Updated: Apr 14, 2019
So today's blog is going to be a little different from normal. I'm going to let you know about an amazing place that I have recently had the pleasure of visiting! If your looking for somewhere to add to your bucket list or are curious about the country of Malta then this blog post was made for you...
This past weekend The Kentish Soap crew decided to take a short trip to the beautiful Malta. For those of you who don't know Malta is a small island country just south of Sicily, Italy. It is famous for it's stunning architecture, fantastic sea food and amazing history!
On our first day in Valletta we arrived at the hotel around mid-day in jumpers and jeans, expecting it to be slightly chilly. However the weather was lovely and warm so after a quick change in the hotel room we began our journey around the city.
We stayed in a magnificent hotel called "La Falconeria" which was a fantastic choice of accommodation. The staff were very friendly and helpful, the breakfasts were tasty and the rooms elegantly designed. There was even an adorable pool that had been made in an old well under the hotel.
We explored the streets and quickly came across a small craft market opposite the palace armoury. Here there was a selection of handmade goods such as rugs, jewellery and
pottery. I always feel a connection to people selling there crafts like we do and this small market felt very much like home to me. Unfortunately we only had a short amount of time at the market as we wanted to see a few more things before the day ended and it seemed to only be there on the Friday.
We spent the rest of the first day and some of the last day, visiting the upper and lower barracks which held the most stunning views of the harbour.
The lower barracks were only small but the garden was well kept and it would be a great place to have lunch on a not so windy day as there were plenty of seating areas. The upper barracks, where you could view the 12pm and 4pm canons firing, were a site that needed to be seen! The guides who were stationed at the canons gave us plenty of information after the firing and were very friendly which made the experience so much better. They also directed us to the Lascaris War Rooms located bellow the upper barracks.
We hadn't heard of these rooms before but I'm so glad we didn't miss them! They were an underground complex of tunnels and chambers that housed the War Headquarters from where the defence of Malta was conducted during the Second World War. These secret operation rooms were used for such things as coordinating the air defence and the battles fought in the Mediterranean during the war. We joined one of the tour groups who were being guided by a young man called James, which was one of the best things we did. He was very well informed and passionate about the history of the war in Malta and not only explained it to us in an interesting and detailed way but answered every question thrown at him by our large tour group with confidence.
The food on the island was another level! We didn't have a bad meal the whole weekend. The best place we ate in my opinion was a little, family run restaurant called Dimitri Cafe. It was quite busy that evening but they managed to squeeze us in and I'm glad they did. There was only 4 tables in the dining room (we think there was more upstairs but didn't see them) and the atmosphere was friendly and warm. It felt like you were sitting in a friends dining room. Dimitri himself was in the dining room talking to all the customers in between cooking and he was fantastic with everyone. The food was stunning! I had a rabbit risotto (as rabbit is fairly common in Malta) and a duck main course which came with fresh veggies, all of which were heavenly.
Another café I had to mention was the amazing Caffe Cordina. I had previously read about this place before visiting Malta and it was something I had put on my must do list. It did not disappoint! The cakes were first class and even typing about them now makes me hungry for more. In the 3 days we were in Malta we visited 3 times, 2 of which were on the same day! The cakes weren't just the reason this place was so good. Inside the café the décor was stunning and elegant and there was a outside area where you could sit and watch the world go by.
(You may have realised that I'm mentioning a few restaurants that we went to as they were incredible and if you do decide to visit I highly recommend them!)
On the second day we took a bus to the old capital, Mdina, which as a medieval fortified city. Once we arrived at the city gates we were blown away with the beautiful architecture this town had to offer. Like Valletta the narrow streets were lined with balcony windows and beautiful designed carved into the stone walls. Although it was a smaller city we happily spent about 3-4 hours just wandering the streets, visiting the little crafts shops (where I treated myself to a hand knitted cardigan) and taking in the views from Mdina. We also visited the "Knights of Malta" museum which was very educational and interesting.
So overall we had an incredible time on our mini break in this fantastic country. The unique history alone was enough to keep anyone entertained no matter how long your trip. The people were all kind and welcoming, the food was out of this world and the views were breath-taking. I'd gladly go back again and again.
Here are a few links to some of the places we visited that I recommend to everyone: