Foodie Monster Special: Paris & Food Art

Of course my stay in Paris would not go unnoticed food-wise. C'MON! If there is something French are good at (apart from fashion) is food. Ok, sometimes too many baguettes and too much butter for some, but I am a sucker for both! 

As I was there during fashion week, it almost felt necessary to do an upgrade on my dining options and therefore we chose to have french cuisine most of our nights. 

There was only one night when we made an exception, Ober Mamma was a must. A perfect Italian in the heart of Paris, that not only has a great bar set up, its food is incroyable. Pizzas are beyond delicious, the cured meats as a starter are sublime and to top that you've got lovely waiters to guide you on your menu choices. Not to mention is the hot-spot at the moment, ofc...

As for our french bistros, we've tried many, but there are a few that are worth mentioning: 

Chez Janou for a classic french bistro, pretty chairs outside, low-light restaurant, busy as hell and serving all the french dishes you were thinking about before getting there. Au Petit Fer a Cheval has also become our special favourite for a pre or post-dinner drink. 

Les Déserteurs if you want a twist on what you would call french cuisine. It is still very french, the products are mega fresh and the display is just beautiful. It is recommended in the Michelin Guide, which is always a good indicator, however I am always afraid that I am going to leave the restaurant feeling hungry. NOT THE CASE. 

We had a set menu including 2 starters, a main and dessert (see below!) and I could not have been more happily stuffed. The waiters usually help you pair your food with wine and you are offered some cheese in between dishes, which I would highly recommend. 

Now, sweet tooths out there, I haven't forgotten you. I've been trying to be good since I will be travelling to Philippines in less than a month. But hey ho, you can't go to Paris and not indulge some sweet delicacies. As I tried to go for "healthier options" I've realised that the parisiennes have also taken on board the matcha-kraze. So much they even have a whole restaurant for it! Umami Matcha Cafe. LOVE-IT. 

Other than that and the usual suspects such as Sadaharu Aoki or Eclair de Genie, I've also found Pain de Sucre at Le Marais. A bakery and patisserie offering the right amount of sugar you need in your body!

Don't miss out...and bon appetit!

TCB xx

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

If you´d like to visit Disneyland gone dark, you certainly need to visit Sintra. This World Heritage site helds some of the most incredible castles I've ever seen. 

There´s plenty to do in this town (which by the way, is only an hour away from Lisboa, on the train): exquisite palaces to visit, extravagant residences and decorative gardens to admire and astonishing beaches to relax at about 20 minutes away.  

The sights are spread across the hills of the region, and there are a series of challenging hiking trails, so if you are not very sporty, hold your breath. 

As you get into town, you reach the historic centre, where pretty cobbled streets meet with traditional shops and cafes, all centred around the Gothic styled National Palace. 

If I had limited time and I could only visit one sight though, that would be Quinta da Regaleira. I feel this stately home is slightly underrated as you have to walk for a long while but it is certainly worth it.  The gardens are filled with mystic symbolism and hidden features which include secret tunnels, Gothic towers and stone fortified walls. I mean, hello?

To finish our day, we took the bus like the locals and ended up at a tiny village by the sea. Little we know there were local festivities and we would end up dancing samba with the Portuguese...SO MUCH FUN, that´s all I will say.

Stay tuned, 

TCB xx

Scorching Lisboa

Lisboa is exactly what they've told you: colourful, vibrant, mesmerizing and HOT! The city is full of energy, day and night, and that's exactly what I was looking for. Plus a good company always makes a trip better, and British-Irish squad and I had a blast. 

I'd say you probably need at least 2-3 days to get to know Lisbon properly. More than that, and you are in for a treat of discovering local gems. 

Portuguese are very Mediterranean in their food culture, therefore if you are visiting the city, you are in for a treat. I particularly enjoyed having lunch at Pharmacia, a pharmacy-inspired restaurant by the museum of Pharmacy. You can enjoy some seriously delicious petiscos (tapas) and a good wine for a very decent price (€25-€35 average).

