Cypriot Wine Festival 2015


Wine Festival 2015-233 crowd

Thousands of visitors descended onto Alexandra Palace over the weekend to celebrate the 33rd Cypriot Wine Festival & Business Expo, the London Cypriot community’s biggest annual event organised by Parikiaki.

Throughout the two-day extravaganza, Cypriots from all over London and further afield, as well as hundreds of non-Cypriots, were able to experience all things Cypriot – from soutziouko and KEO beer to souvlakia and Commandaria!

The festival was officially opened on Saturday by Minister of Trade, Industry & Tourism, Mr Giorgos Lakkotrypis, who in his address, pointed out that this celebration “has expanded over the years as more visitors are eager to experience Cypriot hospitality and sample our traditional food and wine.”

Lakkotrypis noted that the Ministry supports Cypriot winemakers and wine grape growers and events such as the Cypriot Wine Festival in London help give a boost to wines produced in Cyprus.

He concluded by congratulating Parikiaki on its efforts to promote Cypriot wine, culture and traditions to the international community.

Member of the Central Committee of AKEL, Christos Alecou, also praised our newspaper for playing a significant role in bringing the community together.

Newly elected President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Christos Karaolis said the wine festival is a true testament for the culture and the products of Cyprus. He added, “My goal as president is to mobilize the 300,000 Cypriot-strong community here in London….we need to bring them all much closer to our organized community and especially the younger generation. The wine festival is one example of how we do this.”

Bishop Athanasios on behalf of Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira & Great Britain, extended his warm congratulations to Parikiaki on the continued success of the festival, adding that the Church will always be supportive of such community events.

Parikiaki’s Managing Director Mr Bambos Charalambous, welcomed all those present to “the biggest annual Cypriot event in Britain and one of the most recognised events in North London.”

He extended a special welcome to the distinguished guests; Minister of Trade, Industry & Tourism, Mr Giorgos Lakkotrypis, Bishop Athanasios, Cyprus High Commissioner Euripides Evriviades, Cyprus Consul General Yiannis Koukoularides, Member of the Central Committee of AKEL, Christos Alecou, British MPs Joan Ryan, Kate Osamor and Catherine West, Mayor of Enfield Patricia Ekechi, Councillor of Enfield George Savva, President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Christos Karaolis, Organising Secretary of AKEL in Britain Charalambos Pitris, Chair of the Cypriot Community Centre Suzie Constantinides, representatives of the Cypriot political parties UK branches – Giorgos Adonis (DISY UK) and Costas Piperides (DIKO UK) and members of community associations and organizations.

A special welcome was also extended to the festival’s team of volunteers for their hard work as well as to “our Turkish-Cypriot compatriots, who have been tireless friends of the wine festival throughout its 32 year old history.”

Mr Charalambous continued, “Cyprus has a tradition of fine-wine-making going back centuries; and Britain has fallen in love with it since medieval times. Even as far back as 1363 Cypriot wine was ‘fit for a king’ – or more literally – fit for five kings. In 1363, at the famous ‘Banquet of Five Kings’, the kings of England, Scotland, France, Cyprus and Denmark were treated to some fine Cypriot Wine and Brandy by the Vinter’s Company on the bank of River Thames. The Cypriot Wine Festival in Britain is our own special way of keeping these traditions alive.”

On the Cyprus problem, Mr Charalambous stressed, “Cyprus is going through its worst economic crisis since the 1930s, but in parallel hope for a solution to the Cypriot problem is rekindled by the election of a progressive representative by the Turkish Cypriot community. We are looking eagerly, in the coming months, for any signs of real progress in our four-decade long conflict and we are full of hope that we will soon be able to host the Cypriot Wine Festival as a unified country. In this context, events like this are incredibly important because they are an opportunity for all the communities in Cyprus – Greek, Turkish, Maronites, Armenians and Latins – to come together and express our shared experiences, our shared culture, and our shared struggle for a unified island, as we have done for hundreds of years.”

Mr Charalambous concluded by thanking all the visitors and exhibitors of the festival, but most importantly the sponsors and supporters “who provide us with the financial means for us to have such a successful event year-in year-out.

“Have a good look and shop around, enjoy the entertainment and of course, taste our delicious traditional food and wine. Like the slogan says ‘Life is divine when you drink wine’.”

