The Pig-in the Wall

Are there any places in the city you live you’ve been meaning to check out but never got around to it?

I do. I still haven’t made it to the Isle of Wight (Whaaat!) and I’ve never been to the other Cypriot restaurant in Southampton, George’s, -I know, shocking-, or Ennios or the Pig In the Wall.

Last Sunday I made it to one of them. The Pig In the Wall. I’ve always wanted to visit but I lived at the other end of town and it just never happened.

I’ve seen snaps before but it looks even prettier and cosier in real life.

The fireplace was on and we were sat in a cosy corner right next to it.

I didn’t notice that this was on the Wall and took me by surprise (it took me a day to realise that was actually the Pig in the Wall). Can I just say this was not my initial reaction but my friend wanted me to re-enact my original reaction. As you can probably tell my acting skills need some work.

I wasn’t too hungry, so I went for a light option, ricotta cheese with chives, walnuts and honey on sourdough bread and it was delicious.

It took me back to my childhood when this lady in a van would come around the neighbourhood every Saturday morning selling all sorts of homemade goodies including halloumi and the least known Cypriot cheese anari, which is very similar to ricotta, a fresh mild whey cheese that depending on what you are craving, you can have it savoury or sweet. It’s very underrated but one of the best types of cheese out there.

I now love this place so much, I can’t believe I hadn’t been before. The cosy vibes, the food, the service.

If you haven’t had the chance to go before, I definitely recommend it for a relaxed Sunday brunch.



Glorious food, laughter and spontaneous singing

It was the night of the 10th of January. A mundane, ordinary day that ended with delectable food and plenty of laughter, celebrating friends’ birthdays.

I love going out with the Solent gang. You know that feeling, that you can be yourself and enjoy the evening without having to pretend? I always get it with these wonderful, fun, creative, loving people and I always look forward to our nights out.

The dining choice this time was Simon’s at Oxfords. I’ve been many a times in the past for drinks and the ever so fun Sunday jams nights, I used to love those, but never had dinner there before.

The food was just lovely. Beautifully, picture perfect presented which makes a difference for me and very flavoursome.

We went for their set menu and I opted for starter and main (cutting down on sugar is NOT easy).

Prawns is one of my favourite flavours so I had tempura prawns with a sprinkle of fresh lime served with sweet chilli sauce for a starter…

followed by roasted chicken breast served on a creamy potato mash and wild mushroom & smoked pancetta cream. De-li-cious.

The rest of the group had a mixture of starters/mains/desserts but everyone enjoyed their meal, especially Helen who claimed that was the ‘best pork’ she ever had!

The service was great and quick, and fun, especially the lady at the end who, because of our impromptu singing sang back to us when going around for everyone to pay.

We paid £24 for a two course meal which was worth it, in my opinion. My drink was a bit expensive (I paid £7 for a 175ml glass of wine) but I must admit the glass of Malbec I had was divine. I can’t believe I only discovered Malbec less than a year ago.

All in all a great experience (minus the paintings on the walls some of the people in the group did not like, Chris: ‘They are scary, they have no eyes!’ but I actually thought were quite unique!)

What a great first dinner out in 2019. Here’s to more to come!


Blogmas Day 17- A night at the Ivy

Everyone who knows me, knows I love my food. I love good food and I love trying different restaurants.

I’ve known about the new Ivy at Winchester for a while but didn’t get the chance to visit. I don’t often go to fancy restaurants, I don’t think that expensive food necessarily guarantees quality, there was always something about the Ivy though that intrigued me ever since I first bumped into it in London years ago, so when my lovely friend Suki suggested having a final Christmas catch-up dinner there, I thought that would be a perfect time.

It was very pretty decorated on the outside…

and the interior was equally beautiful.

I haven’t suddenly became rich or was secretly employed by Jay Raynor (I wish), I’m actually very broke, so I went for the set menu (served until 6:30pm) and the £16 two course meals (plus service charge) which was great value for money.

