Made in Greece

"The Greeks had invented democracy, built the Acropolis and called it a day." * How very topical and [partially] true! I am not German by the way, neither do I look after the PR for lovely lady Merkel. I am Athens born so I can get away with mini poisonous anti Hellenic statements as long as you don't get to repeat them! Now this ain't gonna be a praise-Greece affair. Yes we invented democracy, medicine, theater … you name it, it is probably Greek. God we were busy BC! There is a NOW side to this beautiful country though, so this one is about my lovely summer escapes to the island of Patmos in a hope to inspire you all to visit [and support the ever so temperamental Greek economy].

One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese, Patmos is a more-rocks-than-trees set which got its 15 minutes of fame in the Christian Book of Revelation; but as with all things-chic, it wasn't très hot, until famous Milan based PR, Karla Otto, put the island on the map. Fast forward to today and Patmos has become the meeting point for all the istas of this world. Stylistas, fashionistas, socialistas, infuencistas [need I say more?] From Milan, Paris, London and Athens rubbing shoulders with each other. During my first Patmos summer – I am a Patmiota now as this is what Italians call anyone visiting for three consecutive summers – I, a nightista myself [loving how dark's fears are balanced by its freedoms], partied along with a suicidal ambassador's daughter; an Italian porn star; the fashion editor of one of Italy's best newspapers, a posh Eton college boy, and the grand-daughter of a top fashion house founder.

For the Milan gang, the island works as a constant 24/7 catwalk; never before have I taken in so much fashion in such a short time apart from my London Fashion Week days. Parisians tend to be more laconic couture-wise, yet of impeccable style … I tend to have my in & out moments depending on the mood. And this is why I am truly in love with this place; it caters for all moods and tastes! I can play jetset if I want to or I can easily opt to stay away from the island's 'cosmic dust' and indulge instead in the joy of solitude still under the island's energy spell. Amazing waters, amazing food, amazing people … for those seeking escapism reminiscent of Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night , join in. Benetos' restaurant is the ultimate gourmet experience. This exceptional chef spends his winters in Miami only to return to Patmos each summer and run his unique restaurant [Michelin-starred] with its very own herb and vegetable garden. The last time I dined at Benetos, Diesel jeans founder Renzo Rosso was sat at the table next to mine, and Carré Otis had just arrived on a private speedboat from the Turkish coast to taste the chef's signature dishes. Equally gourmet, though without the price tag, is my favorite little tavern, Glaros, run by a local family and serving the best fish soup I've ever tried. If you make a stop, make sure you meet Moussant, a black cat that abandoned its Parisian owners and chose to stay at Glaros instead [animals do know better]. If still not convinced, what has been hailed by New Yorkers as the best cheesecake in the world, the cheesecake at George's place is a delicious enough reason to get you on this island for good! That, and the beach of Psili Ammos!

Happy Summer!

PS There is no airport so get your private helis out or just sail in! For those who still wish to fly, the nearest airports are those of Samos and Kos but if you are the 18-30 type do not bother crossing!

* from David Sedaris' Naked .

Source by Barrie Le Gall

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