Three Parisian terraces to visit this springtime!

Room for thought : ‘See the big picture, play the long game’

Travelling offers the opportunity to escape our ‘habits of mind’ and reflect upon our lives from a height we could not have reached in the midst of our everyday lives.

Locations with a view from above, a ‘bird’s eye view’ as it is often called, have always been my favorite as they help me experience and think about the big picture and not about the fussy details of everyday life.

When you focus on the big picture of your life it is easier to plan your ‘long game’.

What does the ‘long game’ entail?

Taking the necessary steps now, that will bring you where you want to be in the future, sacrificing short-term wins for long-term more important gains and aiming for compound results and accummulation of tiny advantages that will make your next moves easier.

Most people play the ‘short game’ because it is easier, more visible and has immediate results but the catch is, the longer you play the short game the harder it gets.

Examples of short game include not taking care of your health, spending too much, charging too much to your customers, arguing about trivial subjects etc.

But different outcomes come from doing different things or doing things differently.

And what a better place to reflect, plan and in the same time enjoy the moment than from these Parisian terraces :

De Tout Paris : Indulge in the panoramic view of Paris, from this contemporary brasserie. Seven floors above the Pont Neuf-the oldest bridge in Paris, Le Tout -Paris is bathed in Parisian light and draws authentic inspiration from the traditional Art Deco bistro and the French ‘art de vivre’. Located on the rooftop of Hotel Cheval Blanc-LVMH’s first five-star accommodation in the heart of Paris and next to the newly renovated Samaritaine ! Offers a selection of flavours and classic recipes given a new twist, enticing cocktails and Sunday brunch in a modern and colorful environment with vivid artwork and elegant furniture with pop flashes.

De Tout Paris, Hotel Cheval Blanc, 8 Quai de Louvre 75001, Tel: +331.

La Perruche : Both a cocktail bar and restaurant, Perruche is an oasis of greenery with a refined culinary scene and a selection of signature cocktails by famous mixologist Nico de Soto. Perched on Printemps Haussmann rooftop offers unobstructed views of Paris, south-inspired flavors, spirited vibes and the essence of outdoor living.

La Perruche, Printemps de l’homme – 9ème étage, 2 rue du Havre 75009, Tel :+331.

Mun Restaurant : Wonderful views on the rooftops of Paris, this Asian -inspired restaurant set on the Champs Elysées offers a spectacular panorama from the Grand Palais to the Arc de Triomphe. An inspired sushi menu by chefs Julien Chicoisne and Roland Puse as well as well -mastered cocktails and a super plant-filled bar. Reserve on time on the terrace and take the elevator to reach this unmissable rooftop with a ravishing view.

Restaurant MUN, 52 Avenue des Champs Elysées, Paris 8e, Tel :+331.

With gratitude, T.

New Year’s Eve with style and cordiality at the Suvretta House!

Unique and novel experiences is what we have missed most, during the pandemic, so we were much looking forward to our New Year’s Eve Gala at the Suvretta House in St.Moritz.

And even though as the days were approaching, so were our close contacts covid cases..we decided to go ahead with the trip, mainly for three reasons.

One, the whole family was vaccinated and boosted, two, the marvelous Suvretta House is famous for its hygiene practices and three it has a private ski lift to the slopes, a competitive advantage that has made the hotel much sought after during covid times!

Almost all New Year events in St.Moritz request black-tie attire and Suvretta House has been organizing such events since 1912.

When you enter the hotel, you get a familiar feeling and friendly atmosphere. Most guests have been spending Christmas and New Year at the same hotel for many years and even though all dressed up and glitzy you can still feel the coziness.

Everyone was taking pictures at the booth at the entrance so we did the same, creating souvenirs that will remind us of this very special night.

We have received the menu and wine list to make our choices two weeks in advance so we thought we knew what to expect. What we didn’t expect was the impeccable service and mouthwatering tastes that were swiftly put before us as an orchestrated theater play. The waiters were wearing party hats with little colorful lights that gave a festive atmosphere but that did not take away any of their professionalism.

So the menu..

The first course was a traditional Swiss salmon dish served with crispbread and Imperial Osiestra caviar that no one could resist, followed by a tasty and delicate glazed Atlantic turbot with barigoule vegetables and ‘sauce vin jaune’.

The main course that left ‘the boys’ very satisfied was a US Wagyu beef fillet with potatoes from the Engadine, winter truffle, bimi broccoli and borderlaise juice.

And who can say no to the Chocolate Lingot with pear and quince sorbet served at the end with mignardises? Certainly, we couldn’t and enjoyed every last bit.

It was wonderful to meet some new families with kids similar age to ours that visit the hotel every year and we can’t wait to be back and dance the last night of the year away!

Last but not least, one must mention the unforgettable experience on January 1st!
We woke up with a view of sunlit mountains and powder snow, took the private lift and enjoyed a whole day of skiing with sunshine followed by an afternoon at the Suvretta spa and its outdoor heated whirlpool.

Definitely, such a mountain ride is my kind of favorite start of the year.

With gratitude, T.

At the artistic and extroverted Milan with kids!

I had missed Milan. Milan, which I used to visit often during my college years, visiting my besties who were studying fashion at the time. Since then, it is true that Milan has undergone a transformation from a grey industrial city to a bright multicolored and interesting urban center. Fashion is still at the forefront of the Milan story, but the continuing rise of its gastronomy and art scene cannot be overlooked.