The opening was formally conducted by Parikiaki’s George Michaelides who spoke of what the festival means to Cypriots living in London and why it is important to maintain our customs and traditions.

 

Anna Vissi raises the roof off Ally Pally

 

Headlining the festival’s music line-up was none other than Greek Cypriot legend Anna Vissi, who wowed visitors with her biggest hits spanning her 40-year music career.

Giving an incredible performance before the thousands of spectators, Anna performed some of her most renowned songs including Agapi Ipervoliki, Travma, Erotevmenaki, Dodeka, Nylon, Oso Eho Foni and many, many more favourites.

Vissi continued her two-hour set with Cypriot favourites Ta Rialia and Eshevereve which as you can imagine was received with rapturous applause from the audience.

Anna connected with the audience throughout her performance and made a few individuals ecstatic, particularly long-time wine festival visitor Anastasia who was invited to join Anna on stage and show off their dancing skills!

A huge well done and thank you to Andy Constantinou of Show Productions who worked tirelessly with great dedication to make this year’s show a massive success! Bravo Andy – you did it again!

 

Plenty of entertainment

 

There was plenty of fresh entertainment to enjoy throughout the weekend…

Well known chef, Christos Christodoulou of RIK TV’s Kaftes Piperies, cooked up a storm with his live cooking demonstrations on both days. People are still talking about his finger-licking kateifi!

Athens-based singer Kyriacos Georgiou drove the girls crazy with many crowd pleasers by well known Greek artists.

Stelios Chiotis returned to London where it all started for him, and performed among other classics, his loved song Ammochostos.

Maria Evangelou left great impressions with her great vocal ability (her strong energetic stage presence has been compared to the late Amy Winehouse), as did 14-year-old Elena Pedonomou.

There was traditional Greek dancing by Ayia Triada Community School, Andreas Frangeskides Dance Group, and all the way from Cyprus, the Gregoris Ashiotis dance group.

Something a little bit different this year was Bouzouki Fever, a group of talented bouzouki players varying in age, accompanying their tutor Marios Constantinou and Dora Georgoulli on vocals. This went down extremely well with the crowd!

A massive thank you to DJ Chris Theocharous of HRS Entertainment who kept the crowd going with the very best in Greek and English music, and to the host, Georgos Roussos, DJ on ANT1 FM Cyprus, who made sure the entertainment programme run smoothly throughout the weekend.

 

Cypriot exhibitors

 

Alexandra Palace’s Great Hall was filled with companies promoting their businesses and products. There was plenty to eat, plenty to drink and plenty traditional Cypriot delicacies to buy!

 

A massive thank you

 

Parikiaki would like to thank the festival’s sponsors and supporters without whom this event would not be possible: Oak Insurance, Asset Grove, Bank of Cyprus UK, Cyprus Trade Centre, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Argo Management, Demetriou & English, G. Theodoulou & Sons, C. Michael & Co, Star Estates & Lettings, Andy’s Kebab House, The Ability Group, Boulter & Co, KEO/LOEL, SODAP/ETKO, NN Accountancy, P&S Carton Industries, Paneri Restaurant, Babinondas Restaurant, Vrisaki Restaurant and Ariella.

Last but not least, to the thousands of visitors, to all our volunteers who donated their time over the two days and to the management and staff of Parikiaki who worked tirelessly in the months leading up to the event to make this festival a huge success.

 

Andrea Georgiou

 

Cypriot community celebrates 32 years of the Cyprus Wine Festival

 Highlights of the Cyprus Wine Festival 2014

Despina Vandi

Despina Vandi

Thousands of visitors descended onto Alexandra Palace over the weekend to celebrate the 31st Cyprus Wine Festival & Business Exhibition, the London Cypriot community’s biggest annual event organised by Parikiaki.

Throughout the two-day extravaganza, Cypriots from all over London and further afield, as well as hundreds of non-Cypriots, were able to experience all things Cypriot – from soutziouko and KEO beer to souvlakia and Commandaria!

The festival was officially opened on Saturday by Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Mr Nicos Kouyialis, who in his address, pointed out that this celebration “highlights Cyprus’ comparative advantages, culture and beauties and attracts foreign tourists to visit it.”

Kouyialis noted that the Ministry collaborates with winemakers and wine grape growers to draft a multiannual national strategic plan on viticulture, which is hoped to give a boost to wines produced in Cyprus.

