What to do on an – otherwise plain – Saturday afternoon in a city that offers a wide variety of culinary experiences? Well, if you ask me, I’ll say just join one of the monthly Greek food meetups! The concept is simple really; every month, some wonderful people, the organisers of the meetup, select a nice, cozy place to hang out and – what else? – eat lunch!
Just after the holidays and the meat-binging with my family, this was a great opportunity to meet friends and people I know, talk about everything under the sun and enjoy a great meal at a nice restaurant near Paddington, called “It’s All Greek to Me”. This place is one of the best Greek places I’ve been in London and strongly reminded me of little restaurants and tavernas in Greece. The proprietor was so inviting and welcoming, he instantly made us think of home and family and the food was exceptional!
Now I know that Greek food is tricky. Everyone will have heard of a Greek recipe (spanakopita anyone?), but despite the fact that our dishes are so easy to make, there’s a lot of confusion. We love our roasts and grilled and with as little as three ingredients, one can make something filling and delicious. Greek cuisine is simple at heart, so this is why I simply don’t understand why it suddenly becomes complicated and over the top! Well, if you take yesterday’s restaurant, this is so not the case! Excellent food, great quality, good portions (please don’t get me started on that! Some Greek restaurants in London have some of the smallest portions I’ve tried!), nice atmosphere, are all parts of why yesterday’s meetup was such a huge success. And of course let us not forget that I got the coin from the Greek New Year’s cake! Lucky me!! Yay!
Now, I’ve been at plenty Greek food meetups, since the whole thing started actually, back in September 2016, but this was one of the times I had genuinely have a good time. Most of the people I talk to daily, outside of work I mean, I met them through our meetups, and I can honestly say that these are some of the best Greeks in London. Openly friendly, down to earth and so funny, our organisers devote a lot of personal time to get us once a month to one of these events and for that I’m so grateful to them.
When asked, Giannis, one of the organisers said that for him the Greek Food meetups are a concept where you can meet other people, find friends and network, socialise in general through eating. He got a new experience that he wouldn’t get it otherwise, with enjoying the food and meeting new people. Nerantzis, one of the original organisers, who started it a year and a half ago, believes that this is an expression of the need to socialise when someone is new at a big city. For him, Greek food meetups are a need to eat good Greek food and, secondly, to meet other Greeks. Evelina, on the other hand, loves bringing people together, especially considering that there’s loneliness here. A lot of people feel like drifting without close friends and family here, so the Greek Food meetups are an excellent opportunity to come together.
So, if you are in London, and are craving all these delicacies, please do join one of the Greek meetups happening around! Food, nice talks, and great people are one of the best reasons to go out on a Saturday afternoon.