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31/05/2019
It all started in Thessaloniki in 1957. Legend has it that Nestlé representative Giannis Dritsas was exhibiting a new beverage for children at the Thessaloniki International Fair. The beverage was prepared by mixing chocolate powder with milk in a container and shaking it. Meanwhile, colleague Dimitris Vakondios wanted an instant coffee but lacked hot water. So he combined the instant coffee with water and ice in a shaker and—voilà!—the frappé was born. This beverage has since become a staple in cafés throughout the Greek islands, and it is very popular in Cyprus, too. Nowadays frappés are usually made with electric mixers specifically designed for this purpose. First place one or two teaspoons of instant coffee in the bottom of a tall glass. If you are sweetening your drink, add sugar to the glass now. Next add a couple of inches of cold water—and it is time to blend! As you blend at high speed for about half a minute, the mixture will begin to turn to a light brown foam. The drink is topped off with water, milk, or some combination of the two: a ‘mavro’ includes only water, an ‘olo gala’ includes only milk, while a ‘ligo gala’ has a little milk and a ‘miso-miso’ has half of each. Also specify how sweet you want it—a ‘sketto’ has no sugar, while a ‘metrio’ is medium and a ‘glyki’ is sweet. Sip your frappé with a straw as you laze by the pool or sea.
20/05/2019
Mid-Century modern architectural style is known for sleek surfaces, strong horizontal lines, and a minimalist approach to decoration. When added with care, though, handicrafts can complement the overall look. Consider the use of baskets at Almyra, the mid-century modern resort that is a member of Design Hotels. All the waste baskets in the guest rooms are handmade by Maroulla Mavromoustakou, a local artisan who also works as a chamber maid in the hotel. Maroulla hails from the Cypriot village of Mesogi, which is renowned for its tradition of basket making. She learned the craft from her mother and has been practicing it for 40 years. Working with straw sourced from villages along the nearby river valley, Maroulla begins each waste basket by holding a small wooden block between her feet and forming a circular base with 6 to 12 spokes emanating from its centre. She then weaves the sides around the frame. The top edge is finished with a continuous reed that was soaked in water to make it more pliable. Each waste basket takes her two hours to craft. She has also made very large baskets for collecting towels by Almyra’s pools. Almyra’s baskets follow a simple design befitting the mid-century modern décor, but Maroulla is also adept at weaving the colourful geometrical patterns that are a hallmark of the Cypriot craft. Use of handmade baskets not only makes aesthetic sense—it helps preserve a folk craft tradition and is eco-friendly, too. What’s not to like about that?
17/05/2019
Dog-lovers and their canine companions are invited to our signature party in Almyra’s state-of-the-art dog park. As one of just a few pet-friendly hotels in Cyprus, Almyra lays out the welcome matt with in-room amenities, a specialised room service menu, and concierge and spa services for your pet. The dog park sports a pathway and lawn with three mobility trainers, a watering station, a waste station, and benches for human companions. On 24 May, join us there from 17:00 to 20:00 for beer, wine, lemonade, and snacks. Guests and locals alike are invited to bring their dogs. If you’d like to pamper your pet, call ahead to order a Bark Box filled with healthy treats, a personal doggy bone, and a toy (contact Guest Services on 26 888 762). Yearning to add a dog to your household? This time around we are partnering with Animal Rescue Cyprus to help place dogs in their forever homes. Representatives from the shelter will be on hand to explain the rehoming process. A selection of dogs from the shelter will be partying with us too! Could one of them be the perfect match for you? Join the paw-ty and find out.
17/05/2019
A fusion cuisine takes ingredients and techniques from two culinary traditions and merges them into something new and exciting. At Notios, Almyra’s restaurant fusing Japanese and Mediterranean cuisines, Sous Chef Akos Richweisz has just introduced two new entrées to the menu. The Massaman Lamb Roll spices up that staple of Mediterranean cuisine, lamb. The lamb is first marinated in Massaman curry sauce, a Thai seasoning that is very popular in Japan. Then the lamb is vacuum sealed in a bag for sous vide cooking: the bag is placed in a 45°C water bath for 30 minutes. The cook removes the lamb from the bag and finishes it on the grill. The Massaman Lamb Roll is served on top of an edamame puree and garnished with shallots pickled in vinegar and beet root, sautéed snow peas, edible flowers, microgreens, and curry sauce. To make the Cashew Pork Belly entrée, Richweisz combines pork belly in a pan with soy sauce, sake, mirin, spring onions, garlic, ginger, and sugar and bakes it very slowly in an 80°C oven for 24 hours. The pork belly is then removed from the pan; the remaining liquid is subsequently reduced on the cooker for five to ten minutes. Sweet and sour elements balance the flavouring: Chinese cabbage, fig chutney, taro wasabi, herb-infused olive oil, and microgreens round out the presentation. Stop by Notios to stimulate your palate with these innovative entrées in our seaside pavilion.
15/05/2019
A solo exhibition of drawings by Emilio Koutsoftides will debut on 25 May in Almyra’s Danae ballroom. Entitled ‘Restless Transitions’, the show asks viewers to reflect on how communal ideology shapes our understanding of others in a time of political change and uncertainty. As we distil our personal views through social media, blurred or clashing narratives emerge. For example, migrants fleeing war in Syria and seeking freedom in European states represent to some Europeans a threat to their own cultural freedom and autonomy. Contrasting communal positions are amplified and exploited through social media and fake news stories, leading to further confusion as to what is really going on around us. Koutsoftides is an architect and artist living in Pafos and trained at the Canterbury School of Architecture in the UK. Working at the interface between architecture and art, he has designed exhibition spaces for the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum in Miami, the M+ Museum in Hong Kong, the National Museum of Jordan, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. His art projects engage multiple media forms, including choreography, light sculpture, and performance, and they appear not just in galleries, but against the backdrop of cities and landscapes. The opening reception runs from 20:00 to 22:00 on May 25; the exhibition continues through 16 June.
07/05/2019
The closest entrance to the wilderness of the Akamas peninsula from Pafos is found near Lara Bay—just follow the signs along the coastal road for about 20 kilometres until the surface turns to dirt. To experience the diverse flora and geology of the region, why not take a trek on foot? Look for signs pointing to the Avakas Gorge, where a trail wends its way along a stream bed and through a deep crevice eroded over millions of years by the flow of water. Leave your vehicle in the car park just below the restaurant (the bridge to the car park at the trail’s head has washed out and can only be traversed by foot) and walk through a valley along an unpaved road to the trail. The trail begins in a broad meadow and then continues through a juniper forest; notable plant specimens are identified by markers in Greek and English. The area is a micro-reserve for Centaurea akamantis, an endemic flowering shrub that grows in just one other place on the island. During Spring, you will see abundant wildflowers along the stream of the Avgas River. As you make your way, you will find the path narrowing and the banks becoming more imposing as you enter the gorge. Though stepping stones have been set along the way, be prepared to walk in the stream itself. The cool, shady gorge offers a refreshing respite from the Cyprus sun and a memorable two-hour sojourn into the Akamas wilderness.