4 Really cool and eccentric places to go to in Athens

This city is known for many things; the ancient grounds and the history, the crystal blue Aegean sea and of course their incredible cuisine. So if Athens is on you destination list, then here are four hot spots you should add to your itinerary.

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Little Kook   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

 

  1. Little Kook
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Little Kook   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

From the moment you step in through the entrance, you will be instantly welcomed into a world of imagination. Little Kook will give you a feeling of nostalgia, as their interior design constantly changes each season into something that is a reminder of our childhood. Their themes are carried out consistently, especially in their menus. All of their delightful and super sweet desserts are homemade and in big portions.

Address:  Karaiskaki 17, Athina 105 54

Opening times: Mon – Sun: 11AM – 12AM

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Banana chocolate cake and cheesecake   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

 

2. Noel

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Noel   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

Think of a place that has been inspired by Alice in Wonderland and the spirit of Christmas all in one. Then imagine it actually existing in central Athens. Noel brings sophistication with a twist of quirkiness that leaves people intrigued to step in; and of course fully entertained when they do. The decor is covered in a variety of giant keys and clocks, as well as card symbols of the queen and the king, along with the colour theme of red, orange and green. So take a seat by the bar and enjoy one of their very many refreshing cocktails, cheers to that.

Address:  Karaiskaki 17, Athina 105 54

Opening times: Mon – Thurs: 10AM – 2AM   Fri and Sat: 10AM – 4AM  Sun: 10AM – 2AM

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Noel   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

 

3. Nancy’s Sweet Home – Το Σερμπετόσπιτο της Νάνσυ

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Chocolate pudding   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

There’s a lot of traditions that is carried out in Greece still to this day. Whether that’s the drink Raki that is loved by locals and travellers, a giant gyros or even the addictive cold coffee beverage Frappe. Nancy’s Sweet Home is a place that locals go to religiously just so they can give into their cravings or sin on their diet for that heavenly sweet stuff. This dessert hot spot has been standing proudly for years and there is always a huge line of people coming back for more.

Address: Pl. Iroon 1, Athina 105 54

Opening times:  Mon- Sun: 8AM – 3:30AM

4. Mostrou

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Mostrou bar     Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

Start your day at Mostrou as you will truly fall in love with the city, by taking in the picturesque view that it offers at this rooftop bar. It is situated in plaka; which makes it also an ideal way to start your night with the open air night sky, some lively music and your favourite beverage. It is a truly relaxing place to be in, as the atmosphere is casual; whether that’s day or night.

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Mostrou bar   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

 

 

Top 3 dessert places to go in Athens

Everybody has their favourite dessert, sometimes it’s hard to choose which one reaches number one on your list. If you’re planning on taking a trip to Athens, make sure you visit these three heavenly dessert places to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours.

  1. Xara
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Chicago ice cream  Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

Xara is a family orientated patisserie and ice cream parlour that has been open since 1969. The place is still so busy that even on the weekends there will be a queue of people waiting for the fresh and delicious goodies that this place provides. Their specialities include the ekmek ice cream and the Chicago ice cream.

Rating: 9/10

Address: Patision 339, Athina 111 44

Phone number: 21 0228 7266

Opening times: 9AM – 2AM

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ekmek ice cream  Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

2.  Da Vinci

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Nutella gelato with a chocolate hazelnut cone   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

This beautifully designed gelato parlour is located in the heart of Monastiraki. Da Vinci is loved by both locals and tourists because their gelato is utterly delightful.  You can mix and match with the variety of flavours and cones they have for choice. From creamy Nutella to refreshing coconut, each flavour will satisfy your craving. You can also choose from a classic plain, sprinkled or nutty cone.

Rating: 8.5/10

Address: 105 55, Adrianou 50, Athina 105 55

Phone number: 21 0325 3863

Opening times: 9AM – 10AM

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Gelato and cone choices   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

3. Lukumades

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Lukumades    Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

This hot spot can be found at the end of Ermou in Syntagma. This cute dessert shop carries on the sweet traditional delicacy in the Greek cuisine; Lukumades. The small fried doughnut balls can be smothered in dark, milk or white chocolate sauce along with a scoop of oreo ice cream, or you can have it the classic way with drizzled honey or icing sugar. Try to tackle on the challenge of finishing off all of the 10 scrumptious little lukumades at once.

