Often, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a girl you want to get to know a bit better. You strike whilst the iron is hot and find yourself going on a date sooner than expected, which means you need to dress as well as act the part. What you wear will be the first thing she notices about you. You should always be prepared to have your attire discussed as much as the merits of your personality and etiquette when she rejoins her friends. Choose a nice well fitted pair of blue trousers, a grey jacket, white shirt, black oxfords and pay attention to the watch! Choose a minimal leather strapped watch like my Rado DiaMaster Petite Seconde.
Warning: wanderlust ahead
We are sharing with you our top 10 hotspots to visit if you’re heading to Greece this summer season. From Mykonos to Zakynthos find out which island beachses you have to visit!
1. Plaka, Agios Ioannis, Pelion
You don’t have to leave the mainland to see the best beaches on offer – this mainland treasure is at the south eastern part of Thessaly in central Greece.
2. Egremni, Lefkada
If paradise was a colour, it could be the striking light blue of the water at Egremni Beach on the island of Lefkada. Connected to the mainland by a causeway, Lefkada is one of the few Greek islands that is accessible by car.
3. Agia Anna, Amorgos
Agia Anna (Saint Anna) became the most famous beach in Amorgos after featuring in French director Luc Besson’s 1988 film The Big Blue.
Polyaigos Island is the largest uninhabited island in the Aegean. The name means ‘many goats’ and these are the only residents you’ll find here.
5. Vrika, Antipaxos
This tiny island is the perfect little paradise for those seeking seclusion and relaxation.
6. Myrtos, Kefalonia
Consistently voted as one of the best beaches in Greece, you’ll want to spend an entire day on this beautiful stretch of sand. Myrtos lies at the feet of two mountains, Agia Dynati and Kalon Oros, and is backed by steep limestone cliffs.
7. Vatera, Lesvos
Idyllic and unspoiled, Vatera is one of the longest beaches on the island. This is my local beach when I’m visiting family, and I have spent many memorable summers here.
8. Kleftiko, Milos
Accessible only by boat, Kleftiko is an old pirate’s hideout on the south-west of the island that is famous for its impressive rock formations.
10. Agios Sostis, Mykonos
The view from Kiki’s Tavern – where there’s no signage, reservations or telephone – makes this tiny taverna overlooking Agios Sostis Beach the place to be.
10. Porto Katsiki, Lefkada
The waters of Porto Katsiki are an incredible shade of iridescent blue thanks to its Ionian Sea locale.
Spetses is both cursed and blessed by its assets; being too pretty and too accessible have made it too popular. The last of the Argo-Saronic islands that include Aigina, Poros and Hydra off the northeast coast of the Peloponnesos, Spetses was so green in antiquity that it was called Pityoussa – covered with pines. Cruel winds rarely buffet it, yet every midday in summer a delicious breeze springs up to cool it. Although it has to import water, bougainvillea, hibiscus, plumbago, jasmine and trumpet vines thrive in the mild climate, spangling white walls with pink, mauve, red, baby blue and orange petals. Handsome mansions dominate the seafront between the Old Harbor (Paliolimani) and ∏-shaped Dapia, where sea taxis and kaikis huddle under cannons left from the War of Independence. Adjoining the modern jetty, where the hydrofoils dock, stands an ochre elephant of a hotel – the grand Posidonion Hotel, where Athenian gentry holidayed a century ago.
Spetses is easy to get to know, superficially at least. Its only town, with about 5,000 permanent residents, stretches along the north coast from the Old Harbor, considered the classiest district, to Dapia, the port, and west to Kounoupitsa, with its more modest houses. It doesn’t take much more than half an hour to walk from one end to the other, but nobody would be caught dead using their feet in Spetses. The locals, young and ancient, male and female, are latter-day centaurs, almost welded to their motorbikes. Sometimes whole families of four or five squeeze onto one, while I’ve seen the most improbable things being carried. Most memorable was the guy wearing a canoe on his head, driving with one hand, holding it with the other, barely able to see as he bounced along a patch of stony road.
A visit to Spetses begins as you step off the hydrofoil at Dapia, which means “fortified place” in Turkish or Albanian, depending on who tells you. Today, it’s the center of Spetses life, where you go to buy the newspaper (foreign or Greek), do some shopping (for essentials or extravagances) and, most of all, just hang out. The cafés behind the cannon are filled day and night with non-locals nursing frappes or scoffing excellent sweets, while old timers and Spetsiotis patronize Stambolis on the upper left side. Below it are a small Alpha Bank branch, the Flying Dolphin ticket office, a well-stocked periptero (kiosk) and a gleaming new café – so new I’ve never sat there, but it looks pricey.
But what about swimming? Spetses has the kind of beaches I like: more little coves hemmed by rocks than great expanses of fine sand. Snorkeling can be psychedelic thanks to the entrancing pink and mauve patterns on the walls of small caves, while at Agii Anargyri, the island’s biggest beach, you can swim into a large cave where women and children allegedly hid during at least one Ottoman raid. The story goes that their wily menfolk placed fezzes on the asphodels that grow by the hundreds near the lighthouse and frightened the enemy away.
