These are strange times, and like many I find my spirits need lifting more often than usual.
A drive to the coast always helps me regain my ‘mojo’, buoyed by the landscape, warm, clear seas and servings of excellent food.
One of my favourite eateries is the family-run Santa Barbara restaurant and beach bar.
Boasting an impressive beachside setting in Argaka, this is a special spot. A spa treatment for the soul with breath taking sunsets.
Pulling into the car park, the blue and white colours (a nod to the owner’s Greek heritage I am informed), sit well with the backdrop of the sea and cloudless sky. It really doesn’t get much better then this.
Open all day, Santa Barbara is a Greek/Mediterranean restaurant and beach bar that serves a good variety of Mediterranean and Cypriot dishes. A few signature dishes hail from owner George’s native Kefalonia (try the Kefalonia pie or ‘giant’ beans) and he likes to prepare these himself.
We booked ahead and are met ‘beach side’ to be seated by a member of staff. All are courteous, polite and professional and the venue is following the latest Covid-19 measures.
Beds and umbrellas are available to hire on the adjacent beach if you fancy sleeping off a large lunch.
While the weather permits, it is all happening at the outdoor beach side area.
There is also an indoor restaurant across the road which is usually in operation during the cooler months.
But for now, we take our seats on comfortable ‘rattan look’ outdoor chairs and menus are promptly whipped out and placed on the spotless, plastic table. The open-air bar and restaurant is mostly a wooden constriction and artificial turf has been placed on some of the areas.
Hot pitta bread is served as we mull what to eat. We have already perused the drinks list that includes a good selection of local wines, as well as Prosecco, beers, ciders and cocktails. Soft drinks include fruit juices, milkshakes and frappe.
On this visit, we decide to opt for two Margaritas, not my usual lunchtime tipple, but it’s been one of those weeks. They are delivered soon after, made just how I like them. The Hugo cocktail is a good choice too.
Steaks (try the Black Angus fillet, it’s excellent), a choice of pastas, burgers, chicken, seafood and fish, which includes fresh sea bream, sardines, calamari and swordfish, along with kebabs, souvlaki and pork chops are all popular choices.
The atmosphere is now softly humming and the sound of gentle, lapping waves is wonderfully comforting.
I choose the King Prawns with ‘home cut’ chips and salad. The prawns are sizeable and cooked to perfection and my companion decides on the sea bream, which is freshly caught and tasty. The food arrives, looking appetizing and simply presented on oval-shaped dishes.
Deserts can vary and include homemade cheesecake, baklava and traditional orange cake, we decide on a warm chocolate cake to share.
The food and drinks here are consistently good, food basic but flavourful and the atmosphere laid back and relaxed. Lovely staff and splendid views ensure that you leave sated, and far happier than when you arrived.
WHERE Santa Barbara,Griva Digeni 200, Argaka, Paphos
WHEN daily 10am – 9.30pm
CONTACT 96 713202