According to the Minister, between 2008 and 2013 a total of 20 million euros were disbursed to Cyprus from European funds to implement the national program in support of the wine industry, whereas available funds for the period 2014-2018 reach 23,2 million euros approximately.

The High Commissioner of Cyprus to the United Kingdom Euripides Evriviades stressed the importance of wine for Cyprus and highlighted the importance of the community in promoting Cypriot purposes.

The General Secretary of AKEL Andros Kyprianou also congratulated the festival for keeping this event going for so many years.

President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Peter Droussiotis said he was proud of the continuing success of the Wine Festival.

“The festival brings to us the essence of so many things that are good about Cyprus and the Cypriot people, their hospitality, their excellent food and wine, their culture, their music, their spirit,” he said, adding, “It represents a unique opportunity to showcase the island in a country which is of special significance to Cyprus in so many different ways and at a time when the island needs to enhance bilateral trade with the UK and to attract partnerships, tourism and inward investment form this vitally important market.”

Andreas Papaevripides, President of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) said the Wine Festival promotes Cyprus’ culture abroad.

Parikiaki’s Managing Director Mr Bambos Charalambous, welcomed all those present to “the biggest annual Cypriot event in Britain and one of the most recognised events in North London.”

He extended a special welcome to the distinguished guests; Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateria & Great Britain, Minister of Agriculture & Environment Mr Nikos Kouyialis, General Secretary of AKEL Andros Kyprianou, Right Honourable Member of Parliament and Minister of Northern Ireland Teresa Villiers, David Burrows MP Southgate, Cyprus High Commissioner Evripidis Evriviades, President of POMAK Andreas Papaevripidis, President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Peter Droussiotis, President of NEPOMAK Christos Karaolis, representatives of the Cypriot political parties UK branches – DISY UK and EDEK, Labour leader of the London Borough of Merton Steve Alambritis, Labour Councillors from the London borough of Enfield Andreas Constantinides and George Savvas, Liberal Democrat councillor George Pippas all the way from Cambridge, and representative of Limassol Municipality Mr Kleonas Alexandrou.

A special welcome was also extended to the festival’s team of volunteers for their hard work as well as to “our Turkish-Cypriot compatriots, who have been tireless friends of the Wine Festival throughout its 31 year old history, and are present in all activities organised by our paper.”

Mr Charalambous continued, “The tradition of wine making and wine festivals goes back centuries in our beautiful island. People from all steps of life would gather to share the burden of the work of the making of the wine – as well as share the pleasure of consuming it. This tradition is being kept alive here in London in our own special way, by organising the wine festival.”

He expressed gratitude “to all our British friends who have supported our paper Parikiaki, and subsequently Cyprus over the years; their help is invaluable in our struggle to unite our country, and achieve a Free, United, Federal, Demilitarised Cyprus for all Cypriots.”

My Charalambous stressed, “Cyprus is going through a very critical section of its history both in the economic front, as well as with regards to the Cyprus problem. I would like to express our support to the Cyprus government for the ongoing negotiations between the two communities, and the wish that we will soon be able to enjoy a united Cyprus.

“On the economic front, the challenges Cyprus is facing are well publicised. At Parikiaki, we do everything in our power to help our compatriots who face hardship and I would like to take the opportunity to urge you – as we do weekly through our pages – to buy Cypriot products and prefer Cyprus for your holidays. In this way you enjoy the high quality and value Cyprus and Cypriot products offer, but also help the economy of our beloved country.”

Mr Charalambous concluded by thanking all the visitors and exhibitors of the festival, but most importantly the sponsors and supporters “who provide us with the financial means for us to have such a successful event year-in year-out.

“Have a good look and shop around, enjoy the entertainment and of course, taste our delicious traditional food and wine. Like the slogan says ‘Life is divine when you drink wine’.”

Speeches were also made by His Eminence Archbishop of Thyateira & Great Britain Gregorios, and Kleonas Alexandrou, representative of Limassol Municipality, with the opening formally conducted by Parikiaki’s George Michaelides who spoke of what the festival means to Cypriots living in London and why it is important to maintain our customs and traditions.

 

Despina Vandi gives a highly entertaining performance

 

Headlining the Festival’s music line-up was none other than the queen of Greek pop, Despina Vandi, who wowed visitors with her biggest hits spanning her 20-year music career.

Giving an outstanding performance before the thousands of spectators, Despina performed some of her most renowned songs in the first part of the show including Erota Thelei E Zoe, Yirismata, Thelo Na Se do, Iparhei Zoe, Anaveis Foties, Na Tin Herese, To Koritsaki Sou, Stin Akri Tou Paradeisou, Fevgoume Kardia Mou and many, many more favourites.

Despina continued the second half of the show, performing Greek hits made famous by other artists, nisiotika, as well as Cypriot favourite Ta Rialia, which was received with rapturous applause from the audience.

Despina connected with the audience throughout her performance and made a few individuals very happy by allowing them to join her on stage to show off their zeimbekika skills!

A huge well done and thank you to Andy Constantinou of Show Productions who worked tirelessly with great dedication over these past few months to make this year’s show a massive success! Bravo Andy – you did it again!

 

Boxing exhibition

A much visited stand at this year’s event was the spectacular boxing ring which was set up and managed by the Edmonton Eagles Amateur Boxing Club.

Young stars from the Boxing Club demonstrated their skills at the exhibition on Saturday and gave the opportunity to aspiring boxers to try out their own punching power, jabs and hooks, or simply have a go at throwing some punches!

On Sunday, we were treated to a special boxing exhibition with professional boxers Andreas ‘The Ace’ and Chris ‘The Flash’ Evangelou, along with fellow world title contender Derek Chisora and their world renowned coach Don Charles.

The professional boxers provided a boxing exhibition of skill, speed and power and also gave tips in the ring and later at the Edmonton Eagles and Team Evangelou stand.

Joining Chris and Andreas was their father, Dr. Costakis Evangelou, Head Coach at Edmonton Eagles. The Club’s ethos is to provide a supportive environment for young people to come and channel their energy in a positive way and use boxing as a vehicle to help develop important life skills such as respect, self-control and discipline.

 

Plenty of entertainment

 

There was plenty of fresh entertainment to enjoy throughout the weekend…

Mixalis Theodosiou caused a storm with his own major hits Ela Nihta Fige Nihta and Se Thelo Me Theleis as well as other crowd pleasers by well known Greek artists. Spectators haven’t stopped commenting on his great vocal ability!

X Factor Greece participant Ioanna Protopapa wowed the crowd with her strong energetic stage presence. The singer performed well known hits and her own upbeat number To’pan T’Astra.

Rising star and Parikiaki’s very own columnist Lucy Sofroniou also left great impressions on the audience after blowing them away with her angelic voice.

There was traditional Greek dancing by St. Panteleimon Hellenic College Dance Group, Andreas Frangeskides Dance Group, and Kingsbury Greek School Dance Group who have all supported the festival for many years, and something a little bit different and never before seen at the event, all the way from Cyprus, members of the Antigoni Tasouri Dance Academy presented a contemporary dance routine which on Sunday also consisted of a tap dance off and even a salsa! This went down extremely well with the crowd who were eager to find out more about the dance academy which opens its doors to the London Cypriot community in October….watch this space!

A massive thank you to DJ Chris Theocharous of HRS Entertainment who kept the crowd going with the very best in Greek and English music, and to the host, Georgos Roussos, DJ on ANT1 FM Cyprus and presenter of Mega TV’s Mousiko Kouti, who made sure the entertainment programme run smoothly throughout the weekend, and was a big hit with the audience.

 

Cypriot exhibitors

 

Alexandra Palace’s Great Hall was filled with companies promoting their businesses and products.

On the exhibition side we had the Cyprus Trade Centre, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Anastasia Lodge / Autumn Garden Residential Care Homes, Asset Grove Estate Agents, CostCo Wholesale, Palm Beach Hotel & Bungalows – Cyprus, Metropolitan Police Greek Staff Association, Advantage Solicitors, Enfield Cypriots Association, AKEL in Britain, International New York Times, Ecologic Energy, EKON, Thalia Nail & Make-Up Studio, Solutions for Health – NHS van, Fashion Enter Ltd, Peter Lane Photography, NEPOMAK UK, Famagusta Association, Relatives of the Missing, Lobby for Cyprus, Hellenic TV, Akakia Publications, Antigoni Tasouri Dance Academy, Cyta UK, Oak Insurance, OTE TV UK, BarbeSkew, Goodlooking Optics, Parikiaki, Archway Sheet Metal Works, S Aspris & Sons, Hellenic Gourmet, AES Ambelis Winery, K&K Vasilikon Winery and Borakis Greek Products.

