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!
12/12/2019
Go to the Akrotiri peninsula, about an hour’s drive from Pafos, and you can visit a monastery with an intriguing history. The monastery was founded in 327 CE by the Byzantine Governor of Cyprus, Calokairos, at the insistence of Saint Helen, mother of Constantine the Great. Returning from a trip to the Holy Land, Helen stopped at the peninsula, which had been nearly abandoned during a seventeen-year drought. The drought was accompanied by a plague of venomous snakes that made the area too dangerous to pass through. Helen sought a solution from the governor. In establishing the monastery, Calokairos collected a thousand cats from across Cyprus and charged the monks with their care. The cats eventually subdued the snake population and made the area inhabitable again. To this day, a large group of cats makes its home in the monastery. The core structure dates to the thirteenth century, though it suffered damage from an earthquake in the fifteenth century, looting in the sixteenth century, and disuse over hundreds of years. The Department of Antiquities restored the complex in 1960. Since 1983, the Monastery of Saint Nicolas of the Cats has served as a convent. A small group of nuns resides there, caring for the cats, painting icons, and living a life of devotion. Visit and you will surely be greeted by the monastery’s feline denizens. You can also admire the monastery’s beautiful architecture. A selection of icons, publications, fruit preserves, and honey is offered for sale; your purchase supports the convent and the care of the cats.
12/12/2019
The church of Agia Kyriaki was built in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Currently it is used as a place of worship for the Roman Catholic and Anglican communities. Originally, it served as the cathedral for the Greek Orthodox church in Pafos. The church was built in two phases. First, it had a free cross shape with a dome in the apse. Later, a chamber was added in each corner of the cross, giving it the cross-in-square configuration. The stone structure includes an iconostasis, vaults, and wooden furniture. In the 1980s, archaeological excavation at its site revealed a complex history. The foundations of the much larger early Christian basilica, Chrysopolitissa, were laid bare along with mosaic floors, fragments of frescos, and remnants of its colonnades. Also discovered are the remains of the adjacent episcopal palace. The basilica was in use from the fourth century until the seventh, when destruction by Arab raids and earthquakes led to its abandonment. The rubble was exploited for other building projects, and two houses of worships were built and destroyed here before the construction of Agia Kyriaki. To enter the church, you will cross wooden walkways over the archaeological site. Placards along the walkway explicate the remains. St. Paul’s Pillar, where the apostle was reputedly flogged for proselytizing, is at the site, as is a memorial for King Eric of Denmark, who died here on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1103. Visit and you will find the history of Christianity revealed layer by layer.