Back to school Valentine’s Day
Relive the innocence of early romance, as if on school date. Send your alter ego a little note saying: “Rendezvous, 8pm, at the School Pizza Bar”.
The setting here reminds customers of a classroom. School desks instead of tables are used in a class-like arrangement that includes books and a blackboard. Aesthetics aside, the pizza served at School Pizza Bar rates as one of the capital’s best. From here, head for Playce, a game-café offering customers some 100 board games for two players.
Time flies while absorbed in the game you chose to play with your partner and sipping on a cup of hot chocolate, perhaps spiked with a shot of whiskey.
By Alexandra Tzavella
How well do you think you know each other? True characters are revealed and relationships strengthened at escape rooms that have captivated people around the world with the adrenaline rush they offer.
Athens has approximately 300 escape rooms. One of the most popular is The Great Escape in the city center, which also includes a performer.
Players here experience fear, anxiety and may even get wet while locked in deep thoughts in a bid to find a way to escape the exotic island and be saved from the mad circus. The manager of this escape room told us that the intensity of the experience has even prompted a marriage proposal during the ordeal. It may be arranged so that partners find their Valentine’s Day present upon resolving the game’s mystery.
By Maria Korachai
School Pizza Bar: 8 Aghias Eirinis Square, tel: +30 210. 325. 1444, close to Monastiraki Station
Playce: 14 Logothetidi, tel: +30 210.699.0753, 50 meters from Panormou Station, behind the “Everest” fast food outlet
Sui Generis bar: 7 Ventiri, tel. (+30) 188.8.131.524, behind Hilton Hotel.
Great Escape, 12 Lepeniotou, Psyrri, tel. (+30) 213. 035. 4432, from 19€ per person, online bookings possible.
Dexameni, Dexameni Square, across from the Hotel St. George Lykabettus, tel. (+30) 210. 722. 4609
Griparis, 21 Panagiotou Anagnostopoulou, Kolonaki, tel. (+30) 210. 362. 7866
The French Institute of Athens, 31 Sina, off Didotou, tel. (+30) 210.339. 8600, Monday – Friday 09:00 – 20:00 | Saturday 09:00 – 14:00
Ama Lachei, 69 Kalidromiou, Exarchia, tel (+30) 210. 384. 5978
Chez Violette, 69 Kalidromiou, Exarchia, tel (+30) 210. 384. 5974
Sorolop, Benaki and Metaxa, tel (+30) 210. 380. 1118
Grande Bretagne’s Roof Garden, 1 Vasileos Georgiou, Syntagma square, tel. (+30) 210.333.0766
Lycabettus Teleferik cable car station:1 Aristippou, Lycabettus hill, tel. (+30) 210.364.8303, open: 8:30 am to 3.30 am
Orizontes Lycabettus, 1 Aristippou, Lycabettus hill, tel. (+30) 21 0722 7065
Regency Casino Mont Parnes, Parnitha, Acharnes, tel. (+30) 210.242.1234
Stroll around the city
Explore the city’s intimate side in Kolonaki and Exarchia, two of Athens’ most walkable neighborhoods.
Bundle up at Kolonaki’s outdoor cafe/ouzerie, Dexameni and watch the neighborhood kids play ball, then go buy yourselves something special from Griparis’s whimsically- curated selection of antiques.
Just over the hill at the French Institute, enjoy “Athenians and Parisians”– life in the two cities in the 1980’s as captured by photographer Constantinos Pittas.
Keep strolling down to vibrant Exarchia, known for street art and for architecture representing neoclassical to mid-century modernism.
Twin restaurants share the neighborhood’s former schoolhouse – Ama Lachei has meze and plenty of atmosphere, but if you’re still in a French mood, you can trade your ouzo for a pastis at the adorable bistrot, Chez Violette.
Later, at Benaki‘s liveliest intersection, Sorolop will make your profiterole fresh to order, and their chocolate sorbet is as black and velvety as night.
By Amber Charmei
A 007 Valentine’s Day – Shaken, not stirred
Make Athens your stage on which to play out a thrilling 007 romance.
First, you must look the part. Channel Dionysus, the god of drama and good times, and turn yourself into a master of disguise.
Slip into your finest clothes and make yourself comfortable in Grande Bretagne’s Roof Garden bar as you sip on a fabulous signature cocktail or a flute of champagne.
Next, take a ride on the Lycabettus cable car, which feels like something right out of a 70s spy movie. Steal a kiss while keeping an eye out for assassins. For dinner, only the cinemascope views from the Orizontes Lycabettus restaurant will do.
Wrap up your night like any self-respecting international spy would by rolling the dice at the Regency Casino Mont Parnes.
By Omaira Gill
Downtown Athens Valentines Date
We meet at 20:00 at Al Hammam, Athens’s new, and one of two, Turkish-style baths, where we unwind and catch up in the misty steam of the traditionally beautiful marble room.
Feeling light and ebullient, we next go to nearby Sushimou, whose owner / head chef Andonis Drakoularakos has been awarded as one of the 100 best chefs globally, to share some super fresh, melt-in-your-mouth sashimi, nigiri and maki, washed down with tiny cups of warm sake.
There’s no better way to end our chilled out yet buzzy night out than with a celebratory kick – a spicy Sonic Boom cocktail (with rum, chili, pineapple and tarragon) at one of the world’s 50 best bars, Baba Au Rum in Monastiraki; indeed, the flavors are so tantalizing, the drinks menu so enticing and the ambiance so effortlessly hip and cozy, that we inevitably decide to linger on for “just one more” magic potion!
By Alexia Amvrazi
Cheek to cheek
Begin with a caipirinha and fiery dinner for two at Kitrinos Skiouros, one of the city’s two Brazilian restaurants, located in a quiet area behind the Hilton Hotel.
The décor is vibrant, while Brazilian specialties such as feijoada, a stew of beans and meat, are served.
Carry on for a whiskey at Au Revoir, a historic Athenian bar designed by esteemed Greek architect Aristomenis Proveleggios (1914-1999).
Dimly lit and atmospheric with small green sofas, the overall ambiance is highly suitable for pairs looking for more intimacy.
For the evening’s finale, head down to Piraeus for an after-midnight drink at Troubar, a late-night hangout that plays good music.
This bar is located at the port city’s once-notorious Trouba district. Though shipping companies, agencies and shops nowadays dominate the scene, this locale was filled with brothels, cabarets, seedy bars and adult movie theaters until the late 60s, earning it a reputation as the capital’s most sinful district.
By Eleftheria Alavanou
* Painter and writer Alexis Kyritsopoulos, inspired by the eternal concept of love, unfolds its various dimensions through his work.
Al Hammam, 16 Tripodon & Ragava 10 St. Plaka, tel: (+30) 211. 012. 9099
Sushimou, 6 Skoufou, Plaka, tel: (+30) 211. 407.8457
Baba Au Rum, 6 Klitiou, Monastiraki, tel: (+30) 211.710.9140
Kitrinos Skiouros, Dimitressa, Ilisia, tel. (+30) 210. 721. 1515()
Au Revoir, 136 Patission, tel (+30) 210. 823. 0474
Troubar, 131 Filonos, Piraeus, tel. (+30) 697.983.0552