I fancied some fish, since I usually avoid seafood in the UK, but I thought at a place like this it would hopefully be fresh.

And it did not disappoint.

I had delicious crab cakes served in a tasty tomato salsa for a starter and the baked salmon fillet on a bed of lemony, herb sauce, a sweet Asian glaze, jasmine rice and Pak Choi (Chinese cabbage). The combination of flavours was exquisite, the sweetness and smokiness of the salmon, complimented by the light acidity of the lemon and the smoothness of the vegetables and the rice. Simply stunning.

Although it was busy, the service was quick, all the waiters were friendly and checked on us a couple of times, especially our lovely table waiter Bethan and Neil, who brought us the bill and whilst chatting told us he has worked 60 hours since Thursday, hero! I feel for everyone working in retail or hospitality these days, their busiest time of the year, please be considerate and remember whilst you enjoy a delicious meal or doing some shopping, they are there, working long shifts to keep you happy, instead of spending Christmas with their families.

All in all it was a great evening and I’d love to go to Ivy again to taste more dishes and try their wine, after payday! 



Pie’m every woman…

Happy International Women’s Day! Shout out to all the incredible ladies out there.

But I hope one day we are treated as equals and we don’t need to celebrate International Women’s day. We can instead celebrate Incredible Human Beings day.  A day to recognise and show our love to amazing every day human beings, every day heroes who make our lives better sometimes just by being there.

Like Chris and Helen, two of my favourite humans.

Today, we finally made it to lunch. I’ve recently discovered this little Pie and Comic book shop on Carlton place, Piecaramba and naturally, I wanted to give it a go. The pictures on their webpage and Tripadvisor looked incredible, I love pies, I love comics (Batman!), I love anything local, independent, different and creative and Helen and Chris were as equally excited for pies as I was.

We didn’t know when we arranged this a week ago that this week is actually British Pie Week. What are the chances!

On our way there, Chris came up with some of the best/worst pie puns one could make up, one of which I chose as a title to sum up today. Thank you Chris!


‘Oh pie there’ (Oh hi there) when we walked in

‘Pie’m every woman’ (I’m every woman) to the music

‘Jesus pie-st’ (I don’t know why but the waiter said Jesus Christ)

As soon as we sat down the lovely waiter/manager came over talk to us how it worked since we’ve never been before.

There were so many options to choose from, including Vegetarian and Vegan I struggled to pick just one, although Helen and I came up with new pies to recommend to the chef, a breakfast option (bacon, baked beans, cheese, and scrambled eggs on the side?) and maybe one for cheese lovers (I’m not going to even attempt to list all the delicious cheese combinations one can have).

After much deliberation and changing my mind three times I  went for the El Bandito (Free Range British Chicken with Spanish Chorizo and tomatoes), Helen had the Piecaramba (Chillie beef burrito pie finished off with melted double Gloucester) and Chris had the Pieoneer (traditional mince beef and onion pie in red wine gravy).

It was delicious! Fresh ingredients, cooked to perfection, flavoursome. I almost finished it, I rarely manage to finish a pie but it was so tasty I couldn’t resist.


Thank you to the lovely waiter/manager for his recommendations and for being so patient when I could not decide what pie to have or what to drink.

I loved everything about PieCaramba. Small, cosy space with colourful, rustic and modern decor, awesome music (tune after tune, shout out to the playlist creator), scrummy, homemade pies, reasonable prices (I paid £6.75 for the pie and my delicious Passionfruit ice tea) and super friendly staff.

Needless to say, I’m definitely going back to try Chick Norris next, the waiter’s favourite and browse their comic books selection.

I love this place already. It’s amazing to have a different, out of the norm option and another great local, independent shop.

Great job guys!

Thank you to Helen and Chris for all the laughs. Always a pleasure. I guess without realising we celebrated the first ever Incredible Human Beings day.

I can’t wait for our next outing!





Soleto’s 5* dinner and Miss Saigon 5* show

Wednesday, last day of February…

After an interesting but challenging, busy day running around for most of it, I could not wait for my dinner and theatre evening.

