Archive for the ‘Larnaca’ Category

Lunch at Lazarís Bakery Bar

October 16, 2018

Lazarís Bakery Bar is a sensitive restoration of an old building, a bakery cum coffee shop.

Everything speaks quality, the bread, the cakes, sadly not the coffee which is a corporate brand coffee.

We decided on a quick lunch, for me yogurt with fresh fruit, honey and walnuts. It was excellent, as was what my friend’s choice.

It would have been pleasant to sit outside but not possible due to noise of building works and pollution from passing traffic.

Why oh why does Larnaca not pedestrianise this area around St Lazarus Church, the back streets and the seafront, and for good measure an electic shuttle bus running from the marina along the seafront to Mackenzie Beach? This would be a far better investment and value for money than redevelopment of Mackenzie Beach which is little more than a gravy train for contractors with no public benefit.

It was then to Nick’s Coffee Bike but sadly no time for a coffee.

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Lazaris Bakery Bar

October 13, 2018

En route to Larnaca, storm clouds gathering thunderstorm forecast.

On arrival I find Nick’s Coffee Bike packed up and about to depart. He feared the weather. No coffee. Lemonade? I tried the lemonade. Excellent lemonade, but probably not a wise choice when not feeling well. Within minutes, stomach pains.

I walk to the Medieval Castle, then head to Church of St Lazarus.

Once behind the seafront shops of corporate chains, a slum.

Poked my head in Church of St Lazarus but did not explore the tomb of St Lazarus. He was brought to life, then when died a second time, was entombed in Cyprus.

In the Square surrounding the Church, three coffee shops, at least two of which are bakeries.

Silo I did not like, lacking in ambience, awful music playing.

The Secret Garden, unfriendly signs, not a pleasant reception, walked out.

The third, Lazaris Bakery Bar, in an old building. Pleasant ambience, but sadly not good coffee. Caffeine did not seem wise, did not ask for a coffee. I settled for water. I then asked for tea. Only herb tea. It was ok, but I did not dare drink.

I sat outside, but had to retreat indoors, traffic pollution and smoke from smokers.

Why is Cyprus so backwards? Why are these street not pedestrianised?

Millions to redevelop Mackenzie Beach, a gravy train for contractors and an appalling waste of public money. Instead, an electric shuttle bus Larnaca Marina to Mackenzie Beach and pedestrianise the sea front and the back streets around St Lazarus Church.

Water available to drink, the norm in coffee shops in Athens, a rareity in Cyprus.

At first, not feeling well, I helped myself to water and sat outside. I was not harassed to purchase anything.

Too many chains, too many indie coffee shops made to look like chains serving bad coffee.

Lazaris Bakery Bar has character, an excellent renovation of an old building.

Potentially Lazaris Bakery Bar could be an excellent indie coffee shop serving specialty coffee. The emphasis, from the breads, cakes and tea, and from conversation, appear to be on quality.

Now need to source quality specialty coffee, either from England or Athens.

Afternoon in Larnaca

October 13, 2018

Yesterday an afternoon in Larnaca. I was not feeling well, thunderstorm forecast, but I decided to go anyway.

For once I did not miss the local bus and have a twenty minute wait, but only just.

The local bus standing room only, no passengers picked up en route to Ayia Napa. There needs to be more frequent buses as overloaded buses the norm.

Catching the earlier bus, which I usually miss, meant more time to explore the Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park. For the first time the bus stopped at the top entrance. Why usually fails to stop I do not know.

Venturing further than before, I discover there to also be a Cactus Park.

Then on to Larnaca on the InterCity bus.

En route storm clouds gathering.

I find Nick’s Coffee Bike packed up and about to depart. He feared the weather. No coffee. Lemonade? I tried the lemonade. Excellent lemonade, but probably not a wise choice when not feeling well. Within minutes, stomach pains.

I walk to the Medieval Castle, then head to Church of St Lazarus.

Once behind the seafront shops of corporate chains, a slum.

Poked my head in Church of St Lazarus but did not explore the tomb of St Lazarus. He was brought to life, then when died a second time, was entombed in Cyprus.

In the Square surrounding the Church, three coffee shops, at least two of which are bakeries.

