As we enter and enjoy the upcoming silly season, and partake quality time with family & friends, we will also reflect on the highs and lows of 2016.
Time to reflect yes, and to look forward to hopefully a safe and fantastic 2017. We tend to make some new year’s resolutions as a result of bettering life’s journey through the next year which seldom take shape. So, what’s going to really change?
There’s an old saying along the lines of ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’.
Right now you have a choice.
Right now you can take charge of your life and plan.
Right now you need to look at your 2017 diary and slot in some ‘me’ time.
Make 2017 a memorable year and plan your getaway to beautiful Malta.
Be 1 of hundreds of guests whom have stayed with us at Julesy’s BnB and enjoy the moment whilst creating fabulous lifelong memories. Yes, book your room now via our website at www.JulesysBnB.com and make it happen.
We look forward to having you here with us as our guests.
December in Malta
December is fast approaching. The month of Christmas trees, snow, thick jackets and warm scarves. Well, maybe in the rest of Europe but not here in beautiful sunny Malta. Yes, believe it or not, Malta can still be quite warm in this time of the year. One could even expect temperatures in the 20’s. So how does a getaway from gloomy weather sound?
During this time of the year (similar to the month of November), the weather could be somewhat different from one day to the next. We experience colder days (sometimes) with rain and thunder, totally different from the previous sunny weeks, however this rarely seems to last long in Malta.
Despite our good weather, the month of December is all about Christmas. Streets and roundabouts are decorated with Christmas lights and different festive decorations, whilst some houses are decorated from top to bottom with lights around every window and every door.
Valletta and Sliema are the places for the usual Christmas shopping extravaganzas, which is something you’ll ether love or hate. In saying this, Republic and Merchant streets in Valletta, are beautifully decorated with lights and tinsel all along the streets attracting thousands of people everyday for Christmas shopping, and of course people watching.
The Point shopping center in Sliema is Malta’s largest shopping complex, where hundreds of people shop everyday. During the month of December the center and surrounding lane are transformed into a Christmas wonderland.
In December one can see different Christmas plays, some in English and others in Maltese. A very popular event is the Christmas pantomime which is a very popular tradition in Malta especially for young families. It’s incredible how they take a classic children’s story and transform it into a Christmas fairy tale.
Traditional Christmas Food:
Christmas time is a time for being spoilt with food and drink. Here in Malta during the festive season you can easily indulge yourself with different Christmas desserts such as minced pies, Christmas log, treacle rings or Qaghaq tal-Ghasel, Maltese Christmas pudding and of course the traditional Pannetone. Nevertheless during the month of December spirits are high, families come together and people exchange gifts in the time for giving.
The last religious feast is held in Cospicua on the 8th, and the procession is in our street. Thousands of locals descend on our village to partake in the activities and to witness the traditional festa for the local Catholic Church.
It’s winter. So all the airlines have great deals on flights and we’re only a short flight away. Guests staying with us for 4+ nights are even picked-up from the airport as a complimentary service.
So glad you asked. We have our own private time out from the 24th to the 26th as hopefully you can appreciate, however most of the rest of December is up for grabs. Simply click on this link to book.
If you can’t make it here this December, perhaps plan for 2017, noting we are already taking bookings in 2018, as Malta’s capital city is the EU Capital of Culture.
from Julesy’s BnB
Malta Jazz Festival 2017
The dates have been released for the 27th edition of the Malta Jazz Festival for 2017.
If you are into Jazz, then you need to here here in beautiful Malta for this exceptional event.
The 3 nights are July 20th; 21st; and the 22nd.
Right now, we have rooms available which can be booked via www.JulesysBnB.com
Further details & tickets can also be found via: www.facebook.com/maltajazzfestival
Go on….treat yourself!!!
Public Bike Sharing – Now in Malta
Nextbike Malta is the licence operator of the new innovative way to cycle your way around the island. An ideal climate-friendly solution to close gaps in network and timetables of buses. The Public Bike Sharing system from all around the world is now in Malta with bikes available 24/7.
Whether you are a business traveller aiming to reduce travelling time, a tourists on the Island ready to explore the area or a student ready to boost your wellbeing, Nextbike Malta offers an inexpensive and flexible answer to your transport crisis. Join the network and download the App today. Registration is free of charge.
