Je suis un fan

  Mandarin Oriental, Paris has just celebrated its first birthday. An oasis of contemporary luxury in the bustling heart of the fashionable Saint-Honoré district, to stay at this hotel is to savour modern Parisian style with a refined infusion of the Orient. Paris Fashion Week was in full swing when our taxi plied its wayContinue reading “Je suis un fan”

Bathing with Herodotus

Mike Sweet takes the waters in northern Evia, Greece. The healing powers of Edipsos’ thermal springs in the north of Evia have attracted politicians and artists for centuries; millennia even. Less than two hours drive from Athens, the luxurious Thermae Sylla Spa Wellness Hotel beckons at Edipsos. Built in 1890 and lavishly restored recently, theContinue reading “Bathing with Herodotus”

Cretan Journeys: Return to the village

Mike Sweet reports from Vamos in western Crete, where a community has been revitalised by the vision of a generation who turned their grandparents’ homes into delightful refuges for discerning visitors. Nestled between the coast and the national highway connecting Chania with Rethymno, the Apokoronas is a region often overlooked by the scores of touristContinue reading “Cretan Journeys: Return to the village”

Cretan Journeys: Elixirs of life

It’s a short drive from Chania into the natural beauty of the Armenoi district in western Crete and a relief to be away from the kitsch of Chania’s old town, which in April attracts the first streams of tourist swarms. They mill through the alleyways, past the shops selling ‘Miss Kitty’ towels and the otherContinue reading “Cretan Journeys: Elixirs of life”

Industrial light and magic – a profile of architectural photographer George Apostolidis

Atrium, Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. Photograph: George Apostolidis. George Apostolidis is just about to head to Bangkok when I catch up with the award-winning photographer at his home in the prosperous Melbourne suburb of Kew. A two-week shoot in Thailand will be followed by work in Paris and then Barcelona, all for the same client: MandarinContinue reading “Industrial light and magic – a profile of architectural photographer George Apostolidis”

A house in Athens

The house Diligianis built. 19 Levidou, Kifisia. An elegant long-handled knife sits under glass at the National Historical Museum, the old Greek Parliament in Stadiou Street, Athens. Beside it lies a leather bag with a monograph. It reads Diligiannis. This personal effect of a late-19th Century Greek politician Theodoros Diligiannis would have passing interest forContinue reading “A house in Athens”

In the footsteps of my father

The daughters of the first Aboriginal man commissioned as an officer in the Australian army – Reg Saunders, at his WWII hideaway in Crete. As the European winter stretches south, the winds across the Aegean pick up and flights into Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport in Heraklion may be cancelled. There’s no such misfortune for GlendaContinue reading “In the footsteps of my father”

A world apart – Gavdos, Europe’s most southerly point

There’s usually no shortage of takers for the journey from Chora Sfakion to the tiny island of Gavdos, nearly fifty kilometres off the coast of Crete. With less than fifty permanent residents and encompassing only thirty-six square kilometres, Gavdos achieved an almost mythic status in recent years as the last ‘undiscovered’ island retreat in Greece,Continue reading “A world apart – Gavdos, Europe’s most southerly point”