Friday, 12 May 2017

A taste of paradise at the Bonamare Beach Bar Cafe in Cyprus #review

Eagle-eyed readers might have spotted I am in Cyprus this week, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Apologies to all those who have had to endure a succession of social media posts featuring the sun, sea and pretty much everything I have eaten here.

Bonamare beach bar cafe Timi, Cyprus

 The trouble is, the island is not only beautiful, but has an almost endless supply of great views and wonderful tavernas, bars, restaurants and cafes and there just simply isn't time to try them all.

The other problem is that some places are just so gorgeous, you tend to return to them - why mess with perfection eh?

Bonamare beach bar cafe #review #cyprus

The Bonamare Beach Bar Cafe is one such place for us. Visitors landing at Paphos airport might spot signs to this hidden gem with stunning views over Timi beach just a short distance from the airport and Paphos.

We discovered it a few years ago, have gone back every year and watched the place develop into a great place for long lazy lunches, cocktails, a quiet coffee or a fun-packed night out. It really does manage to be all things to all people- if you check out their Facebook page you will see what I mean.


This week we decided to go and sunbathe on Timi beach and of course stop for a drink at the Bonamare. With stunning views of the coastline and a refreshing breeze on what was turning out to be a scorchingly hot day it proved to be a good decision.

You can park at the Bonamare (follow signs from the airport road) and the venue offers sun-bed, cushion and brolly hire for the beach which is accessed down steps directly from the venue's large patio area which enjoys cooling breezes off the sea.

Timi beach, Cyprus, steps from Bonamare beach bar cafe

If you are there on a cooler day there's seating inside- tables and chairs and cosy sofas which enjoy that same fabulous sea view and for winter visitors there's even a cosy fire!

Bonamare beach bar cafe - a taste of paradise in Cyprus

The Bonamare is a great place to base yourself for a beach day as there are toilets and a shower and of course the option to pop up from the beach for some refreshments every now and then.

The beach is mainly shingle with some sand and there's a fabulous rock pool which we discovered filled with fish, shrimp and crabs when the tide went out. It's actually deep enough to snorkel in (just about) in some parts or you can stand on the rocks and peer in.

After an hour or so of toasting we decided it was lunchtime and since the sun was well over the yard arm, I decided it would be OK to sample something from the cocktail menu. My husband was faithful to his Cypriot fave, Keo beer.

The menu has improved over the years we have been going to the Bonamare and there really is something to suit every budget, taste and appetite from home-made burgers, filled jacket potatoes and toasted sandwiches to sea bream, garlic mussels and sharing seafood platters. There's a children's menu too offering nuggets, fish fingers and sausage with chips and salad.

I was impressed that Bonamare's owner has stuck to his Cypriot roots as local ingredients and flavours are very evident on the menu.

extensive menu at Bonamare beach bar cafe

I spotted a sandwich, salads and a cooked breakfast all featuring tasty local produce and was tempted by the village pizza which is topped with cheese, lounza, halloumi, olives and fresh tomatoes.

But with that awesome ocean view it had to be something from the extensive fish and seafood menu and both of us opted for calamari which the menu said would be served with chips and salad.

Now this can be something of a lottery. Calamari done badly is like chewing dry rubber bands. It's often served buried in thick greasy or soggy batter.

I was delighted to see that the theme of quality we had so far experienced at the Bonamare extended to the food as our calamari was exquisite. My husband went as far as to say it was the best he had ever eaten. High praise indeed from a man who orders it frequently!

calamari and cocktails at Bonamare Timi Cyprus

The batter was tempura style - light and crisp, perfectly showing off the delicate texture and flavour of the squid rings and tentacles.

A generous salad and pile of excellent fries made for a real feast and as we devoured it under blue skies with a view from paradise we really wondered why we would ever need to go anywhere else during our regular visits to the island.

Prices are reasonable and certainly cheaper than most of the touristy places. You can get breakfast lunch and dinner there and families are more than welcome. The owner has recently added a play area with a giant trampoline for young visitors.

Staff are friendly and helpful and as is often customary in Cyprus, they provide full table service so no-one has to abandon the family to go and order or pay.

We were made to feel very welcome and cannot wait to return with the children when we come back to Cyprus in August. I imagine my daughter will love the alcohol free cocktails and there's a huge dessert menu for my sweet-toothed son.

In the meantime I have a few days left here child-free so I might have to explore that impressive cocktail menu more thoroughly.


cocktails in Cyprus near Paphos airport

Disclaimer: We enjoyed a meal and drinks for two free for the purpose of this honest review.

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