Now available in Sliema, St. Julians, San Gwann, Ta’ Xbiex, Imsida, Gzira and Swatar, and just around the corner from Julesy’s BnB. 🙂
More info at www.NextBike.com.mt
Need some sun?
Escape to Malta this December, noting the bureau of meteorology is forecasting sunny days for the whole month.
Live your life; Love your life; Book Now!
Looking for great value eats?
There are over 2,000 restaurants to choose from on the island but we wanted to arm you with a list of the islands best cheap eats, street foods and spots where the prices are not only cheap but also offer great value with pretty reasonable if not exceptional service too. Whether you are on the run or have more time to kill, there is something here to help save your purse on holiday
Queens Pastizzeria – Hamrun – This is hands down the most delicious pastizzi and maltese pie I have ever tried. My favourite is the chicken & spinach pie. You won’t want anything else to eat for the day, so be warned… And at an enormous €2.30 there is simply no better cheap eat on the island that is quiet so yummy.
Bavarian Sausage – Sliema – Delicious Frankfurt’s with all the trimmings around €5 or so they are great for a quick snack or a on the go lunch. Look out for the van opposite Zara department store in Sliema.
Eat Street Food Truck – Msida – Okay, so you think food trucks are always filled with deep fried greasy food. Well not this one. You will be delighted to see vegetarian options, Asian inspired dishes such as Thai, Indian and Ramon, and delicious desserts too. The Panacotta is just delicious. All thrown in with delightful service to boot. Eat Street also travel around to the festivals, so look out for them via their facebook page.
Soul Food – Merchant Street Valletta – Great vegetarian & Vegan options in the heart of Valletta. Lovely menu at a very good price. Great for vegetarian and vegans, everything is fresh and interesting.
Trabuxu Wine Bar – Strait Street Valletta – Excellent value platters, but they also have great wines at reasonable prices too. The atmosphere is cosy and intimate inside, often visited by local celebrities. You can also sit alfresco and watch the passing parade, which is really cool on a Friday or Saturday night. Strait Street is where it all happens, so from here, bar hop from place to place and find your nook.
Senglea Waterfront – Three Cities – There are a host of restaurants to choose from and all of them are really reasonable. Our favourite is Tas Serena which is a new comer to the Senglea Waterfront but the menu is fab as are the prices.
Mint – Sliema – Great lunch time cafe in the heart of Sliema. Very interesting fresh dishes on offer that change daily. Owned by a couple of New Zealanders who have created a lovely meeting spot to gather with friends.
La Vida Bar De Tapas – Sliema – The most lively tapas bar in Malta. La Vida serve the best sangria and cocktails too. Oh and if there chocolate brownies in the fridge make sure you save some space. Yum! Tapas dishes start at €4 and you can buy a bucket of beer sit street side with your friends and watch the passing parade. Open for lunch and dinner daily.
Diar Il- Bniet – Dingli – Delicious farm fresh Maltese food experience at its best. But you must book in advance because it is so popular. Traditional farm fresh food prepared seasonally from farm to table. If you want to take home small gifts to your family then consider their jams, local honey, olive oils and pickles. Dishes start at €6.95 for a starter to under €20 for a main.
Well that’s it from us. We hope this helps you save some time scouting through TripAdvisor, reading endless reviews and hopefully help you budget your holiday to get the best out of your holiday in Malta.
Wishing you all a happy healthy week from us here at Julesy’s BnB.
Visiting Malta Summer 2016…
Visiting Malta during the summer months is always full of surprises and magical experiences. This little island literally rocks all summer long. Everything from the islands wine festivals, village fiesta’s, film and art festivals, Jazz festivals and big ticket open air concerts so make sure you keep track of up coming events either on our website or you can also visit What’s On Malta for all the latests shows and other gigs across the island. A top of that, the food scene and clubbing scene is up there with some of the Mediterranean’s best, and the nice surprise is, most things are magically affordable!!
This week we thought to give you some useful local tips to help you make the most of your holiday.
Top travellers tips for visiting Malta.
