There’s no beating around the bush: the Sunday roast at The Swan in Akrotiri is brilliant value for money. Initially, I tried it out because of the tempting €5.95 price tag for kids’ meals, but since my kids have now become teenagers and are eating me out of house and home, we go there for the portion size.
I’ve lost track of how many Sundays we’ve spent there, though we have learned from experience to book first… and arrive on time! Arriving mere minutes later than the booking has resulted in us losing our table and having to wait for someone else to leave!
The Swan (Pub, Bar & Grill) is a cosy little place established in an odd triangle-shaped building on two floors, a stone’s throw from the entrance to the RAF Akrotiri base. I’m yet to find a pub that doesn’t have a flat screen for football matches (local and international) on every available wall and here is no different. Upstairs houses the toilets and only two small tables, but there’s even a TV there too!
Like many in Cyprus, it’s a family-run place. There’s a dart board, an elevated DJ box, and on Sundays, as mentioned earlier, a fabulous buffet-style Sunday Roast. If the fact that you can return for seconds (or thirds if you could manage to fit it in!) isn’t appealing enough, the sheer array of food should be.
Our most recent visit afforded a selection of roast beef, pork, gammon and chicken, carrots, peas, crispy roast potatoes, cabbage, Yorkshire puds, crackling (air-dried, unsalted, and very crackly), gravy, apple sauce, mint sauce, and a bowlful of stuffing shaped into sizeable balls.
First servings are generous to say the least, with at least two to three large slices of your choice of juicy well-cooked meat being apportioned per plate, though if requested you could have more (or less). Waiting for our table (yes, we were late this time too and missed our slot) and watching people leaving the buffet, plates piled high with food strategically placed for optimal balance, does remind me of being at a wedding smorgasbord, but once seated, when it comes to my turn, I too, walk away guilty of the same.
Should your eyes be bigger than your stomach, you are welcome to take whatever is left on your plate away with you and staff will happily put it in a takeaway container.
Usually, this is the extent of our Swan Experience – we unadventurously order water to accompany it all, scoff ourselves stupid and leave, not even indulging in an Earl Grey tea. However, this week is different! We spy the dessert menu on a chalkboard leaning against the far wall… apple crumble, apple pie, baked cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding… all at just €3.95. We decide to throw caution to the wind and opt for sharing a sticky toffee pudding, which arrives with ice-cream.
What a pleasant surprise! Not quite sure what we were expecting, but not what came! Tantalisingly moist and sweet, the soft cake was drizzled with butterscotch sauce. What a treat! My children, who had moments ago looked at it with a degree of uncertainty (food is plainly displayed and this was a unappetising brownish colour)ploughed right in, leaving me little more than the morsel on my fork!
The atmosphere in the place is positively buzzing with people of all ages and for a smallish place, with dark wood décor, it really manages to squeeze a good few in without feeling too over-crowded. The Sunday roast runs from 12 to 4pm and for the whole of this time staff are quite pushed, so if you’re in a hurry to leave, make sure you ask in advance for your bill.
A copy of the menu shows there is also delivery and takeaway and that most of the dishes are around a fiver. Perhaps more importantly is the fact you can use your credit card (at your doorstep) and without an extra charge when ordering delivery, which extends to Akrotiri, Episkopi and surrounds.
Personally, I love the no-frills, get-what-you-see, value-for-money ethos of The Swan. It’s as simple as that. Highly recommended… we’ve already booked for next week! See you there!