skin, keep hydrated and close the shutters in the day if you have large balcony windows facing the sun. Ok, I have sweet blood, so mosquitos seem to have a cocktail party and like to feast on me. If you are munched on, get some 'Fenistil' (a orange coloured tube of gel) from the pharmacy to help relieve the bites. They will get itchy, but all you can do is NOT scratch them... If only mosquitos sucked fat and not blood eh? Now there's a thought.
Has any of this been helpful so far? Hmmm, if everything sucks, just flick on Star channel at around 9pm for the most hilarious weather report ever. Ok, men will probably love it, after all Petroula has the most exceptional booty shuffle ever.
(UPDATE)
Sadly Petroula and buddy are no longer doing the weather report, in replacement is a funny dude who raps... it does get annoying so they ditched him too.

I would love to hear from anyone who wants to add to this list!
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Monday, 19 October 2009

Hilarious Weather Report on Star Channel



Yup, she's at it again... Petroula, infamous for her fake assets & kick ass booty shuffle is now presenting the weather report with a 'Big Bird'.
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Saturday, 12 September 2009

Rain, rain go away...

September is supposed to be mildly hot and sunny, what happened eh? One weeks worth of rain is so London.

It's raining, it's pouring;
The old man is snoring.
Bumped his head
And he went to bed
And he couldn't get up in the morning.

Rain, rain, go away;
Come again another day;
Little Johnny wants to play.
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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Smogfested Athens

It's September, everyone is back to their old tricks in Athens along with triple parking and traffic jams, Athens is now officially heaving. The August Ghost town effect is no longer, beware of long queues at the bank (yes a 100 person wait is just fun, fun, fun, NOT) and the odd rain storm.
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Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Hot tip: Dealing with Mosquito bites

If you're on holiday somewhere in Greece or the Greek Isles this summer, chances are you'll be mauled by mossies.

Get to a pharmacy - avoid all the expensive stuff they've laid out in-store and ask for Fenistil Gel from behind the counter. It comes in a tube in an orange box and costs around 3 euros max. This gel acts as an anti-histamine and helps with the healing process. Also managed to find that you don't get too itchy and scratchy too which is a bonus.

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