Aroma Patisserie was there to provide us with mouth-watering Cypriot delicacies, KLN FC with their tasty sandwiches, Salamina FC were constantly serving hot pittas of souvlakia, the Cypriot Community Centre provided the finger licking kleftiko, and Alex’s Ice-Cream van couldn’t keep up with the demand for their delicious triantafillo ice-cream!

And the festival would not have been complete without the Panairgotika stand where visitors could purchase soutziouko, pastelaki, lokoumia, and all the other delicious Cypriot sweets, Marathon Food, where olive oil, halloumia, trahana, and other Cypriot products were available, Apollo Nuts who were constantly busy serving customers quality nuts and sweets, and the wine tasting stands where wine by various Cypriot wineries could be sampled by visitors.

On the other side of the Great Hall we had stall holders displaying many interesting items for sale including jewellery, clothes, religious icons, children’s hampers, gifts and toys, homeware and even baby foot and hand castings!

Exhibitors included B’Kos It’s Party Time, Herbal Life, Pure Giftz, Alive Metal, Omonia Football Club, Diamonte Décor, Sacred Wood Garden Centre, Angelic Creations Jewellery, Balloons Diva, Essence, Trudie Alexandrou Jewellery, Pashminas & Charms, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, DJ Funksy, Forever Living Products, IM Kind, Tiny Casts, Bling Bling Jewellery, UK Thalassaemia Society, Camden Cypriot Women’s Organisation, Swiss Care, Nitsa Vatiliotis Cheme Kentimata, Andri Solomon Icon Paintings, Mi Boutique, Yiannis Croussis Jewellery, Torrisan UK Ltd, Garden of Saints and N17 club.

Greek City’s stand was full of energy as always, Tas Records offered Greek music lovers wonderful keepsakes, and the kid’s corner was extremely busy with entertainment by Princess Petal, a bouncy castle, and face painting by Spangles by Els.

 

A massive thank you

 

Parikiaki would like to thank the festival’s sponsors and supporters without whom this event would not be possible: Cyprus Government’s Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Tourism & Energy, Ministry of Education and Culture, The Cyprus Tourist Organisation, Bank of Cyprus UK, Argo Investment & Management Company, Star Estates & Lettings, P & S Carton Industries, Demetriou & English, Boulter & Co, The Ability Group, NN Accountancy Services, C. Michael & Co, Smart Housing Group, George Theodoulou, Europride Manufacturers of ladies separates, Oak Insurance Services, Aroma Patisserie, George’s café restaurant, Anastasia Lodge Autumn Gardens, Demco Communications, North London Windows Ltd, Workflair Estate Lettings & Management, hospitality sponsors Paneri Greek Tavern, Greek On The Green and Babinondas Greek Restaurant, and media sponsors Hellenic TV, RIK and Antenna Europe.

A special thank you also to John Lewis for their generous donation.

Last but not least, to the thousands of visitors who descended onto Alexandra Palace to help us celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Cyprus Wine Festival & Business Exhibition, to all our volunteers who donated their time over the two days and to the management and staff of Parikiaki who worked tirelessly in the months leading up to the event to make this festival a huge success.

 

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Andrea Georgiou

 

Photos: Stelios Theodorou and Vas Constantinou

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cypriot community celebrates 30 years of the Cyprus Wine Festival 2013

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Thousands of visitors descended onto Alexandra Palace over the weekend to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Parikiaki’s Cyprus Wine Festival & Business Exhibition, the London Cypriot community’s biggest annual event.

Throughout the two-day extravaganza, Cypriots from all over London and further afield, as well as hundreds of non-Cypriots, were able to experience all things Cypriot – from soutziouko and Keo beer to souvlakia and Commandaria!

The festival was officially opened on the Saturday by Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry & Tourism, Mr Georgos Lakkotrypis.

Addressing the audience, Mr Lakkotrypis pointed out that the Cyprus Wine Festival is considered one of the biggest annual events for Cypriots abroad and is testament of their effort in “maintaining and promoting our traditional values and customs” and “strengthening ties with our beloved homeland Cyprus.”

He added that the festival, “which is enriched over time with new products and services, gives visitors the opportunity to appreciate Cypriot wine and our traditional foods. The event promotes economic and tourist activities, as well as providing entertainment in true Cypriot style.”

