Now we are taking a bit of a break in Athens before getting back to some hard work in
Athens is great for inspiration as many things such as clothing, bags and jewellery are hand-made locally in small workshops and factories. Jewellery designs are eclectic and imaginative. In the city centre there are many shops selling fabrics, beads, haberdashery, yarns, etc - the choice is amazing -we just wish we had the same back in the UK.
We have been observing how shops display their goods - the Greeks are really good at this and even in a tiny shop they can create a fantastic look using all available space without it looking cramped.
All neighbourhoods have wonderful bakeries and patisseries as the norm with fresh baked breads, amazing cakes, pastries, pies, and sweets - again mostly made on the premises. In the UK these would be classed as 'Artisan Bakeries' but here they are just what is expected. They all stay open late in the evening as the Greeks like to buy gifts to take with them when visiting friends and relatives.
Winter in Athens can be cold and wet but at the moment we are enjoying mild, sunny days which are perfect for sight-seeing, walking along the seafront or just meandering around local shopping areas. The Greeks love their coffee and there are plenty of cafes to choose from. You will be served at your table so no waiting in noisy coffee shop queues.
We went into the city centre last Saturday and the restaurants and tavernas were packed with people enjoying lunch al fresco. Greek food is wonderful and much underrated - especially if you go to one of the less touristy places.
We have many ideas for 2015 and will be introducing some new suppliers to the shop but we still want to achieve a good mix of clothing, accessories, jewellery, lighting and gifts.
We can't bring Athens to Nottingham but we can certainly give the shop a more European look and feel.
You can enjoy staying at our self- catering flat in Athens via Dezigne Holidays - its is within 10 minutes walk of the beach, bus and trams around the city. It can sleep up to 6 people and there is a shaded outside terrace area.
There are supermarkets, shops and cafes close by. You can find out more, availability and how to book securely via Air BnB.