15/01/2020
About 10 kilometres up the coast from Pafos is the town of Agios Georgios, a seaside town with an interesting past. Gaze from the bluff across the harbour, Cape Drepano, and the neighbouring Geronisos island, and you can come to appreciate how the site drew interest across the ages. The island’s natural fortification was attractive to settlers in the Neolithic era. The porous stone of the cape was mined and shipped in the Hellenistic age, and the quarry later supported the building needs of Ptolemaic Alexandria. Archaeological investigations in the 1950s revealed evidence of an unfortified settlement and harbour active during the Roman and early Christian eras. Then, the harbour was the first stop on the sea route for transporting wheat from Alexandria to Constantinople. Stop at the archaeological site to see the remains of the sixth century basilicas (including columns and mosaics), baptistery, bishop’s quarters, bathhouse, and homes. This settlement was abandoned in the first half of the seventh century, when Arabs occupied Egypt and trading relations changed. The current town takes its name from the chapel of St. George, which was constructed in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Near it rests the modern Church of St. George and lodging for pilgrims. Aside from its historical interest, Agios Georgios has much to attract present-day visitors. The harbour accommodates fishing and yachting and includes a protected cove for swimming. The cape has a network of paths for beachcombing. And several restaurants offer light fare and a sea view.
18/12/2019
The festive season is filled with opportunities to celebrate with food and wine. With so many options on the menu, it can be difficult to know which selection will suit your taste. So, Annabelle is here to help! We are offering a full slate of wine and cooking classes headed by experts from our team. The two wine classes are helmed by George Kassianos, Annabelle’s sommelier and a noted Cypriot wine expert, in Asteras. The first wine class, on 23 December, focuses on local wine varieties. Local grapes, like xinisteri and maratheftiko, are cultivated to produce excellent wines, but the names and tastes are likely to befuddle the visitor from offshore; this class will lead you through several examples so that you can find your favourites. In the second wine class, on 29 December, George will lead you on a tasting flight through an international range of wines. The cooking classes are arranged by chef Marios Efstathiou for presentation in Mediterraneo, Annabelle’s seaside taverna. The first (on 21 December) explains how to bake and decorate Christmas biscuits (including our popular gingerbread biscuit). Village style cooking—the cuisine for which Mediterraneo is renowned—is the focus of the second class (on 26 December). Baking (on 30 December) rounds out the range of offerings. Learn the recipe for a favourite food and you’ll not only learn what makes it special—you’ll have a souvenir of your holiday you can use over and over. Classes are subject to enrolment limits; contact Guest Services to reserve your place in advance.
16/12/2019
After twenty-five years surveying the culinary scene in Greece, the prestigious Toque d’Or Awards have been established in Cyprus. Beginning in 2018, a team of journalists from Athinorama in Greece and Philelefteros in Cyprus visited over 150 restaurants across the island and sampled over 1600 individual dishes. The jury members applied the strictest international standards as they rated each restaurant. At a gala awards ceremony in November 2019, the first annual results were announced, and both Amorosa and Ouranos won a Top Notch Award. Amorosa is Annabelle’s signature fine-dining restaurant; it offers a creative take on contemporary cuisine with an à la carte menu and daily, changing table d’hôte menus. At Amorosa, you can dine in an intimate setting with views of the pools, garden, and sea. Ouranos is Annabelle’s rooftop lounge and bar. Eat inside or out and take in breath-taking views of the harbour and castle. The mood is lively here, with regular live music and a bustling bar. The cuisine is casual yet sophisticated, with a focus on innovative dishes that can be shared around the table. For truly top-notch service and cuisine, reserve your spot at Amorosa or Ouranos and find out why the jury was so impressed.
16/12/2019
Cauliflower is a domesticated form of the wild cabbage endemic to the Mediterranean region—some sources even claim that it was originally cultivated on the island of Cyprus. Its florets, usually white, can be eaten raw in salads or with dips. Cauliflower can also be steamed, boiled, baked, or braised. At Mediterraneo, Annabelle’s seaside taverna, our cooks prepare a salad featuring braised cauliflower called ‘kapama’. They begin by frying the cauliflower florets and setting them aside to cool; cooking softens the vegetable and browns its surface. Because cauliflower has a mild taste, it can serve as a backdrop for the interplay of spicy additions. Mediterraneo’s salad includes pickled cucumber, cherry tomato comfit, rings of red onion, and slices of radish. Before plating the dish, the cook prepares a tahini mixture for the base. Tahini paste is first thinned with lemon juice and warm water. Then the mixture is seasoned with grated garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. The cook coats the middle of a plate with the tahini mixture. Next, the cauliflower florets are mixed with the other vegetables in a bowl; coriander leaves, toasted sesame seeds, olive oil, salt, and pepper are added for seasoning. The salad is served over the bed of tahini. Of course, the cook may get creative and add other ingredients at hand. During a recent visit, for example, the ‘kapama’ salad included chopped parsley and sliced green onions. Try it at Mediterraneo, and you will be inspired to create your own recipe.
13/12/2019
Why was the King of Denmark buried in Pafos? The story points to the role the city played in medieval pilgrimages. He was known as King Eric the Good, in part because he delivered the Danes from famine, but also because he liked to have a good time. The latter quality would set in motion the sequence of events that led to his demise. While hosting a feast, the king became bewitched by music and drunk with spirits and killed four of his guests. After regaining his composure, the king paid a fine for his crime, but he also vowed to seek repentance through a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The trip had recently become viable following the success of the First Crusade in securing Jerusalem. He and his queen left Denmark in 1103, passing through Russia before sailing on the Black Sea to the Bosphorus and Constantinople. There, he acquired holy relics which he sent back to Denmark—but he also acquired an illness. Nevertheless, he continued his pilgrimage. Making the routine stop at Pafos, the king was overwhelmed by fever and died. His queen ordered him buried here. Although the exact location of his grave is unknown, historians suspect that it would have been near the early Christian basilica called Chrysopolitissa. The archaeological site has a contemporary marker commemorating the king, and its street is named in his honour. As for the queen, she completed the pilgrimage—but also succumbed. She is buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
13/12/2019
Annabelle is having a Christmas Market on 21 December from 10:00 to 17:00. We’ve invited local artisans and charities to set up shop in the Atrium so that you can find those last-minute gift purchases. Ceramics from Avgoustinos Pottery, handicrafts by Natalie Anastasiou, and Christmas decorations from the Sofia Foundation are among the many items for sale. As you shop, sip a glass of mulled wine and nibble on gingerbread cookies and chocolates made by our pastry chefs. Take a moment to check out the miniature gingerbread village created by chef Laurent Brun and his team in the nearby Lobby. Indeed, you may want to extend your visit to sit for Annabelle’s Christmas Afternoon Tea in the Lobby. It features four savoury accompaniments (such as smoked duck with cranberry chutney), four sweets (try the gingerbread sable star cookie), and scones with butter, fresh cream, and marmalade. We are also presenting our Festive Cocktail Menu in the Lobby throughout the day. Members of the Paphos Philharmonic Band will be on hand to play holiday tunes from 16:00. Join us for the afternoon—it’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!