- It is no secret the traffic in Malta can be absolutely manic. So our tip to avoid the traffic jams is use the ferries as much as you can, from Sliema to Valletta and Valletta to The Three Cities routes. Through the summer months it is the best way to travel between the two main tourist hubs, and it is a lovely water cruise through the harbours too. Only €2.80/per person return. And make sure you show the lift operator your ticket to use the lift when you arrive from The Three Cities to Valletta, you will escape being charged €1 to get up to Upper Barrack Gardens. Ferries run up until midnight during summer and to 7pm in winter.
- Want to visit Comino but don’t like big tourist style boat trips… Make your way to Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal (the Gozo ferry terminal) by bus or car. To the right of the ferry terminal are water taxi’s that can take you over to Comino and the Blue Lagoon. The drivers usually give you a little extra tour exploring through the caves before dropping you back to Malta too. Added bonus, and fairly affordable!!
- Car Rental is really cheap for daily hire and is the best way to get to Gozo. Car hire for the day is around €30 for a regular small run about, and we can get you one delivered to our door. Be sure to request one when booking your accommodation because availability is not always possible at short notice, so it pays to plan ahead.
- The summer months can be really hot, so try and plan most of your sight seeing early morning or later in the afternoons where possible especially for outdoor experiences such as visiting the temples and so on. Siesta is also a big part of the Maltese way of life and in most small villages the shops close between 1pm and 4pm.
- Make sure you pack a really good hat and plenty of sunblock too. You also might like to add a little electrolytes to your water, the humidity from July to end September can make you quiet dehydrated if you are not used to it. Electrolytes are available from the chemists on the island too.
- Check out Malta Transport bus services for access right around the island, here is the link for the timetable. While getting around is relatively easy and cheap, be prepared for delays especially if there are big concerts, fiesta’s or roadwork’s on route, sometimes buses may even be so full they will just pass by, so plan your journey’s to arrive as early as possible to your destinations to avoid the frustration.
- Mosquito season in Malta can be ferocious “in some areas” during summer, if you are particularly sensitive to mosquito bites, perhaps pack a tropical strength mosquito repellent to keep them away at night time. We provide a plug in mosquito repellent for your room.
- If you are visiting Malta between April and December you will definitely experience Malta’s fireworks. The fireworks are for the celebration of each villages patron saint. There are as many churches as there are days of the year (approximately 360 on this little island). Sometimes when looking across the night sky you will see many different fireworks going off around you. Be aware that these fireworks usually start at 8am in the morning, “yes” in broad daylight. Don’t worry the island is not under attack!! The daylight fireworks are said to warn of evil spirits before the patron saint is carried through the village procession and back to the church again. Be sure to attend at least one while you are here, they are very special and a huge part of the Maltese culture and way of life.
- Tipping in restaurants is not compulsory, but if you get great service then a usual 10% added to the bill will make your waiters day.
- If you only have a very short holiday in Malta then it pays to plan your itinerary in advance before you leave home. So pick out what it is that interests you the most and work out how to get from place to place as quickly as possible. The largest taxi fare for instance from one end of the island to the other, should cost no more than about €35, but always confirm the fare with your driver or taxi company first. Our favourite companies are ecabs and Greenr .
- Pack sensible walking shoes and be prepared to walk many stairs and steep inclines in some areas. Malta is by no means flat, additionally footpaths and curbs can be quiet narrow with high steps so be careful when walking about. Take your heels in a separate bag and pop them on when you reach your destination. Your feet and joints will thank you for it.
So we hope these tips are useful, help you plan your time and make for really great holiday experience in Magic Malta. Stay tuned for our up coming recommendations covering our top 10 things to do, where to eat, best clubs and bars, best street food and cheap eats and much much more.
Happy planning and hope to see you soon.
Julie, Glen & Roxy
Need some adrenaline?
Try abseiling here in Malta. With steep cliffs, slabs and crevasses we take you to the most spectacular places to abseil in Malta. Standing securely on the edge of a steep incline, with the rope disappearing off the edge to the bottom somewhere beneath you, your nerves are on full alert. As you lean back and commence your descent adrenaline is pumping furiously around your body and the feeling is intense!
Priced at just €65 per person (inclusive of transport) and available every Saturday.
Bookings are by appointment.
Our new Platinum Package is now available for our guests who want the best of the best.
