My favourite cocktail bar in Athens

Galaxy Bar, Hilton Hotel, Athens, Greece

Not the place to go if you’re on a budget, but for a special occasion (such as perhaps your husband’s birthday!), the rooftop Galaxy Bar is certainly the place to be. With good service, a great cocktail list and unrivaled views over Athens, I am more than happy to pay a few extra Euros for my dirty martini if I can feel on top of the world while doing so. Get there early to ensure a table out on the balcony and enjoy listening to the chilled beats as the sun slowly sinks behind the Acropolis.

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My favourite intersection

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan

Who knew that an intersection could be so exciting? But Shibuya is just that. A densely populated area of Tokyo, Shibuya Station is one of Tokyo’s busiest railway stations, and the surrounding area is known as one of the fashion centres and nightlife hotspots of Japan. Perhaps the highlight of Shibuya however, is its scramble crossing intersection – the busiest in the world. Bordered by crowded meeting places, large TV screens, countless advertising signs and (sadly) Starbucks’ second highest revenue generating location, Shibuya sees 50,000 people cross every half an hour. A must-see location on any Tokyo stop, my tip is to definitely visit it at night, and in the rain for extra giggles with the umbrella dodging!

My favourite tapas bar in Barcelona

Tickets, Barcelona, Spain.

Tickets is a tapas bar headed by Ferran Adria who ran elBulli and is arguably the greatest chef in the world. Set up like a theatre with a ringmaster type character as the door person, the place has a buzzing atmosphere. Between three of us we ordered probably two thirds of the tapas on the menu which was a huge amount of food, but every dish was worth it! Some of the highlights included fried egg with truffled duck fat and potato foam, Ferran Adria’s famous Olives (looks and tastes like an olive, but isn’t – it just explodes in your mouth!), rabbit taco in salmorejo sauce, catalan cream rolls, warm lava cake with raspberry sorbet, and the Animated Forest. All washed down with some cava, a bottle of red and some Tokay to finish, this top notch meal came to the grand total of about 85 Euros each. So if you know you’re going to be anywhere vaguely within the vicinity of Barcelona, be sure to swing by Tickets. Plan ahead though – you need to book online exactly 60 days before (the online booking form opens midnight Spanish time, and it books out within an hour). Hands down the best value meal of my life!

Question: Where’s a secluded honeymoon spot in Thailand?

Koh Yao Yai Village, Koh Yao Yai, Thailand

I recently was asked by my dear friend Amy “We’re flying into Phuket for our honeymoon, and looking for somewhere beautiful for that much-needed relaxation – somewhere that feels a bit special and away from the crowds, but is still easy to access from Phuket“. This was easy – Koh Yao Yai Village immediately came to mind. Located on an island in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, these eco-friendly bungalows are where we spent the last few nights of our own honeymoon two years ago. It is a stunning spot, and a quiet refuge that feels worlds away from the nearby crowds of Phuket. Koh Yao Yai instead remains a natural beauty, and is often described as one of the last islands in the region to not be overly developed. Koh Yao Yai Village is full of special and unique touches, like the daily weather forecast pinned to the bungalow wall, and the “Have a sweet dream” note posted on your pillow each evening following the turn down service. In such quiet surroundings, what better way to while away the day than to relax on your verandah’s daybed with a good book, or chill by the infinity pool admiring the view.

My favourite art gallery

MoMA, New York, USA

I’m not really one for art galleries. I feel guilty for saying it, but my favourite thing about the Louvre was watching the zoo standing in front of the Mona Lisa. Being in Paris definitely worked in its favour, but the art was all a bit same same for me. The Museum of Modern Art in New York however, is a different story. Not only does it house spectacular masterpieces by Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Warhol, Cezanne, Rousseau and my favourite painting in the world, Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, but with live performance art like that of Marina Abramovic’s naked subjects, or Tilda Swinton sleeping inside a glass box, then you have my attention.

 

My favourite Italian B&B

Villa Monica, Sorrento, Italy

We stayed for 3 nights at Villa Monica last September, and have since been discussing how and when we can get back there. Staring down from the hills of Sorrento onto the Amalfi Coast and ominous Mount Vesuvius directly opposite, this small B&B not only has beyond description vistas for a small price tag, but the owner Pasquale is what makes this place really memorable. He will drive you in and out of town when you need (while telling a good old joke or two), he will recommend great restaurants nearby, and he will even make you a great cappucino in the morning. But don’t just believe me, believe everyone else. And be sure to book ahead.