Saturday, 15 June 2013

June 5th - Ladies Lunch Day...

Today was Ladies Lunch Day and probably the last one that I will organise now that Marion is back from France.  I can't say I am too upset about relinquishing the task as it can be a bit of a worry.  Everyone has different expectations and whilst no-one is forcing them to go I am always concerned that people enjoy themselves and feel that they have had value for money.  Today's lunch was being held at the newly refurbished Droushia Heights Hotel which had a bit of a sticky start so I had tried to keep in close contact with Manager Irene to make sure that the lunch was as successful as possible and to her credit she had been more than accommodating.

Anyway before we went off for Lunch Mum and Dad came up - Mum to join the ladies and Dad to go with John to Fitos for a mega pork chop.  Mum wanted to have a little cuddle with the kittens before we left and we like to spend a couple of sessions each day with them to try and get them used to humans.  

They are really coming on now and have grown so much in just a week.  Little one, that we call Jerry, is just a sweetie and can be handled without any problem and purrs and purrs.  The larger one, which we call Tom and which Irene calls Sid (after Hissing Sid) does just that, hisses, when you go near him but it is all bluster and once you pick him up and give him a cuddle he too settles down and purrs.  He is much more wary than the little one but probably because he had to fend for himself completely on his own for one day and we probably traumatised him when the three of us tried to capture him.  He will be fine he is just going to take a little more care to make him feel safe and secure.

They were very colour-coordinated with Mum's dress and fell asleep on her lap.  In a few week's time if we haven't found them a home then they will go on show at the vets in a cage in reception.  This normally does the trick but personally I would like to know who is having them having got quite attached to them myself.

It was a beautiful day with a slight breeze and this was our venue! (publicity shot taken from the website).  I arrived early to make sure that the tables were laid up as we wanted and that there were free jugs of water for the diners - I needn't have worried as Irene had it all under control and Vasso the chef was all smiles and beginning to put the food out - I had to admit it looked rather good.

The ladies assembled on the terrace overlooking the pool.  Umbrellas were needed and although some people thought they might like to eat outside after a short while they realised it was going to be a bit warm so indoors it was.

We had over 30 ladies from Droushia and surrounding villages, five of which were local Cypriot ladies which was fantastic and we had even managed to get Marianna out from the community office to join in the fun.  Kelly, on her day off, was running around like a mad thing and offering to do a tour of the facilities for anyone who wanted it.  

Kelly also ensured that all the attendees went home with their loyalty card which will enable them to claim 15% discount on drinks and food in the future and use the pool and gym for a small fee.  

Mind you the drinks really need more than 15% discount to make it a venue we would use on a regular basis! Today as a special incentive Manager Irene had agreed to 25% discount on the drinks which was very welcome.

There were plenty of staff around to make sure things went smoothly and the ever-present Panyiotis on hand to pour the drinks or rustle up something a bit more exciting!  Manager Irene came and greeted all the ladies and said that she hoped we would all enjoy ourselves and come back again.

I had met with Vasso previously to organise the menu - we settled at a cost of €14 per head (which I think is more than enough for lunch) and in the end had to curb her enthusiasm for dishes as I could see a lot being left over.  She is a local lady and cooks traditional Cypriot food and based on today cooks it very well.

There was a huge selection of salads and dips on the cold section - so much that I could have just eaten that and nothing else - this is the problem with a buffet!

On the hot section there must have been something for everyone - and you could have all or some or none!

For the red meat eaters Vasso had cooked stifado and rice.  Stifado is a particular favourite of mine and I am told I cook rather a good one myself so generally I am disappointed when I eat it elsewhere but I have to say her's was delicious.  For white meat eaters there was traditionally roasted chicken with the oven roasted Cypriot potatoes.  For seafood eaters there was an absolutely delicious octopus dish (yes octopus which can often be tough and chewy).  For fish eaters there was a lovely white fish dish with grated vegetables on top.  For vegetarians there was a vegetarian moussaka and for those who don't even eat cheese there were some oven roasted vegetables.  This was accompanied by some home-made bread which was tasty but rather dense in consistency but according to Marianna was superb (there is no accounting for taste!).  For puds there were traditional Cypriot sweets like baclava and milk pie (milk pie is too die for and I have to say I had two helpings) along with melon and fresh fruits.  From the level of noise of people chatting and laughing throughout the meal I am guessing it was a success - the emails and text thanking me afterwards confirmed that it was - phew I am pleased and I am pleased for the hotel and the staff.

Cat lady Irene worked hard taking round information about Tom/Sid and Jerry to see if anyone might be interested in homing them or might know someone who would.  She thinks she may have tempted Lucie from Kathikas who had a black and white cat and lost it.  Lucie is going to go home and have a think and we have our fingers firmly crossed that she will come back and say yes - particularly as she would take the two of them together.

Mum and I decided to walk home as it was such a lovely afternoon - en route we noticed that Simon, Mel and Jasmine were at home so called in to have a quick chat, cold drink and cuddle with Jasmine who is growing up so quickly - I can't believe she is not yet a year old.

John and Dad said they had had a lovely lunch - in fact John said it was the best pork chops yet!  Even better Joanna was selling fresh Kathikas cherries which were absolutely delicious.  A good lunch had been had by all!!!

We managed a quick came of Canasta before Mum and Dad left - Dad and I were victorious!

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