Feast your eyes on Athens, Greece
Athena's city sweeps in from the Aegan sea, rolling over white rooftops and up to hillside olive groves. Here are three Athen's vistas worthy of the daughter of Zeus:
Take the funicular from Kolonaki to Agios Georgios, the small whitewashed chapel dedicated to St George. Built in the 19th Century, it stands on the summit of Lycabettus Hill as the highest point in Athens and, inside, boasts ornate frescoes and an icon of the dragon slayer. Stepping back outside, the view is brilliant blue and white soaring over the rooftops, the Acropolis and the coastline. You can join the city's dog walkers and joggers on a stroll back down through the pine shaded paths of the hill (mythically created by Athena dropping a rock) or walk across to the nearby, open air Lycabettus Stadium.
The Athens Acropolis and, it's crown jewel, the Parthenon need little introduction but annually there is a very special time to see the ancient citadel site. For the past few years, on the night of the August full moon, the site and numerous other archaeological sites in Greece remain open. At just before midnight, I joined the jostling procession of legions of locals and tourists slowly advancing up the "Sacred Rock". Entry is free, reclaiming the site for the city's people for a few hours. From the top, Athens twinkled below as the moon warmed the cream coloured stone as it has every night since the first temple to Athena was built here six centuries BC.
Watching a deep red sun drop through the bruised sky, behind the rocks and into the Aegan, over a martini or three at, open air, Matsuhisa Athens is incredibly romantic. Part of the new Astir Palace Resort, it's a thirty minute drive from central Athens and is headed by the famous Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Waves of some of the world's most exclusive sushi are served to you whilst the breakers crackle just below and boats bob, in the Saronic Gulf, lit by the restaurant's ultra modern Japanese lanterns.
It's possible to have a Greek adventure within the M25 by heading to Bloomsbury. Start with the many marvels at the British Museum, pausing to tsk at the ongoing resistance to returning the Elgin Marbles. Opposite the museum, on tiny Coptic Street, Konaki serves delicious, reasonably priced traditional taverna fare and, until January, be reluctantly magnetised by Robert Lindsay's brilliant portrayal of Aristotle Onassis at the Novello Theatre.