Aqua Tone is a low-impact, gentle exercise programme especially conducive to those with mobility issues, joint strain, osteoporosis, stability concerns, or balance problems. The pool’s water gives you buoyancy and creates resistance so that you can extend your limbs without fear of falling. At Annabelle, the instructor begins each 60-minute session with stretching exercises to develop your flexibility. Then the instructor introduces more vigorous exercises to raise the heart rate and burn calories. Techniques include squatting and jumping, kicking while holding the pool’s wall, power-walking, and jogging. You may also receive instructions on how to use our polystyrene water dumbbells and foam noodles to perform balance and resistance exercises. Each session concludes with more stretching. You’ll emerge with increased flexibility, improved balance, and the benefits of a good cardio workout. Now that Annabelle has an indoor pool, guests can enjoy this exercise programme throughout the year. The pool is part of the hotel’s new Ouranos Wellbeing Spa, located on the fifth floor of the hotel, and is heated to an average of 29° C. Afterwards, cool down poolside in a lounger—or warm up with a relaxing sojourn in the spa’s sauna. Classes are offered two or three times per week and are complimentary during the winter season.
Check with Guest Services for the weekly schedule.
During the festive season, celebrants throughout Europe enjoy a common tradition: a glass of hot, spiced wine. The tradition has deep historical roots, as the winter appreciation of warmed wine followed the expansion of the Roman empire into northern Europe. The spice trade of the Middle Ages brought the exotic flavourings of ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon into the market. Expensive delicacies, these spices were adapted for winter celebrations, proved perfect complements to warmed wine, and continue to provide the culinary vocabulary for the holidays. Regional variations have developed over the years—notably in England, Scandinavia, Central Europe, and the Balkans. At Annabelle, our Christmas Wine takes on a distinctly Cypriot flair. We use Plakota dry red wine, a blend of red grape varieties (including some indigenous to Cyprus) produced locally by Vouni Panayia winery. To this we add calvados cider brandy and Filfar, an orange liqueur made only in Cyprus. Cinnamon, the aromatic bark indigenous to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, adds Christmas spice to the concoction in both powder and syrup form. The glass is garnished with apple extract, a slice of orange, and a cinnamon stick. You can enjoy Annabelle’s Christmas Wine at our Christmas Market, which takes place in our Atrium on 21, 26, and 30 December from 15:30 to 17:30. Nibble on homemade Christmas cookies, gingerbread, and chocolates as you view the wares of local merchants, including pottery and Christmas cards.
The word ‘brunch’ comes from the combination of parts of two other words—‘br’ from ‘breakfast’ and ‘unch’ from ‘lunch’. The term is known as a portmanteau word because it carries (as in a suitcase) the meanings of both ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’ in one word (the concept of the ‘portmanteau word’ is the brainchild of Lewis Carroll, author of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, but that is another story). ‘Brunch’ was first used in 1895 by British writer Guy Beringer, who made a plea for an alternative to the heavy, meat-laden after-church meals then popular on Sundays. The concept developed as a meal served in the late morning to early afternoon, combining elements of traditional breakfast and lunch fare, and usually including an alcoholic beverage (Beringer was sympathetic to those who had slept late after a Saturday night carousing). Brunch gained popularity in Edwardian England before spreading to the U.S. in the 1930s; now it is enjoyed worldwide. At Ouranos, Annabelle’s new-build rooftop lounge, we offer classic Sunday brunch items (egg preparations, salads, sides, and sweets) with a culinary twist: try our beetroot fried eggs with sesame crust, green vegetables, and pickles, for instance. Order individually or in the Mediterranean sharing style. And now, for the festive season, Ouranos offers a Christmas Day Brunch and a New Year’s Day Brunch. Each is a four-course, fixed price meal with fresh orange juice, infused water, and your choice of coffee or tea (and full bar service is available, of course). Join us!
