19/08/2019
When the sun beams warmly and a breeze is blowing off the sea, a sandy beach beckons you for a day of relaxation and recreation. Fortunately, there are several options near Annabelle—just jump in a car and head up the coast. If you fancy a busy scene with lots of recreational amenities, stop at the municipal strand at Coral Bay. You’ll find row after row of sunbeds with umbrellas and a variety of watercraft for rent. At the entrance, the municipality offers a snack bar, a kiosk, a pool table, and a foosball table. For something more subdued, try the beach at Agios Giorgios. The beach lies in a protected cove, its shallow waters particularly suitable for families with young children. The harbour serves local fishers as well as the Pafos International Sailing Club, which welcomes visitors to join them on Thursdays and Sundays at 11:00—contact information is posted at the beachside café. Take a walk on the network of paths through the dunes and gaze at St. George’s Island. For something remote and relatively unscathed, head into the Akamas and visit the shore at Lara Bay. This area is a breeding ground for sea turtles and is protected: umbrellas and sunbeds are not allowed. Enjoy a swim in the crystalline waters and gaze at the rocky shoreline. Accessed by unpaved roads, the area nevertheless has two restaurants inland. You can also combine a visit to Lara Bay with a hike on the Avakas Gorge Trail.
02/08/2019
In mountain villages where the Spring climate is cool and moist yet not prone to frost, roses are cultivated for the production of rose water. The Damask rose, a variety imported years ago from the Damascus region, is particularly favoured for its fragrance and colour. In the late Spring, villagers wake before dawn to harvest the petals whilst they remain cool and dewy from the night air. The petals are then quickly mixed with water and placed in a sealed cauldron. As the cauldron is heated, steam carries the rose essence through a pipe to another vessel, where it cools and liquefies. The distillation is then poured into dark-coloured glass bottles and stored in a cool, dark place to prevent its deterioration from the sun’s light. Rose water is a common ingredient in Cypriot pastries. Bakers use it, for instance, in creating the syrups for baklava and daktyla (lady’s fingers). Mahalepi, the cool, translucent pudding, is often drenched with rose water to add scent and sweetness and a lovely pink glow. Children enjoy rose water in a glass of cold milk; they can also be cajoled to take a bitter medicine once it is similarly sweetened. Rose water has long been valued for cosmetic purposes, such as cleansing skin and shampooing hair. It is also used in the preparation of rose-flavoured aperitifs and liqueurs. At Annabelle’s Byz Bar, you can try our take on it, the rose petal mojito: the rose cordial and rose petals give this tangy cocktail a distinctively Cypriot sweetness.
30/07/2019
A glass of chilled rosé is a popular companion with food on sultry summer days. Most consumers are familiar with the style of rosés produced in Provençe in the south of France; these pink-orange wines tend to be dry yet fruity, light yet zesty, and pair well with green salads, grilled seafood, and pasta flavoured with garlic. Rosé wines produced in Cyprus have a different profile due to the indigenous grape varieties available (such as maratheftiko, lefkara, and mavro) and the maceration methods chosen. Generally, they possess a pale ruby colouring and more tannins than the Provence style—making them more food friendly and especially companionable with Cypriot cuisine. Annabelle offers several options. The rosé from the Kyperounda winery in the Troodos mountains is made with cabernet, grenache, and shiraz grapes and has a spicy, fruity flavour reminiscent of dark cherries; it pairs well with vegetarian dishes, köfte, and barbecued meats. The Pampela rosé produced by the Vouni Panayia winery in western Pafos combines the indigenous maratheftiko and mavro grape varieties; with its medium colour and raspberry-cherry flavours, it is a good companion with meze dips, fish, and stuffed vine leaves. The Tsangarides winery in Lemona village prepares a rosé with maratheftiko and shiraz grapes that is medium dry and tastes of strawberries and cherries; it goes well with Asian cuisine and can also be enjoyed as an aperitif. Rosé should be served chilled between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius in the summer months. With the right food pairing, it is a refreshing summer treat.
