Kick off 2017 in style by winning an awesome sailing trip around the Greek islands!
Towards the end of last year I gave away an AMAZING trip to sail around Croatia, and do you know what? It was my most popular competition to date! It seems my readers love nothing more than days at sea, taking in beautiful scenery, diving into turquoise waters and enjoying tasty food and plenty of drinks along the way. Then there’s the added bonus that you get to enjoy your holiday with a boatful of brand new friends.
So exciting news for the New Year – I’ve got another sailing trip to give away! I’ve teamed up with Sail in Greece to give away one place on their popular #YOLO Cruises.
Time to check out the food scene in Thessaloniki, Greece.
A few weeks ago I posted this blog, all about my first impressions of Thessaloniki in Greece. I described it as an ‘ancient hipster city’ – struck by how vibrant, creative and diverse it was. Over a few days I saw many sides to the city, which isn’t considered an obvious tourist destination for Brits. It may be on the coast, but this isn’t somewhere you’d jet off to on a summer beach holiday… Luckily, there was plenty more to occupy me!
For a foodie like me, I was in my element. While I think souvlaki, Greek salads and mezes are delicious, Greek cuisine isn’t known for being particularly refined. With influences from the Med, Cyprus and Turkey, there’s an abundance of grilled meats, breads, olives and cheeses. It was part of the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, and also had an influx of Jews from Spain. Thessaloniki became a cultural melting pot, with everyone sharing the same markets and restaurants – resulting in a cuisine with more depth than you might expect.
While travelling around Barcelona and Istanbul, I discovered my favourite way to get to know a city and its culture is by heading off on a food tour. Thessaloniki Walking Tours offer just that – with a chance to see both old and new, budget and luxury, and sample a few weird and wonderful delicacies along the way! Leading the way was local journalist and self-confessed foodie Kostis Zafeiraki – who seemed to be quite a celebrity in the city, with his trademark red specs and extrovert dress sense.
Thessaloniki is a city with a long gastronomic tradition. Kapani (from the Turkish word for flour) is the city’s oldest market, dating back to the 18th century. It’s not just food on offer – you’ll find everything from clothes to cutlery. Yes, one of those dangerous markets that you pop to for a few tomatoes and a loaf of bread, and return with some ornamental plates and a new hoover! Continue reading Thessaloniki… An Unexpected Foodie Playground→
Thessaloniki is an unusual city. Both hipster and ancient, and here’s why…
Sometimes my first impressions are TOTALLY wrong.
Style wasn’t the first word that popped into my mind when I arrived in Thessaloniki. I was met by roadworks, a few drab apartment blocks, and a grey sky to match. But, as I dug a little deeper, I found plenty more – street art, colourful cuisine, and characters that put their hearts and souls into everything they do. Approximately 120,000 young people call Thessaloniki home, mostly attending the city’s universities. They spend their days studying, their afternoons hanging out on the promenade, and their evenings drinking and dancing until the sun comes up.
It’s strange though… during my first few days, I barely saw anyone under 30. By day three, I had the answer. As the sun sets and the lights switch on, the pulse of the city starts to be felt. Buzzing and ever-changing. Not only that, but veer off from the main avenues and you’ll find yourself in a labyrinth of streets of cool, hipster bars with names including ‘Piccadilly’ and ‘Caspar’. Shoreditch eat your heart out!
Forget the blinding neon strip of bars commonly found on the Greek islands, in Thessaloniki hipster bars sit alongside sophisticated, gourmet restaurants and quirky boutiques. After dark, picturesque squares with fountains become a hub for entertainment with flashmobs, DJs and more.