Category Archives: Travel

The calm before the storm.. 

Standard
Dar-Tal-Kaptan Gozo

Dar-Tal-Kaptan B&B, Ghasri Gozo

It’s already a week ago that we went to Gozo for our last little weekend trip before baby arrives and I don’t want to miss the chance to praise the cute gem which we found in Ghasri:  B&B Dar-Tal-Kaptan. Don’t miss to scroll down further for a yummy smoothie recipe and lots of book tips and recommendations how to help pregnancy the natural way.

Review B&B Dar-Tal-Kaptan
From the moment of your arrival, the hosts Peter & Warren spoiled us with their friendliness, a super cosy home with spacious rooms and lots and lots of attention to detail all over. The rooms are all decorated in different themes (ours was Serenity <3) and offer lots of privacy and comfort. We had our own little kitchenette with water, teas, coffee and a bowl of fresh fruit in the fridge waiting for us. The views from our room and own terrace were just lush and green and perfect for a daily gently yoga session in the morning. Blissfulness and calm are the words which come up my mind when I remember these moments…

Breakfast let my foodie heart beat faster. Next to all the usual things like cold cuts and cheeses, fresh fruit and veg, yoghurts, muesli etc Warren made us a different healthy smoothie with interesting combinations in his Vitamix and freshly prepared eggs every day. When you decide to just chill and read at the pool like us (see book tips below), you’ll get cold flavored water with fresh herbs from the garden (think rosemary and lemons) and a little surprise during the day like slices of frozen melon (such a simple and yummy idea!) or an organic apple sorbet.  Peter and Warren are always up for an interesting chat when you feel like it but give you total privacy at the same time. With joy I remember inspiring conversations about food, yoga and traveling… 🙂 It was the perfect place for us to just relax in their wonderful garden, paddle on a lilo in the refreshing pool or reading on a sun bed in the shade and enjoying the sound of the palm trees in the wind and the green around us.

To guarantee absolute relaxation the B&B generally has a no child policy but when you book all 3 rooms you can bring children which we’ll definitely try to organize with our friends in the future.

Thanks for an absolutely wonderful weekend, guys! We’ll surely remember it forever and will try to come again soon 🙂

The Calm Before The Storm Smoothie
Of course I also had to recreate a bit of a twisted version of Warren’s smoothies, so here comes a yummy new recipe for a healthy smoothie.

Next to lots of goodieness from organic wheatgrass powder (alkalizing), cinnamon (good for digestion), I added my chocolate pregnancy vitamin protein powder, so if you’re not pregnant please take raw cacao and a protein powder of your choice instead (e.g. pea or hemp)

Chocolay green smoothie

What you need..
(1 portion)

  • 1/2 a banana (if you don’t have one at home, I always keep chopped up frozen ones in the fridge – you never know when you feel like the next raw banana ice cream hehe..)
  • 1 cup of milk of your choice (I used organic brown rice but you can take almond, soy, oat or even organic cow’s milk if you drink it)
  • 3 tablespoons of chocolate protein powder (I used this pregnancy powder throughout the whole pregnancy which was great, but you can also just use your favorite protein powder and add 2 teaspoons of raw cacao)
  • 2 tablespoons of wheatgrass (or any other greens like spirulina, chlorella etc.)
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon

What to do..
Easy peasy – put it all in your blender, mix for a minute and enjoy 🙂

 

Books and other pregnancy tips

Book tip: Bountiful, beautiful, blissful

Book tip: Bountiful, beautiful, blissful

Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation
This book is pure bliss and positivity for the bump, heart and soul, even if you’re not into yoga and mediation – I promise. Recommended by my lovely Prenatal Yoga Malta teacher Sarah at the wonderful freemyme in Sliema.

