CyWineFest


CyWineFest visits Speciality Fine Food Fair

 

The Specialty Fine Food Fair took place on 3rd to 5th September 2017, and what an enlightening experience it was, mustering up cuisines from around the world to London’s Olympia.

One can’t help but draw comparisons from each exhibition visited, comparing stand and venue décor, accessibility and all other elements that make up an event, but more importantly foods! The most immediate components that differ from our very own CyWineFest are obvious, for a start this exhibition was trade only and this exhibition featured specialty food from all around the world — from Northern Europe to Japan. A very encouraging factor was that there were many homegrown companies; in fact different regions of the UK had come to celebrate and promote their unique produce.

The European exhibitors were very much dominated by the French, Spanish and Italian stands, although the Spanish stands was by far the most elaborate with great big red and yellow signage; The Italian companies dominated the event, dotted all around the ground floor and all over the upper terrace with loads of different products, new, classic and traditional. There were however several Greek companies promoting the famous olives and olive oils from various regions. The product ranges have increased extensively and have been infused with various flavours, mainly basil, garlic, chilli and lemon. Greek chocolate was also on offer; sadly it was not promoted as strongly as it should have been. Although the stands may not have been as elaborate, the produce spoke for itself – the Kalamata Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin olive oil from Acropolis was one of the best oils I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. Cypriot company Ozerlat was there promoting their Cypriot coffee and Turkish delight, with an impressive coffee machine that produced a rich and earthy coffee in no time at all. Arzum’s Okka coffee machine have created an express way to prepare this slowly consumed coffee.

What was very encouraging was the fact that these various European cuisines didn’t provide anything that unique or that diverse from our very own Cypriot kitchen. In fact, other than the far eastern exhibitors, Cyprus offers nearly all the foods on offer are available under its extensive umbrella.

There were cured meats from Spain, the world renowned Iberico ham, Italy has its famous Parma ham and Cyprus has hiromeri, or even if we switch to beef, Cyprus has many different ingredients in their salami much like the French do. Or if particular with pork, there is the lamb alternative of tsamarella, a cured meat salted and seasoned with plenty of oregano. There were Indian fusion food and beverages on offer with spices like cinnamon and cloves, which again the Cypriots have fused with the English breakfast tea. English pies and Cornish pasties are not farfetched from the offerings at any Cypriot bakery; can anyone really distinguish between a gourmet sausage roll and a well sourced loukanikopitta? The very translation is ‘sausage pie’ or kolokotes and pumpkin pie for that matter. Even the desserts on offer echoed the showrooms of bakeries in Cyprus, the Italian bakeries at the show had most of what you’ll find at a Zorba’s (Cypriot bakery chain), the Ventika (Venetian biscuits) for example, however this is not because of a contemporary cosmopolitan change in patterns and the inclusion of other foods to provide more options, these food have made their historic journey and rooted themselves in the expectations of modern Cypriot cuisine.

Are all these culinary coincidences a product of the islands geographic positioning, or a result of the settlements and conquest of many different nations? The point is that Cyprus has kept all these influences, they have survived until the modern day. Cypriot food has a rich history and diverse offerings, the blend of European, North African, and Middle Eastern influences is a winning formula its culinary ties blend in an inoffensive manor, whilst at the same time remaining exciting and flavoursome.

Our vision is that each region and every specialty of that region is represented at the Cypriot Wine Festival & Business Expo. We have always encouraged the participation of various companies that produce foods that appeal to our Cypriot palette and of course that companies from around the UK come to present their goods and services, we believe that integration and not segregation is the solution to a successful event for visitor and exhibitor alike.

There will be plenty of news and developments in the run up to the 36th annual event, keep in touch through our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube @CyWineFest and via our website at www.cypriotwinefestival.com

 

 

 

 

 

The wine routes of the Cypriot capital

Nicosia is the capital city of our island in the sun, nestled at the crossroads of Europe and with a diverse cultural heritage. What might not be the first thing you’d expect to hear though, is that Nicosia has its own wine producing region.

There’s plenty to see in Nicosia city centre: historic monuments, such as the Venetian Walls, its many museums and plenty of places where Cypriot wine is consumed including excellent bars, restaurants and cafes.  For a great range of wines visit OINOTRIA (wine bar and cellar), who are building quite a name for themselves as wine specialists, importers and distributors.