As for sweets: PASTEIS DE BELEM. I mean, what else do you need? I must tell you that it is also my favourite dessert of all times. Can you imagine how hard it was to keep myself at bay? They are so goddamn good! My favorite were the originals from Belem, but you can literally find them at every corner.  Manteigaria is really good if you are in downtown Lisboa. 

Of course you need your postcard picture by the Elevador de Bica, but make sure you stop along the way and enjoy a drink at Park, a rooftop terrace in a car-park. Yes, you may think you are at Frank's in Peckham, but the temperature and the price of your bill will tell you differently.

Views from the Rooftop at Park

Views from the Rooftop at Park

To top up your visit to the city, I highly recommend visiting LX Factory, which you could also visit on your way to Belem (a must). 

A bit hidden in the middle of nowhere, this village is full of up and coming artists. Whether you are looking for a great bar or you'd like to get some home furniture or souvenirs, this is your kinda place. 

Grafitti Wall at LX Factory

Grafitti Wall at LX Factory

Views from Rio Maravilha Rooftop, at LX Factory

Ibiza, Island of Fun

I've been trying to think about how to express my feelings about this island for the last couple of days. So many words come to my mind but I guess my favourite is FREEDOM. Never have I been at a place where 'everything goes' and 'nobody gives a damn', literally.

On the course of five days, I've seen such a variety of people: a naked old man parading all over Ibiza with a pair of House of Holland sunglasses and an umbrella (fancy!), numerous girls in underwear just chilling in the streets, and of course, a lot of hippies.  What do they have in common? That they could care less about it, they were doing what they wanted.

Ibiza is also a place where you can have it all. Party? Check. Relax? Check. Great Food? Check. Great Beaches? Check. Great Bitches? Check, Check. 

You say beachy spots, I say Cala d'Hort. It takes a bit to get there but it is SO dreamy you should not miss out. Crystal clear water, beautiful layout AND a great restaurant serving what is probably the best Paella I had in a long time. 

Enjoy the weekend peeps, 

TCB xx

Symmetry

If there is one word that summarises Copenhagen it is symmetry. Just as I was landing into this nordic country I could tell everything here id done to perfection. And it is, indeed. 

It particularly stroked me how great the food was. I could expect the danish to excel in interior design and home déco (which they do) but food? That I wouldn't know.

We all know Noma is the best restaurant in the world but that's an exception to the rule, or so I thought. Truth is, keeping Noma aside the Danish still have great stuff on offer. Every dish I tried here not only was delicious but it seemed out of a design catalogue. From the infamous avocado on rye toast at Atelier September to a 3-dish tasting menu turned 10-dish extravaganza at Höst, everything tasted delightful and it made you feel as if you were having not only a great meal but a great experience. 

Nørrebro was also one of my preferred wander areas. Apparently the hip neighborhood these days, it helds plenty of foodie offers. My fave have to be Mirabelle for brunch and Bæst pizza for dinner. They are own by the same peeps and there's a brewery in front of it and an Empire cinema. Could you have more in less than 50m distance? Well, if you walk about 200m you have Acne Archive, which is obvs a must if you are a fashionista in need of a scandi touch.

I am not a fab of going through touristy bits but if you had more time and wanted to...Tivoli Gardens are always a good laugh, and its one of the oldest theme parks ever. That's gotta count for something, right? 

TCB x

WHAT I WORE:

Day 1:
Tommy Jeans Logo T-shirt
ZARA Black Playsuit
Skinnydip London Kisses Clutch (old)
ZARA Gold Sandals

Day 2:
Topshop Mom Jeans
Mango Crochet Top
Taylor Morris ZERO Sunglasses
Marc Jacobs Snapshot bag
Warby Parker Glasses
Stan Smith Adidas Trainers

Parisienne Foodie

 
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One thing is for sure: if I lived in Paris I would definetely be in trouble. There are so many great options to wine and dine EVERYWHERE! At every single corner, wherever you are and whatever the time, you’ll always find a café, bar, or restaurant open. A place with those cute seats outside, people watching, smoking, enjoying life passing by…

Bloody hell, what’s not to like about it? 

