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Cabinet of Chic Curiosities

Malta

I’ll be travelling to Malta soon. I was wondering if you have any MessyNessy Travel tips?

Eating

  • Ta’ Maria Restaurant – They do local music and dancing which is kind of touristy but the locals actually still go and eat there too because the food is good
  • Ion  Crowning the fourth floor of Iniala Harbour House earned its first Michelin star.- Rogantino’s  
  • Ali Baba for Lebanese food. (Malta has many lingering links to the Arab world)
  • Ta’ Victor – opposite the lively Sunday fish market in Marsaxlokk’s, reminiscent of a Tunisian fishing village. Let the owner order for you at this traditional Maltese seafood restaurant(you’ll get a great seafood feast preceded by a mezze platter featuring a broad bean paste called bigilla, the Maltese answer to hummus). 
  • Noni Try chef Jonathan Brincat’s spin on ob bi-ejt, bread with olive oil and tuna, made with tuna belly, dashi, sea urchin and coffee.
  • Farmer’s Deli – This chic organic bistro is on the gardens of Villa Bologna, a stately mansion dating back more than 400 years.
  • Generally try to avoid the tourists traps. I prefer local, family run places, a little run down to what we might be used to – sorts of places with plastic chairs and tables. But dirt cheap!

History & culture: 

  • Malta has some of the oldest neolithic temples in the world (older than Stonehenge). Some very impressive cathedrals (St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valetta, don’t forget to look up at the ceiling!). Caravaggio paintings…baroque architecture…
  • The Hypogeum – It’s Malta’s only (as far as I remember) underground temple. Since they’re underground they’re not as exposed to the elements as the rest of the temples so it’s all very well preserved.
  • Visit M’dina (fortressed town, a lot of Game of Thrones was filmed there), especially beautiful at night. Grab a pastizzi (one of the national dishes). Many of Malta’s oldest families still live here, gathering at Fontanella café on the bastion walls for chocolate cake.
  • For the local contemporary art scene, check out the Valletta Contemporary and go to see The Mill in Birkirkara, an unlikely place to house a contemporary cultural centre, the building is one of the old windmills built during the rule of the Knights of Malta

Leisure

  • Shopping at the Point in Sliema. There are many shops, restaurants, bars, places to swim off the rocks, and a promenade that takes you to the next town, St. Julian’s.
  • I like Golden Bay for a chill out beach, tends to have more locals than tourists. Restaurants, avoid the tourists traps. 
  • Ġnejna Bay is often overlooked but you would need a car (which I would always recommend). 

Where to stay: