16/07/2018
The culinary traditions of Cyprus developed around what is available on the island. While fresh ingredients are essential, “the herbs create the taste,” says Marios Efstathiou, Annabelle’s sous chef. He uses fresh herbs, grown on the hotel’s grounds, and adjusts menus seasonally. At seaside taverna Mediterraneo, cooks follow traditional recipes but experiment with herbs to create outstanding flavourings. Vouttimata—a selection of Cypriot dips—is a case in point. The tzatziki is started by infusing fresh mint in cold milk; then garlic, cucumber juice, and yoghurt are blended in to create a smooth sauce. Moungra is made from cauliflower. After blanching the cauliflower, the cook creates a dough of flour, water, yeast, and mustard seeds; the mixture ferments and preserves the cauliflower. And Mediterraneo’s fava is made with black beluga lentils and seasoned with ground toasted cumin seeds and lemon. Seasonal dishes in July include a mint and basil pesto made with rocket and parsley. Courgette flowers are in season too; they are stuffed with feta, thyme, red pepper, olives, and parsley before being coated with bread crumbs and deep fried. Taverna meze is all about sharing—trying a wide variety of dishes and comparing notes. The chicken gyros allow diners to experiment with taste, too. Chicken is marinated in fresh herbs—thyme and oregano—along with white wine and olive oil and then grilled over charcoal. It is presented on the skewer, so diners can create their own flavourings by stuffing the pita with the vegetables and condiments of their choice.
04/07/2018
Pafos Harbour is lined with a promenade, making for an easy stroll through the lively seaside community. Step out of the Annabelle gardens and turn right, toward the centre of the harbour. As you walk, you’ll see sunbathers on lounges and swimmers in the shallow tidepools of the sea. Cafes, restaurants, ice cream stands, and shops also ring the coast. As you approach the marina, look to the right—you’ll see the entrance to Pafos Archaeological Park. You can easily spend half a day viewing the Roman ruins here, including an ancient theatre and the remains of stately villas featuring colourful mosaic floors. Continuing to the marina, you will find boat excursions on offer along with other marine activities. You can also observe commercial fishers returning with the day’s catch. Soon you’ll arrive at the centrepiece of the harbour—the medieval castle. Built by the Franks in the 13th century, it was later modified and then destroyed by the Venetians, who were afraid the invading Ottomans would use it to consolidate power. The Ottomans eventually prevailed, restoring it in 1592. This structure and some nearby ruins are all that remain of the medieval defensive structure surrounding the harbour. Visitors to the castle (€2.50 per adult) can observe the small prison cells off the central hall, which serves as a visitors’ centre and gallery space—the current show is “Akamas: Nature, Myth, Man.” Climb to the roof to enjoy the panoramic view and retrace the steps of your journey.
29/06/2018
Xynisteri is an indigenous variety of grape widely cultivated in Cyprus. Like sauvignon blanc, xynisteri yields a dry white wine with flavours of green grass, intense tropical fruits, herbs, and minerals. Though cultivated for generations on the island, the grape has recently been used to produce premium wines under the guidance of well-trained oenologists using modern technology. Aphrodite Constanti, who trained in Bordeaux, keeps a careful tab on each year’s harvest in the Kathikas region, where she is winemaker for Vasilikon Winery. She takes great care to treat the grapes gently, using traditional methods (harvesting by hand) and new technologies (cold maceration in stainless steel tanks, gentle pressing using pneumatic pumps). After fermenting in a stainless-steel tank for about two weeks, the wine goes through the process of bâtonnage—stirring and filtering for months—until the wine is ready for bottling. According to Annabelle’s sommelier George Kassianos, “xynisteri is a good match with local cuisine. It pairs well with halloumi and feta cheeses, meze, and Greek or village salad for lunch, and fish, calamari, and grilled lemon chicken for dinner.” As with most varieties, terroir makes a difference in taste, with the limestone and clay soil and low altitude in Kathikas giving a green minerality, and the volcanic soil and higher altitude of vineyards near Limassol yielding “complex flavours with notes of minerality and some very worthy wines,” Kassianos notes. Chill xynisteri to 9° C before serving in the same glasses you’d use for riesling or sauvignon blanc.
