A couple of weeks ago while in Athens, I tried for the first time a very special place. I immediately posted a Story on my Instagram with a cryptic side message, promising to share all about it here on the blog and received loads of messages asking about it. I knew you loved it too. So here it is, Philos – a concept store that’s love at first sight.
From the moment you step in, you realise this spot is much more than a cafe – restaurant. Philos is housed in a beautifully restored neoclassical building dating back to 1937 that was once the home of art collector Evripidis Koutlidis and nowadays under the aegis of the National Gallery. Like many such buildings in the centre of Athens, it remained closed and neglected for a number of years until a young couple, who has chosen to remain anonymous, discovered it and decided to launch the concept store of their dreams.
What I love about the final result is that the identity of the building has been preserved in a way that reflects its history: the antique light switches, the patterned floor tiles, the restored timbered beams, the large windows that let plenty of light in, the marble sink and wood stove in the kitchen and most of all, the imposing wood staircase winding up the three floor levels of Philos. But it’s not all old-school beauty. This is all combined with hanging origami, lots of greenery forming a mini urban jungle and the most amazing glass-top tables with living plants (I am totally stealing this idea for my future home btw!). But perhaps the most special touch of all is the different soundtracks playing in the background in each room – birdsong, crashing waves, poetry readings and music.
The ground floor serves as the cafe – restaurant which serves snacks as well as a few more filling dishes, including two variations of my favourite Greek-style egg recipe, i.e. strapatsada (scrambled eggs with fresh tomato sauce, feta cheese and oregano) and kayana (scrambled eggs with fresh tomato sauce and smoked pork from Mani). This has ”dream brunch menu” written all over it! Their coffee is also good and so is the pineapple juice with anise syrup. It may sound a bit odd but really works, trust me. The first floor has turned into a small store where one can browse through homeware, clothes and accessories from brands like Falcon Enamelware, Bacsac, Sandqvist, Pendleton Woolen Mills and Suigeneric.
I will leave the pictures do the rest of the talking. If you’re looking for a place with character to shop, have coffee or enjoy brunch with friends or your better half in Athens, do try Philos. And don’t forget to tag your pictures with the #seemyathens hashtag. I always love seeing your photos!
|Address: Solonos 32, Athens 106 73, Greece|
|Telephone: +30 210 3619163|
|Website / Facebook page|