by Eftihia Stefanidi
When few years ago Eftihia, a London-based Creative Director, Producer & self-taught Photographer, came to Greece – her country of origin – to scout for property, she planted the seeds for new horizons. Eftihia is currently the creative behind two upcoming Athenian boutique hotels that are re-imagining hospitality. MONA e SHILA, developed by New York-based group AUM, are set to launch in 2019.
The fellow guests at Avocado are all regulars, and so are we, since during our short stay in Athens we went back daily to a small quiet table in Nikis Street, at any time of the day. There is a yoga and Pilates studio on the other side of the street – and we were tempted to schedule a lesson in our agenda, while the vegetarian minimarket is right next door. In a tiny alley of Syntagma neighbourhood in Athens, literally the chaotic centre of the capital, develops a universal idea of love and nourishment we never grow tired of, especially on a journey abroad. Rice, cereals, vegetables, burgers, soups, salads, and extracts, have the most optimistic and easy-going names in the world – Gratitude, The Herb Garden, Beautiful Day, Life’s a Rainbow, Hug a Tree – and form a vegetarian menu that will make some snort and many others smile widely (like us).
Cheese triangles in a cradle of crisp sesame, baked aubergines, yellow-peas cream (fava), fig salad and, top left, a partial view of the lit-up Parthenon. It is the flavour of our Athens, among old and new fellow travellers met by chance along the way.
Athens’s flags wave endlessly in the hot wind. It is as if meltemi came here expressly to make these white and blue stripes dance above main doors and beside tourist restaurants’ signs. You will find them also in the shops that sell the last film rolls left, miniature Greek statues, and slippers with pompons. You will find them everywhere, and each time wonder: have they always been here…
Why ‘Alice Inn’? ‘Alice’ was my grandmother’s name. We do not know if on his mother’s or father’s side, but we do know that his parents met many years ago in an Athenian square, and that hospitality is a family tradition. John has watery green and grey eyes, Greek and Irish blood, a degree in architecture, and an instinct for beautiful things…
A languid wind blows through Plaka neighbourhood, Athens, in a summer night. While a tall middle-aged man, with sweet eyes and an ambling gait, walks back to our table because he doesn’t remember what we ordered, I wonder how he could wait thirty-six years to come to Greece. The magic of an Athenian night; a few ingredients recurring in the dishes, in a Mediterranean-Middle Eastern mixture, and reminding me I am in the middle of something important.
by Andria Mitsakos
Andria traces her roots to some of history’s most adventurous, hospitable people – the Greeks. She now carries that passion and curiosity worldwide, consulting clients with publicity, design, marketing and communications. She maintains her own lifestyle website, Wanderlista.
by Polina Liarostathi
Polina is an Interior & Product Designer born in Athens, currently living in London. Design is present in every aspect of Polina’s life and her RSS list with design blogs and magazines is constantly growing, feeding her endless need to stay updated about the world of creativity.
Chic, unique, cheerful and relaxed dormitory in the heart of Athens: a 5 star stay.