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 Notios received a Toque d’Or Award. Notios is Almyra’s al fresco restaurant serving Japanese-Mediterranean fusion cuisine. Sited between the pools and the sea, Notios offers lovely views and a welcome breeze. What can you expect from the combination of Mediterranean and Japanese flavourings and ingredients? Maybe a new take on grilled lamb fillet—as it is served with pickled shallots, snow peas, edamame puree, and massaman sauce. Or some spicy calamari topped with mandarin aioli. Or bass fresh from the Mediterranean Sea garnished with yuzu, soy, ginger, chili, and spring onions. Following a multi-million-euro renovation, Almyra will reopen on 1 March 2020. Notios, a seasonal restaurant, will open soon thereafter. Stop in and try one of these tantalizing concoctions.
Ever wonder where locals go out for an evening in Pafos? We asked Elena Michael, Sales Manager for Thanos Hotels and a Pafos resident, to describe a typical itinerary hitting her favourite spots. She and her friends like the Old Town district, which is very walkable and filled with character. ‘We’d start with a sunset cocktail at Muse’, the restaurant perched on a cliff overlooking Kato Pafos and the sea; they prefer to sit on the terrace to enjoy the panoramic view. Once the sun has set, they set out on foot for Michalos Kebab House just a few blocks away. ‘They have the best souvlakia in Cyprus—the place is very, very special and the food is amazing’! While she’s there, she’ll be sure to peek in the window of the Blue Iris Gallery next door to see what the current art exhibition is. Next they walk just a few blocks to Temple for after dinner drinks. Temple, which occupies an old house and its front garden, offers a relaxed atmosphere for enjoying a liqueur or aperitif. Finally, they head to Kennedy Square, a pedestrian plaza nearby that is ringed with bars and cafes. Elena likes Boulevard, a wine bar where she and her friends can sit on stools around a wine cask converted to a table, listen to music, and watch the people walking by. When it’s time to go home, they head to the cab stand just across the street from the plaza—another pleasant evening in Pafos comes to its end.
The ancestors of the Cyprus dwarf hippopotamus arrived on the island around 100,000 years ago, likely by sea—there is no evidence of a land bridge. Island populations are susceptible to insular dwarfism, which occurs when a species reproduces within a small population over many generations; the animals evolved to the size of a grown pig and adapted to the mountainous terrain by walking on their toes. About 10,000 years ago, the dwarf hippos became extinct—and scientists disagree as to why. Climate change is one explanation: conditions became warmer and drier at that time, leading to many extinctions. But the excavation of a pit in Akrotiri suggests the possibility of a human contribution, too. The top layer of the pit contains burned shells and bones along with stone scraping tools, all connoting human presence. Beneath it rests a deposit of bones from hundreds of dwarf hippos with additional artefacts. Radiocarbon tests date the shells, bones, and tools of both layers at 10,000 years old—suggesting that humans and dwarf hippos lived contemporaneously in Cyprus. Did humans hunt the hippos into extinction? Some contest this conclusion, noting that the hippo bones show no signs of butchering. Others point out that the bones are not connected, as they would be in live animals, and cannot fathom a natural explanation for the extensive deposit of bones. This month in Ayia Napa, scientists gathered to open a new centre for the study of the dwarf hippo and its demise. The mystery continues to be investigated.
Limassol is the second most populous city in Cyprus and, at about 67 kilometres by road from Pafos, a good destination for a day trip. Start your visit in the Old Town section. At its centre is the castle, which houses the Medieval Museum of Cyprus and is a monument in its own right. The current edifice, built by the Ottomans in the 1590s, incorporates parts of earlier structures; take a tour and see layers of history, from the early Christian era to the Byzantine period and on to the periods of Frankish and Venetian rule. Richard the Lionheart married Benengaria of Navarre there in 1191. Climb to the rooftop and take in the panoramic view. The square surrounding the castle is lined with tavernas and includes the Carob Mill, a factory from 1900 that now houses a museum on the important export crop. Walk through the streets of the Old Town and discover the Central Market, the Grand Mosque, and numerous shops and cafes. Next head to the Old Port and see a blend of historic structures with decidedly modern additions. Stroll by the yacht-filled marina, peek into high-end shops, watch the fishing boats unload, or enjoy a meal in one of the sleek new restaurants lining the sea. Continue northeast on the seaside promenade, watching the ships come into the harbour, until you reach the Municipal Gardens. There, you can rest in the shade or visit the park’s zoo. It all makes for an enjoyable day on the town.
‘Movember’ is a blend of the words ‘moustache’ and ‘November’, and it refers to the annual charity event for raising awareness about and collecting funds to combat prostate and testicular cancer. Started in Australia in 2003, the campaign came to Cyprus in 2013 and is now recognised around the island. During November, men pledge to grow moustaches to become visible advertisements for the cause. For several years now, the Thanos Hotels group has encouraged its male employees to support the effort. On 28 November, these employees, their colleagues, and guests will gather from 16:00 to 18:00 at Almyra for a Shaving Party. Everyone can check out the newly formed moustaches before a barber offers his shaving and styling services. Almyra will provide food, drinks, and entertainment, so come and join the party! Participants and their friends and family are invited to donate funds to Movember Cyprus and the Movember Foundation, both of which support efforts to combat prostate and testicular cancers and to prevent suicide by those suffering from them. New at this year’s celebration is the Man Van. In it, you will find Movember collectible memorabilia (t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, caps, pins, and bracelets) that you can purchase in support. Movember Cyprus is an initiative co-organised by Round Table 1 Nicosia and Keo beer. The goal of Movember is to stop men from dying too young by promoting early cancer detection and improved treatment. Stop by and lend your support.
Many spa treatments can be enjoyed by men and women alike. In a few cases, though, a treatment needs to target conditions common to men. That’s why Almyraspa offers its Just for Gents spa menu. A daily regimen of shaving can affect the condition of a man’s facial skin, for example. We offer the Men’s Vitality Facial by Codage as a corrective. After identifying the guest’s skin type and diagnosing his treatment needs, the therapist will draw from the range of Codage products for a custom application. This elixir of youth helps return energy to skin cells, reduce signs of fatigue, and revitalize the face in a 75-minute session. Alternatively, if extraction is warranted, we offer the 60-minute Men’s Vitality Facial with Extraction by Codage. Need attention to the back as well? The invigorating Osea Men’s Restorative Face and Back Treat includes a cleansing seaweed facial, a sea salt exfoliation of the back, and a relaxing massage of the back, neck, and shoulders. The 90-minute session features marine-based products from Osea. Men will also enjoy offerings in our salon, including the men’s haircut and waxing for the back or chest. We provide steam and sauna facilities just for gents, too. Spa products are available for retail purchase at Almyraspa, while fragrances from Acqua di Parma and clothing from Gucci, Prada, Etro, and others are on hand at Kult boutique’s men’s shop. There’s no reason a man should not look and feel his best. We’re here to help.