The Minister continued, “Wine has always been an integral part of our culture; Cyprus was the first country in the Mediterranean, and the second in the world, to produce wine, and our wines, to this day, continue to maintain their unique reputation.

“In the era we live in, the winemaking industry is not easy; competition is intense and consumer demands greater. Cyprus has achieved significant progress in recent years with the development of dozens of new wineries having been upgraded with the help of financial support from the government. At the same time, the innovation, creativity and dedication that characterizes Cypriot winemakers, has led to many of our varieties winning international acclaim, and subsequently given rise to a successful export effort.”
According to the Minister, the UK remains the most important touristic market for Cyprus despite the economic crisis, representing in the last year 39% of the total tourist arrivals on the island.

“The events of last March, as expected, had a negative effect on the tourism industry,” said Mr Lakkotrypis, “but with joint efforts of both the government and all relevant departments and agencies, we hope that tourist arrivals will recover throughout the remaining months of the season.”
“The existing infrastructure such as modern airports and golf courses, the process of completing the first phase of the construction of Limassol marina and the policy of the government for continued investment in tourism infrastructure, constitutes a guarantee for further development of our tourism.”

Furthermore, the Minister said, “of particular importance is the promising field of energy; the discovery of large quantities of natural gas in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone has now placed our country on the global energy map. Our government is therefore steadily proceeding with the implementation of its energy strategy, to create the necessary infrastructure to exploit energy deposits in order to make our country a major regional energy hub. This will mean huge investments in energy infrastructure, as well as in many other areas of our economy.”

Closing, Mr Lakkotrypis expressed his warmest congratulations to our newspaper Parikiaki for “the remarkable work in organising the 30th Cyprus Wine Festival.”

“I wish the event every success,” he said.

Speeches were also made by His Eminence Archbishop of Thyateira & Great Britain Gregorios, President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Peter Droussiotis, Representative of Limassol Municipality Kleonas Alexandrou, Member of the Secretariat & Political Bureau of the Central Committee of AKEL Venizelos Zannetos, Chairman of the Wine Products Council Panicos Hambas, and Parikiaki’s Managing Director Mr Bambos Charalambous.

On behalf of our newspaper, Mr Charalambous welcomed guests to the Cyprus Wine Festival and Business Exhibition, “an event that is most probably the biggest organised by Cypriots abroad.”

“This year we are celebrating our 30th Anniversary,” Mr Charalambous noted, “a great achievement when you consider the difficulties the management committee has to face year in year out, in maintaining the success, and at the same time upgrading the event so that the interest is kept alive.”

He extended a special welcome to the distinguished guests; Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateria & Great Britain, Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry & Tourism, Mr Georgos Lakkotrypis, Cyprus High Commissioner Alexandros Zenon, Consul General George Georgiou, Cultural Counsellor Kypros Charalambous, Trade Attaché Philippos Christofi, President of the National Federation of Cypriots in UK Peter Droussiotis, Venizelos Zannetos and Nikos Ioannou from the Central Committee of AKEL, Chairman of the Wine Products Council Panicos Hambas, Andy Love MP, President of the political party of DISY in the UK Andreas Papaevripides, Labour leader of the London Borough of Merton Steve Alambritis, Chairman of the Turkish Democratic Association Hasan Raif, and councillors George Savva, Andreas Constantinides, Andrew Dismore and George Pippas.

A special welcome was also extended to the festival’s team of volunteers as well as to “our Turkish-Cypriot compatriots for their presence every year at the Wine Festival.”

Mr Charalambous continued, “We hope you will enjoy our traditional event; a tradition that goes back many years, to the time when the making of wine was an exceptional occasion enjoyed by people of all classes in our small but beautiful island…I believe I am speaking to people who are very familiar with the history of Cyprus and its exceptional ability to produce the finest wines, perhaps in the world.”

He expressed gratitude “to all our British friends who have supported our paper Parikiaki, and subsequently Cyprus over the years, for their help in our struggle to unite our island in order to implement Human Rights for all Cypriots and to achieve a Free, United, Federal, Demilitarised Cyprus for all Cypriots.”

In addition, he pledged support to the Government of Cyprus and wished President Anastasiades good luck in his efforts to restart negotiations with Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglou on the Cyprus problem, in an attempt to find a just and viable solution, based on United Nations security Council Resolution for all the citizens of Cyprus.