Silo I did not like, lacking in ambience, awful music playing.

The Secret Garden, unfriendly signs, not a pleasant reception, walked out.

The third, Lazaris Bakery Bar, in an old building. Pleasant ambience, but sadly not good coffee. Caffeine did not seem wise, did not ask for a coffee. I settled for water. I then asked for tea. Only herb tea. It was ok, but I did not dare drink.

I sat outside, but had to retreat indoors, traffic pollution and smoke from smokers.

Why is Cyprus so backwards. Why are these street not pedestrianised?

Millions to redevelop Mackenzie Beach, a gravy train for contractors and an appalling waste of public money. Instead, an electric shuttle bus Larnaca Marina to Mackenzie Beach and pedestrianise the sea front and the back streets around St Lazarus Church.

I headed off, ended back at the Church Square.

Caught the 1730 bus, just made it.

Very lucky, picked up a local bus from Ayia Napa with only a few minutes wait. Journey time for the two buses, an hour. Never done it so quick.

Konnos Bay, amazing thunderstorm out to sea.

South Coast Specialty Coffee

October 10, 2018

South Coast Specialty Coffee is on Mackenzie Beach in the middle of the bar ghetto, next to Caffe Nero. A fair old trek from Larnaca Marina.

A large seating area outside on artificial grass, inside the serving area, half of the inside taken up by a kids play area. There are proposals to charge for this as supervised, at a guess because parents are dumping kids unsupervised.

First impressions, a ghastly chain.

The coffee is Taf, not only Taf but Taf competition blend.

It was not good. Far better than if gone to Caffe Nero, but Taf should be far far better than this.

A cold brew tower. Was it for show? No, used for cold brew. I was offered a sample. It was not good. Concentrate and undrinkable.

The explanation, we serve with ice, the ice melts.

No. Make not as concentrate, serve cold, with one large ice cube at minus 22C that slowly slowly melts and does not dilute the drink. Follow the example of how cold brew is served at The Underdog in Athens.

A neat touch, when coffee served, a card with a QR code. Scan and if wish, complete a survey.

A sign outside Best Coffee in Larnaca. Asking for trouble when not. Taf coffee is far better than this in Athens. Miyu Coffee in Protaras is serving Taf coffee, not even competition blend, and better than this.

Outside Larnaca Marina, Nick’s Coffee Bike, by far the best coffee in Larnaca is in another league.

That is not to say South Coast Specialty Coffee is serving bad coffee, far worse coffee is served in the corporate coffee chains, but Taf should be far far better than this, especially if using competition blend, and no, it is not the best coffee in Larnaca, that accolade belongs to Nick’s Coffee Bike, though may have been true three months ago.

It is quite a trek from Larnaca Marina to Mackenzie Beach. There are plans afoot to develop the beach. Not a good ide, though please get rid of the artificial grass. What is needed is a shuttle bus service, an electric bus, from Larnaca Marina, or at least the Bus Stop, to Mackenzie Beach at one euro.

Afternoon in Larnaca

October 10, 2018

Just missed a bus to Ayia Napa, fifteen minutes wait for next bus.

Connect with Inter City bus at Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park. This gave me a little time to continue my exploration of the park, but needs a half afternoon to do the sculpture park justice.

I was going to be very disciplined, spend very little time at Nick’s Coffee Bike outside Larnaca Marina.

Forty-five minutes later, I set off the Mackenzie Beach to find South Coast Specialty Coffee.

What I did not know, after I departed, filmed for a Cyprus TV channel.

Last time I made the beach, but no further.

From my last visit, I knew I was near.

Google Maps says 39 minutes. No way, more like 50 minutes. It is a pleasant walk, but a longer walk than suggested by Google Maps.

I find myself in what I can only describe as a bar ghetto. Tacky bars, seats and tables on artificial grass, even little squares of artificial grass around the base of palm trees.

There are plans to redevelope Mackenzie Beach. What it actually needs is a shuttle bus from the marina, an electric shuttle bus costing one euro.

South Coast Specialty Coffee is in the middle of the bar ghetto, next to Caffe Nero.