I’ve been daydreaming for that first sip of wine for days… I’ve been looking forward to seeing Miss Saigon since we booked our tickets a month ago… I’ve been drooling thinking of the Ravioli from the first moment I saw that Insta Story weeks ago…

It’s all about the little things, I lost count how many times I’ve been told by friends, colleagues, even people I recently met that they love how I enjoy life and make the most of it. It’s true. And I looked forward to this evening more than words can describe.

First stop Soleto, a little Italian just opposite the Mayflower. I’ve never heard of this restaurant until a couple of weeks ago. During one of my long sessions on Instagram exploring, I came across this snap on the Southampton location Insta story of the most gorgeous looking ravioli I’ve ever seen. That’s one of the ways I discover all the little gems I often blog about. I googled the place, as one does and it had great reviews on TripAdvisor.

The gang trusts my instinct when it comes to food and they were all up for trying Soleto before the theatre. I’ve made a reservation a couple of days ago and the lovely manager on the phone after hearing my name asked where I was from as my name sounded Greek. I told her I was Greek Cypriot and she had a giggle before telling me that her husband, George/Yiorgos was Greek and he is the cook, he would be the one preparing our meals. It made my day. It reminded me of my dad, cooking delicious fish every night… I almost knew the food would be amazing.

And it was one of the best three course meals I had in a while. Everyone else agreed.

For a starter we shared the Baked Camembert with Garlic and Rosemary which came with Toasted Ciabatta and Chilli and Onion Chutney. Heavenly runny Camembert, with just the right amount of garlic and herbs, warm, crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, homemade ciabatta and delicious, spicy chutney. We loved it so much we ordered a second.

Baked Camembert with Garlic and Rosemary. Toasted Ciabatta and Chilli and Onion Chutney

I usually struggle to choose a main, but this time I knew from the moment I’ve seen it on that story that I had to try the Wild Mushroom Ravioli. Oh my lord. Perfectly cooked ravioli beautifully laid in a creamy Leek and Pine nut Sauce, with of course grated Parmesan on top.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli

I could not decide what to have for pudding, I love a chocolate tart but the lovely manager recommended the Creme Brulee. It was the perfect pudding to finish off this incredible meal. Light and fluffy, not overly sweet.

All the dishes were beautifully presented which makes a difference. If it looks good, it rarely doesn’t taste good!

Creme Brulee

I’m not a big wine drinker but Dave’s recommendation of red hit the spot. Light, smokey, smooth, it was the perfect choice for our meal, especially on a bitterly cold, winter night.

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And for all of that we only paid £35 each, tips included! I’d definitely pay more.

After dinner, warmed up, happy with full belly, we headed to the theatre to see Miss Saigon.

I do not want to reveal much in case you are about to go and see it but it was hands down one of the best shows I’ve seen at the Mayflower.

Incredible props and sets and beautiful, colourful, authentic costumes, for a moment you forget you are in Southampton and you are transferred to 1970’s Vietnam.

The music was amazing, well done to the brilliant orchestra and the maestro co-ordinating the musicians and the outstanding cast singing.

The whole cast was stunning, especially Kim and the Engineer, but everyone was incredible.

I cried in the end not just because of the tragic ending (as one would expect of an Opera adaptation) but because of the beauty of it all, the set, the music, the acting.

Some of my friends and colleagues I’ve talked to afterwards didn’t think it was that brilliant, as they compared it to the London production they’ve seen years ago but as a first-timer I absolutely loved it.

Needless to say I’d recommend it, it’s worth every single penny. And if you decide to go, pop to Soleto for dinner first. I’m going back at the first opportunity to taste more of their dishes.

Delicious food, great company and an amazing show, definitely a night to remember.

Thank you to Solent Staff Scene for the tickets and to the Mayflower for bringing such a great production to Southampton.



Sunny lunch at Shanghai 1814

Two months ago, on a rainy afternoon, I was walking down the High Street with Shebz, I can’t remember how we ended up down there at lunchtime, but bright chandeliers in the then brand new Chinese restaurant where HSBC used to be caught my eye.

It looked stopped-talking stunning. Bright and luxurious, even more so in the cold, grey weather. I’ve been meaning to try it since but the period before Christmas was hectic and as it turned out January as well.

To celebrate the end of January and payday the lovely Sati suggested lunch with the rest of the work gang and I didn’t want to miss the chance of trying Shanghai 1814.

So a week ago I finally made it. I was in awe as soon as I walked in, the large black doors set the tone and the interior design took my breath away. After a while I forgot I was in Southampton. It’s a different world. Modern, spacious, bright, luxurious but at the same time simple and elegant.

High ceilings, stone walls, chandeliers, bright, black and red theme, tables and sofas and cosy private rooms and of course open kitchen, I love being able to watch what’s happening in the kitchen, I always find it fascinating.

I absolutely loved it. Shout out to the interior decorator. Amazing work.

The ever so serious Chinese maitre took us to our table. And it was time to order. Deciding what to have it’s never easy for me and it was even more difficult here because they had four different menus, their traditional menu, a dim sum one, a la carte and lunch. Oh my lord, where to start? I asked the maitre and even he didn’t know what to recommend. In the end we decided to stick to the lunchtime options as it was only £8,95 for a starter, main and a drink.

I had the vegetable spring rolls for starters and the beef in black bean and pepper sauce with fried noodles and I also tried some of Sati’s sweet and sour chicken and Suzanne’s glazed pork.

And of course, my favourite, Jasmine tea. Jasmine tea is probably the best drink to have when trying different dishes, I think even better than water. It beautifully clears the flavours from your mouth, leaving a subtle, clear, warm aftertaste instead so you can go on exploring new flavours without confusing your palate.

Everything tasted delicious (although I couldn’t enjoy my main as I had to run to a meeting and had to finish it in 10 minutes, it wasn’t easy!). I especially loved the smokiness of the noodles and the juiciness of the meats, the pork in particular.

I want to go back and try more dishes. Next on the list are the dim sums. Whilst we were there we stared at what others have ordered and that’s when I saw a guy who I since refer to as ‘the legend’ having lunch on his own. He must had ordered half of the dim sum menu, the dishes kept coming for a while. He had some and took the rest at home. What a man. That’s what I want to do next time I’m there.

I loved everything about Shanghai 1814. From the decoration to the food to the service, even the never-smiling maitre. I just wanted to give him a cuddle and make him smile.

I can’t wait to visit again. Dim sums anyone?



**Disclaimer: I don’t get paid to do this, so this is a genuine review. And I’m no food expert, although I love good food ,that’s why I post about it so often, so this is my personal opinion. 

A magical home spa evening, courtesy of Sabão

Yesterday was a long but exciting day. It was my first day working with a new team in Academic Services (exciting projects coming up!) and when I got home I was exhausted.

I thought that was the perfect opportunity to finally try the handmade bath treats sent to me to test and review by a new local business, Sabão. Nisha, the lovely owner  sent me a pretty, colourful little package with a couple of bath bomb and body butter samples I received at the weekend. As soon as I opened the box I fell in love. The scents were just magical.

Sabao samples

So after my day 10 yoga session and quick dinner I lit some candles, I’ve put a relaxing Spa Music playlist on Spotify and I got in my filled with hot water and smelling like I’d imagine heaven would smell like bathtub.

As you may know, I’m obsessed with smells so I chose to go for the one I liked the smell the most first. It was a tough choice but I went for the West Indian Amyris & Egyptian Geranium one. That’s exactly how I’d thought Ancient, Exotic Asian baths would have smelled.

Honest to God, I do not remember the last time I felt so relaxed. The scents, the music, the tranquil sound of the water, the candles and their reflection… I’ve created my own, personal home spa and it was pretty special.


I’ve never tried a bath bomb before, I tend to go for bubble bath foams or soaks mixed with sea salts so I didn’t know what to expect. But I absolutely loved it.

