I just visited Athens, city of marble for the first time. The Greek side of my husband’s family visited us in London before we all headed to a big fat Greek wedding in Athens.
I’ll keep references to that film brief, but it’s been a running joke since my first dinner with them. “What do you mean she don’t eat no meat?” A good excuse for me to share some good Greek spots for vegetarians visiting Athens.
Teasing over the Elgin Marbles was also inevitable. Stereotypically English, I neatly queued up their banter, as my eyes started tearing up in the heat as we queued for the Acropolis. “Awww she’s crying at the sight of the other marble they could have taken.” Elgin marbles aside, Athens is a city with marble in abundance. I walked on pavements, staircases and curbs made of the stuff.
Outside the Acropolis museum, running as a tour guide uses my shirt dress to describe the meaning of the colours in the Greek flag, blue sky, white ocean waves. Accessorising my Greek flag with Castañer espadilles and a vintage cork backpack from People of 2morrow.
We chose an Airbnb with views of the Acropolis, solar thermal energy and homemade wine in the southeast neighbourhood, Koukaki.
I packed Bentley Organic shampoo and conditioner and Aloe Pura Organic Aloe Vera sun lotion with pomegranate, protecting echinacea, nourishing Jojoba and avocado oil.
Eat & Drink
Greece has a cornucopia of natural products that promote wellbeing. Vegetarians visiting Athens can’t go far wrong with the salads. Vegans should check out both Mama Tierra and Avocado. As a pescatarian, I feasted on vegetarian starting plates in more meaty Greek restaurants, which shouldn’t be skipped for the traditional live music.
I loved the salads at Skoubri (above) Σκουμπρί, Drakou 14, Athina and the floral vintage wallpaper, old Athens style decor and dishes at Cherchez La Femme (below) Σερσέ λα φάμ, Mitropoleos 46, Athina.
In local Lotte Cafe – Bistrot (below) Tsami Karatasou 2, Athina and Birds & Booze in Plaka you could feel like you are in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Both are fun day and night.
Athens is painted in graffiti, so I couldn’t resist sharing this. There is some great guilt-free shopping to be had in the independent shops amongst the touristy traps in Plaka and Monastiraki . Check out repurposed accessories made in Greece at 3Quarters with bags made from leftover balcony awnings.
I couldn’t leave Monastiraki without handmade sandals from The Poet Sandal-Maker of Athens. Good enough for John Lennon and Jackie O. Good enough for me.
The store opened in 1920 and remains a family business today, run by the grandson of the founding artisan. The makers know your sandal size just by looking at you. You choose a style and they fit and cut the leather to your foot. I chose Aeolian No. 2.
©photographs Reclaimed Woman