Malta in the Mediterranean – just a stepping stone between Europe and Africa – has been a home to some of the oldest man-made stone structures in the world and the famous Knights left a considerable legacy when settled here in the mid 1500s. Served as a watch keeper and guardian of the Mediterranean trade routes, it has been a launch-pad for European invaders as well as an idyllic retreat for rich aristocracy. This Republic within the British Commonwealth’s history is long and complicated and its geography unique. Together these have made it one of the most enticing islands in Europe. Its characteristically Mediterranean climate – quite different from Norway – was proven when my wife and I were visiting in the beginning of April. We gladly invite you along on our two days adventures, starting with the proof : -)
Through the plane’s window: Left: From snowy mountains around Oslo, to Right: a sunny island in Malta.
Local cuisine and seafood delight in a charming city:
We stayed in St. Julian’s at The Westin Dragonara Resort and the hotel, the view, the beach next to it as well as the city, were quite exotic to us Norwegians. Here are some panoramic photos taken with my Nokia N8 to set the scene:
The Hotel & The view
The old fishing village of St. Julian’s immediately north of Sliema, made up of the districts of Paceville and St George’s Bay, has made great efforts in recent years to develop its tourist facilities, and now competes with Sliema as a holiday center. It has long sandy beaches, first-class hotels and several night-clubs. The modern parts of the town form an attractive contrast to the picturesque old fishermen’s quarter. Some more photo examples:
To me, food and drinks is an important part of a country’s culture and traditions. That’s why I always go for restaurants with local food on the menu, and sharing it with my wife makes even more adventures and even romantic ; -). Let’s start with lunch at day two were the food was actually quite general, meat pie for my wife and of course seafood salad for me, but the drink however, was their local beer; “Cisk”
Even more local – and romantic – was our supper in the middle of the city with Maltese’s food on the menu – two courses: Seafood & Rabbit!
Romantic with a local charm. Left: the restaurant outside – Right: inside
Left: Fresh local calamari – Right: Traditional Maltese rabbit in sweet sauce with Mediterranean vegetables
A gourmet adventure at Lulu Restaurant
Since our three days in Malta was a business trip: A Council Meeting for CEPIS (The Council of European Professional Informatics Societies), the local computer society invited all delegates and their SO for dinner. You’ve seen our food experiences so far – all with a local touch and to our satisfaction – however, the dinner at Lulu Restaurant was the top of the cream. Not because of the interior (although it was modern, fascinating and I liked the view from our table of their vine cellar behind a glass wall)
Left: entrance terrace – Right: view through the window from the terrace
and actually not because of the food either (although it tasted delicious!), but because of the atmosphere created by the staff and especially the owners; Nicky & Caroline Pillow. With their social awareness, how they made sure each and every guest was noticed and important to them and at the same time their attitude and service was far from intrusive, but heart-fully meant to make you feel good, relaxed and happy. More than 30 CEPIS delegates from all over Europe had a jolly good meal and when shaking our hands goodbye, saying we hope to see you soon again: that was a mutual feeling!
Of course I have not forgotten the food – Bon Appétit:
Left: Home – cured salmon with a citrus relish; wholegrain mustard vinaigrette and petit salad.
Right: Prime cut of beef fillet served with a Barolo wine jus, potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Wine: La Valette – Blanc or Rouge.
Chocolate fondant with fresh cream and strawberries
So as you can see this was exactly the kind of trip we enjoy. We had the opportunity to explore the rich and ancient culture in Mdina (click to read my post!), meet the friendly local people, and enjoy wonderful culinary adventures together with my wife, and with friends from around the world. I hope you enjoyed our little view of Malta. Make sure you check out, to see for yourself, mine and others reviews on TripAdvisor!