Once you have walked around the city, do not hesitate to escape to its surrounding areas; short distances and modern road networks will facilitate your trip and afford you the opportunity to experience the wild beauty of the Cypriot countryside. From Machairas Forrest and its historic monastery, to the tip of the Troodos Mountains, there is much to discover. One place worth visiting is St. Panteleimonas Monastery (Ahera) that lies west of Nicosia and dating back to the 18th century. Also interesting is the Church of Varnavas and Ilarionos in the village of Peristerona, an excellent example of Byzantine Cypriot architecture from the 9th century.

The Church of St.Barnabas and St.Ilarionas-Peristerona

Although it was abandoned during the 19th century, Fikardou Village has been declared an important historical landmark and is a testament to traditional architecture and woodworks from the 18th century. The village is also home to the Agricultural Museum. The village of St. Varvaras houses the last remaining workshop from the first Industrial Era, where homes and work areas were under one roof. It displays equipment dating back to 1920, including a flour mill, an olive crusher and a grape crusher. Taking a south-westerly direction, one will encounter the Royal Tombs of Tamassos. This village is known for the grand limestone statues from the 6th century that are displayed in its Archaeological Museum. Close by is the Holy Monastery of St. Heraklidou, built in 1773. During your expedition to the countryside, do not forget to sample some traditional delicacies and discover the culinary secrets of the Cypriot cuisine, famous for being the richest and most abundant of the Mediterranean.

The rich natural and cultural heritage of the region around Nicosia offers walkers excellent opportunities for daylong expeditions. Two of the best walking routes in the area are Madari Circular Walk (13 km long) and the logistically more difficult route connecting the Unesco World Heritage churches of Stavros tou Agiasmati and Panagia tou Araka (a 7.5 km long linear route). The walks can be combined with stops at beautiful churches, picturesque villages and possibly watermills and medieval bridges.

The districts of Cyprus are divided into Nicosia, Kyrenia, Ammohostos, Larnaka, Lemesos, and Pafos, Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia boosts a central location with access to the Troodos mountain ranges and the regions of Tylliria and Morphou, giving Nicosia sea access.  This means that Nicosia benefits from bordering every single district. So, where ever you may be in, one is not far from Cypriot Wine Country.

Wine Route

This enlightening route passes through Lefkosia, Skarinou, Lefkara, Kato Drys, Vavla, Ora, Odou, Farmakas, Gourri, Fikardou and ends at Kalo Chorio.

Comprising the expanse of the mountainous areas of both Larnaka and Lefkosia, this varied route is one that marries the old vinicultural history of the island with the new, modern face of the winemaking industry.

Passing through 10 villages, the route takes in three wineries, quaint museums and workshops. Even though it is outside of the traditional wine regions, there are active winemakers here who have planted vineyards with the white varieties of AssyrtikoMalvasia AromaticaChardonnay Xynisteri and Sauvignon blanc, and the red varieties of MaratheftikoCabernet and Merlot – ensuring their fast integration into the island’s winemaking portfolio. A love of wine is combined with other cultural aspects along this route, such as the inclusion of the village of Lefkara – famous for its handmade lace embroidered linens and delicate filigree silver – along with the village of Fikardou, which is home to one of the oldest traditional wine.

As many of you are still enjoying your ‘summer holidays’ in Cyprus now, we do encourage you to take a day’s break from the beach and get to know the old and new vinicultural history of our island. This is what we will do, at least!

 

 

Credit: Nicosia Tourism Board & VisitCyprus

 

 

 

 

 

 

CyWineFest moves to Enfield!

Sunday 28th and Monday 29th May 2017

CyWineFest has moved to Lee Valley Athletics Centre! The 35th ‘Cypriot Wine Festival’ will be celebrating modernisation transitioning to the state of the art athletic centre, Lee Valley

And here it is this years event guide…. do not miss what promises to be a 2 day extravaganza…. doors open 12.30-11pm on both Sunday 28th and Monday 29th at lee valley athletics center – tickets available now at www.parikiaki.com – esi tha Leipeis???

