10 things to do in Malta this summer – Dine in honey-coloured bastions

Posted on July 5, 2010

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5) Dine in honey-coloured bastions 

Dinning in Malta can be a bittersweet experience, in that as a tourist, you’re most likely to come across a mix of both great and ridiculously bad and overpriced restaurants. I’ve already spoken about this in a previous post at some length and gave tips about what to expect and how to make sure that most of the eateries you stumble into are the former rather than latter. 

There is a particular dining experience which both as a local and a traveller you just have to go through, and you’ll leave a better person if you do. I believe there is no other eating venue more spectacular than one which is housed in the centuries-old fortifications and bastions which once served as protection again enemies and invaders and now are, for the most part, gently being weathered away from the salt-loaded air and the plants that prosper in their nooks and crannies. 

 Very often, such restaurants are created when vaults in the bastions previously used as storage are tastefully and tactfully converted into dining spaces. The following are three of my favourite spots: 

Best for Marina viewsDon Berto, at the Vittoriosa waterfront has the advantage of having both a seating area within the ancient city’s bastons and an outdoor terrace boasting views over the marina and stretching to Senglea’s equally charming fortifications. What more would you want? How about a plate of ‘Caramelle stuffed with Parma Ham, tossed in garlic, sundried tomatoes, pin nuts and parmesan shavings’ which makes me salivate every time I think about it? 

Best for Romance – Imagine wondering aimlessly across the silent Mdina, admiring the sweeping views from over its walls and then, almost as an afterthought stumbling into Bacchus, an elegant dining space under vaulted ceilings and exposed limestone. The menu here is sophisticated and the portions on the small side, but if you don’t go too crazy on the wine you’ll still find it affordable. The candlelight atmosphere makes it especially ideal for lovebirds.  

 

-Best for platters and wine – It’s difficult for me to find a fault in Lupanara wine bar because of its location, its outdoor tables sheltered by the mighty bastions behind them and facing a series of limestone arches gently evoking a sort of ancient Greece feel.  Add to it the sound of splashing water coming from the saltwater pool next to it and you’ve got it all…if of course, you’re there to enjoy it under a stary summer sky. The sounds of traffic, blaring music and crowds so typical of Sliema and St. Julians are miles and miles away. 

-Text and Photography by Denise Pulis @ www.travelwithdenden.wordpress.com

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Posted in: Malta, Malta