On our first full day in Mykonos we met up with our friends Richard and Stephanie who had booked a cabana at Skorpois. Stephanie is super organised so had booked these literally two months in advance and I’m so glad she did. We had the best spot at the beach club, perfect vantage point to people watch and importantly out of the wind. Skorpios is absolutely stunning and I could easily see why it had recently been bought by Soho House Group. It has a very similar laid back, chic aesthetic. Sunday is far and away their busiest day, they reckon in the evening there is several thousand people at the open air night club. Thankfully at midday it’s much more sedate. Beautiful cabana boys and girls bring you drinks and food and it really is idilic. The sunset in the evening there was stunning, very instagrammable.
I’d been wanting to go to Mykonos for years so when my friend JP said he had some spare holiday time I suggested a Greece trip. We booked quite late so direct flights to Mykonos were non existent, so we decided to fly to Athens and get a boat to Mykonos from there. JP is a regular flyer for work so using a companion voucher and air miles we flew BA business from Heathrow. As a BA Gold Card holder JP was able to use the First Wing Lounge, a step up from the usual BA Galleries Lounge which regular business class flyers are entitled to use. We were travelling early in the morning so it was a good chance to have a proper non-airplane meal before the flight.
Everything ran on time and on arriving into Athens the transfer to the port was pretty easy. The ferry was fine, but it was a bit slow and to be honest if I was doing the trip again, I’d probably make sure I got a flight direct to Mykonos, the whole fly to Athens and get the ferry thing was a bit of a faff. We didn’t arrive in Mykonos til nearly 6pm and so that was annoying. Thankfully the hotel we were had booked sent a car for us. We stayed at the Rochari, which JP had stayed at before, and it was really nice. The room was simple but very chic and included a lovely terrace with sea views and also Jo Malone toiletries in the bathroom. It was also right in Mykonos Town which is where we really wanted to be for the bars and nightlife. One side note accommodation in Mykonos is notoriously expensive, even a very basic hotel in town will set you back €200 a night. The Rochari was significantly more than this, but JP and I were sharing a room and considering the price of some of the other hotels it was pretty decent value for Mykonos.
After the intensity of White Party Bangkok on January 2nd Andrew and I flew down to Koh Samui to go to TropOut, the official after party event for White Party. To be honest we were were pretty shattered after all the White Party events, so we were looking forward to a bit of R&R. While in Koh Samui we stayed at the TropOut host hotel, Casa de Mar.
TropOut involves more parties, but as we were still recovering from White Party we decided to be a bit more selective about the events we attended. We went to a couple of the pool parties and also did the daily morning yoga sessions. The main TropOut event was the boat party though, which we both really enjoyed and let ourselves go a bit wild at. Apart from that we just spent most of our time lying by the pool or on the beach with little trips out each day for lunch and dinner. It was really chilled and just what we needed after the intensity of White Party.
I started my Croatia trip by flying from London Heathrow to the Croatian capital, Zagreb, on Croatian Airways. The flight which I only booked less than a month in advance was less than £80 (one way) and was significantly cheaper than the normal budget airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet. Plus unlike those airlines I got served a free drink and snack on the flight.
I stayed at a delightful little B&B called Studio Kairos, which was recommended in the Lonely Planet guide book. They kindly sent a car to pick me up from the airport. I’d really recommend this place it’s tiny, just four rooms, but it’s centrally located, the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful, and they do an excellent breakfast.
Zagreb is a a really pretty little city, the main centre is compact and it’s easy to walk around without the need for public transport of any sort. It’s got a beautiful historic centre with a wonderful cathedral and lots of pretty pavement cafes and bars, ideal for a little coffee break or to sample some of the great local beer.
My first night I was keen to try some local Croatian food so I went to Vinodol, a pretty restaurant with beautiful vaulted ceiling and an ivy covered outside terrace. They serve traditional central European food, including many Croatian delicacies and local wines. My waiter was lovely and explained through all the menu and recommended dishes for me. The food was delicious and the Croatian wine surprisingly good.
On a side bar can I just say that I ate REALLY well in Croatia, I was expecting the food to be quite heavy/ very meat and potato based, quite Eastern European, filling but maybe a bit stogy. Anyway I couldn’t have been more wrong, the food in Croatia was stunning. If anything it was more influenced by Italy, than other Eastern European food. I had wonderful meat, fish and seafood. Great pasta and pizzas. Just really wonderful food, some of the best I’ve ever had in Europe.
My favourite meal in Zagreb was at Mali Bar though, I had a wonderful pate and also one of my favourite dishes, Vitella Tonnato, veal in a tuna sauce. Delicious, you must go here if in Zagreb.
At a the other end of the price scale I had excellent pizza at Karijola. It serves authentic crispy, thin crust pizza cooked in proper wood fired clay oven. Great value, washed down with local beer. Both Mali Bar and Karijola are on the same terraced street and are conveniently just a short walk from Studio Kairos.
My personal Zagreb highlight though was probably the Museum of Broken Relationships, a quirky museum that explores the mementoes that remain after a relationship ends. The exhibits were on a world tour for many years before settling up at this permanent site. Apparently it’s been so successful that they recently opened a second site in Hollywood. It started quite light and then went really dark with items to do with suicide, rape, abuse and even murder. Thankfully it ended on funny break ups. It’s not often you go from crying with sadness to laughing out loud. Some of the stories were genuinely heartbreaking. I felt quite drained afterwards.