Click on link below to Download our CYPRIOT WINE FESTIVAL AND BUSINESS EXPO  brochure and reserve a stand

To reserve a stand at the Cypriot Wine Festival

Our story continues to connect Cyprus with UK, attracting those unfamiliar with our customs and traditions and with an open heart and open arms we familiarise them. Even within our own community, for second, third, fourth generations of British born Cypriots

the event serves as the connection between them and the roots of their family’s homeland playing a very significant role in uniting all British born Cypriots from around the UK, from many generations, wherever they may be residing. The Cypriot community has been gradually moving further out of London and even out of the capital altogether to areas like Cheshunt, and Chingford Waltham Cross and Waltham Abbey, Potters Bar. This gradual displacement of the community no longer in close geographic proximity is perhaps one of the most important reasons as to why the move is necessary! Situated in close proximity on the borders of London, Hertfordshire and Essex, Lee Valley is ideal to become NEW HOME of the community most celebrated event.

Lee Valley is a state of the art venue, designed in high-tech style that utilises the surroundings with use of both indoor and outdoor facilities providing CyWineFest 2017 with an ‘al fresco’ dinning dynamic. The kid’s zones will have a much larger area as the food stalls will be on the outdoor patio area, hosting the best in Cypriot catering with food being cooked on the spot! This area will be the connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces, acting as a makeshift courtyard whereby Cypriot food will be placed centre stage.

A large array of local and UK as well as companies from Cyprus herself. The market traders will also be exhibiting their goods products at the same great rates they have always done! But finally, you will still get to see your favourite artists for a fraction of the prices whilst enjoying your Cypriot wine!

 

Our fantastic live shows will be held in the indoor arena with over 500 seats for you to enjoy community acts and of course our headline act straight from the heart of Athens. Showw Productions works very hard to bring the best acts to CyWineFest, if we take the last three years alone Despina Vandi, Anna Vissi and George Dalaras have graced our stage! And you can rest assure that this year will not be any different!

 

CyWineFest has also given the centre stage for other great acts from Stelios Hiotis to Monsieur Doumani as well as many young talented community talents who have proven themselves as capable singers, songwriters and performers such as Maria Evangelou, Kat Neocleous, Panos Alafouzos and many more guaranteeing an impressive line up, year in year out!

There will be plenty of wine to sample from a greater range of wineries from all over Cypriot wine from KEO, LOEL, SODAP and EKTO to AES AMBELIS, MAKKAS, VASILIKON, EZOUSA and ZAMBARTAS . So, don’t be shy to try what’s on offer; and take advantage of all this unlimited wine under one roof, and the quality Cypriot produce we’re sure you’ll find something to tantalise your taste buds!

The dates have changed to the Whitsun May Bank Holiday Weekend!

There’s no need to worry about having a late night on Sunday as you will all have the Monday off and if you’ve had commitments on Sunday you’ll have the whole of Monday to explore the event and enjoy the show!

For those of you not on social media and may not have seen, but yet what you may have heard is true! ‘To Kalitero PaidiYiannis Ploutarchos will be headlining the 35th CyWineFest at Lee Valley Athletics Centre, for what promises to be a spectacular bank holiday weekend!

For stands and tickets please telephone the offices of the Parikiaki om 020 8341 5853

We absolutely thrilled to welcome the ‘Kalitero Paidi’ at the Cypriot Wine Festival & Business Expo 2017, an artist that has proven time and time again that he can release outstanding hits from album to album. Most of us have grown up, or let’s say matured with Ploutarchos’ music, in particular the smash hit ‘Ah Koritsi Mou’ swirling round to this modern classic of a ‘Vareto’ whilst we were still figuring out our figoures. That said his hasapiko hit ‘To Kalitero Paidi’ was just as superb, echoing something reminiscent of the great Giannis Poulopoulos – timeless! From an enduring sound to a modern sensation, we eagerly await in anticipation to hear his smash hit collaboration ‘Oso Tha Leipeis’ live on our main stage!

Doors open at 12:30 – 23:00 on Sunday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 29th May 2017.

 

With almost a thousand free car parking spaces, you won’t need to worry about parking the car. There are also public transport links as the venue is sandwiched between Angel road and Ponders End stations. Alternatively, the W8 bus route starting at Chase Farm via Enfield Town and terminates directly opposite venue.

Full Address:

Lee Valley Athletics Centre,

61 Meridian Way,

London N9 0AR

 

 

There will be a lot of news, developments and updates. Let it be known that the countdown has begun for the 35th CyWineFest, only 11 weeks away! Keep up-to-date on the happenings in the build up to this year’s Cypriot Wine Festival & Business Expo through our social on Twitter @cywinefest and Instagram @CyWineFest, or at www.facebook.com/cywinefest

 

George Charalambous

From this week you’ll be able to receive weekly articles regarding the Cypriot Wine Festival and Business Expo otherwise known as cywinefest! You can follow us on twitter and  instagram or our facebook page for the latest.