Rating: 8/10

Address: Aiolou 21, Athina 105 51

Phone number: 21 0321 0880

Opening times: 9AM -1AM

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Food review: Chin Chin Labs

The first liquid nitrogen ice cream parlour in Europe has taken up a storm in the latest food trend there is.

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Hot chocolate with toasted marshmallow on top   Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

Chin Chin Labs is located in the bustling streets of Camden, where it is the home of modern food trends. The small parlour always has a crowd, as the interior features their own laboratory that makes their delicious ice cream and hot beverages. It is most certainly something you not would see every day at your local coffee shop or ice cream parlour.

Every week the masterminds in the laboratory create genius flavours that would tickle your taste buds. One of their popular choices is the Brownich cookie sandwich; brownie flavoured cookies with a large scoop of ice cream wedged in the middle. They have also created different flavours for the festive holidays, such as the ‘Christmas Tree’ ice cream flavour.

Chin Chin labs have gone the far distance and have created eccentric flavours that you would have never thought existed. The ‘Golden Latte & Coffee Cake’ flavour is one example, as it is made out of coconut milk and turmeric that is served alongside a slice of sponge cake and espresso syrup drizzled on top. Whether you are vegan or not, this ice cream flavour is a must try.

However, their famous nitrogen liquid ice cream isn’t the only thing that is popular on the menu. The creators behind Chin Chin Labs have successfully made a hot chocolate that is so rich, creamy, smooth and scrumptious that it is loved by everyone. Not only that, but you have the option to have this sweet hot chocolate with a toasted marshmallow on top. It is the perfect duo taken up a notch.

If you haven’t visited this brilliant parlour yet, then make sure it is on your bucket list for this year, as their sweet treats are oozing with classic and eccentric flavours that you won’t try anywhere else.

Address: 49-50 Camden Lock Place, London, United Kingdom

Phone Number: 07885 604284

Opening times: 12-7pm everyday

Here are five ways you can spend your New Year’s Eve abroad

So it’s coming close to the end of 2016 and it has been one hectic year. However, in order to be optimistic to what the New Year has for us, why not start it in an adventurous way? Here’s five ideas of how to spend your New Year’s Eve abroad.

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Firework displays in Madeira   Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/PortoBay Event

1. Watch the firework displays in Madeira

Join the very many tourists that travel to Madeira especially for the fireworks display they host annually in the city Funchal, for New Year’s Eve. With bright colours lighting up the dark sky, it is a truly magical sight to see once the clock strikes midnight. It is known to be one of the best firework displays in the world.

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Tenerife     Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/dartisan

2. Take a winter trip to Tenerife

In Tenerife South, the average weather temperature is 20°C, making it the perfect location to get that dose of vitamin D that you need. So if you can’t stand the cold, winter weather any longer, then pack your bags and head to Tenerife to soak up the winter sun. Plus, it’s a whole new experience to celebrate New Year’s Eve abroad rather than at your local hot spot.

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Firework displays in London    Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/Dominic Alves

3. Enjoy the firework displays in London

Visit this bustling capital to witness their amazing fireworks display. With the London Eye and the River Thames as a backdrop, it truly does create a picturesque view. Enjoy some mulled wine as you are surrounded by your family and friends and other travellers whilst you all appreciate London’s final touch and beginning to a new year.

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Las Vegas     Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/James Marvin Phelps

4. Explore Las Vegas

Do you want your New Year’s Eve to be so wild, that you would enter 2017 with hilarious stories, an unbelievable night and maybe, just maybe some regrets? Then book a ticket to sin city and let your adventure unravel from there. With live entertaining shows, elite bars and clubs and the potential to hit the jackpot in one of their very famous casinos, there surely isn’t a better way to party on your very last night in 2016?

