Unobstructed mountain views? Check. Foodie indulgences with locally sourced produce? Check. A relaxing atmosphere a world away from the daily grind? Check!
Take the winding mountain roads through the greenery of the Pitsillia region, up to the pretty rural spot famed for its glorious roses, and before you enter the village hub, you’ll be greeted by a moustached man in a sleek pinstripe apron and black beret.
Standing proud outside a renovated old stone village house, this black and white illustration is one that has become synonymous with a little place that has drawn in crowds from near and far, looking for a rural haven that goes by the name of ‘To Mpakaliko tou Hapsi’.
Step into the cosy joint in the winter months and you’ll be greeted by two roaring fires, with the interior packed with mismatched furniture and local produce stacked up on various counter tops, coupled with vintage bric–a–brac scattered around the place, adding to the overall charm.
On warm days, you can kick back outside under the sun’s rays and take in the splendour of the open skies.
Greeted by Marios Hapsis behind the bar, the young owner in his early 30s (a photographer by profession) opened the place a couple of years ago, intent on bringing village traditions to life in a fresh new way. “I feel a strong love and passion for my family village,” he explains, as he reminisces about his childhood spent playing in the great outdoors.
Marios spent most of his adult life working in the capital, but he yearned for a place to kick-back in the village that expressed his cool taste, albeit with a real traditional twist. “There was nowhere around here that really expressed me, I wanted to create a place with character that offers people a taste of tradition in a way that’s appealing. Not one of those coffee shops that’s just full of men and big TV screens with the football on.”
Speaking of all things traditional, practically everything served at this joint is locally sourced (often from the village and surrounding areas), from the bread to the cheese and the honey served.
If you love herbal teas or homemade jams, then you’re in luck, with Marios part of the Cyprus Superfoods team producing healthy teas cultivated in Cyprus, and jams made with local fruit and superfoods (with dreamy combinations like blackcurrant and Goji berry in the mix). And there’s even a printout ready for all tea lovers to read, highlighting the benefits of all the varieties on offer.
Go there hungry bright and early and you can indulge in an all-Cypriot breakfast served on a wooden chopping board, complete with egg on toast, village goat’s milk halloumi (fried in Commandaria and honey topped with slices of fig), lountza, kefalotiri cheese, anari with ‘epsima’ (grape molasses; a concentrated grape juice that looks like honey), tomatoes, cucumbers and a selection of Cyprus Superfoods marmalades.
“Everything I serve here is fresh, and I always get hold of things just for the weekend locally,” Marios is keen to point out. Keep in mind that if you do fancy breakfast, be sure to call and let Marios know in advance. Want something meatier? Go for the beef patty, a real weekend treat. Oh, did we mention that there’s homemade cake available too?
If you head here later in the day to unwind with a glass of local wine, be sure to indulge in the ‘cold meze’ platter with a selection of cold cuts, cheeses and marmalades. Suffice to say, everything is seasonal as fresh and can be…there’s even homemade Zivania to wash it all down as the setting sun paints its colourful hues over the surrounding mountains. Cheers to that!
Where? 114 Agros Avenue, Agros village, Limassol district. Reservations for breakfast necessary. Open from 5pm on Friday ,and all day Saturday and Sunday until late. Tel: (+357) 99-409108