Cypriot Wine Heritage

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Bread and Wine an ever loyal marriage

 

It was the Mycenaean Greeks who encouraged wine production in Cyprus in the early 14th century BC. This enhancement of oenology meant that Cyprus had another commodity to trade via the already existing shipping lanes from the central Mediterranean to the shores of the Levant and North Africa. This link meant that grains, wheat and flour were continuously supplied to continue feeding the ever growing population of the colonies. The founding of Greek colonies all over the Mediterranean encouraged the export of wine but it also ensured that Cyprus remained a hub, a stop off point to load more goods such as copper and olive oil before sailing on to off load goods to foreign lands and also brought back the latest artistic trends and exotic goods from the east that have for so long influenced Greek and Cypriot culture. One such example would be from the ancient city of Soloi (pronounced Soli) on the north coast of Cyprus, founded in the 6th century BC, which supplied Athens with timber and copper.

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View of Pafos harbour from the boardwalk

Trade often extended inland into Anatolia, in the Hatay province on the Turkish-Syrian border; floor tiles had been excavated showing a skeleton lying down with a wine pitcher and loaf of bread alongside Ancient Greek text that reads: “Be cheerful, enjoy your life”

The ancient text closely links our company slogan: “Drink wine and life will be fine”, and it goes to show how deep routed the oenology call culture is embedded in our history. Granted Cyprus has a shared history of colonisation and empire with influence from many other ethnicities, Armenian being one of them. This is of significant relevance as Armenia is debatably the first culture to produce wine; Master of Wine Caroline Gilby supports the theory that in the borders of modern day Turkey, Georgia and Armenia, having visited Areni cave in Armenia where the first winery in the world is set to be located, she argues that there is strong evidence that the ancient civilisation cultivated grapes for wine production.

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Aphrodites Rock

Cypriots vaguely make the connections with the history of wine on the island and from Ancient times to links with the cult of Aphrodite that always included wine as part of the debauchery ceremonies. However, a more recent, holy and just way that wine has been included in the upbringing of young Cypriots is via koumandaria which is the wine chosen for holy communion. Koumandaria or as it’s been marketed, Commandaria, also has a much richer history and has been referred to ancient writers as Cypriot nectar as ‘nama’ or ‘manna’ depending on the region of the original source. The relationship with wine and bread goes back to pagan times and continues to be the perfect accompaniment on the dinner table. Modern society has become a little too critical of ‘bad carbs’ and pigeon hole bread as some what unnecessary but as everything in life, moderation must be exercised to limit of one’s own requirements and total elimination of alcohol or potatoes and especially of bread is a little drastic (unless of course you have allergies and intolerances of course). As the Cypriots say, albeit loosely translated, if you don’t eat bread with dinner, it’s as if you haven’t eaten at all!

 

George Charalambous

PARIKIAKI at Giorti Krasiou 2016

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A look at how things are done in Lemesos.

 

For 55 YEARS the original #Cypriot #Wine #Festival, the #GiortiKrasiou has entertained visitors of all ages from all corners of the earth and all walks of life. The Giorti krasiou takes place every year at the municipal gardens of #Lemesos. The inauguration took place at the theatre gardens with speeches from the Minister of Energy, Commerce, industry and Tourism, Mr Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and the officially opening was underway with words from the Mayor of Lemesos Andreas Christou marking the party towns most longstanding event.  It was kicked off by dances from the group “Dionysus” as well as a musical set by the well known and respected Michalis Tterlikkas with his band “Moussa”.

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The #Lemesolians started as they meant to go on with wine, song and dance, living by their much loved festivals slogan, “Pinne Krasin Na’sieis Zoin” translating this slogan into a viable English phrase has proven quite tricky and as the years go on we seem to change the translation as we try to capture the spirit of intent, we thus feel safe to say “Drink Wine an Life will be Fine”. We do not for a moment mean this in the literal sense but rather the phrase characterises the perspective of Cypriots brought up with many social challenges being able to let loose after a hard days labour and enjoy a life not burdened by troubles and a glass or two can help unwind the mind.

