Journal: 30 July 2019
Malta – the destination for our summer break in 2019 – was a pretty spontaneous decision. In the end we were swayed by the hotel itself: formally a historical landmark and now a beautifully renovated retreat, designed by architect by Edwin Mintoff.
For once, this wasn’t a work trip. We were there in a purely personal capacity but that’s not to say that we weren’t inspired by our surroundings.
We were based in Valetta, 2018’s European City of Culture. Everywhere I looked were rich, earthy tones which I diligently photographed, for future reference for Sop (the latest Nor–Folk project we are working on).
The hotel itself is award-winning, with spectacular, expansive views across the harbour. Comfortably one of the best hotels we’ve stayed in, it was utterly relaxing. The detail and craftsmanship inside was nothing short of incredible and has truly whet my appetite for the next Nor–Folk Stays.
Valetta is a beautiful city. Whilst we’d hired a car, we also purchased a week-long pass for the ferry to hop across the spits to indulge ourselves at the many eateries. During the summer it is excessively hot, so I’d encourage you to stop for regular breaks along your journey.
Special recommendations are:
– Soul Food
– Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters – recommended by Norfolk’s Grey Seal
– The food market in Valetta
– Restaurants along the harbour – we ate some great seafood.
During the week, we explored the coastline. With a young family we opted for sandy beaches which tended to be busier, but I did read about beautiful beaches that can be found off the beaten track.
Other cultural highlights included a wander around Mdina, the Silent City, particularly at dusk. If you happen to chance upon the secret garden in the town, do go in. You must try their Aperol.
We also took the car ferry to Gozo, which is far less developed than the mainland and so we felt a lot like intrepid explorers.
The light in Malta is really quite magical and by the end of the week, on one hand I didn’t want to leave (the sun, the food). But in the same breath, the break had enabled me to think about new ideas that I was ready to go back and develop.
Since returning home, we’ve been discussing stories to share with you, our readers. We are excited about shining a light on some of the most beautiful places and interesting people closer to home.