It is a common sight during the festive season: a miniature structure, usually a house, made of gingerbread. How is it made? At Annabelle, baker Doros Nearchou literally took the technique to new heights this season, leading his team in constructing a gingerbread clock tower for the hotel’s central stair hall (in previous years, he has built a boat and a train). Carpenters formed the structure of the tower by constructing five tiered platforms from recycled wood. Engineers then formed opaque window panels, wired the interior for lighting, and installed a motor for the rotating top. Meanwhile in the kitchen, bakers prepared gingerbread biscuits, using moulds to make the interlocking brick shapes for the tower’s base. Decorating with gingerbread is like creating an edible mosaic. First, coat the entire surface with icing sugar; this will maintain a separation between the edible and inedible parts. Next, use icing sugar as a kind of mortar, applying it to the back of each piece before fixing it on the base. Icing sugar can also be used to form decorative elements, such as icicles. Seeds and spices, such as saffron, sesame, black cumin, and oats, can be applied to give colour and texture. Annabelle’s clock tower is unique and features a clock for each of the world’s continents, prompting us to think about people all around the world during the holidays. The build involved team members from throughout the hotel along with seven student bakers and encompassed 600 hours of work. After Christmas, children are invited to remove a piece of gingerbread and enjoy a tasty treat!
Zivania is a distillation unique to Cyprus and a staple of the taverna menu. For hundreds of years, it was made in the village and served as a welcome drink along with almonds, walnuts, Cyprus delight, or small appetisers like pork sausage flavoured with oranges (indeed, this tradition continues today). It is strong (about 45% alcohol by volume), colourless, and carries an aroma of raisins. It is always served ice-cold. Zivania can be understood as a by-product of the annual winemaking process. After the local grape varieties xynisteri and mavro are pressed for their juices, the residue—or pomace—is fermented and mixed with high-quality dry wines. Modern producers place this mixture in a stainless-steel tank and distil it with steam, following strict guidelines set forth by the government. Since 2004, zivania has been protected by European Union regulations as a product only to be made in Cyprus. Indeed, though other regional distillations like arak and eau-de-vie are made through a similar process, zivania is made exclusively from grapes and thus benefits from the island’s unique terroir and climate. If zivania is produced using another wine variety, that must be indicated on the label (e.g., zivania cabernet). Because zivania is a popular accompaniment to meze dinners, Annabelle’s seaside taverna Mediterraneo offers the Zivania Meze Menu during the summer months. The nine-course meal includes cold meats and cheeses, several preparations of olives, a variety of local sausages, grilled meats, and sweets—all expertly matched with zivania. It’s an experience you can only enjoy in Cyprus.
A classic cocktail can be a familiar friend on the bar menu, yet it is usually the legacy of an innovative bartender. In the spirit of innovation, Ouranos presents a collection of eight Wavering Classics - cocktails that pay homage to their classic recipes while diverging from those recipes in creative ways. The Americano, for example, was first served in Milan’s Caffe Campari in the 1860s. Traditionally a combination of Campari, sweet red vermouth, and soda water, the Americano finds a new zip at Ouranos with the substitution of pink grapefruit soda for soda water. The Negroni emerged in 1919 when an Italian count requested a strong Americano; his bartender substituted gin for soda water, creating an instant classic. Our Negroni goes a step further, as the mixologist adds bitters and lemon zest to create a more complex flavour. A Daiquiri is typically a combination of white rum, lime juice, and simple syrup; we use honey syrup rather than simple syrup and add bitter lemon, yielding a heavier, more balanced taste. The Last Word comes from Prohibition-Era Detroit and combines equal parts gin, lime juice, green chartreuse, and maraschino liqueur; our version substitutes lemon for lime juice and uses kirschwasser instead of the maraschino, giving the drink a peppy astringency. Whether it’s making a simple addition (like the bit of cardamom we put in our Mai Tai) or an intriguing substitution (St. Germain for maraschino liqueur in the Aviation), our bartenders are seeking to put a new twist on old favourites.