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Platform6 > a funky Greek heritage in Australia May 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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Peter Andrews is committed to freshness. So much so, the co-owner of funky bar and cafe Platform 6 changes his menus weekly to make the best of available produce.

With much of his food based around his Greek heritage, the chef, along with Leon Vasiliou, says options vary from traditional dolmades to prawn-and-scallop saganaki. Despite a selection of ever-changing mains on offer, the cafe’s focus is on mezzes so people can “experiment”, Andrews says.

On the day we visited we chose to share a variety of plates. After grabbing our slightly distracted waiter’s attention, we ordered four of the five mezzes listed on the blackboard outside the cafe. While I say outside, there really isn’t much to the inside of Platform 6. There’s the counter and a wall of wine, but dining is mostly outside, where seating options include booths, low and high tables and take in the sunlight and fresh breezes that flow down Vernon Tce.

As we waited for our mezzes to arrive we ordered a glass of Mountadam chardonnay and another of T’Gallant pinot gris. The first tasting plate to arrive was chilli and garlic prawns, followed by salt-and-pepper calamari. Both were tasty, fresh and generous, with four king prawns and a pile of lightly tempura-battered calamari pieces.

Next came lamb and chicken skewers and a plate of lamb mince fingers. Each was served with grilled bread, tzatziki and salad. Both tasted as if they had come straight from Greece. The tzatziki is made fresh on the premises every day, and the bar’s sister cafe Station 8 next door uses it in wraps and rolls. Light and not too garlicky, it worked well with the bread and helped the lamb slide down nicely. Appetites satisfied, we finished with di Manfredi cappuccinos.

Platform 6 focuses on simple food done well, and it delivers in a relaxed environment.

Platform 6 Food and Wine Bar, 6/36 Vernon Tce, Teneriffe, phone 3852 4509
Open Tues-Thurs 4.30pm until late, and Fri-Sat noon until late.


Cyprus International Fair kicks off May 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Shows & Conferences.
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The 32nd Cyprus International Fair kicks off next week, which will highlight the achievements made by business over the past year.

More than 300 exhibitors will be displaying products and services from around 1,000 local companies, as well as 25 from abroad.

The event runs from May 11 to 20, with doors open from 6pm to 11pm. The entrance fee is £3 or £1 for students. More than 100,000 visitors are anticipated. The Cyprus State Fairs Authority was founded in 1968, with the first annual International Fair taking place in 1975.

Related Links > http://www.csfa.org.cy/index.html

Panathinaikos reaches Athens basketball final May 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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Panathinaikos (in green) beat Spanish side Tau Ceramica at the OAKA indoor arena in Athens last night to make the final of basketball’s Euroleague tournament. The Greek side will face current European champion CSKA Moscow. The Russians beat the Final Four’s other Spanish side Unicaja Malaga in the first semifinal.

panathinaikos.jpg  Three-time European champion Panathinaikos defeated Spain’s Tau Ceramica 67-53 in their Euroleague semifinal at the Final Four tournament in Athens last night for a place in tomorrow’s final against CSKA Moscow, the defending champion.

Tau had won four of its last six games against Panathinaikos, including the previous two. Panathinaikos held a sturdy lead throughout the game. Last year, Tau deprived Panathinaikos of a Final Four appearance by edging out the Athens club 74-71 in their best-of-three quarterfinal series’ deciding game. Interestingly, Tau’s coach Bozidar Maljkovic had led Panathinaikos to its first Euroleague title in 1996.

Earlier yesterday, defending champions CSKA Moscow qualified for tomorrow’s final after overcoming Spanish underdogs Unicaja 62-50 in a defense-dominated encounter. CSKA managed to break away in the final quarter. The semifinalists were tied at 44-44 at the end of the third period.

Unicaja led with a little over seven minutes of play remaining, but a 12-0 run from CSKA ended any possibility of what would have been a major upset. American guard Trajan Langdon topped the scoring for CSKA with 13 points, two more than the Russian team’s Greek star Thodoris Papaloukas, one of his club’s top performers last night.

Ettore Messina, CSKA Moscow’s Italian coach, is striving for his second straight and fourth title overall in Europe’s leading club-level basketball competition.

The Final Four is the first of two major events in Athens this month. The Greek capital is also hosting the Champions League soccer final on May 23, when AC Milan and Liverpool do battle for the European title.

Related Links > http://www.basket.gr


Santorini, the bright spot May 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece Islands Aegean, Tourism.
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Visitors to the Cycladic island of Santorini consider that its natural beauty more than compensates for any shortcomings in services.