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Tokyo   Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/Guy Gorek

5. Have a traditional New Year’s Eve in Tokyo

Japan is known to have many traditions and the way they spend their New Year’s Eve is just one of them. There are plenty of activities to participate in; such as joining the crowd in front of the Sensoji Temple and hearing the bell ring 108 times once it hits midnight, sitting in the front row seats of the Sumo Grand Champions, enjoying a candle lit meal at the Tokyo Sky Tree and of course, watching their astounding firework displays.

Here’s how to make protein pancakes with two simple ingredients

For those who love pancakes but want to maintain their healthy diet, then whip up a batch of these delicious goodies for breakfast. They are a bite out of heaven!

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Protein pancakes topped with blackcurrant jam and milled seeds

Serves: 1              Prep time: 5 minutes            Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

2 ripe medium sized bananas

2 large eggs

1 tsp of cinnamon (optional)

A pinch of salt

1 tbsp of butter for frying

Options for pancake topping combinations:

Blackcurrant jam and milled seeds

Peanut butter

Honey and fresh fruits

Melted dark chocolate and milled seeds

Method:

Step 1. Mash the bananas in a bowl until it forms into a smooth paste. (A few lumps are fine).

Step 2. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.Then add the cinnamon, salt and mashed banana paste into the bowl with the beaten eggs and whisk it all into a form of a pancake mixture. (The pancake mixture may be a bit lumpy, but it’ll still come out great).

Step 3. Melt the butter in a frying pan on a low heat. Then use a ladle to gently scoop the pancake mixture onto the frying pan. Allow the pancake batter to cook on one side for 2-3 minutes before gently flipping it over with a spatula.You should cook both sides of the pancake for 2-3 minutes, until it turns into a light golden colour. Do this repeatedly with the remaining pancake mixture. Once your pancakes are ready, add your toppings and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

A traveller’s food guide for London

There are many reasons why people are so attracted to this city; for it is bursting with culture, opportunities and thrilling experiences, which is what makes the bustling and lively atmosphere of London.

It is a capital that has a passionate love for food and takes every chance it can to evolve and become a place that can provide for all kinds of foodies. So, if you’re planning on taking a trip to London, here are the places to visit for incredible food.

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Brick Lane    Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/Louis du Mont

Brick Lane, East London

When taking a stroll through Brick Lane, you will be spoilt for choice as this area in the east is famously known for Asian and Middle Eastern flavours, making it the ideal location to tingle your taste buds with real authentic cuisines.

There are always food markets and festivals occurring, which is a great opportunity to try new delicacies that could just become your favourite. If you’re in the mood to spice things up, then you’re in luck as Brick Lane is known to have some of the best curry houses, such as Brick Lane Brasserie.

However, it has always been trending in the modern food culture too. It is where the idea of a 24-hour bakery that sells traditional Jewish-style bagels was brought to life (Beigel Bake), a street that has hip bars with gourmet BBQ stands that never leaves those clubbers hungry, and a first ever international cereal cafe was born.

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Camden    www.Flickr.com/creative commons/Dun.can

Camden, North west London

Camden is a place that is heaving with tourists, a musical crowd and the love for street food. There are countless different cuisines in the street food markets that it’ll be hard to not find what you’re craving. From Dutch pancakes to a Brazilian BBQ, it has a wide range of food for any appetite.

Every turn you’ll take in the busy streets of Camden, there is always something new to discover. There are some hidden gems that have a little twist in their culinary dining. Ever tried ice cream frozen by liquid nitrogen? Or why not try re-invented classic American meals like a chilli beef hot dog?

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Covent Garden      Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/Nathan O’Nions

Covent Garden, West End of London

The cool and chic Covent Garden is a huge attraction for all kinds of traveller’s, as it still has maintained its iconic image throughout the years. There are still ongoing live entertainers surrounded by crowds on the square, and the piazza is still standing strong with the very same markets and shops filled with locals going by on their daily routines.

Covent Garden is known for its adoration for the contemporary French cuisine, making it a popular spot for dates. If you’re in the mood for fine dining in a quixotic atmosphere, then make reservations at the most romantic restaurant in the world. Once you step into Clos Maggiore you will feel purely infatuated by the captivating setting and it will bring true elegance and sophistication to your evening.

