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Cooking with Honey at Lageia village

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?

Eleni Zenonos


The Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios Mansion

One of my all time favourite historical places in Nicosia.

Lessons I learned after I turned 30

September 5th, 2018

It’s a hot, sunny day.  Somehow is already 12pm and I’m wandering in Old Nicosia, sweat dripping down my back, my head so hot it physically hurts and miraculously mum and Stella are going along with it but the little sister is complaining ‘Why did we have to come today, the hottest time of the day? For what? Just to see a house?’

It’s not just a house. You don’t understand. It’s a piece of Cypriot history and it’s the most gorgeous house I’ve ever seen. Probably my favourite historic building in Nicosia, no, not just in Nicosia, the whole island!

‘You’ll see when we get there. Come on, keep going and stop whinging!’

And finally, here we are.  The Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios Mansion, or Konaki (Konak: Turkish for official residence, back in Ottoman Empire times). ‘The most important example of urban architecture of the last century of 

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Kopiaste – Green Monday (also known as Clean or Ash Monday) special

Some of my favourite childhood memories are of Green Monday days over the years. Running in the fields, flying a kite, hours long picnics enjoying fasting food (non-dairy, no meat, no fish except molluscs) in nature, with friends and family.

We get together to celebrate the first day of the next 40 days leading to Easter. Religion blending in beautifully with tradition.

That’s all what Green Monday is about.

I’ve missed the last 12 Green Mondays in Cyprus, so I really looked forward to it this year. Unfortunately the weather was not the best, so we celebrated it indoors and we were only allowed 4 guests, but it was still a great day!

I made a little video with all the delicious food my sisters and I prepared for the day as well as the ‘lagana’, a bread made especially for Green Monday and sweets we bought from the bakery.



Spanakorizo (‘Spinach Rice’)

One of my favourite ‘healthier’ than other Greek/Cypriot dishes is Spanakorizo, which is rice cooked in a rich tomato and spinach sauce. It’s super easy to make and a great lunch or dinner option. Also perfect for vegans.

There are a lot of variations but this is how my sister Stella, who’s been a chef for 13 years, does it.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 medium size onion (finely chopped)
  • 500g of fresh spinach leaves
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 250gr of tomato puree
  • 250 ml/a glass of water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 250gr of rice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dill (finely chopped or dry) – optional


  1. Add the olive oil in a sauce pan and when is hot, add the finely chopped onion. When it turns gold add the spinach.
  2. When the spinach leaves shrink, add the tomato puree and the water.
  3. When it reaches its boiling point add the rice, dill, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir and leave the pan on the hob until it boils.
  5. When it reaches boiling point, put the lid on the sauce-pan, turn the hob off and let it rest, until the rice is fully cooked.
  6. You can serve with Greek yogurt, if you wish.
  7. Enjoy!

Kopiaste at Pervolia!

When I was a child, my dad used to take the family to a resort at Pervolia, a beautiful seaside village in Larnaca. I still remember the drive there, the road amongst the tall trees, which was a sign we were getting close and the excitement when we finally arrived there, after what it felt like a really long drive. I realised when I grew up that it was just half an hour drive, it’s funny how perception of time changes the older you get.

The village of Pervolia is situated in west Larnaca, near the airport. It got its name from the word ‘Pervolia’ which in Greek means orchard/field/garden due to its large garden areas, fertile soil and productive trees. It’s a popular local and international tourist destination and it’s famous for a lot of reasons.

It used to belong to the royal family of the House of Lusignan during the Frankish Period of Cyprus. The last owner was the Podokatoras family, during the Venetian Period.

Two of the landmarks I visited on my recent visit a few months ago was the Tower of Regaena (Regina: Queen), a small watchtower built during the Venetian occupation, and not far off from the tower, the Pervolia Lighthouse. I made a short vlog of that visit, one of the last places I went on a day trip before the latest lockdown.

So if you are looking for daytrip ideas, t’s definitely worth a visit!

I hope you enjoy my video. Any comments and ideas are always welcome!


Kopiaste at Tsiknopempti (‘Smoke Thursday’)

If you are not from Cyprus or Greece your are probably wondering what Tsiknopempti (‘Smoke/Smelly Thursday’) is.

Tsiknopempti is a celebration which takes places on Thursday, 11 days before ‘Clean/Green Monday’ (the first day of the Great Lent, 50 days before Easter) and is part of the Greek/Cypriot Orthodox Carnival season.

Tsiknopempti derives from ‘tsikna’ which is the smell of cooked meat and Pempti (Thursday) and it’s called that because traditionally on this day we grill and consume lots of meat.