Dapia is the island’s transportation hub. Sea taxis and kaikis bob below the cafés. Besides taking you singly or in a group to the beaches round the island, they’ll also carry you to beaches across the straits on the Peloponnesos, starting with Kosta, which is served by an unglamorous ferry as well. Be warned: the sea taxis are expensive – 20 euros to or from Kosta – while the ferry has got to be the cheapest fare in Greece at 80 lepta (cents)! Kosta, a few miles east of Porto Heli, has a decent beach, but we drive from Athens and park the car there – cars are prohibited on Spetses from Easter to the end of October. And so do a lot of regular visitors and islanders, who balk at paying the 35 euros for a one way ticket on the hydrofoil from Piraeus. Sadly, the more economical boat that took five hours was discontinued a couple of summers ago and there are no plans to reinstate it.
Wearing a beret may seem like a tricky sartorial manoeuvre, but it needn’t be. Worn since the Bronze Age, the hat went into mass production in 19th century France and Spain, and remains popular to this day. A timeless design, the beret cropped up at Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Wales Bonner this season, among others. Here is a way to wear the latest trend. I paired it up with my Massimo Dutti Camel Coat, a white sophisticated wool turtleneck from Massimo Dutti as well, with a khaki pair of trousers and my Santoni leather boots. My Beret is from my personal collection and it is a vintage one.
Buying plants for your garden can be an overwhelming experience. It helps to have a list so you are less likely to come home with impulse buys for which you don’t have the space or the right growing conditions.
Choose a well-run garden center
You’ll find plants sold in many different places from small garden centres to grocery store parking lots, home centers to big box stores. Steer clear of temporary plant stands that sprout like crabgrass each spring. Yes, you can scoop up deals, but generally the selection is skimpy, the staff not well trained, and the plants not watered often enough.
When buying plants, look for these signs of quality in a garden center:
- A good selection of well-maintained plants arranged logically; for example, perennials for different conditions, such as sun or shade, displayed together in groups
- Labels showing plants in bloom, how-to-grow information, and expected size and spread
- Nursery wagons or carts to hold your purchases while you shop and aisles wide enough to maneuver them easily
- Knowledgeable staff who can answer gardening questions, make suggestions, or who will take the time to find someone who can
Buying plants – bigger is better
With annuals, it’s fine to buy small ones – these plants grow to maturity very quickly – but with perennials, bigger is better. Often new gardeners opt for perennials in small 4-inch pots because they’re not confident they will be successful. The reasoning goes: “If the plants die, I haven’t lost as much.” But buying plants in tiny pots can be a misplaced saving because the smaller the plants, the more time you’ll have to spend nurturing them. You’ll have to watch that faster-growing plants or weeds don’t overpower them, that they don’t dry out, and that you don’t pull them out by mistake.
When buying plants, look for:
- Balanced, healthy looking growth and well-colored leaves.
- Avoid yellowed leaves (unless they’re supposed to be yellow); browned, stunted, or slimy leaves are signs of insect, wilting, frost or disease damage. Abundant new growth indicates a vigorous plant.
- Healthy roots: If you can do so without damaging the plant, pop it out of its container and look at the roots. Are they root-bound – strangled mass of roots circling around and virtually no potting soil visible, or is there a good proportion of soil to roots?
- Soil surfaces covered with weeds or moss usually indicate the plant has been in the same container a long time and may be pot-bound. Such plants will often struggle to get established in your garden.
Buying plants – colour sells
When buying plants, gardeners make a beeline to flowers in bloom. Of course, seeing the blooms is handy: it’s easier to decide whether a plant fits your color scheme. However, many perennials for sale in spring are coaxed into early blooming in greenhouses before they would normally bloom in the garden. The next season, your perennial will bloom at the normal time for the species, which is usually a bit later. The normal time for blooming should be indicated on the plant tag.
Personally when I have a choice between a perennial in full bloom or one that’s just beginning to bud, I pick the latter: I want it to bloom in my garden, not at the store.
Black is by far one of the most popular colors when it comes to fashion, and it’s easy to see why. The color black in fashion has traditionally been associated with class, sophistication and even mystery, which makes it amazing for smart style and formal wear. Be careful when buying your black clothing though, it’s easy to see when a piece of black clothing is low quality because after a few washes it fades to an icky grey color. When it comes to black, quality is very important.If you live in a warmer climate, I’d steer away from wearing too much black in your outfit, as it can look awkward and feel awkward. Sunny climates are meant for color! While there is nothing wrong with wearing an all black outfit, make sure black doesn’t take over your entire wardrobe like it has a tendency to. Wearing black all day every day can and will get boring. Layering your black outfits with things such as hoodies and black leather jackets makes for a great look. Sometimes when the outfit calls for it, throwing some vibrant or earth tone colors can make an all black outfit look even better.
Christmas has come to town again, the festive lights are on and Santa's are appearing in shop front windows. So now it's time to sort your way through the ideal present you can get for your best friends and family, as well as a mini style guide!
To help get your mind in the festive spirit, we've got the perfect gift idea. Whether it's a present for your wife or girlfriend, your parents or your co-worker, there is nothing better to get them than a bottle of fine french vodka. Grey Goose this holidays suggests to celebrate it with the ultimate cocktail of all, and that is the Espresso Martini. You just need Grey Goose vodka, espresso, espresso liqueur, salt, ice and a chocolate bar. Everyone will love it. So do not overthink it, gift a bottle of Grey Goose and receive one!
Being stylish during the holiday season is very important as well! Choose a nice tailored suit that will make you look polish and fine! And to keep you warm and stand you out of the crowd choose a statement trench coat! Like the one I am wearing in the pictures and it is made by Dimitris Petrou.