I was very lucky to be in Paris with my boyfriend recently. We decided that the best way to get to know the city was by trying as much french food as possible. After all, isn’t Paris meant to be one of the greatest cities for it?

So, with a bit of help from my Parisien friends, I got to know where we should head to. Question is now, what are you looking for?

Looking for fashion?

Then Café Kitsuné is a must for you. Located in the gardens of the Palais Royal, this stand-up coffe bar is the best way to start your morning. Here, fashion, music and design reunite for you to have an incredible experience. Not the mention how excellent the coffee is!

Looking for trendy?

You are talking about le Kong bar. Does that ring a bell? Well it probably does if you are a Sex and the City fan, cause this is the place where Carrie meets Mr Petrovsky ex-wife. Yes, I am geek like that! But that image clicked the moment I walked into this rooftop bar.

Known by its famous interior design (and the transparent 3D chairs) and its beautiful view of central Paris, this place is the perfect fuel-stop for brunch loverss or for having drinks afterwork.

Looking for sweetness? O-M-G. We might have a problem here! The options are literally endless. Macarons, Éclairs, Chocolates, Cakes, … it was so tough to decide where to go and what to try.

But I guess my choice today will go to Galeries Lafayette. Just head to their Gourmet building (yes, you heard right, building) and you’ll find a bit of all the delicacies from Paris. Here you’ll find Éclair de Génie, where I tried THE best éclairs ever; Sadaharu Aoki and his incredibly beautiful edible creations; or macarons from Pierre Hermé, among others.

However, if you want something more peculiar and not so massified, then I would probably suggest you to go to Saint Germain des Près. You’ll find the cutest Ladurée shop (and less crowded than the one on Champs Elysées) or alternatively you can have macarons from Le Maison Richart. The latter is not so known but they have the yummiest macarons I’ve tried so far.

Looking for BOBO? Then stick around Saint Germain des Près. The neighborhood is known for its Bourgeois and Bohème (so called BO-BO) atmosphere and it is just charming to wander around the area.

In here you’ll find the infamous Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, both known as the rendezvouz of the literary and intellectual élite of the city (like Sartre, or Beauvoir) during the post-war years.

Looking for edgy?

Listen to me, you need to go to Miznon. Located at Le Marais (one of my fav neighborhoods), this local restaurant will make you feel you are rather in Tel Aviv than Paris. Filled with the cacophony of Hebrew voices and Israeli music, Miznon serves fusión dishes of Israeli and french cuisine in a pitta.

Looking for views?

And you don’t mind splashing the cash for once? Then head to Monsier Bleu at Palais de Tokyo. This bankers spot is perfect to impress whoever you are going with. Brilliant food (and desserts) and the most amazing view of the Tour Eiffel while having your meal.

So I guess you are in for a treat?

Happy travels,

TCB

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Travelling in Style - Paris

Paris, Paris Paris, THE city of LOVE. Many have complained that it’s cold and the people aren’t that nice. But seriously, what’s not to like about Paris?   Every corner of this city truly mesmerizes me. And if you go there with your partner, AND during Valentine’s Weekend (as I did), then it is even more charming, if possible.

I’ve been there many times now. But I must say it doesn’t really matter how many times you’ve been, it always feels special. That is why I wanted to share my special spots and moments with you, so that you fall in love with this city too.

If you are going just for a couple of days, there are certain places you can’t miss out.

First of all, museums. You might not be the cultural kind of person, but you HAVE to visit le Louvre and Centre Pompidou. Moreover, if you are on a tight schedule you should spend the money and get a Museum Pass. It’s about 40 euros, but it allows you to skip all the lines and go straight in (as if you are a VIP) to pretty much every single museum and big monument in Paris.

Le Louvre is possibly one of the biggest museums in the world and it is pretty impressive. You could spend a whole day just wandering around the big palace. But if you like, in few hours you can get to see the big hits like Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo.

If you are more into Modern & Contemporary Art, then you will absolutely love Centre Pompidou. The architecture of the museum is already so impressive, not to mention their temporary exhibitions are always incredible (Jeff Koons is currently on).

