On a rainy Monday evening we had set a date with Discover Greek Culture to explore a few more hidden gems of Athens. I have already attended another one of their tours in December which in case you have missed can be found here. Rain or no rain I was excited to find out what Michael and Sotiris had in store for us. This time round I was joined by Rebecca Hall our fellow Travel Bloggers Greece member who runs her blog, Life Beyond Borders.
We walked down the Ermou street, making our way towards Plaka, it was dark yet still beautiful. The Acropolis stood there, lit in the dark, imposing its presence as we made our way towards the secret destination. Apparently, we were going to visit a 19th Century private mansion. There it stood an impressive house with the Acropolis as its backdrop. We rang the bell and a gentleman named Nikos opened the door and greeted us in. It was nice and warm inside. There was a wooden staircase leading upstairs and from what Nikos has told us later on it has been there since the house was built.
The surprise of the evening was the “secret” dining room located on the ground floor of this mansion. The moment Michael said “here it is” we all went “wow”. It was really nothing like I have ever seen before. The glass floor has actual ancient ruins underneath. I guess this feeling cannot be explained, and although they say a picture is worth a thousand words, in this case nothing can beat the actual experience of being there and soaking in the authentic atmosphere of this magical place. As a welcome drink the host of the house served us a glass of “rakomelo” which is a Greek drink prepared with raki liquer, honey and cinnamon.
We then went on the tour of the house which I must say is a hidden treasure for any Interior Design or Architectural magazine. This mansion has a character and although it has been redesigned, many elements of its original structure have been preserved.
For example in the dining room there are actual ancient artifacts in the walls of the house such as a bullet that was used by General Morosini to bomb the Acropolis during the Ottoman times. The dining room also displays the Russian fine porcelain collection of plates which was part of the dowry given to the initial owners of this mansion back in the 19th Century.
This house has one of the most captivating views of the Acropolis right from its rooftop garden. The best part is that guests can actually enjoy a Bespoke Heritage Tour organized by Discover Greek Culture and savour a Traditional Greek Meal experience overlooking Acropolis. Since the weather wasn’t too friendly we got to experience traditional Greek wine and cheese served on the dining room table, sitting on a glass floor and marveling the ancient ruins of the Tripodon Street below. Not bad at all. Later on we were also joined by Costas Psarros of Table Salt blog who made his way to experience this evening all the way from North of Athens.
Thank you Nikos for opening your home and Discover Greek Culture for arranging this unique experience. It was a memorable evening indeed!