In Cyprus it’s also customary to make and eat ‘pourekkia’ (fried dumplings), savoury ones filled with halloumi cheese and sweet ones with anari cheese (similar to ricotta) and cinnamon.

On this day the whole island starts grilling meat on the ‘foukou’ (Cypriot version of a barbecue) from noon, outside shops and companies and family and friends gather together in the evening to celebrate.

I’d been away for about 11 years and I haven’t celebrated Tsiknopempti ever since, so this year, regardless of the lockdown and the horrible situation we’ve been in for months on end, we celebrated it with my immediate family.

Here’s a little video I made, hope you enjoy it! I’ll try and make one for Green Monday as well!

Kopiaste at the Cyprus railway museum

I once read or overheard (I can’t really remember, I’m getting old and my memory is already deteriorating!) that my little island used to have a railway or that it was planned to have one but hadn’t happened. I was never quite sure but I recently discovered, as the title already gave away, that Cyprus did use to have a railway system.

Most stations are now either abandoned or at the ‘North’ (Turkish-occupied) side but one of them has been well maintained and turned into a museum. It’s located at Evrychou, a Nicosia village, just half an hour away from the centre, at a quiet, remote spot.

From the little I learnt, the idea of having a train network was conceived by the British in the early 1900s, when Cyprus was a British colony, and it became a reality in 1906. It was quite important as it connected rural areas to the sea, the harbour and mines. It was mainly commercially used, for freights, timber etc and it used for goods and service exchange, the stations as post and/or telegram offices.

It closed down in 1951 for financial reasons.

The museum assistant working there is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable (he can talk for England!) and he’ll tell you a lot more if you decide to pay a visit.

He told us that sadly not many visit the museum as it’s not well-known but you can help me change that! So if you are in Cyprus, do visit. It’s definitely worth it. And spread the word! Share, like, etc!



The mighty trahanas soup

It’s finally cold(-er) in Cyprus so it’s time for soup!

I love a good bowl of creamy, hearty soup on a rainy, cold day. I have many, many favourites but if I had to choose one that’d be trahanas soup.

It might not be widely known as it’s mainly found in Southeast Europe and Middle East cuisines, but it’s totally worth tasting if you have the chance.

It’s made of cracked wheat and fermented milk, formed into little round balls or short sticks and left to dry in the sun. Due to the milk proteins and the acidity, it can be stored for long periods. That’s what I used to do when I lived in the UK, I’d take some with me at the beginning of the year and just have it whenever I fancied.

It’s super easy to prepare and cook.

First you need to soak the trahana pieces in water for a couple of hours (or overnight).

Then you add it to boiled broth. In Cyprus we normally boil chicken and use the broth (or for a non-meat version use vegetable broth) to make the soup. Put the soaked trahana in the broth and cook it for 20-25 minutes. Make sure you stir often because it’s easy to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add halloumi chunks and (if you want a bit more), angel hair pasta cut in small pieces. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and that’s it!

Depending on how long you cook it for, it can be thick and creamy or thinner and lighter. I tend to have it thick and creamy but I love both!

What’s your favourite soup?


How to poach an egg

Is there a dish you’ve never made but it’s super simple? For me it was poached eggs until recently.

I’m a good cook. I can cook most dishes and I can bake a cake (a non-complicated with no more than two layers one). But it just hadn’t happened to poach an egg. I’m not sure why, perhaps because I have them every time I go out for brunch (which happens often) so I never felt the need to do them at home and also in my head I imagined it would be challenging to get it cooked right.

A few days ago, I really fancied poached eggs to accompany my mum’s homemade spinach and feta pie (I’ll share the recipe soon!) so I thought I’d give it a go.

It wasn’t that difficult after all and though not the perfect shape in which they are served at cafes and restaurants, they turned out great!

What should I try next?


Kopiaste- Halloween special

I must admit, I don’t know much about Halloween, other than what an average non-American knows. It’s the day to remember the dead (‘ the equivalent to dias de los muertos’, I think) the day of trick or treating, costumes, ghosts and, well, pumpkins.

I only carved a pumpkin and made a pumpkin pie once before, so I thought I’d give both a go again this year with my sisters.

We (roughly) followed the recipe below, we did change a lot though (we made the crust with wholemeal flour and replaced the sugar with brown sugar, we froze the dough for an hour instead overnight, and for the filling we used light condensed milk instead of heavy cream and actually cooked the filling and added corn flour so it could become thicker before baking in the oven for just 20 minutes, enough for the top to get some colour).

I put together a little Halloween special video, I hope you enjoy it.

If you have any special Halloween traditions or recipes, please do share in the comments, I love learning about special traditions/recipes of other countries, cities, families!