It has always baffled me as to why this event is not celebrated amongst our community, it really does provide that nostalgia most of us felt when visiting Cyprus every summer whether it was a Saints feast or a local village panigyri, we all shared that common experience that celebrates cause with frantic festivities. It would be an excepted fact of life for Cypriots in the diaspora to be absent from such events had they not comprised the bulk of Cypriot tourism.  It’s not that Giorti krasiou requires more attendance, the event draws crowds en mass annually (hence having a 55 year story) it’s the fact that there’s so much more to Cyprus than the average tourist is aware of and the Giorti krasiou provides a plateau on which the richness of its people and culture can be appreciated.  From a personal point of view as a British Cypriot, I traditionally found that the new era of wine making was not profound enough, that it took a back step at an event which has its heart in the wine industry.  But it seems as though in recent years this grand misrepresentation has been rectified and the little guys, the small boutique wineries of the island are being taken seriously.  I’m incredibly proud that Cypriot wine is being put back on the map and that wine has retaken it’s place on the tables of Cypriot homes.  Restaurants have been the biggest culprits, having visited Cyprus almost every year of my life, I always payed attention to the wine and beverages menu and how even in Cyprus , the majority of Cypriot wines, beers and spirits were not present!

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Whenever the opportunity arose I would quarrel this with the restaurant owner with the argument that increased Cypriot produce means increased Cypriot production which equals a stronger economy , enabling companies to expand, market and explore options on how to get their brand out there. With the potential to export more goods! Yet the main obstacle is that the Cypriots have to first take themselves seriously in order to be a player with the rest of Europe. So I urge you revisit these events, keep that in mind and you’ll see Giorti krasiou in a different light, it is not simply a panigyri on grand scale it is an expo for Cyprus and the visitors are ambassadors for the island. The etymology of the cypriot word ‘panigyri’ has its origins in ancient Greek as Panēgyrikos (Πανηγυρικóς) as a merger of the two words pan meaning all, and  agora meaning market or assembly.  Thus in this case all would be assembled to celebrate wine, the word as recognised in the English language and in altered form is Panegyric.

Patterns are changing, we no longer except what we are given as we have a greater variety to choose from, although progression is slow the movement is on going, be part of it and enjoy the process! It is a great thing to see Cypriot produce being enjoyed by all nationalities and to know that the ingredients have grown from the very soil your ancestors worked on.

The good news is that #cywinefest #London is only a few months away! We look to bring you the soul of #Cyprus that has a hold on our hearts.

REP oF CY

logo aggliko me fasa MOA MOETCIT

Community celebrates 34th Cypriot Wine Festival!

mpouzouki feve

Thousands of visitors descended onto Alexandra Palace over the weekend to celebrate the 34th 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 Cyprus Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides, who in his address, pointed out that Parikiaki as well as the community are constantly trying to promote Cypriot wine and products to the British market.

Additionally, he said that his presence here in London “shows willingness to further upgrade wine production” and at the same time he expressed the respect of the Cypriot government to the diaspora for their valuable effort in sustaining the Cypriot customs and traditions.

“I convey the gratitude of the President of the Republic of Cyprus and I want to ensure you that the government will continue to support your efforts.”

Commenting on the result of the EU referendum, the Spokesman said that “under the new circumstances, the role of the community in sustaining and improving the relations between Cyprus and the UK has become even more crucial.”

Mr Christodoulides concluded by congratulating Parikiaki on organising the festival and wished the event every success.

Giorgos Loucaides, Parliamentary Spokesman of AKEL and member of the Secretariat, praised our newspaper as well as all those who worked for the success of the festival, and expressed appreciation from the Central Committee of AKEL.

He noted that the success of this event throughout the years reveals its importance as well as the need to continue its upgrade so that the future generations can continue to enjoy Cypriot culture.

Mr Loucaides further expressed his warmest wishes to the Turkish Cypriots who attended the festival: “Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots living together in London prove that when the people of Cyprus are left alone, they can live together in peace and harmony.”

He concluded, “This is indeed a significant occasion for all Cypriots.”

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 & General Secretary of AKEL in Britain Mr Bambos Charalambous, welcomed all those present to the 34th Cypriot Wine Festival, “the biggest annual Cypriot event in Britain.”

