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Τρίτη, 17 Μαΐου 2011

Secret Garden

                                          When some friends first took me to this place, I was slightly reluctant to turn off my much travelled and beloved Ifaistou street (the "Athens Flea Market"), a road full of tightly crammed tourist shops, hawkers, bead stores and of course the famous clothes basements for the gothic-ly inclined. We were on our way to the usual cafes down in Thiseio, but my friends insisted we turn off down a narrow, dark little alley, dotted with drunkards. Proudly they stopped in front of an old, decrepit building.

 "taf" read the little sign on the left. "This had better be good", I thought. It certainly didn't look promising.
                            
                                   


I am glad to say it was more than good. The door opened to reveal a wonderful little courtyard just around the corner. In the centre a mixture of high and low coffee-tables, surrounded by a bar, tall trees and what looked like the remains of small, old-fashioned houses, complete with red-tiled rooves. Above us a canopy. You felt like you had just discovered your own secret garden in the heart of bustling Athens, just below Monastiraki square, just above Thiseio, yet perfectly quiet. What's more, at night (as I had to go back again soon) it reverts to a bar and the view is even more breathtaking: twinkly lights decorate the branches and balconies, hidden lights give the place a low, romantic glow, yet the music is as loud and good as it gets.



 As we sat down, I ordered my signature cup of tea (Jasmine) and realised I could actually see old-fashioned movies being shown on the walls inside the houses. I looked around and saw paintings, carvings, parts of works of art showing through the windows. The name of the place, i later found out, is "The Art Foundation" or "taf". So at any point visitors (and there were quite a few I might add) can walk around the ground and second floor and pretend to be a bit more cultural, going "ahh" and "mmmh" at things. Although I must say, most of the things I saw were kind of... eccentric. Coupled with the falling-apart-buildings.. you get my drift.










Anyhow, the tea arrived in one of those modern teapots you squish down on top to release all the goodness from the tea leaves. I'm extremely pleased to say it was fantastic! It had a caramel-like aroma and was faintly sweet-tasting. Definitely nothing like my usual Jasmine Tea. It was served with a hard, sugared cinnamon biscuit. Very tasty!
                                                     Also, the waiters were polite, smiling and prompt (as well as very stylish), unlike most places I visit around here. Douze points for quality and service!

                       

                                                     All in all, after a couple of hours relaxing and myself touring the art exhibits, I left feeling refreshed (not as cultured as I'd have liked), but definitely willing to go back soon.






In a nutshell:
Do you get your money's worth? Normal for Athens Standards. 3 euros for tea, 3,50 for coffee.
Was it worth the while? Are you kidding me? How many places like this do you think there are in Athens?
Will I go again? Absolutely.



P.S. For maximum wowing effect take your friends/girlfriends/boyfriends etc. after sundown. You won't be disappointed!




                               




Προβολή Taf σε χάρτη μεγαλύτερου μεγέθους





                                      



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