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Israel Visit to Cyprus

January 18-19, 2013

Early morning on Friday, January 18th, 26 members of the Bailliage of Israel met at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport to board a Cyprus Airways’ short flight to Larnaca, heading for a short weekend on our island neighbour.

The idea of this weekend was born during our Chapitre in 2012 when Victor Papadopoulos, Bailli Délégué of Cyprus, was the inducting officer. Tal Gal-Cohen, Bailli Délégué of Israel, raised the idea of having this joint venture between the two nations.

Upon landing we were welcomed by Victor. The group then checked in at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol. In the rooms we found a welcoming gift from our hosts: a bottle of the Cyprus’ famous Commandaria wine.

Just before lunch we went for a tour of the old centre of Limassol and had a traditional Cypriot repast, accompanied by local red and white wines, in a charming ‘everyday’ restaurant.

The evening was dedicated to a formal dinner in our honour arranged by our hosts in the Vivaldi Ristorante Italiano of the Four Seasons Hotel. Executive Chef Panicos Hadjittofis, Conseiller Culinaire of Cyprus, regaled us with fine Italian-Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

The first course was a ‘combination platter’ of melitzanokefetdes (aubergine fritters), rocket, marinated octopus, celery, fennel and prawn on hummus. This was followed by langoustines wrapped in kataifi pastry, morel orzo and langoustine juice.

We appreciated the professional and prompt service by the restaurant staff. For the third course, with theatrical panache, the service brigade simultaneously lifted all the cloches to reveal the delicious ‘Lamb in three ways’. The three ways being: Loin stuffed with Halloumi cheese and mint, Rack, and Koftas with hummus and lamb jus.

Dessert was a mouth-watering walnut chocolate tart, bergamot ice cream, blossom water cream and filo pastry.

This wonderful dinner finished with coffee and a colourful plate of petit fours.

Next day we went for an excursion into the mountains. There we visited a boutique winery located in the basement of a village house. We had an authentic Greek mezze lunch in a local mountain-style restaurant.

Late evening we boarded a flight back. Within 30 minutes we had landed in Tel Aviv, happy to be home. We were even happier to have experienced such a wonderful welcome and outstanding hospitality and cuisine during our visit to Cyprus.

Shimon Gruper
Chargé de Presse