Tuesday 1 May 2018

La vie en rose // Celebrating Rose Festival with Cyprus Tourism

I love a festival. Whether a celebration of music, food, or 'other' (read: all else in-between!), I love the community aspect. When I was invited to celebrate Rose Festival with Cyprus Tourism, I was intrigued to learn more.

Turns out this is a festival that is celebrated every May in the rural village of Agros, built on the Troƶdos Mountains in south west Cyprus. A rose festival is as you would expect - a celebration of the rose. Roses have long been seen as a symbol of promise, hope, and new beginnings, but certain colours have additional layers of meaning. For instance, red roses can represent love. And the Rose Festival for the local Agros community really is a labour of love.

The venue for the event was Alice in Wonderland themed which as you can imagine, I was pretty excited by! With a grass croquet lawn outside, a white rabbit, and roses galore, it was the perfect place to host a rose themed event.

Myself and a few other lucky bloggers were welcomed with the prettiest of cocktails (a rose bellini if you're curious!). We walked through a rose archway into what I called the 'library' with seating and a modern, whitewashed book shelf. But upon closer inspection, the 'books' were in fact staff lockers. Pretty neat, huh?

With a chessboard inspired ceiling AND floor tiles, and the dreamiest chesterfield grey sofa with a hedge backdrop, I immediately wanted to know when I could move into this building and live there for good. No joke.

First on the agenda: a warm welcome from Mario from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation who gave us some background on the Rose Festival and the village of Agros, and then welcomed us into another room (equally dreamy and filled with roses and hedges and greenery), where we were invited to take part in several activities in celebration of the rose.

First stop: flower arranging. I am by no means an expert, nor am I good enough to become a florist any time soon(!) but that being said, I was pretty chuffed with what I created. Peonies were available, but they were a little too big and didn't work in my particular bouquet. Instead I used white and cream roses and used bright pops of pink and sunny yellows to add some vim.

On the other side of the room - behind more rose bushes and hedges - was a makeshift beauty salon where we were offered beauty treatments inspired by Cyprus's Rose Festival.

It all started with a hand and arm massage where rose oil was lovingly massaged into our skin. Forever hunched over a desk and working on computers 24/7, I do experience a bit of RSI and I really feel it in my right hand (my mouse hand!). So having that all massaged out of me was an absolute dream. The rose oil smelt amazing and you know? My hands are still super soft days after. I usually use hand cream in colder weather, but this has made me consider using essential oils going forward.

Feeling deliciously soporific, I then moved across to the nail station where we had the chance to have some nail art done. Embracing the rose theme, I opted for soft pink nails and the clever nail technician delicately painted intricate purple roses on one finger on each hand (we ran out of time!)

In between each activity we were spoilt with a delicious spread of sweet treats. Many were Cyprus delicacies (love how some of these were presented in tea cups!), but there were also rose cookies and some really realistic looking rose cupcakes which had many of us fooled

Now, I thought the welcome drinks were amazing, but the rose mojitos were even better! Some people said they found them strong but I personally thought the rum measure was perfect ;) Although admittedly I was regretting my choice of heeled ankle boots after a few of these!

My only slight criticism of the event... the time went far too quickly! It was really sad to go home, but the lovely team let us take our bouquets home and also gave us each a beautifully presented box of rose orientated goodies.

As you can see, I had a bloomin' good time. Having never been to Cyprus before, it was lovely to learn more about a village and festival that I might not have otherwise heard of. I would love to visit Agros and the Rose Festival in the future -  so am really happy this is on my radar now!

What I really loved about this event was the clever choosing of activities and refreshments which complimented the rose theme well. Thank you so much to the Cyprus Tourism and Baillie for inviting me!

#VisitCyprus #RoseWater

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