Saturday, April 28, 2007

Guest Blogger on Wired Temples

Hi my dear people,

This weekend I have been invited to speak, eh blog, on Wired Temples. The author, Robert Micallef has recently been awarded the e-journalism award! Congratulations Rob!

Who is that Guy?:
"Robert Micallef is an economist, researcher and Malta editor for Eurobarometer. He is also a contributing editor for, the online guide to everything about the Maltese islands."

Sounds big.. mhux ekk (right)?! So, I feel a bit jittery speaking on such a big platform (I am not used to speak in front of huge audiences ;-) . I'd love you to pop over to Wired Temples and hold my hand a bit...

... well and if you don't like holding hands with me you can still pop over and give me a piece of your mind!


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Storms and Sunsets

Outside the wind is blowing with full force and whistling through our windows... the sky is grayish, dark and dull. The clouds are low, like a thick layer of cotton that completely blocks any strong light from coming through. The weather is awful, it reminds me of cold November weather in some Northern country!
Where has a our sun gone?
Has it disappeared and wandered off to Germany? My sister just called from Frankfurt and reported about their stunning sunshine and temperatures of around 18 or 20 degree Celsius in the shade.. adding that directly in the sun it must be around 32 degrees! Is she kidding me?! When have I last been jealous of German weather? Ha, and tomorrow first thing in the morning my mom and dad will give me a call. I already see my father bragging delightfully about their summer temperatures in Berlin. Reason enough for him to run to the next hardware store and buy a truckload of charcoal for his barbecue grill that will cater for at least the coming season, our huge extended family network and entire neighborhood altogether.

Hey, was that a shimmer of light coming through the clouds? Because when the Mediterranean sun decides to peak through then she does with all Glory and Beauty!
Sometimes at the end of a dreadful day, just as today, she turns darkness into a spectacle of light and color!
I have seen many sunsets in many different countries before but I'm mesmerized by this sun...from its bright yellow core it radiates a warm fuzzy orangy glow which drips off into a deep rich purple.
The other evening we headed home. It was raining a bit and nearly dark. I turned my head and saw this amazing light! I said we have to turn around and run to the cliffs to see the sun going down!

We didn't have a whole lot of time so we raced down the road and just made it....
.. a little run
and we were at the tower and had the most awesome view of the sky melting into the sea.
And then a few moments later... was almost over.
These images come straight from a small digital compact camera and were not enhanced whatsoever!

Still jealous? Nah, don't thinks so!

Friday, March 23, 2007


A few months ago I passed by a place that started my curiosity: Old walls, iron gate, terrace, torches, a knightish touch. What's been happening here at Xemxija?! A new place??? A new restaurant, maybe a new wine bar??? Each time I came by this place I kept observing.
First it seemed quiet... then a little activity on the terrace, a small event with people dressed up in knight's costumes (no it wasn't for carnival!), and weeks later no more parking spaces in the evening at Xemxija Bay!

And then rumours started... the place is owned by three smart business women. Then again I heard the place is run by the owner of the successful Melita in Attard. What all versions had in common though was that they all said the place is GREAT, BEAUTIFUL, STYLISH. Reason enough for me to check it out. I had been dying anyway to go there .. I just needed a good occasion.
So one evening I booked for two (in foresight) and took Lisa to THE FORTRESS. We were instantly impressed. The place has retained all it's original features, from the stone arches to knight's armory. I totally loved the chandelier and the contrast it created to the rustic stone walls, *sweet*.

We were welcomed and invited to have a look around before we would be seated downstairs. Now I heard so much of the upper level that i was looking forward exploring it. It has three different areas. On the landing is a cool large sofa with cushions inviting you to lounge with your friends (book it early), then a room with a stylish mix of old and modern and the third one is like a small party room with a balcony overlooking beautiful Xemxija Bay. The chairs are all fashionable and again the contrast to the original features is so hip! On our sightseeing tour we kept chatting to the lady who was showing us around. She explained in detail how the place was made up, the concept, design, etc. and I couldn't resist asking who is actually running the place. She said, it's run by HER and two other female entrepreneurs'! AHA! Rumor number one true. I said I heard as well that the owner is from the Melita and she replied that's right! AHA?! In fact, she is the owner of the Melita. EHHH???? I thought he was a male, I said aloud.. wondering. With a smile she blew all rumors away... "that's my husband you must have heard about!"
So this time it proved... rumors can be true but they can definitely be confusing too!
With all questions settled, Lisa and I had a great evening. We had the Sicilian and Maltese platter and some awesome South African white wine (great choice Lisa!). We must have been chatting for hours and only in a rare moment I noticed the people around us. The fortress is no place to wear jeans and a sweatshirt *makes a mental note*.
After hours, we noticed we were the last one's. I looked at the watch and it was after 2 o'clock at night... wow 5 hours just flew by.
I had a great time at the fortress but that is also due to the company I had.
So bring your friends and maybe book the banquet table for dinner or the lounge area for a relaxed stylish night at THE FORTRESS, Xemxija Bay!