Second of all, get lost. If there is one thing I like to do with my boyfriend is just to pick an area and wander around. This is how you usually get to truly discover a city and it is so much fun! My fav areas to get lost are definitely Le Marais or Saint Germain des Prés.

Le Marais is very hipster. It is full of fashion houses, vintage shops (such as Free’P’Star or Kilo Shop) and lots of trendy restaurants. On the contrary, Saint Germain des Prés is more classy, relaxed and as the french like to call it, it is Bo-Bo (Bourgeois and Bohème). Very close by you'll also find Jardins du Luxembourg, which are perfect for an afternoon stroll, they are so majestic!

Of course you need to do the main sightseeing bits though, like Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe-Champs Elysées and la Tour Eiffel. You are in Paris! But if you do so, please make sure you don’t miss Sainte Chapelle.

Pretty close to Notre-Dame, this little Chapel is considered among the finest architecture of the 12th century because of their stained glass windows. And trust me, the whole thing is just dazzling.

Also, very nearby there’s one of my favourite spots in the city, the Shakespeare in Company Bookshop. The original shop, which doubled as a library, publisher and boarding house for aspiring writers, was featured in Ernest Hemingway's memoir, A Moveable Feast. It is the tiniest and oldest place I’ve been in Paris, and it keeps the oldest books you could ever imagine. I guess it’s the mixture of the literature enclosed in the place and its charming vibe what makes this place so unique.

I know, I know. You might be thinking why the hell I want you to go to a bookshop. But I guess this time you’ll just have to trust me and see it with your own eyes. And then you’ll understand.

Thirdly and to conclude, do yourself a favour and indulge yourself into some real treats. After all, you are in Paris.

TCB x

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Wearing Sister Jane Faux Fur Biker Jacket (available here), H&M  jeans (available here), ZARA Ankle-boots (sold out, similar here) and &Other Stories Clutch Bag (similar here)

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Wearing Kenzo Tiger Jumper (sold out), ZARA Boyfriend trousers (old, similar here), Maria Pascual Jewellery (available here) and Adidas Stan Smith Trainers (available here)

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An Italian affair - Venice

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Venice, Venice, Venice...Couldn't find a better timing to talk about this beautiful city considering that Mr & Mrs Clooney celebrated their nuptials there so recently! Venezia is one of the most romantic and charming places in the world, and perfect for a weekend getaway. My boyfriend and I decided to spend our last days of holidays there and the place does not deceive.

Starting by its architecture and followed by the colourful little alleys and the gorgeous food, its offerings are limitless. If you are planning to stay there for a couple of days (as we did), I suggest you do the following:

1. The Grand Canal. There are two options for you to do it: by foot or by boat. Doing it by foot might seem very time consuming but I can tell you it is totally doable. You need to remember the city centre itself is quite small!

We did the foot path to discover the main area and it was perfect. Starting from Cannaregio area, you can walk all the way until Piazza San Marco, the main highlight of Venice. The path includes going through the canal bridges and Venice's labyrinthic streets, passing through Santa Croce, San Polo and Rialto neighborhoods, until you get to the Basilica di San Marco.

Piazza San Marco is stunning. There are plenty of posh cafés (with an orchestra playing all sorts of music), and if you are up for an experience and you don't mind splashing the cash I suggest you having a capuccino and some sweets at Café Florian.

Now coming back to discovering the Grand Canal. As I said, you could do it by foot or by boat. And as any other tourist, I wouldn't miss the oportunity to jump into a boat or a gondola to see the highlights of the City. If you are on a budget, a good option is to take a Vaporetto (their main public transport, €8/hour) from the train station to Piazza San Marco, and do the foot path from there.

2. Shopping. Of course, I couldn't miss talking about shopping! If you are in need of accessories, you are at the right place. Venice is known by its good fabric (looove their leather bags) and by its glass (make sure you get some murano glass jewellery).

3. Cicchetti and wine. There are plenty of places you could stop to indulge some good food & wine (and Prossecco, of course). In Santa Croce you've got Al Prossecco, one of Lonely Planet's favourites wine bar. Here you'll be able to taste natural-process wines and prosecco for a very decent price. Its location is quite local, which gives the place a nice touch.

