The King George Hotel is now a member of the Luxury Collection/ Starwood group, just like its sister hotel next door, the Grande Bretagne.
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AT THE TOP OF THE LIST
The Grande Bretagne has long been the grande dame of Athens hotels, and this is where we were staying.
We were in good company, too, as other guests at the same time included Lady Gaga and her entire entourage, and an entire phalanx of European royalty and aristocracy.
|Lady Gaga at the Grande Bretagne in Athens yesterday,|
taken with my iPad
MEMORIES OF ATHENS
I've always stayed at the Grande Bretagne when I am in Athens, as I like its Old World feel. It truly is an institution like no other in Athens, and they offer impeccable service.
However, I once stayed at the luxurious King George as well about ten years ago, and I still remember how we'd had dinner on this very same rooftop of Tudor Hall, with the amazing acropolis view in the background.
In fact, I still have a photo of that dinner at the King George Hotel ten years ago.
|At Tudor Hall yesterday|
ONE OF MY BEST LUNCHES
When I walked in, later than my friends as I'd walked the eight floors up instead of taking the elevator, everyone was already having champagne and ordering all kinds of Greek specialties.
I ordered two perfect oysters and a cold carrot and ginger soup to start, and neither of these disappointed at all.
Usually I have my oysters raw, but the menu of Tudor Hall had the option of having them raw or slightly cooked with Greek herbs.
Just for a change, I chose the latter and it was very good.
TRADITIONAL GREEK FOOD
WITH AN EXPERT TOUCH
Then I just had to sample the traditional Greek specialties, just to see how a truly world-class restaurant with a first-rate chef does traditional Greek food.
I had the Greek eggplant dip, which was just spectacular.
|The executive chef of Tudor Hall|
A SPECIAL GREEK SALAD
WITH SANTORINI TOMATOES
I've lost count of just how many times I've had a Greek salad on this trip, but I suspect I've had it for 90% of my meals so far, as it's great detox food. This salad blew my mind away.
|Tudor Hall's version of the Greek salad|
with Santorini tomatoes
They served the Greek salad with flavourful Santorini tomatoes. Santorini tomatoes have got to be the best tomatoes in the world. They're small but ever so potent in terms of flavours.
Then, as you know, Greek salad always has feta cheese as well. In this case, the chef shredded the feta cheese instead of cutting it into cubes, making for a very different kind of salad.
THE FIVE-STAR VERSION
OF THE GYRO
I was so tempted to order a steak or a Greek spaghetti for the main course, especially as I still have not had a Greek spaghetti.
That's one of the last things on my list before flying out of Athens.
But instead I decided to have a gyro, which is that very delicious pita bread sandwich filled with meat, lettuce, onions and sauce.
The Tudor Hall version has a deconstructed version, created with extremely juicy slices of fatty meat on a crispy pita bread with a Greek salsa and sauce.
This, too, was just amazing.
SWEET ENDINGS TO A VERY NICE TRIP
We ended our very long lunch with assorted traditional Greek pastries, including a sinfully good baklava served with a special Greek ice cream made out of tree sap.
That was it. My diet went out the window and I ordered a whole plate of baklava for myself, with an extra serving of that special ice cream.
|I took this photo of Lady Gaga yesterday|
with my iPad