Friday, March 02, 2007


Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine...I can't get enough of sunshine! The weather has been so amazing for the past two days that my mood is on an all time high. Having hardly had a proper winter this year, I think we are in for an early summer.. ahhh I have an overdose of happy hormones ;-) I was so worked up for the past month that I hardly had time for anything. Work and commitments were kind of swallowing me up.. so consuming. So this morning I took a deliberate break and we decided to go for a hike in the country side. And what can I say: it was so beautiful!!! All the time you would hear me say: "Wow, look here, oooohhh do you see the flowers? How blue the sky and how clear the sea! It's so beautiful, isn't it?!!
I love the first days of warm weather. It's like a spa treatment for the senses. The sun rises higher, spending more and stronger light and the days start to get longer again. Everywhere are flowers, rich colours and scents. If that doesn't give you an euphoric feeling that i don't know what does. The season is just perfect for country walks, not cold, not too hot.. only a slide breeze. And if you haven't discovered Malta by walk then you haven't seen the real beauty of it yet. So get your hiking shoes on! Here is a place I totally recommend:
We went to Ghajn Tuffieha, Riviera and walked all the way to Gnejna Bay, Mgar and back. It took us about 2 1/2 hours. Here some snapshots:

Riviera, one of my favourite beaches.

There are small trails that you can follow and they will take you to these sand dunes. Attention, very high and slippery!

To one side is Riviera and to the other side you can see Gnejna Bay. Look at the water! Amazing, right?!

Ya, some rock sliding. Fun but dangerous. Do not do it when it rains or when wet.

Down at Gnejna Bay. Totally idyllic....mmmmm that's how I love Malta.

Thank you to everyone who has mailed me. It is so great to hear from you. Sorry, for haven't posted for so long, hopefully I will have some more time for d blog again ;-).
Tonight I'm gonna have a business/fun meeting at a great place that I have been meaning to check out for a long time now. So if it's good, I'll let you know!
See 'ya soon!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

MALTA Featured in JACK Magazine

Last November Italian travel and lifestyle Magazine JACK contacted me to write an article for them about Malta. The parameters were to write for a young, trendy and predominantly male readership. It also had to be written as a personal recount of events and my experiences in Malta. Nothing easier than that, right?! Especially if you can write about what you love and for me that's about the best place on earth ;-)
Ahhh, and after the work is done, it feels so good to see your stuff published in a magazine like JACK!
Scroll all the way down to the English version. Have fun! And by the way, HELLO and Welcome to my BLOG to ALL JACK Readers.

Here is the English Version:

