Being a God in mythical Athens must have been a busy business, as almost everything in this city has been put there by one god or another be it mountain, river or temple. I was feeling particularly god like myself, perched as I was high up in the GB Roof Garden Restaurant at the top of the Grand Bretagne Hotel with all of Athens laid out below me.
Everything except the magnificent Acropolis of course, rising up and dominating the skyline from wherever you happen to be. On this occasion, unobstructed by my roof top perch and lit up majestically, the Acropolis with the Pantheon at its summit, provided a breathtaking spectacle.
All the more breathtaking during the summer months though, when many of the tables here are outside on the roof garden itself, but sadly as it was winter, we had to make do tucked away inside, the floor to ceiling glass windows giving us the second prize views.
They were, it had to be said, views that were almost eclipsed by the quality and service of the Roof Garden Restaurant itself, which together with the Grand Bretagne Hotel has attained almost legendary status in Athens. This was the building where Hitler and Rommel stayed on the eve of the Soviet invasion, where Archbishop Makarios addressed Greece from his second floor balcony, and where scores of famous names from Elizabeth Taylor to Bruce Springsteen have rested their celebrity heads.
Settling in to the sumptuous surroundings of the Roof Garden Restaurant we kicked off with the smoked balik and marinated salmon trilogy and Tandoori scallops with Jerusalem artichoke puree and chorizo chutney. Not very Greek admittedly, but no less delicious nonetheless. Excellent lamb noisettes with pepper cannelloni and smoked eggplant and a rather memorable duck breast with smoked potato puree and sautéed snow peas with hazelnut oil followed soon after, washed down with a beautiful Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2007.
The classical tiramisu with mascarpone and espresso dessert was a total triumph as was the home-made ice cream trio.
The Roof Garden Restaurant brings elegance and quiet sophistication into a city still engulfed in economic turmoil. Almost another gift from the gods you might say.
Set 3 Course menu from €62
A la carte mains from €30