“As we speak, our country Cyprus faces one of the biggest financial catastrophes of all time due the greediness of the Cypriot bankers, the non-existence of a monitoring system the Cyprus Central Bank and the ill and unjust treatment of the European Union, that is why we as overseas Cypriots should rally together and help our country, we did it in 1974 after the fascist coup and the subsequent Turkish invasion, we did it over the years by investing in Cyprus resulting in increasing the standard of living and making the economy of Cyprus strong, we can do it again.

“This is why ever since the haircut, at the top of the front page of Parikiaki, we use the slogan: Support Our Island, Buy Cypriot Products, Travel To Cyprus. I think if everyone follows this, we cannot go wrong.”

Mr Charalambous concluded by thanking all the visitors and exhibitors of the festival, but most importantly the sponsors and supporters “who provide us with the financial muscle that makes things happen.”

“Have a good look and shop around, enjoy the entertainment and of course, taste our delicious traditional food and wine. Like the slogan says ‘Life is divine when you drink wine’.”

 

Elena Paparizou entertains the crowd

 

We promised big thing for our milestone anniversary and we didn’t disappoint! Headlining the Festival’s music line-up was none other than Eurovision 2005 winner Elena Paparizou who wowed visitors with all her biggest hits and songs from her newly released album Ti Ora Tha Vgoume.

Giving an outstanding performance before the thousands of spectators, Elena performed some of her most renowned songs in the first part of the show including Mambo, Iparhei Logos, E Kardia Sou Petra, Baby It’s Over, Mr. Perfect, Anapandites KliseisTreli KardiaStin Kardia Mou Mono ThlipsiGigoloAn Ihes Erthi Pio Noris, An Isouna Agapi, Party All the Time, not forgetting her Eurovision smash hit My Number One.

Following a short break where support act, the amazing Angelos Papandrianos entertained visitors with a string of popular Greek hits, Elena returned for the second half of the show, peforming classic Greek hits made famous by other artists before ending once again with the crowd favourite My Number One.

A huge well done to Andy Constantinou of Show Productions for all his hard work and dedication to make this year’s show a massive success!

 

Wedding fashion show

A major highlight at this year’s event was the spectacular wedding catwalk show, organised by north London bridal store The Boutique, which took place on both days and showcased the latest wedding trends from the hottest designers including Hollywood Dreams, Sottero & Midley, Mori Lee, Madeline Gardner and Ilana L Designs, and much more including bridesmaid dresses, evening wear, pageboy suits and prom dresses.

Well done to Christine and Andrea at The Boutique for all their efforts and a special mention to make-up artist Thalia Erodotou and hair stylist Tonia Plenzich for working tirelessly with all the catwalk models throughout the two day extravaganza. We look forward to next year’s show!

 

Plenty of entertainment

 

Present throughout the weekend was dance group Argonaftes and folk music group Las, who all came from Cyprus especially for the event, our talented community singers Lucy Sofroniou, George Yerasimos and The Diamonds band, Demetra Georgiou, Eleni Christofi, well known hip-hop artist Geko who performed on the Saturday and community dance groups from St Panteleimon Greek School, Camberwell Greek School and Andreas Frangeskides’ dance group.

There was also a spontaneous and highly welcoming performance by the one and only Mike Hajimichael, better known as Haji Mike, who performed his ever popular hit ‘Vrakaman’, receiving a great applause from the audience.

A massive thank you to DJ Chris Theocharous of HRS Entertainment who kept the crowd going with the very best in Greek and English music and to the two hosts, Parikiaki’s George Michaelides who made sure the entertainment programme run smoothly throughout the weekend, and Georgos Roussos, presenter on Cyprus’ No1 hit music station Super FM and of Mega TV’s Mousiko Kouti, who left great impressions on the audience.

 

A special acknowledgement to the Waitrose Food Hall, Oxford Street, for their kind donation of a fabulous Wedding Cheesecake for the wine tasting event which was held privately at the Roman Bar, in honour of the Minister of Commerce of Cyprus.  

Also would like to extend our thanks to the Roman Bar event co-ordinator for this special day, our wonderful Mrs Evoulla Nicolaou. 

Cypriot exhibitors

 

Alexandra Palace’s Great Hall was filled with companies promoting their businesses and products.