However, my favourite place was Cantina do Spade in San Polo. We passed through this place several times while walking around the city and every single time it was so busy and lively that we couldn't resist going in. They serve fresh ciccheti (italian tapas) that vary from a wide range of seafood to very yummy veggie fritters. And bare with me, a glass of prosecco is 2€! What else could you ask for.

In Rialto you'll find plenty of touristy stalls selling you venetian hats, masks, and murano glass. But you will also find a beautiful local market selling fresh fish and food. Additionally, Rialto is probably the best place to rent a gondola.

4. Take a ride on a Gondola. You need to be aware that the starting fee for a gondola ride is €80, which to me is a complete rip-off. However, if you've travelled all the way to Venice, and you are only there for two days, you will want to do it! Specially if you go there with your partner. So if you are ok spending 80€ for a 30min ride, then just go for it. Another option is to find another couple that is interested in doing it too and share the ride with them (cheeky, cheeky).

5. Gelato. There's no need to say that every trip to Italy needs to include at least one coffee and one gelato per day (or is it just me?).  My favourite place in Venice for ice cream was withoug a doubt Suso Gelatoteca. There are plenty of flavours to choose, the portionts are gigantic, they taste wonderfully and the price is very reasonable, so that's a 10 for me!

To conclude, we've got: a beautiful scenery, delicious food, lots of romanticism, and a perfect weekend away.

Do you need anything else to make up your mind and go?

TCB x

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Wearing Uterque LBD (old, similar here), Zara chunky sandals (sold out), and Black Mini Satchel Bag (sold out, similar here)

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Wearing: Zara floral dress (sold out, similar here and here) and Bosanova Gold Flats (sold out, similar here)

Greek Paradise - Santorini

 
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Santorini, the romantic escapade. Known as the best greek island to see the sunset (OK I agree, but wouldn't it be the same from any other island?), Santorini amazed me since the moment I got there.

Hot, fuzzy weather. Lovely white & blue villages on a cliff. The people, the food. And of course, the Sea. It was stunning waking up to a clear blue sky and diving into the deep blue sea, with nothing else surrounding you. Oh man, what a feeling that was.

Santorini has many things to offer. However, I'd say it is mainly an island to relax. Take a good book, lots of drinks, a towel & a swimsuit and you are good to go. Red Beach, Black Beach, White Beach, you name it. They have them all.

As for where to stay: Oia. Not because I stayed there, but Oia is the most iconic village of the island. Forget Fira, Firostefani, Kamari or any other touristy village. All locals (and foreigners, of course) travel most of their evenings to Oia just to see the sun go down. Yep, that impressive.

But that's not the only reason why I would stay there. Tourists only grasp a bit of what Oia has to offer because they come for the sunset and then go, leaving without knowing that Oia is not as busy as it gets during sunset time. The scenario changes completely when you wake up, everything is more chilled out and you can get a nicer feeling about the place.

This cute village is in the north west edge of the island, along the northern edge of the caldera that forms the island of Santorini, at a height of between 70 and 100 metres (230 and 330 ft) above sea level. It is built on the steep slope of the caldera and the houses and restaurants are built into niches carved into the caldera on the seaward side. There are lots of charming passageways and a central square, with a little church.There's also a little footpath to access to the sea and the harbour, where I've tried really good seafood. Because, let's not forget the food...

Ok, let me go back. Eventhough we went in August, we managed to find an apartment for a very decent price. Marcos Rooms, a lovely aparthotel run by a greek family and few minutes away from the main street of the village. The rooms are lovely (they are the typical white and blue calderas) and you have a massive patio where you can bring your own food and drinks while enjoying the view. I highly recommend it!

As I had no clue where to eat, I asked them where could we go for lunch/dinner and we tried all the places they suggested, being my top 3 the following:

Thalami, my favourite restaurant by far. Everything we tried was excellent. Grilled octopus, tiger prawns, zucchini fritters, ... and they make the best Tomato Fritters (a traditional Santorini dish).

