Today we had a really lovely day at Escape Beach, one of the nearest beaches to our villa. It’s probably the most developed beach on the island in terms of facilities but what it lacks in desert island charm, it more than makes up for in comfort of the facilities. And it’s not actually crowded.
It’s about an 8 minute drive from the house. I intended to take a cooler box but I forgot to put the cooling blocks in the freezer last night so that was scrapped. We set up on loungers literally at the water’s edge, with nice big umbrellas over them. You pay to use the facilities on Escape Beach (not the beach, no beaches are private here) but for about £3.60 each you get a cushioned lounger, an umbrella, access to wifi, very clean loos, showers, lockers and service to your bed by a nice beach boy. The food and drink on offer is also very reasonably priced considering where you are.
The water is just idyllic. Warmer than our pool and gin clear. On our side of the beach there was about 3 feet of pebbles as you entered the water and then just pure sand the rest of the way. It was very gradually shelving, ideal beach for kids. We’d taken our noodles with us so we spent a lot of time wallowing in the water. There were lots of little fish.
At lunchtime Daisy, Bob and I went up to the beach café to eat and Pen and Dave stayed down on the loungers and had their’s served. Bob and I shared a plate of mixed starters which was huge and amazing. £4.50 and Daisy had a chicken sandwich with cheese sauce and chips £4.50. Very good. There are some little shops down there too. Daisy found a bikini she liked which was £13.
Some gulets came into the bay for a lunch stop but they have to stay outside the main swimming area. At one side of the beach you can wade out to the little island to explore the caves.
Anyway, it was a really nice day and we’ll definitely go back again next week. Everyone really enjoyed it.
Tonight we went up the road to the Gilham Vineyard restaurant. We’ve been a couple of times before and really enjoyed it. Definitely fine dining. For starters I had dates stuffed with spiced lamb and served with nuts, several others had the liver pate with an amazing spiced fig chutney; Bob had king prawns wrapped in special pastry and a spicey sauce.
There then followed an amuse from the chef. This was funny because it was a soup that the waiter (before serving) described as a Spanish soup. We tried gentle questioning as to what a Spanish soup might be (it had also been on the main menu as soup of the day); is it tomatoey? Does it have beans? Is it cold or hot? Is it vegetable? To every question, the waiter looked vaguely affronted and strongly avowed “no! It is Spanish soup”!!! He muttered something about it being green. We gave up. Eventually, just before the amuse was served, the chef came around and I took the opportunity to ask him “what is Spanish soup”??? He looked surprised. Then said, “It is Spanish soup!!! Then laughed and said, “No, I’m sorry, It is SPINACH soup!, Not Spanish”. It was utterly delicious. We all wished we’d had a full bowl.
For mains, I had a wonderful fillet of seabass on a bed of squash on a bed of ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and served with a sage butter sauce. Amazing. Daisy, Bob and Penny had osso buco simmered for 5 hours on a bed of mash; Amazing. David had seafood paella. Good but probably not amazing.
I was stuffed after this. Oh, god, did I mention the two baskets of cheese bread with sundried tomato oil they’d served us first??>? Not cheese covered bread but homemade bread with nodules of cheese in it. YUM. However, Bob found room for crème brulee and David and Daisy both had the chocolate mousse with caramelised almonds and mint … very rich, We had two bottles of the vineyard’s red wine and several beers and water. It came to under £30 per head with tip. Expensive by Cypriot standards but for a splurge treat, fantastic. We’ll be going back next week.