In an architectural jewel near Syntagma Square the traveler can find “Pure Bliss”. “Pure Bliss” is both a café bar and a restaurant. Vasileia Paneli was inspired the whole concept some time ago. The large wooden tables along with every little detail in the interior compose some multicultural scenery. The spicy flavors and the cozy atmosphere make you wanna sit there forever. It takes a while before you realize that behind this feeling of yours hides someone who has designed it for you.
Vasileia, please tell us about Bliss, how did it all start;
Bliss was designed in order to present and offer to people a different way of eating, living and thinking about themselves and the environment, so that they develop ecological sensitivity and respect for their own the body and soul! “Bliss” was designed to provide food for the body mind and soul!
Why did you name it “Bliss”;
The name was inspired by a book title I bought in Amsterdam, which refers to the fact that the purpose of our existence is bliss, so bliss is what I want to offer to our customers; the pure inner peaceful joy of being!
Is “Bliss”, somehow, original, in some areas?
I do not know if it’s original but it’s definitely different. Six years ago, when it was built, there weren’t any places to offer this homelike relaxed atmosphere. I wanted people to feel welcomed and comfortable and just be themselves. Bliss was also probably the first place that offered choices in drinks and food for people with food intolerances. Furthermore, we support only small producers, either Greek or foreign, and many of our products are fair trade!
How about the renovation? Did it take long?
It took me about two years to fully visualize “Pure Bliss”. After we discovered this wonderful building in Romvis Street it took another three months to materialize!
What were the main aesthetic directions chosen and why?
I‘ve been asked many times if the idea came from a country out there but the answer is that the idea came from the inside, meaning the area of the heart! It’s not following some aesthetic trend! It only follows the colorful diversity and freedom of nature! Simple, natural wood, without varnish or polishing! Soft fabrics, beautiful colors! Nature doesn’t wonder if a poppy matches a daisy, so I didn’t wonder myself if one thing matches the other! Things that I bought, saw and experienced, during my journeys, were mixed with my love and need for beauty and simplicity and gave this result.
What is the basic line in the kitchen and how are the dishes designed in terms of flavors and combinations?
“Pure Bliss” is a multicultural place, therefore the kitchen is ethnic. The basic line is healthy dishes and excellent materials. We borrow dishes from various cuisines that cover different needs, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free etc., but at the same time we make sure that they are also delicious and satisfying for people who don’t have any special preferences!
The products are organic, how difficult is it to use fully organic raw materials from a financial and practical point of view?
The products we offer are approximately 60% organic, partly because a steady supply of organic products is extremely difficult and partly because some of them, e.g. meat and cheese, are so expensive that they would kick us out of the market!
How did people respond?
Above all, people loved the beautiful atmosphere in the restaurant that attracts literally everyone, and then the menu. Our most fanatics are definitely people who are interested to try different things.
You travel a lot, how the knowledge you gain is combined and creatively expressed in “Bliss”;
My journeys shape me, give me ideas and make me who I am and that is expressed in everything that has to do with me. Through my journeys I developed the philosophy of non- nationality, the perception that we are inhabitants of the planet and not of a certain place. That is the idea symbolized by the Incan Cross, Buddha and by the Mayan calendar that you will see on you left when entering “Pure Bliss”. When you travel you realize that the very same object that looks like a chair to you might be seen as a table by someone else, so your perception of the world changes!
What are your future plans for “Bliss”?
“Pure Bliss” has infinite possibilities that are waiting for Greece to breathe! This is the vision that guides me.
As far as immediate plans, the second floor will soon operate as a cocktail bar ...
Bliss has shown social sensitivity for vulnerable social groups ...
We try to help ... It is important that we all show sensitivity, during this time of crisis. We cook once a week for the homeless at “Pedion tou Areos” and send out an open invitation to other people and businesses to do the same.
What are the basic ideas that guide and inspire you to do things?
My basic personal needs are things like discovering, learning, overturing, questioning, sharing! My friends and my enemies are simultaneously on my path!
Romvis Street 24Α,
tel. 0030-210-3250 360