“ Address: 1 Talaat Pasa 8015, Cyprus / Type: Restaurant „
~~~"SOLI- AEPIA" FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE~~~
On my recent holiday to Cyprus with my husband we enjoyed a few trips out into the surrounding areas of Paphos. One place that we always go to, at least once, when in Paphos is the municipal market, which is high up in the hills of Paphos, in the old town. The indoor market is a great place to go to buy all the obligatory gifts for family and friends before returning home. Admittedly, I do usually take the opportunity to buy an item of jewellery for myself when here. This time was no exception and I purchased a gold plated chain.
This interesting and busy indoor market opens early in the morning and then later in the day some of its shops close for a siesta and then will re-open until finally closing for the day at around four in the afternoon. There are many restaurants and bars in the area which still stay open and they appear to do a very good trade during this time.
After a few hours we had finished with our shopping and were rather pleased with our successful haggling (or we, at least, considered it to be have been successful!) we both then agreed that it was time for refreshments. It was hot and we were both gasping for a cold drink. Deciding to try somewhere new to us we came upon a restaurant named, 'Soli Aepia.'
We chose our table very carefully, ( I always try to especially when in holiday and in in hot places) wanting to sit outside at a table that looked out onto the panoramic view of the area below, which included the distant blue Mediterranean Sea. Making sure that a fan was well placed in a direction to blow its cooling air onto us, as it was extremely hot, as is usual on the island of Cyprus, we sat ourselves down and then waited for somoene to come and take our drinks order.
This restaurant is taverna in style. There was a good atmosphere and indeed a friendly one, as claimed. Serviettes had the restaurant name printed on and this added underneath:
Yes, the atmosphere was indeed friendly, relaxing and service was polite. I had no complaints at all, indeed, only high praise.
"'NO FAST FOOD
JUST GOOD FOOD
FAST AS WE CAN"
The above was printed on the menus and we later found this to be true, as the food was of a very good quality and served fairly quickly,although obviously it was freshly cooked.
I asked for a Fanta lemon drink and my husband ordered a large beer, well, he was thirsty after the hard work of shopping in the heat. He chose the local brew of Keo.
Our drinks soon arrived; mine was served with lots of ice. We drank and looked around at the hanging vines overhead. There is altogether a lot to look at here. A visual feast of a little bit of Cyprus. A lovely spot.
We weren't really sure whether to have lunch but perused the menu and, as we began to quench our thirst, we thought we might as well have lunch. Once I'd drunk enough to begin to sate my great, at least a little, I was then able to consider eating.
Soli-Aepia is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and for just a drink or two.
Full English breakfast (well, a Cypriot interpretation that is!) costs just 3.50 Euros and consists of bacon, egg, sausage, beans, tomato, chips, and halloumi cheese. Can't be bad, surely?
Starters are available. Some examples from a good choice are: prawn cocktail, soup of the day, melon with ham, scampi etc. and most of these cost around four to five Euros, and some cost even less than this.
Pizzas are available in both large and medium size, with various toppings, burgers, steak, fish (including swordfish), Cypriot mezzes, kebabs, grilled meat, grilled cheeses and salads of very many types.
Most meals seemed to be priced at around eight to ten Euros although much of the food cost less then this. I think the most expensive item was the fillet steak meal and even this was only 15.50 Euro, which I don't think is at all bad.
Sandwiches and snacks were all reasonably priced. Included in the sandwich fillings was: ham, pork, cheese, chicken.
A selection of burgers could be chosen from the snack section of the menu.
Desserts were mainly Cypriot in style such as the delicious cakes which are made in Cyprus, ice creams, fruit salads in juices and fruit.
I didn't notice a vegetarian section of the menu but there were enough meat- free choices to please me. Also, in many places in Cyprus you only have to ask for something without meat for the chef to come up with something which should suit.
However, this restaurant does claim to be vegetarian friendly too.
We considered the menu to be very good and with the bonus of it being very reasonably priced for a variety of food ranging from snacks to full meals. I was peckish by then, although not starving.