Santorini’s natural beauty offsets the negative impact of shortcomings in the provision of tourism services in the context of attracting visitors to the island, a study shows. The study, commissioned by the Cyclades Development Company, was based on a questionnaire which surveyed 4,254 visitors arriving on the island in the period April-October 2006.

Six in 10 were Greek, the other nationalities being mainly Italian, British, Spanish, French, American and Australian.

The average rating given by Greek visitors to Santorini’s tourism services was 3.81 out of 5, compared to 3.55 among foreigners. This would appear to leave a large margin for improvement, particularly with regard to food and accommodation. In contrast, the island’s natural beauty was given an average score of 4.25 by Greeks and 4.01 by foreigners. The corresponding averages of those who said they would recommend the island to friends and acquaintances were 4.38 and 4.17. The main reasons given for recommending Santorini were the island’s natural beauty, entertainment and beaches.

The study results showed that half the visitors were up to the age of 35. More than half were college or university graduates and single. Foreign visitors start planning their visit to Santorini about 45 days ahead on average, relying mainly on the Internet, friends who have visited, tourism guides and travel agents. Greeks, meanwhile, start planning 20 days in advance on average. Three in 10 foreigners buy inclusive packages from travel agents.

Half of the Greeks questioned had already visited the island 2.7 times on average, while the others were visiting for the first time. Two in 10 foreign tourists have visited more than once.

The average number of overnight stays was 6.5 for Greek tourists, who spent 725 euros each, and 6.1 for foreigners, who each spent 770 euros on average.

Parthenon Marbles talks begin May 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Vote For Return Greek Marbles.
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Officials from the Greek and British Culture Ministries met in London yesterday to discuss the issue of the Parthenon Marbles.

The Parthenon Marbles are currently housed at the British Museum but whose return to Greece has long been sought by Athens.

A Greek official described the talks, which took place in the presence of two UNESCO officials, as “exploratory.” The two delegations are to meet again in Paris on June 4.

Row over hunting in Cyprus May 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Nature, Sports & Games.
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Cypriot conservationists were outraged yesterday over a government decision to allow thousands of hunters to shoot migrating turtle doves in a move they say contravenes EU directives.

Birdwatchers say that permitting hunters to shoot turtle doves poses an «unacceptable threat» to a species declining across Europe. Moreover, organizations like Birdlife Cyprus say the permits to allow shooting tomorrow and the following Wednesday are nothing more than an election ploy to appease the influential hunting lobby.

«They are going ahead with shooting these birds because of the presidential elections, there is no other reason to shoot these birds while on their way to breeding grounds from Africa,» Birdlife Cyprus head Martin Hellicar told AFP.

Cyprus goes to the polls in February 2008 to elect a new president. The last time turtle dove shooting was allowed in spring was back in 1993. The government has cited a derogation under EU law that can permit shooting during this period, for purposes of population control. But this is contested by bird conservationists.

«These doves will be hit as they pass through Cyprus… The EU birds directive bans shooting during migration toward nesting areas to ensure birds can successfully replenish their numbers,» said Hellicar. Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation organizations, has called on the European Commission to step in and prevent the shootings from going ahead. Malta, another European Union country which permits spring hunting, is currently the object of legal action by the EC.

«This will also affect Cyprus tourism, as Germans, Britons and Scandinavians don’t like people shooting at little birds,» warned Hellicar.

‘London Diary’ launched at Books Arcade May 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life Greek.
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The Stoa tou Vivliou or The Books Arcade was packed in what was a personal triumph for journalist Maria Karavia.

Her latest book, “The London Diary”, with her notes from the time of the colonels’ dictatorship in Greece, was selling like hot cakes and the crowd were congratulating her for her stance in life as well as her undoubted talent as a writer. Old friends came to embrace here, everyone wanted her to sign their copy of the book, and Karavia responded, clearly touched by their response.

The launch by Agra publications was attended by members of the Athens Academy, leading figures from the world of the arts, the media and politics. More than 40 years since the junta (1967-1974), this book takes those of us who remember it back and introduces younger individuals to the period through documents by those who played a leading part. Karavia’s book is a responsible account of the events and of the activities of Greeks who went abroad and drew the attention of international public opinion to the dictatorship. The rest is in the book, on the cover of which is a photograph taken by the author at one of the demonstrations outside the Greek Embassy in Upper Brook Street, which was then closely guarded.