The Gentle Birth Method: The Month-by-month Jeyarani Way Programme
Lots of helpful tips about visualization, relaxation, nutrition and especially holistic recommendations for each week e.g. which areas of the body to work on with reflexology. Talking of reflexology: if you’re lucky to be in Malta go and get some appointments with Cat from Butterfly Therapies, nothing makes you calmer and more centered 🙂

Die Hebammensprechstunde (freely translated “Consultation-hour with a midwife”)
Recommended by German speaking friends this book is like the bible of natural oriented midwives. Full of tips about herbs, teas, essential oils, homeopathy etc. So so happy I listened and bought it! So far in German only which is a real pity – maybe I should approach the author and propose to market it in English speaking countries 😉 Many of the herbal tea and oil mixes you can even buy in pharmacies in Austria and Germany so I asked my mum to send me some. But at least I found some good sources for homeopathy and essential oils here in Malta as well if you’re looking for some get in touch with the lovely homeopath Ashley from Tigne Holistic Centre or the always helpful Charlene from Soap Cafe.

The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting
Only in the beginning stages and partly a bit extreme but I get the idea of introducing a routine and will maybe take out some elements (some others definitely not 😉

This list of recommendations would not be complete without mentioning Robert Grech from Osteopathy Malta who helped me several times with an existing hip issue which came up again during my pregnancy and was sorted out completely within a few appointments. Yep, you don’t have to suffer physically, just because you’re pregnant – just get help and do something against it!

Also, thank you to Dini Martinez, a lovely friend, yoga teacher and experienced doula who travels the world with her family on a sailing boat (check out Sailing Yoga Family) for holding a great workshop on pregnancy and birth a few months ago which was really inspiring and helpful, too!

Last but not least I also want to say that I’m really impressed and positively surprised by the 7-week-parentcrafts-course organized by the Malta Midwives which is available for free at Mater Dei Hospital. I didn’t expect a lot and took out heaps and heaps of great information. Keep up the great job ladies!

What a network of wonderful people I have in my life, aye? Feeling really blessed and grateful to have you all here on this little island ❤

Now all I can say is that I’m super excited and I hope all these preparations will help our big event ahead and maybe help some of you, too. Of course you can never really be fully prepared and everything can always go differently all the time but in the end I think it helps to know what’s gonna happen, what you can do to help to do it the natural way and to tell yourself you prepared yourself as good as you can.

Let’s just hope it will all go well with the final spurt, birth and afterwards and I’ll definitely keep you posted.. One thing I know for sure, it was an amazing process and experience so far and I’m super grateful for all the love around me (you know who you are!), all the things I learned so far and look forward to the new chapter ahead!

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the blog or the nadisunshine FB page.

 

Lots of love & good vibes, especially to all the other mummies to be out there ❤
N xxx

Chez Nico in Innsbruck, Austria. Pure vegetarian bliss!

Standard

Hey everyone and first, a big SORRY for being so blog-lazy the last few weeks. As those of you who also live in the South might confirm, summer is always a bit crazy, full of visitors and travels and if you ever have some time off you rather spend it on the beach than in front of a computer. Anyways, I hope you all had a great summer, too – it’s good to be back!

Today I have to, yes I say HAVE TO on purpose, share my incredible culinary highlight of this week, if not the month with you. My work for SOS Children’s Villages sometimes brings me to my hometown Innsbruck in Austria. Every time I go, my stay is packed with work, meeting family and friends and also one regular date with my old friend A, a food lover himself. A and me have a pact. We promised each other some months ago to, first, always meet when I come to Innsbruck and, second, spoil ourselves with a gorgeous dinner in one of the best restaurants in town. Our choice for the second time in a row was Chez Nico, a restaurant which used to be French but changed it’s direction a while ago to strictly vegetarian due to the beliefs of the owner and chef, Nico himself.

What can I say?? Places like Chez Nico are the reason why I call myself a food lover. I definitely don’t mind to spend some money on food if it’s worth it. Often it’s sadly not the case… but not at Chez Nico. The food offers all which makes a foodie’s heart beat faster… it’s creative, totally unusual, sometimes crazy and is always made with ingredients coming from sustainable sources of best quality.  The different dishes have a twist, combine the normal with the abnormal and offer the wildest experiences through different textures, colors and temperatures.  The restaurant itself is small and cosy, yet cool and simple at the same time. The last key to success of winning my heart is the staff. Nico himself is not only an artist in the kitchen, he’s truly inspiring and ahead of his time (changing from a typical French restaurant to a purely vegetarian restaurant in a city like Innsbruck speaks for itself!). Often he joins you for a chat after finishing in the kitchen and you end up having the most amazing conversations with him and the super friendly main waiter Manni. Also their wines are excellent, served with a carafe of Tyrolean water, what else can you wish for?