A large seating are on artificial grass, inside, the serving area, half of the inside taken up by a kids play area. There are proposals to charge for this as supervised, at a guess because parents are dumping kids unsupervised.

First impressions, a ghastly chain.

The coffee is Taf, not only TAF but Taf competition blend.

It was not good, Far better than if gone to Caffe Nero, but Taf should be far far better than this.

A cold brew tower. Was it for show. No, used for cold brew. I was offered a sample. It was not good. Concentrate and undrinkable.

It was then trek back, made the bus with minutes to spare.

Nick’s Coffee Bike

October 3, 2018

To find coffee worth drinking in Cyprus is a rarity.

To find specialty coffee in Larnaca in a street lined with every disgusting corporate chain can think of, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coffee Island (Greek version of Starbucks), Ocean Basket (seafood equivalent of McDonald’s), where an independent coffee shop is made to look like a corporate chain and may as well be when serving LavAzza, to find good coffee, is like finding a pearl on the dirty grey beach, a cause to celebrate, to dance in the street.

And there it was a sign for Nick’s Coffee Bike, with a promise of specialty coffee and beyond the sign a bicycle, strictly speaking a tricycle, with Nick himself chatting to customers when not serving coffee.

The bicycle Nick had imported from Manchester, stripped and rebuilt.

Nick had learnt coffee by working coffee in Manchester the only way to learn.

The coffee he serves is from Has Bean, one of the top coffee roasteries in the UK.

A pouring jug from Coffee Lab in UK, designed by Dhan Tamang, UK latte art champion for six years author of Coffee Art.

Nick participated in a coffee throw down at TAKK a coffee shop in Manchester and came first. His prize was the pouring jug and the book.

I ordered a cappuccino. It was excellent.

I had been told Nick was one of the best baristas in Cyprus. I would not beg to differ. Knowledgeable and passionate about coffee.

A person of integrity, willing to take the risk to do something he believes in, to follow his dreams.

A risk that appears to be paying off.

A steady steam of customers, many greeted him as old friends even though he had only been there for a couple of months. One customer told me she was from Romania had tried the coffee yesterday and was back today, the first time she had found decent coffee in Cyprus.

The coffee cups in what must be a first for Cyprus are compostable.

Cyprus is an island, it is dependent on the sea. Plastic is killing the sea. Everywhere serves coffee in plastic, in plastic-lined cups.

At first I thought he was not in a good location. But on reflection this is an excellent location, as away from the ghastly chains and in front of Larnaca Marina.

A little way past the coffee bike exercise machines. An excellent idea.

Afternoon at Larnaca

October 3, 2018

A local bus to Ayia Napa, then change to an InterCity bus for Larnaca.

I could have got a local bus to Ayia Napa and cheaper, but two hours, the InterCity an hour and a half.

I would have expected people to alight from an already overcrowded bus at Konnos Bay, instead more piled on and a couple of people were left at the bus stop.

I decided to explore the Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park. An hour or more would have been needed to have done it justice. I had a little time whilst waiting for the InterCity bus.

The InterCity bus hit the coast 11 km before the city of Larnaca, then all the way along the coast into Larnaca.

Desolation most of the way. Hotels empty shells, covered in graffiti, then on into Laranaca, many empty buildings.

The bus final stop on the beach, a little way past Larnaca Marina.

I was a looking for a bicycle coffee shop, somewhere along this road.

I decided to back track to the beginning, then walk along the beach.

Fortunate I did this. I saw a sign pointing the the bicycle coffee shop, but was pointing into the marina. Then spotted a bicycle outside serving coffee.

Nick’s Coffee Bike serving coffee from Has Bean coffee in England.

Excellent cappuccino.

A little way past the coffee bike exercise machines. An excellent idea.

With what little time I had left, I looked in the marina, walked along the beach, past the medieval castle, then turned around and walked back to catch the bus to Ayia Napa.

The road is lined with corporate chains, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coffee Island.

The beach a dirty grey.

Once past the old castle, more interesting area, but no time to explore, I had a bus to catch

The bus I was not sure, but yes, correct bus.

I alighted at the square in Ayia Napa. Waiting for the bus, moronic music blasting out across the square.

When the bus arrived, already full, passengers piled on like animals.