There are many restaurants in Athens which, with the first rise in temperatures, bring their tables outside amidst beautiful, green, cool gardens. Smells like summer…

Sweet nights, starlit skies, enticing fragrances find you holding a drink or a spoon in your hand. All the city’s restaurants possessing heavenly gardens are opening these days one after the other. Athens’s most beautiful, cool and at the same time high society garden is Balthazar (Tsoha 27 & Vourbazou, 210 6441215), opening tomorrow on Friday the 8th of May with leading chef Christophoros Peskias in the kitchen, while also collaborating with the well- known Freud Oriental in creating an Asian corner at the small private garden at the far end. Artisanal (Zirini 2, Kifissia, 210 8086111, 6936 144744) is coming out into the beautiful orange orchard of this historic building in Kifissia. It is a unique space featuring rare trees, where Carolos Chanikian, a landscape architect, has added 100 more flowers and plants creating fairytale surroundings. The kitchen is also fresher featuring multi awarded chef Dimitris Dimitriadis who produces Mediterranean dishes with strong French nuances. They are open all day underneath the shadowy, large trees where you can also enjoy their new signature cocktails.

At Albion (Omirou 6, Ν. Psichiko, 210 6740710) they are in a rush these days getting their English country style garden ready. There are touching up the colours, adding airy canvasses and inviting their customers to Italian – Mediterranean cuisine and a series of new, fresh cocktails. At Altamira (Perikleous 28, Maroussi, 210 6128841) they serve their ethnic dishes (India, Asia, Arabia, Mexico) in their blooming green garden with glass panels and exotic decoration. Further north there is the hot - as always - Cash (Diligianni 54, Kefalari, 210 1004772) opening its garden and hosting again this year the Oozora, with Japanese-Thai cuisine, under the supervision of the expert in this, Giorgos Venieris. Αthiri (Plataion 15, Keramikos, 210 3462983), is as downtown as it can get, inside a poetry inspired dreamy garden, full of green trees, coolness and tranquillity. Chef Alexis Kardasis has just won yet another Greek Cuisine award and is also creating… poetry with his amazingly creative Greek dishes.

At Lefkes (L. Galatsiou 100, 210 2924458) they own a magical garden with poplar and mulberry trees, a Brazilian orchid tree 8 metres tall (!) and 140 different kinds of potted flowers all around. Let us not forget the fish pond and Tasos Doumas’ kitchen featuring a group of young aspiring chefs who promise gastro miracles. One of the big pluses is part of the garden being transformed into a nice and comfy cocktail bar underneath the starry skies. The Black Duck (Ι. Paparrigopoulou 5-7, 210 3252396) is another unexpected oasis, amidst the humming and buzzing city, always there, open since morning for coffee breaks, drinks or food in the cool embrace of green trees and fragrant plants.

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