There is always one set menu of 7 courses, all light and yummy so better don’t skip courses – it’s definitely worth the price of 60 euros. Chez Nico also offers a lunch menu with two courses at 13 ,50 eur which are a  great way to start the experience or if you work nearby (which I unfortunately don’t).

But enough talk, check out last time’s creations to get a picture yourself….

Chez Nico

Pics from left to right, top to bottom:

Japanese Aubergine with Kombu, Miso, Kuzu and Yuzu

Roasted Beetroots with blackberries, soy sauce, lavendar and horse radish

Ash & Coal with truffles, porcino mushrooms, almonds and hazelnuts

Forest refreshment espuma of Swiss pine, swiss pine & cranberry powder and cranberry granita

Plum & Cabbage with elderberries and tarragon

Tagliatelle of black salsify with lapsang souchong tea, blueberries, nettles and tasmanian pepper

Tobinambour & Honey with beer, bergamot and toffee

To the whole team of Chez Nico: keep up the great work! I hope enough food lovers will find you to show you the appreciation you deserve ❤

Love from Malta,
Nadine xx

Some lovely photos and more info on their website http://www.chez-nico.at/fotogalerie/

The Latinamerican Experience.

Standard

worldisabookFirst, my apologies for not posting so long… I feel quite bad about it actually but I’ve been traveling a lot recently and it took me a little while to put all my experiences and thoughts together. But I really wanted to finish this post in peace, and suddenly it’s nearly christmas My trip was a first in many ways… It was my first time to the continent of Latin America. The first time traveling outside of Europe completely on my own. The first time that I knew that chances of getting around with English might be very very low. With no Spanish skills in my luggage I started my trip to Buenos Aires via Rome some weeks ago and I’m telling you – I was honestly shitting my pants.

Even though I love traveling those long distance flights always make me feel a bit awkward, especially when I’m traveling on my own. Do you know this feeling of being scared of never coming back? Not seeing your beloved ones anymore? Never seeing the places anymore which you love? Being afraid of being not able to do all those things you’re still dreaming and looking forward to in your life? Well.. this time this feeling was particularly intense for me this time, don’t ask me why – but I guess it’s because I am having a really really good and happy phase in my life and don’t want it to stop yet =)mujer

With all those thoughts about life and death and all the recommendations and warnings of my friends in my mind (you gotta see this and that but don’t go there on your own and don’t do this at night bla bla…), I started my trip without knowing yet that it’s gonna be one of the best in my life. The plan was to be 3 days in Buenos Aires and then go to Montevideo for 1 week of work with my Latinamerican colleagues of SOS Children’s Villages, the NGO I work for. Then to go back to Buenos Aires with the ferry (cheaper than flying to Montevideo directly), 2 more days there for some interviews with my Argentine colleagues and then back to Rome.  I knew that I would be taken care of my lovely colleague in Uruguay but in Buenos Aires I decided to stay on my very own. And well, those days on my own were a big challenge and experience for me! Finding my way around without knowing any Spanish, overcoming my fears of tiny, normally absolutely normal things like taking a subway or a bus –  every time I kicked my own ass and just did it, they all made me feel a bit braver and stronger from hour to hour. Exploring this amazing city of Evita was exhausting but enormously rewarding. I wanted to breath in everything and just make the very most out of it.

So my list of personal highlights is long, but maybe you can use it as inspiration what to do if you spend some time there. Also, I collected some of my personal recommendations & tips. Maybe there’s someone out there who could find them useful and besides it keeps my memories alive.

vivalavida#1 Walk, walk, walk, walk. Exploring a city, even though it is big (BA has over 13mio inhabitants!), is not only good for your bum, it also makes you see so much more!