As soon I got out of the bath my skin smelled incredible and felt as soft as silk (unlike other bath products that sometimes leave my skin dry, Nisha uses essential oils in her bath bombs, which makes a huge difference.)

I tried some of the organic raw shea butter afterwards purely because I wanted to see how it smelled on my skin and I can’t even put in words how amazing it did smell.

I honestly think everything I tried was worth more than their actual price.

As you know I’m not a professional blogger and I don’t get paid to write this, so this is my personal opinion.

For someone who is enchanted by smells, like myself, my home spa evening was an incredible experience.

Home spa

If you want to find out more on Nisha’s story and support a local business whilst treating yourself to luxurious bath bombs and other handmade, organic skincare goodies all details are on their website.

Thank you lovely lady again for the amazing treats you sent me. I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to try the rest.




Another year is over, a new one just began…and a new name, welcome to Eleni’s world!

What a year it’s been. I’m so happy I have blogged throughout of it and just before it’s over, it’s time to look back and reflect.

A new year, a new month, or even a new day is not the only time to make changes. At any moment you can turn the page and make a new start. But reflecting and reminding myself what I learned over the last twelve months and letting the past go afterwards it’s the perfect way to start the year.

Last January up until early April I wasn’t coping that well. I can barely remember anything from those dark months other than a horrible, unsettling feeling, with depression and anxiety reaching dangerous heights I couldn’t control. After I posted about it, it all became easier. Not immediately, not in an instant. It doesn’t work like that. I tried hard. I pushed myself.

I went home for a week, it always helps, I made it to One Sound 2017, which was a big milestone of my road to recovery and by my birthday I felt better than ever.

In June, after I came back from my summer break home for my annual sea and sunshine fix, I climbed Snowdon and raised money for a great local charity and I had a great rest of the summer seeing Richard III at Salisbury Cathedral, volunteering for the graduation, Southampton Pride and singing for Summer in the Square amongst other.

In July I discovered Yoga and Adriene Mishler and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me, not exaggerating to the slightest. I can’t wait for Adriene’s January 30 day yoga revolution, starting on the 1st!

In September my highly anticipated, incredible holiday in Rome and Florence with my sisters finally happened, followed by a great day at Friendsfest.

Later on I made amazing new friends through Women Who Do, I tried Hot Power Yoga (I can’t wait to get back into it after I move closer) and finally did Blogmas for the first time.

It was also a year full of delicious food (Lakaz Maman, Carnicero , Enoteca, Kupp, the Real Greek and of course a taste of Italy in Italy were some of the highlights).

It’s been a great year with many ups and downs, good and bad moments, rejection, disappointment, frustration but also lots of music, love, fun and laughter with colleagues, friends and family and that’s exactly how it ended, having fun with friends and family, my loved ones. (the Christmas party, the last Christmas meal of 2017 in Southampton, Christmas baking with the family, a day trip to the gorgeous village of Lefkara, Christmas with the extended family, co-hosting a festive radio show with my sis and our guests little nephews and niece singing Christmas songs, catching up with friends and spending New Year’s eve at home, after 8 years!).

I don’t do New Year resolutions, but I now know what I want to do next, I learned how to be patient and cope until I get there and I have my friends, old and new and my family who love me and support me, so I have no doubt 2018 will be much better than 2017.

Exciting changes coming up, moving in a new flat in a couple of weeks, more plans I’m hoping they will follow through, oh and a small announcement just  before 2017 is over.

What I learned before/after I turned 30 has changed and became much broader over the last year and a half so it’s time for a new name, as you might have guessed.

Welcome to Eleni’s world!

A big big thank you to my incredible colleagues, friends and family. I love you all.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2018 brings you whatever you wish for and even if it doesn’t, enjoy every moment!







A taste of Scandinavia in Southampton

Happy Friday!

The weekend is finally here. It’s been a busy week but a very interesting one. I’m super excited for my upcoming blogs and I can’t wait to share with everyone what I’ve been up to.

