A few months ago, whilst browsing on Instagram, I saw a story of a friend taking part in a pottery workshop at Fikardou village, it looked awesome! I love everything about local arts and crafts and any opportunity for hands on experience, something you don’t often come across in Cyprus (or if you do, is quite expensive to sign up for), so naturally I was intrigued and wanted to find out more about it.
A couple of days later I found out that was just one of many traditional cooking, crafts and arts FREE workshops funded by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and ran at villages across the whole island, in an effort to boost local tourism, as the tourism sector was heavily impacted by the pandemic. From making halloumi and shoushoukos (a traditional sweet made with grape pudding and almonds) to weaving and embroidery to carving, the list went on and on.
The scheme ended and I didn’t manage to go to any of the workshops (I did try once but I didn’t realise I had to sign up in advance first) but I recently discovered they are back on from March 2022 until December 2022, so I signed up to a workshop about cooking with honey, with Bill Warry, a British Greek chef, restaurant owner and keen photographer amongst other talents and interests, at his restaurant in the picturesque village of Lageia, in Larnaka.
On the sunny morning of the 26th of March, 2022, we drove to gorgeous little Lageia-a village I’d never been to before- and after a 40 minute drive from Nicosia, we arrived at Bill’s kafestiatorion (cafe-restaurant).
Everything from start to finish was amazing! After the ever so hospitable Bill made us a coffee and talked to us a bit about himself and how he ended up in Cyprus (you can read about his fascinating life story here), we started cooking.
Three of us took part and we made honey glazed chicken, honey glazed pork and halloumi cooked in ouzo and honey sauce, all in about an hour.
The food was delicious, the conversations were refreshingly interesting and we left promising Bill we’ll return soon to try his infamous English breakfast-Cypriot style, his unique cottage pie and the rest of his dishes !
On our way back from Lageia, we went for a short walk at the equally graphic and gorgeous Kato Dris village, where there was a baking workshop of a traditional pastry, tremithopites, going on at a local shop, and we also checked out the Bee and Embroidery museum, a great way to burn some of the calories we consumed at lunchtime!
I can’t wait to try more workshops, I think it’s a brilliant initiative of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism to promote the Cypriot culture and traditions and give local tourism and economy a boost.
If you want to check out what workshops are available, you can find them all here. Remember to sign up in advance!
What would you like to try?