#2 Don’t be scared! And even if you are – stop worrying! Good attracts good and after this trip I can confirm this yogic these more than ever.

#3 Kick your ass! Yes, I know, it’s tempting to be lazy, – and often I love it too. But when you’re visiting a new country or a city for the first time (and it’s maybe freakin’ far away and you don’t know when the next time might be?) – try to make the most out of it. I promise you, it’s so worth it.

#4 Enjoy it! Pure happiness on your own is a very, very intense feeling. Yes, it’s nice to share those moments with someone, to laugh together, take photos and enjoy the beauties of life together. But enjoying those moments on your own, the feeling of doing it on your own, finding your own way, is something very rewarding.

#5 Appreciate the little things.. the sun came out again? An old man on a bench starts talking to you? A young couple in love is sharing their Mate tea? You see a toddler on the ramla (beach promenade) making his first steps of his life? This is pure beauty! Open your eyes and your heart to others and you will be rewarded with moments of pure joy ❤

#6 Never forget music! I know, there are people who find it disturbing always to run around with headphones. But for me personally, the right music makes all my experiences even stronger. The right, relaxing music for a long flight, inspiring music for the waiting hours reading at airports and ferries, animating music for exploring the city and pumping music for my beloved powerwalks at the ramla. I had all the tunes with me and they stay with me to make me smile countless times now that I am back…

#7 Be open! Being open, without prejudices is not always an easy task. Considering myself pretty open even I get trapped by my subconsciousness when I see someone for the first time. This time I met loads of new people – people who crossed my ways, people I was set up meeting through others, people who are willing to spend some of their free time with total foreigners exploring a city on their own, like me! I can only say: I was impressed. So impressed by hospitality, conversations, fun & by reconfirming my strong belief in people. And the world is full of them if you are open…

#8 Give something back. This is my last point. And I am still thinking of it everyday I am back. I think giving back starts in each moment itself. It’s how you treat people, how interested you are in them, how open you are for adventures, it’s about how grateful you are and how open and honest you are in conversations. Giving back can be so many things! Sharing a compliment, trying to talk – even though you don’t know the language, offering help or a hand but also staying in touch and looking after others. And this effects my work as much as my private life.

palermoI feel truly blessed after this trip. For a great job, which I love, great people I work with and for seeing the great work that we do worldwide in real. I feel grateful meeting lots of inspiring, interesting people but also for being myself, cause only like that I could experience everything as intensely as I did. For my guardian angels, who looked after me properly and for my dearest beloved ones in my life, who I was in touch with regularly during the whole time of my trip (Facetime rocks!!!). I love you all very much ❤

Ok, now enough of emotional and philosophical stuff… let’s turn to my personal highlights of my trip. Those were the things & places I enjoyed the most:

BUENOS AIRES

* Chillhouse: a lovely, simple but very stylish and relaxed hostel with lovely people who always have an open ear for your questions and offer some great advise (empowerment!!! They were the reason why I started using the buses and subways instead of taxis who seemed much more comfortable and tempting in the beginning!)

empanadas* Empanadas & beer: Forget about your diet and about eating to many carbs and so on. Those are worth ti! You get them everywhere with all different kinds of fillings (I liked spinach and cheese & onions the best) and they go just perfectly down with a nice cold cerveza (beer). Nothing nicer than a long stroll around the city and then reward yourself with a local snack like that. And even though I don’t like deep fried stuff normally: the deep fried version is just awesome, too!

* Public transport: a story on itself. I think you only see the half truth of the city if you don’t find your way with the public transport. Especially buses give you a great ride around and make you improve your orientation a lot! (Yep, I made peace with good old paper maps.)