19/06/2018
Ever since Ouranos debuted its lunch menu in May, one question keeps forming on the lips of diners: What’s a poke bowl? It turns out to be a Hawaiian dish that is enjoying its moment in the sun! Invented by fishermen so they could enjoy scraps of raw fish as a light snack, the poke (pronounced POH-keh) bowl traditionally combines raw fish with grains, vegetables, fruits, and seasonings. Of the four on offer at Ouranos, the Tuna and Mango Poke Bowl is the most traditional: tuna tartare, served on a bed of jasmine rice alongside pickled ginger and sliced mango, is seasoned with ponzu sauce, scallions, and sesame seeds. The result is a light, healthful meal with a balance of sweet and sour flavourings. According to Laurent Brun, Annabelle’s executive chef, as the poke bowl’s popularity has grown, “the concept evolved to include other low-fat sources of protein, including cooked meat and seafood.” For example, Ouranos serves an Angus Beef Poke Bowl with butternut squash, lotus root, and pickled cucumber; other bowls feature honey chicken and grilled prawns. The poke bowl is a natural fit for the lunch menu of Ouranos, which complements the focus on health and wellness at the adjacent spa. In addition to poke bowls, the Ouranos lunch menu offers a selection of vegetarian dishes, grilled meats and seafood, and light desserts. Stop in soon to enjoy a nutritious lunch—and discover why the poke bowl is a hot culinary trend.
14/06/2018
As part of its extensive recent renovation, Annabelle has added five stunning new duplex suites to its room offerings. Perched high on top of the hotel, the suites boast panoramic views of the harbour. Enter your suite to find a 49-square-metre living room with space for lounging, watching television, and enjoying a beverage from the wet bar; the living room opens to an 8-square-metre balcony facing the sea. Upstairs, find a generous 31-square-metre bedroom with additional lounge space opening onto yet another 8-square-metre sea view balcony. The bath features a double wash basin, a deep bathtub, and a separate shower; the WC is separate, too. There is also a walk-in closet for storing luggage and your wardrobe. Parisian interior designer Joëlle Pleot has created a refined, breezy feeling to the suites, setting the background with bright white walls and sandy marble floors. Rolling wooden shutters, lightly finished, grace the balcony doors, adding a touch of colonial charm and a measure of light control. The furniture, custom made by Cypriot carpenters, offers clean lines, warm wood tones, and upholstery recalling the colours of the sea and sky. A Karyatis suite could be your personal aerie, a spacious private retreat where you can survey the sea’s endless horizon.
05/06/2018
Sunday is a day of rest for many, so why not spend it enjoying a relaxing lunch at Mediterraneo, Annabelle’s seaside taverna? Start off with a selection from our menu of light salads and appetisers: the ospriada salad, for example, presents a mix of local legumes and pulses along with sliced carrot, celery, and radish dressed with a herb vinaigrette and accompanied by olive bread crostini. Next comes the meze course, where you and your dining companions can create a unique shared dining experience by selecting from a menu of traditional Cypriot dips; grilled cheeses, meats, and sausages; a variety of croquets; and specialities from the sea. For the mains, our cooks offer market-fresh fish and seafood seasoned with citrus, a black olive and dill salsa, and a dried cherry tomato and basil vierge sauce. Meat and poultry mains include mprizola (pork steak) and lamb kebabs. If you’d like to keep up the spirit of sharing during the main course, try our gyros for two; we serve a grilled spiced spring chicken on the skewer at the table, where it can be sliced and enjoyed with traditional condiments, pita bread, and a Greek salad. Finish off with some seasonal fruit or a traditional Cypriot cake or pastry. Musicians Demetris Souroullas (vocals and guitar) and Efthivoulos Theocharous (piano) perform beloved Greek tunes from the 1990s and 2000s throughout the lunch (12:30-15:30). Gaze at the glistening sea as you reconnect with family and friends during our restful Sunday afternoon repast.