Over the last few decades Malta has been going through some drastic changes and has basically transformed itself from a tranquil Mediterreanean island into a fast paced society. Today, the island buzzes with life, action and movement!
I am on my way to Valletta. The common proverb might say "all roads lead to Rome" but here in Malta, all roads literally lead to the capital city. I am looking through the thick, stale glass of the archaic bus and let the impressions flow through me. Malta's changes are evident everywhere. The towns, that once had their own specific traditions and identities, are now growing into one big urban mesh, changing as rapidly as Malta's young generation. Old and new seem to co-exist in Malta side by side, a juxtoposition of traditional values and modern 21th century lifestyle. My thoughts take me back to last nights events. Paceville must be one of the hottest spots for nightlife entertainment in Europe. Yesterday we headed to the islands party town after a summer of absence. Having spent all hot season at oudoor events, such as rave, boat and beach parties that are organised all over the island, we were excited to reconquer Paceville's clubbing scene. Our night usually starts with a few drinks at Coconut Grove. This place is in fact nothing out of the ordinary but liquor is cheap, six shooters for LM 4 (10 Euro). A huge crowd of people is accumalting right opposite us in front of the new "old" Alley. This bar was once famous for its grungy looks and live rock acts but after an refurbishment it had lost its special appeal to its most loyal followers. Now everyone was excited to witness the return of The Alley to its original roots, as it was heavily advertised by its owners. There was no way though, we would make it in there tonight with half of Malta queeing right in front of its door. We needn't worry though, Paceville is crammed up with bars and clubs: You basically fall from one venue into the next one, and thanks to an entrence free door policy you can explore and roam the town as you desire. We walked a few meters and looked up to the balconies of Sabor. The atmosphere was right on and people were dancing to the house's sound. We'd stay there until our mood would carry us on to an endlist list of other clubs with different music styles. One night, we'd go to Places for it's progressive house, trance, and techno, then we'd chill a bit at 7 Rooms until we feel like Salsa and continue our night at Fuego's. Whatever your appetize, Paceville will satisfy your cravings.
By now, it's 1.30 at night. The clubbing scene usually starts to heat up around 2 am and carries on until the earlier hours of the next morning. We have some time for another drink from PLUSH before we descend into their underground club. This would be the night's last stop. We dig their cool lounge style and dance until my legs and feet won't let me go on, no more.

I find myself back on the bus that has just arrived in Valletta. As I get up, the morning crowd pulls me right through the city's gate into its beating heart. As much as it is swarmed by thousands of shoppers, office workers and tourists in the mornings, as deserted and silent it will get at nighttime. Current efforts by the local government to revitalize Valletta's nightlife seem frutile. Special events, such as the annual wine festival at the Upper Barragka Gardens and this years Notte Bianca give stage to Malta's diversivly rich music scene. Screaming Daisy, Beangrowers, Etnika, Ira Losco – from Malta's commercial export star to rock bands, folklore groups and Jazz musicians, the Maltese are huge fans of free open air concerts. Just recently we've gone to an awesome performance of TriBali, that were rocking the house at the ruins of the old theatre. The band has a unique style, a mixture of tribal musical instruments stemming from Indian, Aboriginal and African roots with a high energy rythum that makes your body move in sync with the drum beats until you get lost in their tunes.
Valletta holds another secret highlight. In one of the sidestreets is a small well-hidden wine bar called Trabaxu that combines all the elements for success: authentic atmosphere, traditional Maltese wine and food, and good jazzie music. If you are into Mediterranean food you will devour their meat and cheese platters. They go down well with some local red wine by Delicata and Marsovin.
Todays journey, though, takes me on another 20 minutes bus ride to Sliema, which is Malta's more mondain and hipper shopping area. I meet my friend at one of the many coffee shops that are lined up parallel to the Strand promenade. From here, we not only have a great view of Valletta's impressive bastions and Sliema's harbour but we are also perfectly seated to observe what's going on at Malta's catwalk.
We plan our short trip to Gozo, Malta's sister island. In winter, the farmhouses will be a chunk cheaper to rent than in peak season, making it a viable reason to travel over to relax a bit by the pool and basking in Gozo's tranquility. The islands most poshiest and exquisite restaurant has recently launched their new champagne and we are eager to live up to its luxury. An evening at Ta Frenc Restaurant will round up a perfect weekend on the Maltese Islands, before we all have to return to our hectic lifestyles on a busy Monday morning.

By Jessica C. Moritz

Thanks to Stefano Priolo and Diego Barbera.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Blessing of the Animals

Yesterday was an incredible beautiful day. Well it was Sunday, the weather was gorgeous and The Feast of San Anton took place in Rabat, St. Augustine. Due to the almost summery weather and bright sunshine (yes I saw some people with T-Shirts hanging around) this years blessing of the animals was a great success. There were so many happy faces, from old to young, everyone was in the spirit to enjoy this special annual event. This particular Maltese feast is one of my favorites because it is relaxed but with a great atmosphere and it is for the families with children. I do not want to make this post too long because I have loads of images to share. But what was initially planned to be a small coverage of the event turned out to be a photo shoot. So many people came up to me with their cute pets, posing for the camera and so many kids were showing of their "best friend"... I just couldn't resist to keep the shutter button pressed. Hope you enjoy and if you see yourself or a friend in one of the photos please contact me on my mailer on and I will send it to you.