* Recoleta: the world famous cemetery where Evita Péron was buried. But less because of them, rather more because of the beautiful graveyards and ornaments it’s worth walking around there and enjoy the clash between those old, artful statues and buildings and the high skyscrapers in the background. What I liked even better was the lovely market all around the entrance when you leave the cemetery where they sell all the typical things like Empanadas, Alfajores (a typical sweet which is just divine!), products of beautiful leather, huge earrings and all the other trendy things which are just in fashion (right now everything there was in neon colors and related to Love and Peace).

love* Palermo: yes, everybody who recommend me to go there was so right! For me it was quite the nicest part of my strolls. Actually the whole walk from Recoletta to Palermo Soho is just great and it shows you the different sides of Palermo: huge parks, the Malba Design museum, the Japanes garden, the metal flower and tons of people on bikes, roller blades, skateboards etc. Finally arriving in Palermo Soho it reminded me a bit of Portobello in London this trendy, bohemian district is just tooooooo cool to leave it again! Honestly, I couldn’t even start digging my head in all the creative and interesting shops, so many you find there.. The atmosphere is vibrating and buzzing and even just having a drink and watching people pass by is so much fun!

* Catedral de tango: something not to be missed. Cyntia, my Cicerones guide (will explain later) who is dancing the tango since she was a teen, brought me there on a Saturday night for a tango class. No, I didn’t understand the teacher and No, my partner couldn’t speak a word of English – but YES – I would do it again. It was soooo much fun!!!

* San Telmo: a lovely Sunday market perfect for a stroll after breakfast. Again, it’s worth it to go by bus in the morning to arrive there before the big crowds come and it’s getting full of hustle and bustle. Perfect to buy some little presents for your lovelies at home, or some memories for yourself.

* La Boca: much better than it’s reputation. Or maybe I was just lucky going there on an early Monday evening. I didn’t feel that it was overcrowded, neither did I feel in danger at any time. Yes, my new friend and Cicerones guide Eduardo was with me which for sure was of help but that district, which used to be a multicultural melting pot and where the tango originated, is so pretty with all its colorful houses, it definitely shouldn’t be missed!

puertomadero* Puerto Madero & Puente de la Mujer: last but not least I saw one of my favorite highlights! It’s a quite new, modern district with beautifully restored brick stone warehouses and perfect for a walk in the evening hours. The bridge of the women, Puente de la Mujer, makes a lovely stop with a beautiful setting at the water.

* Cicerones: without them my visit would have not been the same. Cicerones is an NGO where locals take you out and show you their Buenos Aires. I was super lucky to go out with two very nice people, both young, fun and open minded and we ended up getting on so well together that it really felt like having new friends there when I left! Can only recommend to try them.. guys, keep up the great work!

URUGUAY

This part is a bit shorter as we were mainly working the whole time. Still I would like to share my personal highlights:

puntadeleste* The rambla in Montevideo: for me the highlight of the city. Endless and endless and endless ways for walking, the rambla goes all along the coast of the country. First along Rio Plata and later on when the river ends in the Atlantic ocean. All the life happens there. As it was just getting spring you could see people’s souls waking up after weeks of rain and bad weather – everybody from babies, to children, to young people, adults and elderly people – everybody loves to hang out at the rambla. Thank god I brought my running shoes with me to go on some energizing powerwalks after work which was so inspiring! The sun only went down at 8.30 pm so it was simply but truly wonderful.

* Punta Carretas: on the grounds of an old prison they built a beautiful shopping center with lots of interesting shops in the area around. Incredible what you can make out of an old prison!

ramla* Punta del Este: on our day off my dear colleague Tami took me on a day trip to Punta del Este. Coming out of the city was great and driving through the country side of Uruguay was pure pleasure after a week of working in the city. Nature, nature, nature, all green and lush – a really beautiful countryside they have!

When it comes to wines: I found them simply delicious in both countries. The reds and the whites… Malbec, Tannat, … the wines were really gorgeous.

The only thing I did not like that much was the world famous Assado. So many people told me I would get the best meat of my life but maybe it’s because I hardly ever eat red meat or my taste just changed, – however, I tried, but I was not too impressed with it.

So, guys – if you are still reading this you’ve been very patient! I hope you can related to some of those things or will let me know if you share/ disagree with some of my thoughts and experiences. I guess this is gonna be my last post of this year but I promise to myself to keep it up – thanks to all my friends who keep on motivating me when I have a low or haven’t posted in a while. You rock ❤

Have some cosy, hopefully not too stressful holidays, just the very best for the New Year & keep on enjoying the pleasures of life!