But today is all about Kupp, the new Scandinavian restaurant in Southampton.

I’ve only tried Scandinavian food once, when my lovely old colleague Lilian who is originally from Finland invited us over for dinner a while ago. I don’t remember much from that night but I remember her impressive sandwich tower and that most of the dishes were cold ones.

I’ve been meaning to try Kupp for a couple of months now as it had really good reviews and I love trying different cuisines and last night I finally made it with my lovely friend Sofy.

I loved the decoration and open plan, spacious vibe.

Kupp Southampton
Kupp Southampton

We went for the Kupp Smörgåsbord, a sharing board for two which included smoked pork meatballs (cured and hot smoked over oak and apple wood, served with their secret recipe beer sauce), chorizo sausage rolls (we swapped the potted rabbit for a second roll as neither of us felt right eating rabbit), carpaccio of hot smoked venison, Västerbotten cheese, potato salad, pickled vegetables, Spidskål (scandi slaw), mustard mayo, Leksands knäcke crispbread and toasted sourdough.


Everything tasted delicious. We both absolutely loved the smoked meatballs, I’ve dipped all my bread in the amazing sauce, the cheese that was similar to Pecorino cheese but softer and a bit less salty was amazing and I never thought I’d enjoy picked vegetables that much but the combination of flavours of their hot and cold dishes put together just worked.

The sharing board was enough for two, we couldn’t even finish it! I could not not try their puddings. It was hard to choose between the toasted banana bread with cinnamon ice cream and blossom honey, their white chocolate and Pepparkakor (Gingersnaps biscuit) cheesecake and their other delicious desserts on offer but I had to go for the Aquavit Poached Apricot and chocolate trifle with Cloudberry cream (cloudberries are considered  a delicacy in Scandinavia, I’ve never heard of them) and toasted hazelnuts and it did not disappoint!

Aquavit Poached Apricot and Chocolate Cake Trifle
Aquavit Poached Apricot and Chocolate Cake Trifle

The chocolate cake sweetness, the light, fluffy cream, the warmth of the toasted hazelnuts and the light sour kick of the apricot combination was amazing. I struggled but I finished it!

Great food, lovely atmosphere, good prices and fast and friendly service. I’m definitely going back for more. I would recommend it to anyone who fancies trying something new and different. It has my seal of approval!

It’s making me hungry just looking at the pictures from yesterday. Off to get some dinner!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!





Amaretto Tea Monday

I’m finally in the safety and warmth of my home and Monday is nearly over.

Well is over work wise, which is the what I currently struggle with.

I still have the afternoon to do my yoga (I cannot believe my 31 day yoga revolution comes to an end tomorrow!) look for jobs, learn a new song on my guitar, learn a little bit more Italian, do some reading, watch Game of Thrones, do some drawing… I love my evenings.

I’ve been dreading Monday, so I had to do something different, even if it was something small otherwise the Groundhog Day effect would have kicked in.

So after a long morning made bearable by continue listening to the Sweet Soul Sunday playlist on Spotify (check it out, you won’t regret it) from yesterday, my bestie and I decided to try Coffee Lab on London Road, since it’s one of the very few places in town we haven’t been before.

I pass by it every morning on my way to work since it first opened, 8 months ago but I never have enough time to stop.

When it first opened it didn’t look very attractive, but now it looks cosy and welcoming.

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We already had lunch so we tried their tea (although their cakes AND sandwiches looked amazing!).  And it didn’t disappoint.

Friendly staff, great atmosphere, super close to work, yummy tea and also very importantly, it smelled nice. I hate it when I leave a restaurant or a cafe and I smell of food.

We sat on the bar across the window, people watching and chatting, daydreaming as usual.

I had Amaretto Tea and it came into a pretty glass teapot. It was sweet, almond-y, warm, delicious!


Just what I needed!

I’m definitely going again for lunch and cake.

Any recommendations for lunch breaks in the city centre are welcome 🙂

Is the little things that count and today I’m grateful I spent my lunch break at a lovely coffee place with my best friend.