He extended a special welcome to the distinguished guests; Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira & Great Britain, Cyprus Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides, Parliamentary Spokesman of AKEL Giorgos Loucaides, Cyprus High Commissioner Euripides Evriviades, British MPs Kate Osamor and Catherine West, Labour Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore, President of POMAK and DISY UK Andreas Papaevripides, President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Christos Karaolis, President of DIKO UK Michalis Ellinas, President of EDEK UK Michalis Kashis, Leader of Merton Council Stephen Alambritis, Councillors George Savva and Bambos Charalambous, Organising Secretary of AKEL in Britain Charalambos Pitris, Chair of the Cypriot Community Centre Suzie Constantinides, and members of community associations and organisations.

A special welcome was also extended to the “our Turkish-Cypriot compatriots, who are tireless supporters of both the festival and the newspaper.”

Mr Charalambous continued, “Like every year we have a wide variety of businesses and organisations that support the Cypriot Wine Festival through sponsorships and stalls. It is because of their help and contribution that we are able to hold a large and successful festival.”

He added, “Cyprus has a long tradition in wine making; Archaeological evidence point to the production of wine in Cyprus as early as 4000 BC and the discovery of the Kyrenia Ship points to international wine trade as far back as 400 BC. Cyprus, still grows the ancient vines of Mavro, Maratheftiko and Xinisteri – in addition to a variety of international vines – and you will be able to taste all of them here today – but please do enjoy yourselves responsibly…..The first Wine Festival in Limassol took place in 1961. It symbolises the traditional getting together of wine-making regions at the end of the harvest, where people would work together to crush and barrel the grapes for the fermentation process – and of course to enjoy what was left of last year’s wine.”

“The Cypriot Wine Festival in Britain,” Mr Charalambous continued, “started in 1983, through the desire to share our culture, our food and our wine with the next generation of British-Cypriots and with the multitude of communities of London – where we now live. It’s a celebration of Cyprus where we are from, but also a celebration of the diversity of our adopted home.”

In closing, Mr Charalambous said, “I’d like to wish that you will enjoy the stalls, the food, the performances and celebrate with us our culture.”

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.

 

George Dalaras sets soothing atmosphere across Ally Pally

 

Headlining the festival’s music line-up was none other than one of the most respected and celebrated singers in the modern history of Greek music, George Dalaras, who pleased visitors with his biggest hits spanning his 50-year music career.

Giving a soothing performance before the thousands of spectators, Dalaras performed some of his most renowned songs including the ever popular song for Cyprus, Hrisoprasino Fillo, which was received with rapturous applause from the audience.

Dalaras was accompanied throughout his two hour set by Aspasia Stratigou and his incredible band.

A huge well done and thank you to Andy Constantinou of Show Productions who worked tirelessly with great dedication on this year’s show!

 

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.

X Factor 2015 contestant Monica Michael blew the audience away with her amazing vocals as did Panos Alafouzos from The Voice Greece who performed many crowd pleasers by well known Greek artists – he is definitely one to watch!

Monsieur Doumani brought something different to the event with their traditional, yet modern Cypriot sound.

Andria Antoniou left great impressions with her great vocal ability, as did Vangelis Polydorou from The Voice UK.

There was traditional Greek dancing by St Cyprian’s dancing group, and all the way from Cyprus, the Antigoni Tasouri Dance Academy proved to be one of the highlights of the entertainment programme with a contemporary dance routine as well as a solo performance from West End star George Ioannides.

Bouzouki Fever, a group of talented bouzouki players varying in age, accompanying their tutor Marios Constantinou and Dora Georgoulli on vocals, went down a treat yet again.

A massive thank you to DJ Chris Theocharous of HRS Entertainment and DJ Funksy of GreekBeatRadio who kept the crowd going with the very best in Greek and English music, and to the hosts, Cypriot actors/comedians Marios Demetriou and Marinos Konsolos, 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 of traditional Cypriot delicacies to sample. Souvlakia, kleftiko, lountza and halloumi sandwiches, kalamari, tiropittes, lokmades, shiamishi, koubes, mahalepi, rose flavoured ice-cream – there was something for everyone!

 

A massive thank you

 

Parikiaki would like to thank the festival’s sponsors and supporters without whom this event would not be possible: Assetgrove, Bank of Cyprus UK, Cyprus High Commission, Argo, P & S Cartons, Star Lettings and Estates, Boulter & Company Solicitors, C. Michael & Co, NN Accounting Services Ltd, The Ability Group, Sakkas Limited, G. Theo Builders Limited, Southern Territory, Nicholas James, Babinondas Restaurant and Andy’s Kebab House

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.

