Dining Out and My Birthday

Its been a lovely week so far. The weather has been great – around 25C and sunny. I’ve been in the pool most days. Water is cold though……… We ate dinner outside on the terrace last night though – it’s not cold.

Monday night we ate out at a great new discovery for us: Bellapais Gardens Hotel in Bellapais. I can’t think how we’ve missed this place. It was probably the best meal we’ve had in Cyprus – a very high standard of fine dining and in beautiful surroundings, on the hillside overlooking Kyrenia, with the ruins of the Abbey illuminated above us.

I started with chicken liver pate which was so creamy. Bob had scallops in a raki sauce. Then for mains Bob had duck a l’orange and I had veal cheeks on mustard mashed potatoes. There was a great selection of vegetables. My veal cheeks were so tender and tasty…. yum. I had no room for dessert but Bob had a chocolate fondant that just erupted when he cut into it. It wasn’t cheap by Cyprus standards at just under £30 each including a g&t and wine but for a special occasion I would highly recommend it. We’ll certainly go back again.

Today is my birthday! We had big plans so it was awful to wake up with a migraine. I took my tablets and waited it out with a cold cloth on my head but it was a bit of a dampener. We managed to get away by lunchtime and headed out east of Kyrenia. We’d planned to climb up to the top of the ruined castle at Kantara but that was not going to happen. Instead we stopped at Alagadi turtle beach for a walk along the sands there.

Alagadi beach stretches for miles with small dunes behind. No development is allowed on the beach itself as it is a protected area. We walked quite a way and I paddled a bit – the sea was a heck of a lot warmer than the pool. There is a nice beach restaurant set back about half way along and we went in there for some drinks.

Drove as far as Tatlisu and had a look around this very traditional village and then went back a few miles to our overnight stop at the Eagle’s Nest restaurant and bar. It’s a lovely settting on a bluff overlooking the blue sea and it was nice even this late in the season. It must be amazing in the summer. Bob had booked one of their two overnight bungalows for us. Quite a simple but perfectly nice room with a good bathroom and the same lovely seaview as the restaurant. We rested for a couple of hours and watched the sunset and I got some shut eye.

Dinner was the main event here and it was very good although not as good as the Bellapais Gardens. I think perehaps the main chef was off sick as none of the chef specials were available and some parts of the meal were very salty. It was extremely good value though. I started with a cod and smoked salmon fishcake on a bed of spinach with hollandaise sauce and a poached egg. Bob had vegetable soup. Then we both had bacon wrapped fillet steak on a bed of creamed spinach with dauphinoise potatoes. I had bearnaise sauce and Bob had peppercorn. The steaks were excellent, cooked perfectly. The spinach was utterly yum but the sauces and the potato was very salty indeed. For dessert, I had chocolate fondant with cream ice cream which was perfect and Bob had creme brulee with a cookie.

So, delicious if not perfect. The price was right though. The three course dinner for two with 2 large g&ts each and the room for the night was £73. Incredible value.

Big full moon tonight. The moon has been amazing the past few nights. Such a nice birthday despite a bad start. Spoke to both girls and they both have gifted me experiences. Daisy is treating me to lunch and a spa session at Lord’s Palace on Friday and Lucy has arranged for me to have a cookery session with the chef at Annapurna Nepalese restaurant in Folkestone. In fact at my suggestion, she is going to join me, so that will be a nice thing we do together at Xmaas.