Archive for the ‘Athens’ Category

Imagine a beach free of litter

June 12, 2018

Imagine, just quickly,
A beach free of litter,
A sea, clean and sparkly alive,
Let’s make it happen
Yes we can do it
We must if we’re going to survive.

These words were written on the window of an ethical fashion shop in Brighton, The Fair Shop, on the road leading down to the seafront from Brighton Station.

On the seafront, disgusting fish n chip shops serving their disgusting fish n chips on polystyrene plates or in polystyrene burger-style boxes.

Iydea in North Laine, which for more than a decade has led the way on recycling, a fruit juice served with a plastic straw.

Salty Fig a bar overlooking Fig Tree Bay serving overpriced drinks in plastic.

Plastic served overlooking the sea finds its way into the sea.

Walk in a supermarket, plastic surrounds everything, podded peas in a plastic box, potatoes and bananas in plastic bags, a coconut with shell hacked off shrink-wrapped in plastic.

As always it is the indie coffee shops leading the way, serving takeaway coffee in compostable cups, KeepCup or similar reusable cups on sale, a discount if used.

We must eliminate the takeaway coffee culture, encourage relax in an indie coffee shop with speciality coffee served in glass or ceramic.

Water is a human right.

The coffee shops in Athens bring without asking ice cold water to the table or failing that water from which to help oneself.

A Drop In the Ocean, from March to October 2018, plastic bottle tops are to be collected from Brighton seafront to illustrate the amount of plastic finding its way into our oceans.

Plastic bottle tops are among the top five most deadly ocean trash items. Marine mammals, birds and fish see plastic bottle caps as food, which can lead to ingestion and potentially fatal consequences.

Plastic bottle tops float and take a long time to degrade. They are small enough to be swallowed whole by birds and animals. Every bottle top collected is a bottle top that won’t be eaten by a turtle, swallowed by a seabird, or settle as microplastic particles inside a mussel.

 

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The Underdog team

February 10, 2018

New season starts at The Underdog. 

The Underdog, one of my favourite coffee shops in Athens.

Wonderful atmosphere, fantastic coffee, people who know their coffee.

Saturday and Sunday, a pedestrian street running past The Acropolis is turned into a  street market, The Underdog is just off this street.

Now four world champion baristas. Manos Mamatis, Coffee in Good Spirits World Championship No 2 2017.

  • 2008 Tasos Delichristos
  • 2015 George Koustoumparais
  • 2016 Michalis Dimitratopolos
  • 2017 Manos Mamatis second place

Not bad for one coffee shop.

I had the honour and privilege of being served by Manos Mamatis. I learnt a lot from our conversations.

Like Taylor Made, ultra trendy. I later learnt same designer.

Avoid Sunday if wish to relax, very busy and the noise on entering deafening.

Multi level, a roastery below, serving area, various brew methods, railway sleepers as table. Standart and Drift available to browse, though not on sale.

The Underdog supply coffee to other coffee shops, but as with Square Mile in London,  exact high standards if you wish to use their coffee.

At the weekend from Acropoli Metro Station, stroll along Dionysiou Areopagitou, it runs between the Museum and The Acropolis. Do not visit The Acropolis at weekends, too crowded. Then turn around to the right along Apostolou Pavlou. At weekends lined with stalls and musicians. It also leads a back way into Agora of Athens. Past a few cafes and bars, then more stalls. Eventually a Metro station reached. Backtrack to the bars and restaurants, and take a turning to the right for The Underdog. Easily missed as a fairly nondescript building on the outside.

Favorite Coffee Shops in Athens

December 15, 2017

The Life Lab do an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere of coffee culture in Athens through three coffee shops, The Underdog, Barreldier and Little Tree Books and Coffee.

They must have been following in my footsteps.

My only disappointment with their excellent little film was that it was not longer and featured more of the Athens coffee scene.

Music:  Put your money on me by Arcade Fire.

Little Tree; a film of their own

December 14, 2017

9BlueRoses

It was by chance that I’ve found Little Tree last January.  After a walk around the Acropolis, we were looking for a comfortable place to seat. As soon as we got in, I was struck by the fact that this place was not only warm but also calm. Of course you could hear the music playing at the background but people seemed to be so relaxed reading their books or having a chat without having to make so much noise. I thought that maybe we shouldn’t be making noise after all, as this seemed to be- and should remain-a little quiet sacred place: something like a study room in a library.

In the following months, I learnt more about it and I fell under its charm: not only because of its unique setting -under a little tree, behind the acropolis museum-, but also because of its special offerings sweets and…

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Upon the Earth Under the Clouds

November 3, 2017

Upon the Earth, Under the Clouds, a documentary on Danae Stratou’s large scale installation in Elefsis, with music by Brian Eno.

Wandering around Athens.

Awake in the morning with breakfast with a stunning view of The Acropolis,  and Olympian Temple of Zeus.

During the day, walk around The Acropolis, climb the Hill of the Muses with stunning views over Athens and out to sea, walk along the Koine Road, visit Library of Hadrian, the Ancient Agora, walk the streets of Plaka and Monastiraki, visit the National Garden, discover some amazing coffee shops where served by champion baristas, in one Little Tree, a bookshop cum coffee shop, latest book by Yanis Varoufakis.

Danae Stratou artist wife of Yanis Varoufakis.

Many thanks to Yanis Varoufakis for mention of this documentary.

Warehouse Speciality Blends

November 2, 2017

Quite a trek to find, and no it was not worth the effort.

More a trendy bar serving coffee than a coffee shop.

Service apalling.

A very long wait to be served. Had I not shouted at the waitress, I would still be waiting.

I would have walked out, the only reason I did not was, it would have been an entirely wasted trek to find.

And was the coffee worth the wait when It finally came? Sadly not.

Something like a third to half foam. On the top cold.

I was asked by the barista how was it? I replied not good.

They used to use Sapid coffee, now from their own roastery Wisecup.

Sex pest in National Garden

November 2, 2017

This guy has been sexually harassing and following women in National Garden.

The police are aware.

Be wary, keep an eye out, and if he is seen acting suspicious, call the police.

 

Encounter with a duck 

November 2, 2017

Two years ago I met a duck in the National Garden.

I met him again yesterday.  A  chance encounter

He goes there to seek food in the mud.

In the summer day trips to the seaside where he goes swimming and eats limpets prised from the rocks.

Cappuccino by candlelight at Just Made 33

October 31, 2017

Coffee has not only to be good, it has to be consistently good.

Just Made 33 achieves that consistency. Whenever I have had a coffee, no matter who has served me, it has been excellent.

Aristokratikon

October 31, 2017

Mouth watering chocolate at mouth watering prices.