Love,
Nadine xxx

Thai holiday on a plate.

Standard

Sadly but truely, even the nicest holiday comes to an end at some stage… You can just make the most out of every moment you have, breath in the warm air, feel the sun on your skin and the sand below your feet, listen to the sound of the leaves of tree which gives you shade on the beach and enjoy the flavors of the lovely meals you get to try out every day. And HERE comes my point: The only thing you can take home is as easy as that!! Try to learn the local cuisine and cook it yourself at home!

It’s not the first time that we did a cooking class either at home or when we went abroad. This time in Thailand it was one of the nicest ever: directly on the beach, the sea as a view and a chef just for the two of us. Epic! Lucky as we were we could even chose the dishes to cook the day before and we only chose our most favorite meals of our holiday: green papaya salad, Thai glassnoodle salad and tom yam goon (hot and sour prawn soup). Those are actually all starters but after I’ve done curries in a course four years ago already we wanted to focus on those.
Our chef prepared all the ingredients and when we came the restaurant manager helped him with translating everything. They built up a small mobile kitchen on the beach next to the restaurant and after the introduction it started with hands on! Not even 2hours later we were the happy people enjoying a lovely meal, fresh, tasty, boasting with Thai flavors and the best news: it was so easy to make! We left happy and hoping to get all the ingredients back in Malta. Three days after our return four of our best friends were the first guinea pigs. It took me 2hours to get around different supermarkets and veggie stores but finally I got everything and I was really impressed by the huge choice of the Asian supermarket in Gzira. Abroad I guess you’ll have less stops to get all the fixings you need 😉 Everything came out really well and nearly the way we had it on the beach just a couple of days ago. The only thing I was adding to our menu which was not totally authentic was the dip to start with our aperitif (pinapple prosecco btw). So if anyone knows a Thai dip to start a meal I’m curious for ideas! Instead I tried out another SmittenKitchen’s Bean & Pepper Dip wich came out really nice too – check out the recipe here (really nice food blog btw).

All recipes serve 6:

Thai Glassnoodle Salad with chicken


Soak glass noodles (1 bunch p.p) in cold water for a couple of minutes, drain, put aside. Chop up some cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, chilies as well as fresh corenader. Fry some garlic and ginger in coconut oil and fry approx. 400g of minced chicken. Season with fish sauce and lime juice to taste. In the meantime put the prepared glass noodles in cooking water for like 10min, drain. Add them to the chicken, add tomoatoes and shallots and some sweet and sour chili sauce. Stir everything and decorate with chopped coreander. Top with fresh chilies depening on your love for heat 😉
Note: If you can’t get fresh coreander celery greens is also great. You can also take spring onions instead of shallots. This dish can also be done with prawns, seafood or all of them together.

Tom Yam Goon (hot and sour prawn soup)

tom yam goon
Chop up 2 pieces of galanga, a bunch of lemongrass, some cherry tomatoes and shallots as well as fresh coreander. Wash some kaffir leaves (dried or fresh would be even better if you can get them). Put everything but the prawns in a pot with boiling water and let it simmer for some minutes until nice and fragrant. Add  2-3 tablespoons of high quality tom yam paste (I prefer the brand COOK from the Asian supermarket which they also used in Thailand) and season with lime juice and fish sauce, some sugar if it tastes too sour. At the very end add the prawns (or seafood) until they turn pink and finalise with a splash of coconut milk. Divide it in nice bowls and decorate with fresh coreander. Serve with fresh chilies so everybody can take spice it up to taste.
Note: can be served with rice to make it a full meal (or handle the heat 😉 )

Banana in sweet coconut milk

Slowly heat up 750ml of coconut milk. Add some tablespoons of brown sugar and some pinches of salt. Cut up 6 bananas in half and half them another time. Put them into the hot coconut milk for some minutes. When they are soft and tender serve them in little bowls.
Note: This dish can also be done with sweet pumpkin, melon, lychees or other fruit.