This is the Statue of San Anton, the patron of the animals, which is in the corner of St. Augustine Street where the feast took place.

Happy and excited kids everywhere and all kinds of pets, from dogs and cats to water turtles, birds, hamsters, and farrets (and these were the ordinary one's, keep on reading).

Look at that little puppy... he was soooo darn cute!!!

But also kids make your hearts melt. Ain't she so cute with her bunny?!

I love cats, check this fluffy one out!

I can't decide which one I adore more....

... this is really tough competition!

Doggies were just everywhere!

A gentleman with his adorable granddaughter and their pet.

OH how sweeeeet!!

Another gorgeous cat. I was going to take it home with me....

The procession. Have a look at that blue sky. The weather was just marvelous!

Traditional Maltese altar boys leading the statue.

Onlookers. Had to capture that beautiful child with her grandfather.

With dignity. Devotee carrying the heavy statue. Great expressions!

The statue will be turned and placed by the entrance to face the crowd.

The blessing of the animals can begin.

Graceful police horses. They are amazing.

Have a look at this pet! This gentleman brought his goat along. That's pretty cool!

One last shot of that super little cute girl and her doggie.

PS: Email me for more images (I haven't had time to go through all of them).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Beautiful Home

A little German christmas tradition: Light three candles. Today, it's the third advent (Sunday) and only one week to go before Christmas Eve.
I am once again amazed how this year has just flown by. A good hearted soul always tells me: you just see the time going by so quickly because life is not dull and you are constantly doing something. If you had a boring life, one minute would feel like an hour, an hour like a month, a month like forever, and a year like eternity. Looking back at all the events that happened throughout this year this saying holds some definite truth.
So how do you get in the christmas spirit when you are caught up in way too much work? The answer came by a phone call. Our great friends Mark and Ruth invited us for a christmas dinner at their house. We have been going to so many great places these past few months that I was curious what Ruth was up to. I don't want to gossip about my friends but at least I can brag a bit. Mark and Ruth have a beautiful home. In fact, it is one of the most beautiful homes I have ever been to, here in Malta and abroad. It is not primarily the interior or decor or the size of the place but the feeling of home and warmth that the two of them have accomplished perfectly, making it such a wonderful place to be. One of the reason for it is Ruth and her absolute perfection for love and attention to detail. If you ever have the chance to receive one of her sought after dinner invitation you will know what I'm talking about. She has a God given gift of filling a room with life and food with love. I have been trying to persuade her to take things on a professional level, but she is all humble and happy when she can spoil her dearest ones, seeing them happy and content.

While I haven't had decorated my home at all, Ruth and Mark's home was radiating with christmas atmosphere. This evening was the first time I was realising, hey it's December and only a few weeks to go before the ultimate feast of the year.
We started the night off with Moet & Chandon. After the delicious champagne of Ta Frenc Restaurant you just cannot go back to sparkling wine, right?!
Mark had a wonderful surprise gift for us: his own home made white and red wine. I love surprises and gifts (who doesn't actually?). We had a try from his new Muscato white wine. I was literally amazed how good it came. It has a very rare and flowery/fruity bouquet, mild scents and a taste ranging from pear, vanilla and strawberry. Actually this wine turned out so well, I am sure it is something that everybody would enjoy drinking.

Another surprise and great idea were the appetizers and the dessert. They came in form of a cheese and chocolate fondue. I always wanted to try one of these.

I always have a highlight of the evening. Most of the time it's the dessert, especially if it is something chocolatly. This time, it was a difficult decision to make between the yummy dessert and the main course. But I have to say, Ruth blew me away with her main course. Oh my, this is serious stuff!!! Mark picked fresh fish form the market and Ruth worked her magic. She filled the fish with salmon and a herb paste, cooking it in the oven where all the flavours blended with each other. It was so tender, topped with rosemary and tasting nothing like the usual fish dish. Complimentary, it was served with the most delicious vegetables. The carrots were naturally sweet and Ruth has a little secret herb she uses for this special sweet infusion. My grandfather who loves potatoes and insists every proper meal to be served with them, would have become obsessed with her oven baked pomme de terre. I couldn't tell anymore what tasted better. I was immersed in all the flavours and it was out of this world!