A traveller’s guide for food in Brighton

There are many things Brighton is known for; its eccentric art, a friendly and open minded community and of course, the popular seafront. However, this town is also known for its the modern and traditional cuisine scene, making it an ideal place for everyone with different tastes in food.

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Choccywoccydoodah       Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/lozwilkes

Think of chocolate being used as an ingredient for art. The creativity that you can use with our favourite treat is endless; and Choccywoccydoodah is living proof of that.The masterminds behind this chocolaterie always seems to fascinate everyone with their work; as the lavish, handmade cakes that stand proudly in the shop can be admired by everyone, along with the secret temptation to buy one just for yourself.

Tip: When visiting this place, make sure you visit their cafe upstairs as they serve one of the best proper hot chocolates in the UK. That’s pretty sweet right?

Address: 3 Meeting House Ln, Brighton BN1 1HB

Opening times: Monday-Saturday: 10am-6pm   Sunday: 11am-5pm

Phone number: 01273 329462

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Iydea   Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/premasagar

Get your five a day at Iydea. This vegetarian restaurant has a relaxed and laid back ambience, as its concept is homemade canteen style food served in generously big portions. They have made eating vegetables more fun, as they’ve cleverly innovated classic dishes by experimenting and turning them into healthier, vegetarian versions.

Tip: Order the tzatziki as a topping. Their homemade Greek dip is absolutely divine.

Address: 17 Kensington Gardens, Brighton BN1 4AL

Opening times: Monday-Saturday: 9.3oam-5.30pm  Sunday: 10am-5.30pm

Phone number: 01273 667992

 

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Bardsley’s Fish and chips    Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/Jeremy Keith

When in Brighton, you automatically think about sitting on the waterfront and having a lovely portion of fish and chips. Until the seagulls attack you and take every last chip there is. But fear not, for there is a better way to enjoy this good old traditional British meal, and that is at Bardsley’s. This award winning restaurant has been frying fish since 1926, making it one of the best in town. Not only has Bardsley’s been a historic part of Brighton’s community, but it also still has its authenticity.

Tip: Book a table in advance in order to avoid disappointment, as they can get really busy.

Address: 22-23a Baker St, Brighton BN1 4JN

Opening times:  Tuesday-Saturday: 12pm-3pm lunch time and 4:30pm-9.30pm dinner time (They are closed on Mondays and Sundays)

Phone number: 01273 681256

Here’s where to go on holiday this Autumn

If you didn’t get the chance to go on holiday this summer, then don’t worry as there is the opportunity to have a little getaway this autumn; at a cheap cost too.

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Valletta waterfront in Malta    Photographer: http://www.flickr.com/creative commons/Berit Watkin

Malta

If you’ve still got those summer blues, then Malta is your ideal option for a little dose of sun and sea. With the weather temperature still being at mid 20’s, you will still have the chance to go snorkelling and scuba diving in their crystal clear blue waters. This island also offers other fun activities such as taking a boat trip around Valletta waterfront and exploring the historical grounds; the Mnajdra Temples.

Flights: Between Oct 4th – Oct 24th: £89.49-£100.99 through easyJet airline.

Weather temperature: 24°C

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Amsterdam   Photographer: http://www.flickr.com/creative commons/Bert Kaufmann

Amsterdam

If you’re in the mood for a city break then Amsterdam is calling your name. This city is known for many things; the long canals with lit up bridges at night, tall colourful buildings all aligned together in a row and little cobbled pathways with coffee shops and patisseries. It simply creates a beautiful setting. Discover what Amsterdam has to offer by renting out a bicycle and spending the day cycling deeper into the city.

Flights: Oct 9th-Oct 13th: £23.49-£49.49 through easyJet airline.

Weather temperature: 13°C

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Athens  Photographer: http://www.flickr.com/creative commons/C.