Until next year, Pinne Krasin Nasheis Zoi!

 

Andrea Georgiou

 

Photos: Peter Pentayiotis & Stelios Theodorou

George Dalaras live at the Cypriot Wine Festival!

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George Dalaras has done possibly more than anyone else to bring Greek music to a worldwide audience. Two decades ago, when he already had an international following, the French daily, Le Figaro, noted that even though he sang in Greek, “his music, springing from the heart, has a universal appeal.”

Born in 1949 in the port city of Piraeus, Dalaras comes from a tradition of folk and blues music. His mother was a Greek refugee from Asia Minor, while his father was a traditional musician and bouzouki player. Dalaras’ first musical memories are of the main forms of Greek music: the laika (popular), the rebetika (a kind of blues) and the paradosiaka (traditional).

He gave his first public appearance, as a singer and guitarist, at the age of 16. Two years later he released his first album – a critically acclaimed and popular collection of Greek urban music based on the stringed bouzouki and enriched by the musician’s contemporary approach. Since then, Dalaras has sold more than 15 million albums of his own work and collaborations. In all, he has released more than 85 solo albums and appeared as a guest or producer on more than 50 other recordings.

In his early 20s, he began working with the great names in Greek music. Most notable over the years has been his collaboration with Mikis Theodorakis. Dalaras has toured Greece and Europe several times with Theodorakis, interpreting the composer’s greatest songs. He has also recorded many works by Theodorakis, including a live album from Athen’s Herodus Atticus Theatre of the masterpiece, Axion Esti.

Since 1981, he has helped promote Greek culture overseas by performing more than 500 concerts in major world cities. He has appeared at numerous cultural and humanitarian festivals at home and abroad, including the 1983 Peace Festival in Vienna, the Youth Festival in Moscow in 1985 and the Aid to Africa Concert in Athens in 1986. Two years later, he took part in a star-studded Amnesty International concert in Athens, lining up alongside Peter Gabriel, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman and Youssou N’Dour. His collaborations with other international artists and orchestras have shown his ability to cross over into different styles.

Aside from his music, Dalaras has won plaudits for his support of worthy causes and his concern with social issues. His fight for justice and his support for the oppressed have made him a focus for humanitarian activists. He is particularly supportive of causes associated with labour movements, discrimination against women and children, sufferers of emotional or physical abuse and, of course, refugees.

On October 5, 2006, Dalaras was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador during a ceremony at the Old Parliament Building in Athens.

In April 2007, Dalaras embarked on his European Tour entitled Inspired by Rembetiko, travelling to the largest and most prestigious concert halls in eleven European cities.

The following year, the singer participated in the production entitled George Dalaras Enchanted Songs – A Tribute To Rembetiko at the Athens Concert Hall, collaborating with Babis Stokas, Sofia Papazoglou, Zacharias Karounis and Aspasia Stratigou.  The tribute was highly acclaimed by both critics and audience. The same performances were repeated in March 2009.

Dalaras began the first part of another European Tour in April 2010, covering fourteen cities.

In June and September 2011,  Dalaras started his collaboration with the Russian Orchestra of Traditional Instruments “Ossipov” under the direction of Vladimir Andropov, in concerts in Cyprus and Israel.

A year later, he performed concerts in Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus together with Dimitris Mpasis, Despina Olympiou and Melina Aslanidou.

In April 2013Dalaras performed in three sold-out concerts in Athens with Glykeria, in a Tribute to Apostolos Kaldaras.

February 2014 saw Dalaras present the program Two Pianos One Voice in Greece; it was first presented in Cyprus in December 2013. He then travelled to Europe touring eight cities.

In December 2014, Dalaras shared the stage with Eleni Vitali and Glykeria at Iera Odos for a number of memorable and unique live performances.

And now, the legendary singer returns to our shores to perform at the biggest event in our community calendar…..George Dalaras, live in London – 25th and 26th June! Watch this space for further details…

To book a stand at the Cypriot Wine Festival & Business Expo, or to enquire about sponsorship opportunities, please call Andy Constantinou on 07740 438 453 or our offices on 020 8341 5853.

 

 

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