I truly had one of the best evenings since moving to Malta. The personal atmosphere just added to my well being. I think we ate at talked for five hours, surrounded by candle lights.
I had to take a picture of Ruth fridge after seeing her arranging the left overs of the dinner. Have you ever seen such a well staked and perfectly organised refigerator? This is acutually a photo from Mark's camera, mine started to suffer from serious camera shake... mind you it was late!
Another photo from Mark and a small sneak peak of their home and their christmas spirit.
Thank you Ruth and Mark for a wonderful evening and your hospitality. It was the crowning of a great year!
A wonderful christmas to all of you out there from Marco, I, Ruth and Mark! (from left to right)
Look out for a crib episode, coming next year!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I can't believe it's been already a week again since we've returned from our trip to magical island. I am talking about my birthday party trip to Gozo. I really love Malta's little sister island. It holds many dear memories of my childhood and everytime I return, I try to sipp in the atmosphere as much as I can. Well, and since this year has been quite a heap of change for me, we thought we are going to celebrate my day in a very special way. And what would not be better than to linger a bit in luxury... even if it's just for a day or an evening? Sometimes you need to spoil yourself with something that is out of the ordinary, right?! So my special treat for this coming year was a well deserved weekend break in Gozo and a dinner at my absolute favorite restaurant in the WORLD!!! MMmmmmhhh which one would that be??? Of course it was at the one and only Ta' Frenc Restaurant! And I can already tell you this much, it was an experience in many senses.. culinary, visual... and sensual...

The excitement is always building up before we explore new places and this time it was really buidling up to this special evening and all the sensations that came with. I was also looking foward to seeing the new things that have been happening around the restaurant. Apart from being literally the most stylish posh restaurant on the Maltese Islands, Ta' Frenc has recently launched their own label house champagne. That is truly unique.

An evening at Ta' Frenc always starts in an elegant way. As soon as you'll enter you are greeted by restaurant manager Joseph. True to tradition, we seated ourselves at the newly refurbished lounge area to have a drink before dinner. It hasn't changed too much over the years but I love how they fused the old farmhouse structures with elegant modern interior.

Our evening began with a bang - tasting Ta' Frenc's Medi Sec Champagne. Those little bubbles were teasing me... tingling first one my toungue and then in my tummy... what a delicious and delightful feeling! After a few sipps we felt happy and mellow.

The restaurant is full of surprises and art. Right by the entrance is one of the beautiful Maltese clocks by Horace, Mdina's famous artist.

As we emptied our bottle of champagne and ordered our dinners, we were being invited into the main dining room of the restaurant. Since we still had a few minutes, we asked Joseph if we could see the new wine cellar. We were being led to a small door and winding stairs took us suddenly down to a haven for wine. And how beautiful it turned out! You have to see it with your own eyes to be able to appreciate all the fine details, from the incredible candle holders, to the cuttlery and the painting on the wall, to the 500 different wines and many stone arches, you don't know what to feast your eyes on first! You can actually book the wine cellar for small functions or weddings... what a lovely idea!

Mario, the executive chef and his team take great care in giving you a special culinary experience that is also visually very appealing (have a look at the plate with the quail). All vegetables are enhanced with thinly sliced and roasted almonds. I also like the little extras and teasers (appetizers) that are part of the menu, such as a mushroom soup and the rasberry sorbet (that neutralizes your tastebuds before you continue with dessert). Mario also uses fresh herbs that come from the restaurants own garden.
As a starter I ordered the house salad and as a main I had tender fresh fish of the day.

My personal culinary highlight of the evening was the dessert, triple chocolat: white, medium and dark chocolat! Seriously, every little piece I took, I let it melt on my tongue and closed my eyes in pure ecstasy! If you love chocalat, you'll devour it. Absolutly divine!

The sweetest surprise of the evening came at the end of the dinner: a mousse au chocolat birthday cake by Ta' Frenc. I couldn't believe my eyes, I didn't expect it at all... isn't that so sweet?!

Ahhhh, you made me smile... you know who you are! Thank you!

After dinner we were invited to some charob and herbal tea. It is prepared and brewed right there. Of course I tried both.. highly recommended to round up a great dinner.

Ta' Frenc Restaurant is not a simple place to go out and dine, it is an experience. It is as beautiful in summer with their beautiful terraces and lush gardens as it is in winter time when it is so cozy and elegant. They have a great menu for the festive season, have a look and check it out on their website.

For the ultimate dining experience, treat your special one and yourself to something divine at Ta' Frenc.