Athens

If you want a holiday that involves tasting authentic food, a lively nightlife and a visit to the ancient times, then Athens is the place to be. There are so many things to do in this capital, that instantly it’ll become your favourite destination. Spend your day by going back in time to ancient Greece and visit Acropolis. Indulge on their traditional dishes such as gyros, moussaka and gemista. Start your night with a couple of cocktails on a rooftop bar as you look over the whole of Monastiraki, then continue your night by dancing till the dusk of dawn at Why Sleep?. The Greeks do know how to party.

Flights: Oct 10th – Oct 19th: £41.49-£92.34 though easyJet airline.

Weather temperature: 19-23°C

4 little things to look forward to this Autumn

So say goodbye to summer and hello to autumn.

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Regents Park London   Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/creative commons/Garry Knight

  1. Change of scenery

One of the best things about this season is the change of nature’s scenery. The leaves turn into pretty shades of orange, red and pink, creating a picturesque view when taking a stroll through the parks. It may get darker earlier, but as the sun sets, the sky turns into a palette of different shades of pastel colours; from a luminous pink to a warm purple; which is one of the very small things we do appreciate when it comes to nature’s beauty.

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Pumpkins    Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/Creative Commons/Ingrid Spangler

2. Halloween

So let’s just overlook the fact that shops have completely skipped past selling Halloween products and have jumped to Christmas already. Clearly they are either overly excited about Santa coming to town or they’re in denial that summer is over, want to skip autumn and get winter over and done with. Who knows? But what I do know is that Halloween is around the corner and it is definitely something to look forward to.

Whether you have plans or not for this occasion, there is always something to do on Halloween. Plus, you get to dress up; who wouldn’t want to miss out on a fancy dress party? We may be a little old for trick or treating, but there’s other ways to have a little (or a lot) of fun ourselves.

It is also known that Halloween is that time of the year to whip out your copy of Hocus Pocus, as of course it is the ultimate film to watch – and if you haven’t seen it already, then there’s a first time for everything.

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Pumpkin spiced latte   Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/Creative Commons/Denise Mattox

3. Hot beverages

Now I know you must be thinking, “Hot beverages? Why I have my cup of tea every day!” However, I don’t mean you could look forward to your good ol’ cuppa Joe or your milky tea; I mean it’s that time of the year where Starbucks are heaping in stacks of cash as the fellow public eagerly line up for their famously known pumpkin spiced latte.

As we wave goodbye to summer and the endless cocktails, ciders and beers we enjoyed under the sun, we can now look forward to the hot,flavourful beverages that just give us that autumn feeling. And hey, if you miss the ultimate cocktail season so much, then add some whiskey into your coffee and have an Irish coffee. Summer may be over, but the party doesn’t stop, right?

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Red Toffee Apples  Photographer: http://www.Flickr.com/Creative Commons/Emillian Robert Vicol

4. Toffee Apples

Now this a great traditional treat to look forward to in autumn. ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ and what’s better than enjoying this seasonal crunchy fruit dipped in a load of toffee?

Recipe of the day: Seafood and spinach cream sauce

This quick, hearty, midweek meal is the perfect comfort food and is also packed with the protein and the nutrition’s that you need.

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Prep time: 10 minutes        Cooking time: 15-20 minutes         Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

1 packet of fresh spinach

1 carton of double cream

1 small red onion chopped

1 clove of  garlic chopped

1 packet of fresh crab sticks

1 packet of fresh calamari

1 packet of fresh prawns

1 packet of fresh mussels out of the shells

1 packet of spaghetti

salt/pepper for seasoning

1 tsp dill

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp of olive oil

Method:

Step 1. Boil the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and onion. Let them cook for 5 minutes until fragrant.

Step 2. Chop the crab sticks into small square pieces. Then add all of the seafood into the pan and let it cook; season it all with the dill, parsley, salt and pepper.

Step 3. Add the spinach and cover the pan so the spinach can wilt. The spinach will produce water; therefore you should allow the water to evaporate completely before adding the double cream.

Step 4. Add the double cream and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the spinach to change the colour of the cream to green. Once it is ready, let it settle for a further 5 minutes before serving. Place it on top of the cooked spaghetti and enjoy.