Flying into Athens you couldn’t help but crane your neck to try and catch a glimpse of Greece’s famous Acropolis. No luck I’m afraid but, having not been to Greece since 1977, the fateful summer when Elvis ‘the King of Rock’n’Roll’ Presley died, I was intrigued to see if Greece and her legendary islands live up to their reputation… Of course, being a guest on TM Blue with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti (GG) is hardly roughing it! So laden with rather an abundance of luggage (you never know what you’ll need with these chic two), Giorgio, Vivi and I were excited to see the gorgeous captain of the GG, Francesco, come to collect us from the quayside. Once on board it was all about unpacking and getting re-acquainted with the best crew in the world, bar none.
Valentino and Giancarlo are the most gracious hosts and there are virtually no rules… Other than to be chicly dressed and lots of fun! Vivi was in her element as Valentino’s pugs and GG’s yorkie are always along for the ride.
Our first night we headed to Athens’s Nobu. I was absolutely stunned at the beauty of the restaurant, perched on a dramatic rock edge with twinkling candlelight. The food was absolutely delicious, with all the staples of a Nobu feast being proffered.
The next morning we were treated to one of the great privileges of Greek island hopping, choosing a deserted cove for a delicious dip in the crystal blue sea. When I say the water everywhere was unbelievable I am not exaggerating – blue and crisp, you just never wanted to get out.
The seriously glamorous couple, Johannes Huebl and his paramour, fashion doyenne Olivia Palermo had come to join the tribe on the boat. I was desperate to count their luggage as she takes fashion very seriously! That evening we headed to another Athens hotspot called “Island”. We had been taken by a fabulously eccentric character called Ilias Psinakis who had organised it all with the touch of an iPhone.
We were all a bit over excited and I was desperate to throw some plates! Call me a tourist but every movie I have ever seen concerning Greece or Greeks they throw stuff. All I can say is that “Island” was amazing, the sushi to die for and the charming restaurant’s cool lounge interiors breathtaking.
I was of course heartily encouraged to throw some plates off the terrace and my lips remain sealed as to who else was involved but suffice to say we did not go unnoticed! In Mykonos a girl came up to me on the beach and said she had been next to us that night and furthermore in all her many nights at “Island” she had never seen plate throwing before….
The tribe was now complete so the boat headed for Mykonos…
The Old Port for those of you who haven’t seen it is picture perfect. Wonderful ultra white houses with bright blue shutters, dotted in little clusters. The famous windmills are a legendary landmark. We were all excited to get off the boat and explore. Mykonos is also very famous for it’s wind. Well us girls learnt the hard way as our flimsy dresses were lifted skywards, ala Marilyn. Vivi was very unamused.
The shops are out of this world and of course the jewellery boutiques are crammed with evil eye everything! Olivia is a pro and within moments had found some fashion treasures… the cobbled streets were filled with people and you couldn’t help thinking June would be a better time to explore!
We were off to the famous “Nammos” for lunch, think St Tropez’s Club 55 – a known hotspot for the beautiful people. We were of course treated exceptionally well as, the world over, Valentino is treated with reverance. People stop him constantly for his picture or autograph and without fail he happily obliges. A Greek feast followed, while a grilled white fish kept us on the healthy road. As we left Olivia, Vivi and I couldn’t resist the boutique, ‘Louisa’s’. Luckily it was just way too chi chi for us, with luxury designer labels galore but we noticed a fabulous outdoor pop up nail bar. Appointments were hastily booked and we made a dash for the tender.
Giorgio and I were worried Vivi was getting a slightly distorted idea of reality being looked after by the divine, attentive Italian crew so we took her off to the beach in the afternoons. The idea being we would find some young children for her to play with. Amazingly a lot of London had taken up residency at the beautifully immaculate, serene and best kiddie friendly beach in Mykonos, the Hotel Santa Marina. My girlfriend, the designer Alessandra Vicedomini, was holidaying with her family and welcomed us to crash her sunbeds and drink delicious homemade iced lemonade.
Vivi of course found plenty of little friends and came across a couple who were home schooled living between Tokyo and Mykonos. She liked the idea of this very much! I was a little childishly excited myself as Giorgio found an old friend and one of the original Supermodel’s, Karen Mulder. She had been one of my favourites and also one of Valentino’s big girls. Needless to say she still looks wowee in a bikini and her face is still that pretty! Giorgio invited her to come back to the boat and say Hello to Valentino and GG. My day was made!
We had been invited to the birthday party of top cobbler, Brian Atwood. The theme was genius, “Togas or Greek Gatsby”! We all managed to cobble some form of ensemble together and of course Valentino and GG did the ‘Greek Gatsby’ with their usual panache. Magically I had thrown in a Stella McCartney toga-ish evening dress and some even older Greek inspired Jimmy Choos. For once my overpacking paid off! Olivia arrived on the deck beautifully coiffed with a little headpiece she had discovered on one of our Mykonos village raids. We headed of to a wonderful house high up on a rocky point of the island.
Greeted by exquisite toga clad young men with gladiator sandals to boot. Thoughtful baskets with crowns of laurel leaves were on hand to add an extra touch. Brian is a very handsome man and therefore looked wonderful as a Gladiator. Within moments of our arrival fireworks exploded into the night sky and a cake the size of a small island was grandly carried through. My good friend Evangelo who is from Athens, looked the genuine article in his slashed to the waist toga and was keen to introduce us to his friends. It was a magical setting and all the guests had really dressed up to the theme. As we left I spotted the uber hotelier Andre Balzas with his current squeeze, Chelsea Handler dancing like crazy.
We awoke the following day to the boat heading for the very special island of Hydra…….