This time I was looking for activities that I could enjoy with my husband and kids. And I managed to find a range of very exciting choices!

Coming from covid era, we needed the less hassle possible so I booked all our skip the line activities from a very convenient site

First stop, Duomo.

When the kids asked what plans we have for Milan and we said we are going to a Cathedral they weren’t that excited to be honest. But, the minute they laid their eyes on the Duomo, it was love at first sight. They were extremely impressed by this Gothic -style cathedral and its more than 3000 statues as well as the fact that it took more than 600 years to complete.

We had booked a ‘skip the line cathedral and rooftop ticket by elevator’ and we loved the view from the Duomo terrace.

The next day we had a visit at the Da Vinci Science museum for kids and the Fondazione Prada of modern art. It was one of our favorite days as we experienced the antithesis between the marvel and fascination of Da Vinci times and the art scene that takes place right now!

Don’t miss the bike tour all around the most interesting spots of Milan. You meet outside the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle and you visit the Sempione Park, the Castello Sforzesco ,the Brera Pinacoteca and of course the Da Vinci original masterpiece ‘Last Supper’ in Santa Maria delle Grazie. We ended our bike tour there and had organized a tour to admire the Last Supper which I recommend to anyone visiting Milan.

A new hot spot is the navigli district, where one can walk around or choose a canal cruise with audio guide! We did the latter and saw Milan from a different perspective discovering the charm of one of the last waterways that exist in Milan.

As far as restaurants are concerned, I recommend the original Salumaio Di Montenapoleone-my son met the football player Marco Veratti there and he was thrilled-, the terrace of the Papermoon Giardino and of course an aperitivo or Sunday Brunch at Bulgari Hotel!

With Gratitude, T.

Suite Home Escape London Book presentation speech!

London, November 2017 Suite Home Escape Book presentation speech :

‘Dearest friends, thank you very much for being here today.

Before I touch on how this book will help a very important segment of society, I would first like to talk about how travel can be inspirational and enlightening.

In parallel, escaping our daily lives and traveling to amazing places always touches something within us. Beyond leisure and relaxation, it can lead to new ideas and to life-changing decisions.  I find that travel gives us all a global view on our lives: it frees us from the fussy details of everyday and lets us experience the bigger picture.

Yet there’s much more to travel than personal gain. I’ve always embraced the idea that luxury hospitality can be an important channel for giving back to the community people and environment.

In this vein, the objective of Suite Home Escape is to take us to wondrous places and to transform every visit into a journey of both personal growth and social responsibility. The book features hotels that distinguish themselves not only by documenting beautiful and very special destinations, but also by highlighting their authenticity, sustainability and cultural heritage.

From tree houses in Africa and waterside properties in Asia to the boutique hotels of Europe, every hotel in this eclectic collection has inspired me in one way or another. After every trip, I used to write down everything new that I had seen, heard, learned or thought.

Each description is accompanied by short phrases, which I have called “room for thought” and which invite the visitor to escape – if only mentally – from the routine of everyday life. It helps every discerning traveler to become a true citizen of the world and to develop his or her own philosophy that continues to grow even after their return, in particular by giving each person more room to think.

The word room in English doesn’t only imply a physical space but also an opportunity to escape from the ordinary and the usual. We give ourselves room to relax, strategize, philosophize or cultivate new habits.

In this sense a hotel room can be both a space to enjoy but also a new starting point as a space to grow, whether emotionally, mentally or spiritually. With more room to think we can strengthen personal goals, cultivate relationships, spur creativity and build experiences. My “rooms for thought” are all about that.

For years, the rooms of my family’s hotel in Athens, the St. George Lycabettus, have very much been a source of inspiration for me. As hospitality evolved and CSR became an indispensable part of the industry, the property has literally and figuratively given me room to think about how the travel industry can and must give back to society.

We took pride in converting this long-standing Athenian landmark into an artistic, cultural, gastronomic and luxury-led property that also espouses a philosophy of sustainability and environmental awareness. Today, and in honor of our hotel’s 40th anniversary, we’re donating all the proceeds of Suite Home Escape to Elpida Youth, one of Greece’s most notable charities that supports children with cancer.

I chose Elpida Youth to be part of our Corporate Social Responsibility because it excels in providing emotional support and psychological wellbeing to help children and their families better manage the disease and its treatment. Elpida Youth’s activities in Greece include therapeutic summer camps for the children and operation of the Elpida Guesthouse whose purpose is to help and host children with cancer and their families. By the way, over the last 20 years, Elpida has strongly contributed to developing cancer treatments, achieving a success rate of 80%!

These initiatives are indeed excellent examples of standing behind vulnerable groups in Greece.

As you all know Greece is currently going through many challenges, yet its economic crisis is proving to be an opportunity that is opening new doors. The tourism sector and its ongoing support for society is a vehicle that can lead us out of the crisis. This requires a vision, long-term plan, hard work, consistency and ethics. Above all it requires synergies.

Social support and volunteering have both proven to be noteworthy antidotes to the crisis. I have seen my fellow Greeks work fervently and effectively in supporting the less fortunate.

I hope that Suite Home Escape will do small its part in offering support to those who need it during these times. I hope you travel to many of the wonderful places in Suite Home Escape and that they will enlighten you as they did me.’

With gratitude, T.