GOZO treasures

Standard

gozo.. beautiful as evereverytime i come back to gozo i fall in love all over again. this was my first time in fall and due to several rains in the last couple of weeks the little island was lush and green as i’ve never seen it before.

blooming meadows, abundant fields, blue skies and just the perfect weather for our yoga retreat with my dear yoga teacher and friend michelle bartolo.

sunset yoga next to the sea... magical our lovely host not only offered us great and energetic yoga twice a day, also the accomodation close to ta pinu church near gharb was just gorgeous to relax and enjoy. definitely a must for all yoga and nature lovers!

in the free time there was enough time to explore the island once again, this time less beaching and swimming but hiking around the lovely villages of gharb, visiting exhibitions of local artists, shopping (i went a bit cou cou in organika in victoria ;), coffee & lunches and yummy dinners.

made with love... food at mojo'sthe culinary highlights were definitely once again maji’s (i wrote about it in summer), a sicilian place called panzier, the clock house, a cute little café run by the super friendly & cute monica and mojo’s, which is just opposite arkadia shopping centre. mojo’s was actually the nicest suprise of all at the very end of the week as it just came out of the blue with a lovely meal from the beginning to the end (chai tea cookies – yum yum). they just opened the place for the daytime one month ago and have very special breakfasts from crumpets to healthy mueslis and pancakes but also offer delicious lunches & snacks, everything with a special twist and nice service. why can’t this place be in malta?! the chef is claire borg who also gives cooking classes and writes for food magazines like TASTE and THE FOODIE. will definitely try to make it to one of here classes to get some inspiration!!
all of those places can be found easily in victoria.

gozo's magic... a lovely afternoon with rain & sunlast but not least i wanna share a secret with you. apart from amazing yoga, nature and food we also treated ourselves twice with a special gift. a massage.. but this isn’t just a normal massage. those massages are just amazing. and to be honest.. i think he is the god of massages, at least for me there is no better than him- ever!! HE is martin roddis and can be found in kercem, close to victoria. he not only uses to most scrumptious home made oils and creams, but also he massages you with tibetan singing bowls vibrating on your body and an amazing passion & energy. thank god he also gives treatements in malta. he comes to your home but also massages on fridays in one of my favourita yoga studios in the world :), in yoga intentions in paceville. but don’t spread it with the world ok?! not that one day he won’t have time for me anymore 😉

so this was it for this time. as you can see… the week in gozo was just divine. and i can’t wait to come back soon!

p.s. watch out for the next sunday issue of the malta indepent on 4 december! i had the honour to cook for the GOURMET TODAY magazine and you’ll find recipes for a vegetarian xmas menu in it which i will also share later on on my blog – don’t worry 😉

gozo. a love story…

Standard

lovely view on the way to san blasmany people told me about their special connection to gozo. about its energy, the peaceful environment, the lovely walks.. so far i couldn’t really share it, i’ve only been there for a lunch or a day on the sailing boat and couldn’t really understand it so far… but now, after living in malta for 1,5 years (!), life somehow crossed all plans and somehow took me on a nearly 2week vacation to gozo.. and i finally fell in love too ❤

tiny little alley on a walk through a villagexlendi bay was the homebase for the first week, gharb, a cute little sleepy village in the north west of the island, for the second (spend a week of yoga holiday there with www.yogatraveller.com).and i have to say: i was just amazed by the friendliness of locals…gosh! they ARE friendly, doesn’t matter if in restaurants, when you ask for help or just start chatting with some random people at the sea…. many of them seemed to share the same passion of eating, nice wine and enjoying life and i talked about my blog not only once with them 😉
the beaches and the cristal clear water in the different bays are just divine for long swims and also perfect for diving. san blas and mgarr-ix-xini i loved the most. but enough of the ‘talking’, let’s now focus on my culinary highlights i’d love to share with you:

the cook preparing the freshest fish in his outdoor kitchenmgarr-ix-xini (gozo)
let’s start with the best 😀 this was absolute my favourite place of the holiday. a hidden gem in a tiny bay, located under some shady trees this place is a very low key, casual restaurant for yummy seafood and wine. the prices are not low key at all, but it doesn’t really matter, as we are used to spend that amount of money for a nice meal in malta, too.. the lovely family run restaurant just wins your heart with their very simple charm and just the freshest ingredients. my favourite was the vongole with orange and a glass of crisp greco di tuffo. can it get any better???