30/07/2019
Nestled between meandering pools and lushly landscaped gardens is Annabelle’s Grotto Bar. From April through November, the seasonal bar welcomes guests for cocktails, snacks, and conversation between the hours of 10:00 and 17:00. Approach from land or by water (the bar enjoys swim-up access with in-pool stools), and you will be greeted by bar supervisor Sakis and his colleagues. With over a decade of service at the hotel, Sakis is a fixture at Annabelle. He loves to talk through the preparation of your cocktail with you. Order a mojito and he will begin to slice a lime as he explains his preference for using homemade brown simple syrup in this drink. He mixes the lime with simple syrup and rum in a cocktail glass and muddles the mixture. Then he steps just a few feet to his garden, where he harvests fresh mint leaves; enjoy their sweet scent wafting across the bar as he lightly muddles them. He next adds the muddled mint to the glass with ice cubes, club soda, and additional, crushed ice. The drink is garnished with a sprig of fresh mint before being handed over for your enjoyment. Other popular summer drinks include the Watermelon Daiquiri—concocted with fresh melon, rum, homemade lemonade, Monin watermelon, lemon juice, and ice—and the classic Negroni, which he garnishes with strips of fresh orange peel. If you haven’t met Sakis, please stop by the Grotto Bar for a drink and a chat—he is ready to share his mixological secrets with you.
30/07/2019
Ever long for the carefree, unconventional way of life of the Bohemian? Take the lift to Ouranos, Annabelle’s rooftop lounge, and order the Bohème, our new signature cocktail. The bartender begins by lining a gin glass with thin, lengthwise slices of cucumber. Additional cucumber slices are muddled and placed in a cocktail shaker with a generous pour of Hendrick’s gin, some St. Germain elderflower liqueur, a dash of Monin cucumber syrup, and fresh lemon juice. The bartender adds ice to the mix and shakes it vigorously. Then the concoction is drained into the glass. Two square cubes of ice, each encasing a star fruit, are placed in the glass, and additional, small cubes are added to keep the drink cool. After garnishing the glass with a gooseberry, the bartender will deliver this refreshing cocktail to you. It has a balance of sweet and sour flavourings, with light hints of cucumber melding with the tang of the lemon. Evoking the essence of summer, the Bohème cools and refreshes. It is just one of the many gin cocktails on offer at Ouranos. In fact, with a selection of 50 distinctive gins and a wide variety of garnishes and premium tonics, Ouranos offers an incredible 650 gin and tonic combinations. Ouranos’s selection covers the full range of the gin palate, and our servers are expertly trained to match gins with garnishes and tonics to create the taste that suits you best. So, whether you have a thirst for Bohemia or something quite specific, head to Ouranos for a summer refresher.
03/07/2019
New to the list of offerings at Annabelle’s Ouranos Wellbeing Spa is a facial treatment known as ‘The Method’. Developed by London-based celebrity facialist Anastasia Achilleos, this facial is so much more than a facial—it is a holistic approach to wellness and beautification for both men and women. During the ninety-minute session, you will rest face-up on a soothing matt filled with warm water; your therapist will tuck your hands under the matt for added comfort. Soothing music creates a meditative atmosphere. The facial begins not with the face, but with the feet—they are softly rubbed as the legs are gently shaken, setting up your body for the rest of the treatment. Next comes a deep muscle release of the back, neck, shoulders, and arms. The goal is to align the central nervous system and release tension in connective tissues, yielding a relaxed and youthful feeling and appearance. Turning to the face, the therapist prepares a combination of organic plant extracts and essential oils to treat your specific needs. Therapeutic techniques such as extraction, masking, lifting and sculpting, and lymphatic drainage are employed. The entire face is attended to, leading to reduction in eye fatigue, relief of sinus pressure, relaxation of the jaw, and rejuvenation of the skin. Our therapist has been trained by Anastasia herself to perform the techniques she perfected over 20 years of practice. Try it and you’ll see why she has developed a devoted following among film actors and other celebrities.