Athens - Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Electra Metropolis is a central, modern hotel where the past is still appreciated. The restored 16th century Agia Dynamis church is literally squeezed between two columns of the building. Just a stone’s throw from the main shopping streets of Syntagma square and Plaka and within a pleasant 15-minute walk from the Acropolis.
Hotel Grande Bretagne is a long established as a stylish meeting place for Athens high society, the elegant 19th-century building commands a prime corner of Syntagma square, opposite the Greek parliament and the beautiful maintained National Gardens. Close also to Kolonakis designer’s shops and also the main museums.
The Zillers was created by Ernest Ziller a major designer of royal and municipal buildings in Athens in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This classic townhouse has been converted into a small tea room hotel. High painted ceilings, enormous windows and elegant wooden staircases have all been carefully preserved. Marble bathrooms enhance historical grandeur.
Today’s Athenian agora, the Central Market, lies a 15-minute walk to the North. Even in the 1970’s, this huge, block-long market was the heart of Athens, right at the centre of its daily life.
At that point in time, the city’s restaurants and tavernas relied for their offerings on whatever was being sold that day. Lamb in spring, a small game in winter, as there was little refrigeration and fresh food quickly perished so time and money wasn’t wasted on writing menus. Modern life has since intervened within the city land has gained value, work hours have changed, supermarkets have infiltrated. The market has shrunk, but it hasn’t disappeared. It’s still the go-to place when an Athenian cook needs some special local product or utensil.
A new breed of chefs, however, has found another source of food. One interesting effect of the recent economic catastrophe in this part of the world has been the growth in the number of good small producers. There is a lot of salted ingredients because of their need to preserve. These flavours from the past can add to the tastes that you get from the dishes produced here.
Some of the places to eat that are worth trying are:
Athiri, Starter courses here include a fish salad with tarama cream, cuttlefish gnocchi, gigants beans in red sauce. Mains include lamb leg with trahanas and grilled liver with green apple puree and orange.
Ctc, offers seasonal menus, It means that the a la carte or tasting menu here changes frequently. You will find dishes like charcoal macaron with smoked eel, lobster bisque and a milk-fed lamb with artichoke puree are the sort of thing to expect.
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