One day in Athens, yes it was quite rushed indeed. To see all the archaeological sites, we woke up early to beat the crowd and the heat, and it was definitely worth the effort. To make things easier, we got the combo ticket which covers 7 sites in total including the Acropolis, and started with Temple of Zeus then made our way through the rest of the area…
When planning our Greece trip, it was rather difficult to choose which islands to visit. Going to Santorini was a no-brainer, but I wanted to spend time on one other island, somewhere that’s less touristy than Santorini. After doing some research and browsing through tons of photos, I decided on Paros and its adjacent Antiparos, and what a good decision this was. These islands, located in central Aegean Sea about 3 hours by ferry from Athens, are quaint and quiet even in July. Perfect for a few days of doing nothing, and a very pleasant contrast from the tourist-packed Santorini.
Add: Imerovigli, Thira 84700, Greece
Tel: +30 2286 021300
Price: [dinner] €90/tasting menu, €40/wine pairing (a la carte available)
Visited: Jul 2015
Please note that this was an invited tasting.
We spent the first day of our stay in Santorini in Oia, the town on the northern tip of the island famed for its sunset views. While the golden hour there is indeed beautiful, the town gets way too hectic in the afternoon due to the sunset-viewing crowd. On our second day, we decided to spend the afternoon in calmness at Grace Santorini, a beautiful boutique hotel located in Imerovigli. This is a quiet corner in the northwest of the island, and the walk down to the hotel already mesmerized us with views like these…
There it is, the pool bar and restaurant of Grace Santorini, perched high above the Caldera for a perfect view of the sparkling Aegean Sea.
I had set my eyes on or stumbled upon a few good addresses in Oia, Santorini, and I’m happy to be sharing three of them here with you. #1 Lolita’s Gelato is a nice place to drop by especially when the heat is up high. We tried pistachio and baklava flavors on our first visit (both excellent), then peanut butter and coconut on our second trip (not too bad either).
#2 Meteor Cafe, perched high up on the top with a killer view and cool breeze through its window, is an ideal place to cool down. The decor is cute, the light jazz is soothing, and the iced coffee is great. So lovely I wish I owned the place.
The Greek islands, and Santorini in particular, are on many people’s bucket list of must-visits. After spending a few days there myself, I can see what the fuss is about: with the magnificent Aegean Sea as backdrop, rows of white houses cascade down the coast, their pure white punctuated only by blue-domed churches and bouganville flowers in full bloom. All this is made even more dreamy by the “most beautiful sunset in the world”…
Add: 43 rue Godefroy Caviagnac, 75011 Paris
Tel: +33 9 80 75 32 08
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 7pm-2am (closed Sun & Mon)
Visited on: Jun 2015
Bones, a hip neobistro by Australian chef James Henry, opened sometime back in early 2013. I have been there once shortly after its opening, and the meal was pleasant if not without some kinks to be worked out (understandable and expected for new restaurants). Bones has since then became wildly popular and difficult to reserve, but recently the word is out that it will be closed permanently on August 7th. Oh my, what happened?
So finally, I decided to come back for another visit one and a half years after to see how the restaurant has evolved. We were there during the second service on a Saturday night, the place was packed and the ambience very lively, no sign of a restaurant that’s closing in just weeks. The menu (€55 or €63 with cheese) is composed of 4 small bites and 3 courses, with a choice of main course.
The meal started with “artichaut breton”, half of a Brittany artichoke served with some kind of tuna (?) dipping sauce. Eeexcellent.
Des Gâteaux et du Pain
Add: 89 rue du Bac , 75007 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 48 30 74
Hours: [Mon-Sat] 9am~8pm [Sun] 9am~6pm
Price: [pastries] €6~7
Tasted on: Jun 2015
Thanks to Lindsay from Lost In Cheeseland, I had the pleasure of meeting chef Claire Damon from Des Gâteaux et du Pain earlier this week. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m a huge fan of her pastry creations, and that Des Gâteaux et du Pain is by far my most-visited pastry shop is Paris. Needless to say, I was more than excited to chat with the mastermind behind all this, and the morning got even better when she packed each of us a box of pastries to take home with. Oh boy.
Paradisi (€6.50), a tart composed of shortcrust pastry, almond biscuit, vanilla cream, fresh pomelo, and rhubarb compote flavored with timut pepper. Just another example of Claire Damon’s style – clean, fresh, not too sweet, always balanced in terms of flavors and textures. Loved this one.
Café Kitsuné (2)
Add: 109 rue Amelot /18 boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, Paris 75011 (two entrances)
Tel: 01 58 30 12 36
Hours: [Mon-Sat] 9:30am-6pm [Sun] 10am-6:30pm
Price: [drinks] €2.50-6 [pastries] €3.50-5
Visited: Jun 2015
Maison Kitsuné just opened their newest boutique and cafe in the 11th arrondissement, steps away from Le Marais. Yup, one more stylish place in Paris to get good coffee.
Add: 80, rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris
Tel: 01 43 72 74 53
Hours: [Wed-Fri] 7~11pm [Sat-Sun] nonstop service 12~11pm
Price: €8~21/small plate
Visited on: Jun 2015
It’s been a year since I last went to Clamato, that seafood bar opened by Bertrand Grébaut of Septime. The same no-reservation policy, the same chill atmosphere, and even better service. I was disappointed to find that no razor clams were being served at the moment (I had some amazing ones last time), but the new dishes I tried this time were not too shabby either.
Add: 19 rue du Pont aux Choux, Paris 75003
Tel: 01 73 70 14 57
Hours: 10am-6pm (open everyday)
Visited: Jun 2015
This tiny hole in the wall is one of my favorite cafes in Paris. The original “cordonnerie” (shoe repair) facade is kept, while the interior has been renovated into a charming space filled with color block chairs, eclectic collages, and gorgeous flowers in full bloom. Delicious coffee and handsome-looking pastries, but of course.
For a while the coffee machine here was manned by Lloyd from Australia, and when he recently left to start another cafe venture in Paris, the spot has been taken over by Yuu from Japan.