On the exhibition side, we had Cyprus Airways, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Cyprus Trade Centre, Cyta UK, Varosi Lettings & Estates, the Metropolitan Police Greek Staff Association, The Greek Business (London) A-Z, St. Andrew the Apostle Greek Orthodox School, Royal Bank of Scotland, Famagusta Association, Stasi Barber Academy, Cyprus Rugby Team, 4Front Furniture, GuaranteeMyRent.com, Shade & Light Blinds, University of Nicosia, Levenes Solicitors, Services for Overseas Cypriots, Relatives of the Missing, Lobby for Cyprus, Akakia Publications, Good Looking Optics, Archway Sheet Metal Works, AKEL in Britain, as of course the wedding industry suppliers including John Lewis, The Penridge Suite, One and Only Events, Christopher Flourentzou Bespoke Tailor, Mediterranean Occasions Venue Stylists, The Boutique, Thalia Nail & Make Up Studio, Treasured Moments, Peter Lane Photography, One Stop Weddings, Marriott Grosvenor Square, 3A Photography & Video and Creations For All Occasions. Special thanks to Thalia Erodotou, Peter Lane, Christine and Andrea Michaels from The Boutique and Anna from Creations For All Occasions for their generous assistance at the event. You can view images by Peter Lane at http://photos.peterlanephotography.com/Events/Cypriot-Wine-Festival-2013.

Aroma Patisserie was there to provide us with mouth-watering Cypriot delicacies, KLN F.C and Aradippou Association with their tasty sandwiches, Salamina F.C were constantly serving hot pittas of souvlakia, Golden Earth Products couldn’t keep up with the demand for their tasty bougatsa, the Cypriot Community Centre provided the finger licking kleftiko, and Whippy Wagon and My Bright Pink Ice-Cream Van made us happy with the delicious triantafillos ice-cream!

And the festival would not have been complete without the Panairgotika stand where visitors could purchase soutziouko, pastelaki, lokoumia, and all the other delicious Cypriot sweets, Marathon Foods and Demos Continental where olive oil, halloumia, trahana, and other Cypriot products were available, Buzz Ltd who were constantly busy serving customers quality nuts and sweets, and the wine tasting stands where wine by various Cypriot wineries including ETKO, LOEL, SODAP and Makkas, could be sampled by visitors.

On the other side of the Great Hall we had stall holders displaying many interesting items for sale including jewellery, clothes, shoes, bags, religious icons, children’s hampers, gifts and toys, homeware and even baby foot and hand casting! Exhibitors included Omonia Football Club, Diamonte Décor, Adore Your Car, Fairy Box, Performers Inc Performing Arts Theatre School, Pure Giftz, Palmer & Brown Ltd, Angelic Creations Jewellery, Yiola Georgiou Personalised Gifts, Att-Networks, Tiny Casts, Camden Cypriot Women’s Organisation, Mi Boutique, Bling Bling Jewellery, UK Thalassaemia Society, Wild Daisy Boutique, Edmonton Eagles, Swiss Care, Hart2Hart Florists, B’kos It’s Party Time, Yiannis Croussis jewellery and Garden of Saints.

Greek City’s stand was full of energy as always, Tas Records offered Greek music lovers wonderful keepsakes, and the kid’s corner was extremely busy with entertainment by Princess Petal, a bouncy castle, and face painting by Spangles by Els,

Our local media Hellenic TV and London Greek Radio were also present, as was Antenna Europe.

 

A massive thank you

 

Parikiaki would like to thank the festival’s sponsors and supporters without whom this event would not be possible: Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Airways, Star Lettings & Estates, Argo Investment Management Group, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Star Lettings & Estates, Cyta UK Ltd, P&S Carton Industries Ltd, Demetriou & English, Cyprus Trade Centre, Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Tourism, Boulter & Co Solicitors, The Ability Group, NN Accountancy Services Ltd, C. Michael & Co Chartered Accountants, Aroma Patisseries, Varosi Letting & Estates, Smart Housing Group, Thalia Nail & Make-Up Studio, TD Hair Designers, hospitality sponsors Thalassa Seafood Restaurant and Vrisaki Restaurant, and media sponsors Hellenic TV, RIK TV, Antenna Europe and LGR.

Last but not least, to the thousands of visitors who descended onto Alexandra Palace to help us celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Cyprus Wine Festival & Business Exhibition, to all our volunteers who donated their time over the two days and to the management and staff of Parikiaki who worked tirelessly in the months leading up to the event to make this festival a huge success