Skala, next to Thalami, it is also a good option to dine. Both Thalami and Skala's locations are sublime as you can sit in the terrace and have a view of the Aegan Sea. However, considering both cost about the same (€20/person, with no drinks), i'd rather stay in Thalami.

Kastelli is more like a greek taverna, very local. And I guess that's why I liked it so much. Their specialty is kalamaki, so this place was a must for meat lovers like me.

As for dessert, there's one place and one place only where you should go: Lolita's Gelato. Quite a new and next to the bus station, this gelateria is anything you would wish for. With a gelato machine brought from Italy, they use fresh milk, fruit and nuts and come up with original flavours like a gelato made from Santorini's local wine. Seriously, not to be missed.

I could keep talking about how nice Santorini was, and how many other things you could do (like going to hot springs, visiting the active volcano islets, visiting Santorini Monkey Brewery...), but I think you got and idea. So don't miss a change to get there when you can.

TCB x

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@Black Beach near Oia, wearing Miss Selfridge Crop Top and &Other Stories bikini (oldie, similar here)

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@Oia, the most beautiful and iconic village of Santorini

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Sunsets in Oia

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@Firostefani wearing Topshop denim Skirt Vika Gazinskaya for &Other Stories sleeveless top, ZARA clutch & shoes and Maria Pascual jewelry

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@Akrotiri Red Beach - Wearing Christies Swimsuit

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Historical Greece - Athens

 
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I've always wondered why dressing nicely while on holidays is a synonym of not being comfortable. Being away from home shouldn't be an excuse to wear your sports kit. This year I've been in very hot places, with lots of humidity, walking around for hours, and yet I tried to look OK! Oh Holidays, holidays. That time of the year everybody looks forward to. I find it quite funny how high expectations people get about them and how much time most of us spend deciding what's best to do and how to do it. All those hours of going through the internet trying to find the best routes, the best itineraries, all to have the best time of the year (or at least that's what I think!).And then they go quickly...Argh, I guess it means we are having a good time.

This year I wasn't sure where to go. Lots of destinations to choose and very little time (and budget). So I decided to travel around Europe. Since I moved to London it's getting more complicated to plan holidays, I must say. I want to spend some quality time with my friends and family back home (in Barcelona) but also discover new cultures. So after several hours on the internet, the decision was made. Greece! Italy! and of course, Barcelona.

Our journey began in Greece, and more specifically in Athens. I don't get why so many people told me I was going to hate it. I think it's the perfect weekend destination and it has so much to offer! For me the mix of culture and cuisine was just the best.

We got there very early and even though we travelled during peak time, we managed to get a very nice room at the Radisson Blu Park Hotel (with a rooftop with views to the Akropoli) for a very decent price. And the staff were so friendly and helpful!

If I learnt anything from visiting Greece is that the Akropoli and its surroundings make it worth the trip. The Akropoli is at its best during early time in the morning, less crowded and nice weather. You could even catch some breeze! And what to say about the Akropoli...well, I think the pictures say it all but if I had to use a word it would be majestic. We spent about half a day just wandering around it and it was superb.

From there we went to try what Athens cuisine had to offer. It really depends what you are looking for but I personally loved Souvlaki around Plaka, at the very famous Meatropoleos 3. I'm just going to say, if you are a meaty person, you won't go anywhere else.

However, if you are up for a more fancy option, I'd say wander around Kolonaki. It's quite a residential area but I'd say it is also one of the nicest. There you can taste one of the most exquisites greek frozen yogurts in the city and have greek tapas in little homey restaurants in the street (my favourite, Kalamaki Kolonaki).

After three days there, our journey was finished. But not completely! It was just time to move to the Greek Islands. And damn I was excited. Santorini was awaiting for us.

TBC x

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The Parthenon.

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Wearing Topshop Metallic Skirt (similar one, here) , Topshop Gingham Top, and Miista Dee Silver

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Agora

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The temple of Zeus

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Hadrian's Arch (With the acropolis behind it!)

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The Radisson Blu Hotel and its fantastic restaurant and pool

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...and once more, the view to the Akropoli from the hotel.