this didn't only look amazing, it was just divine :)maji wine & dine, victoria (gozo)

my second favourite of this holiday. unfortunately we went there on a very windy day so the terrace was closed, but i still sneaked up the stairs and the view was just amazing. bit disappointed we got a table inside, but the food and the lovely service made it all up. again: super friendly staff, top reaction after we claimend about the wine (why don’t all the restaurant owners understand that this is one of the most crucial situations how to make your customers really happy!?) and some amazing food. my favourite: the terrine of salmon and cream cheese.. hmmmmmmmmm!

not sooo special: all the restaurants at xlendi bay. they all have really good ratings on trip advisor, but in comparison to the ones i mentioned above i don’t get it why they have all those top ratings. maybe it’s just too busy there… don’t get me wrong, we tried them all and they were all quite nice (again: service, wine, complimentary bruschette before your meal etc.) but still nothing super special. what i appreciated though was that home made pasta is very popular there and also the salads are always super fresh and yummy on a constant level (mixed greens, gozitan capers, bright red tomoatoes and sometimes even some fresh gbejna, the gozitan cheese, – yum!). out from all those places (zafiro, boat house, il-terrazzo, ta’ karolina, stone crab etc.) i liked zafiro most (watch out for the amazing musician who sometimes plays the guitar there and sings!) and stone crab least.

gozo – i’ll be back soon….

culinary highlights of an easter holiday – MALTA

Standard

oooooohh how i love holidays. ha – who doesn’t?! but this holiday i enjoyed especially because my whole family came over to malta from austria to visit us on the rock. everybody who knows me or any other part of my family knows our main common goal: enjoy the culinary pleasures of life – jippee!!!!

piadina cafe
i’ve written about it – i know! but it’s one of my all time favourites 😀 first, for me the best coffee in town. second, i just loooove the piadine (this time we tried out 3 different ones, and i still like mine best – ha!). third, only super fresh ingredients with a special twist (like the salad below). and fourth, but one of the most important criteria, adorable people! thanks & love to oana & jada!

best coffee in town!one of the piadina we had - this is my fav: grilled veggies with provolonejust the freshest ingredients

yacht cafe @ msida marina
home made falafel @ yacht cafewhat a lovely cute little place! after it was recommended to me by another of my foodie friends i had to check it out. said, done. maria from lebanon, the owner, and her maltese husband run this place with lots of charme. super friendly and great, fresh stuff! first time i had a home made falafel in malta which was just delicious. definitely will come back!

chez philippe @ gzira
if i had to chose my favourite restaurant for a great dinner in casual and nice athomosphere – it would be chez philippe. went there for the third time and was not disappointed! from the starters, to the mains and not to forget the deserts (go have the trio of creme brulée! do it!). i really enjoy my food there. tipp: in my opinion, this is a meat place, so forget the pasta – have a proper piece of meat. it’s gonna be gorgeous 🙂

duck breastquail - my fav of that night!lamb

lulu café @ l-ibragg
another recommendation which turned out great! perfect for a coffee or tea with some lovely sweets. all home made by the owner’s wife who is also host at lulu restaurant in st. julians. i think i’ve never seen such a big choice of home made cupcakes in malta so far! the easter cupcakes were nearly to cute to eat, but finally we managed 😉 also nice for savoury snacks and – again – really nice service staff!! this was a really good month i have to recognize 😉

easter cupcakes!!!wholegrain sandwich with brie and rucola

mint @ sliema
another one i worte about already. but still, i’ve tried many banoffees in the meantime. they have just the best. run by an new zealand this place has some urban, cool but cosy athomsphere which i always enjoy! and again and again and again 😉

banoffee time!!!!!!mint. always worth a visit for a lovely banoffee!