We both chose an omelette, thinking it wouldn't be too heavy a meal. My husband chose an omelette with a ham, cheese and mushroom filling and I chose two fillings of cheese and mushroom. We also ordered another drink.
A waitress soon brought cutlery, condiments and a basket of warm, freshly baked bread, with butter, to the table, as well as our drinks. We started munching on the delicious bread.
Our meals arrived fairly quickly.
Both omelettes were perfectly cooked and they were served with homemade chips and a side salad which included gorgeous red juicy tomatoes.
As I already said, I wasn't really that hungry but as it was such a lovely meal I did manage to do it justice. The chips were very nice-chunky in size and they were beautifully crisp on the outside and tender inside-just perfect.
We didn't want dessert.
Our meal with two drinks each and leaving a tip came to twenty-five Euro.
I truly believe if you came across a restaurant in Cyprus that wasn't family friendly you would be very unlucky indeed. Cypriots generally like children and go out of their way to make them welcome and like to make a fuss of them. The next table to us had children sitting eating their meals of chicken nuggets but I didn't notice too many children at this time.
High chairs are available.
It is commonplace to see Cypriot children dining out with their families late at night.
After I had finished my meal I walked through the inside of the restaurant to get to the customer toilets. I was impressed by the modern facilities of no touch hand driers and the standard of cleanliness in general.
On walking back through the restaurant I had a good look around and noticed that the bar looked well stocked and the inside generally, with its extra seating, looked welcoming.
The terraced area of Soli-Aepia is at street level so access is fairly good. I didn't notice if there were any toilets solely for disabled use but I thought the toilets were spacious with room for a wheelchair.
Public conveniences are situated very close by and these have disabled facilities.
There were ramped areas around.
I feel if anyone with mobility problems can manage to travel here (by bus or car) then the dining experience should be a pleasant one, but I would still suggest first phoning or Emailing the restaurant to ensure you have good dining experience at Soli- Aepia.
The restaurant is high up in Paphos and opposite to the municipal market ( Laiki Geitonia) in Paphos old town, this restaurant has panoramic views of the surrounding area and the harbour in the distance. It is easy to travel to.
We reached here by a bus taken near to our hotel which terminated at Paphos Harbour and then a change of bus in the harbour's bus depot. I believe it took about twenty to thirty minutes, including a short wait for buses. Most buses run late but I always check first with the bus driver.
I understand that there is a mini bus service which runs between here and the harbour at Paphos until midnight.
It doesn't take very long to get here by taxi or by private car if travelling from anywhere in the Paphos region. Car parking is available.
With help from the website: http://cyprus.com/b/soli-aepia-restaurant.html
Soli-Aepia was opened in 1992. The name comes from two archeological sites in the region. It has a maximum capacity of 250 guests.
The restaurant opens all year round and the times of opening are from eight in the morning until eleven thirty at night.
Be warned if you're a non-smoker, as I am, that there is a smoking area in Soli-Aepia. Many Cypriot restaurants are non-smoking inside but smoking is often allowed at outside tables. I would think this might well change in the next few years, along with other European countries.
Soli-Aepia provides a take away service.
This restaurant doesn't feel at all 'posh' or pretentious; I would say it is casual, although I believe of an evening it becomes quite lively and more formal. We were given a card offering us a ten per cent discount if we returned for dinner either that evening or the following one. Unfortunately we didn't have time to return which is a shame, as I think that this would be a lovely spot to wine and dine in the evening when the lights of Paphos are twinkling merrily in the night sky.
I think the restaurants in this location generally serve good food which is often superior to that served in the harbour restaurants and, what's more, at a cheaper price. Around the harbour you pay for the pleasure of the close proximity of the sea and the view of the boats bobbing on the Mediterranean Sea, but, high up here, the view is well worth seeing and, in fact, I feel sorry that I haven't yet spent an evening here.
If I return to this area of Paphos in the not too distant future, then dining at The Soli-Aepia on a warm summer's evening will definitely be high on my 'to do' list.