This 6 night extravaganza includes:
– Private Yacht Charter, with qualified Skipper (inc. lunch & dinner)
– Private Chauffeur exploring Gozo, Malta’s sister island (inc. lunch & dinner)
– Private Chauffeur exploring most of Malta (inc. lunch & dinner)
– A day in Valletta City
– A round of golf at the exclusive Royal Malta Golf Course (inc. lunch & dinner)
Priced from just €1,595 per person, twin share (excludes airfares)
Full details available via this link
This bespoke package is designed specifically for up to 4 couples, with similar interests. Each couple will have their own private suite, and will embark on a fantastic holiday, filled with lifelong memories.
Fancy a round of golf at the Royal Malta Golf Course, during your stay in Malta?
Just 1 of our many ‘things to do’ within our Tours tab on our website at www.JulesysBnB.com
Come and witness at first hand the substantial improvement to the 18 hole course which combined with the warm Mediterranean weather and hospitality make it enduringly popular with visitors who return regularly year after year. The well balanced layout of the course offers an interesting and challenging experience with positional play rather than big hitting paying better dividends. The newly built modern Clubhouse with its superb terrace overlooking the 1st; 2nd and 18th greens will further enhance your overall experience.
1 Round – 18 Holes – € 80
3 Rounds – 18 Holes – €195
5 Rounds – 18 Holes – €315
Gentlemen: Collared polo shirt, tailored slacks or shorts
Ladies: Sleeveless, non-collared tops are allowed, but definitely not strap tops.
Tailored slacks, skirts or shorts
No blue denim or track suits are allowed on the course.
Only golf shoes with soft spikes or trainers are allowed on the course. Socks are to be worn.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS & HIRE OF EQUIPEMENT
€20 – Set of Bayhill Clubs
€30 – Branded set of King Cobra Clubs
€10 – Pull Trolley
€15 – Electric pull trolley
€40 – Electric buggy per round
Bookings can be made directly via our website or in person with your hosts.
“Private Tours, now available”
Make your stay in Malta an even more memorable one, by experiencing our fantastic private tours.
Our professional chauffeured driver service will:
Personalise your tour to suit you
Remove all the hassle out of group excursions
Avoid having to try to work it all out yourself with the public transport system
Remove your stress trying to drive yourself in a hire car
Please click on any of the following links to get the full details:
A full day exploring Malta’s sister island Gozo
Historic cities of Mdina and Birgu, by night
Explore Northern Malta
Visit the Knights of St John period
Spend 4 hours soaking up Medieval Times
Experience the Prehistoric Blues
Bookings should be made via email at least 48 hours in advance, noting a non-refundable 20% deposit is required.
Private Yacht Charter, with qualified Skipper
Sail around the Maltese Islands aboard a luxury 54ft yacht. The yacht combines timeless design, exceptional seaworthiness and unmatched comfort.
You and up to 14 of your friends and family will be picked up from Julesy’s BnB and be taken on a short trip to the Kalkara Marina, whereby you will set sail at 10:00am. Simon the Skipper will provide you with his personalised bespoke service and ensure you experience pure indigence, whilst sailing the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
A sumptuous but light lunch will be served along with wine and water.
Your full day out on the water will be a life long memorable event, which will have you safely back at the Kalkara Marina at around 6:00pm.
This tremendous tour is priced at just €895, which needs to be booked 48 hours in advance.
For those who would like to scuba dive, Simon is also a qualified Diving Instructor. A scuba diving package can also be added if desired.
Further enquiries and bookings can be made via email.
Shared Thank You’s…..
2016 is already kicking off to a wonderful start, arriving home from our own holiday, Julesy’s BnB has seen it’s first guest for the year. Our Japanese guests Yukihiro, Yukako and their gorgeous baby Riku stayed for 4 nights with us. Babies always bring another dynamic to our BnB, such a cute baby and always so happy, smiling and waving the whole time, such a treasure.
Roxy however was not so sure on what to make of it all, made herself scarce, but was desperately inquisitive at times to see who this little creature was visiting her house, but she kept a safe distance.
During breakfast I always enjoy finding out what my guests like to eat for breakfast and cater to their cultural needs, but I always like to tempt them with a few other things too, keeps things fun. Even the Vegemite has made an appearance a few times, (99% of our guests who have dared to taste it concur Australian’s are as weird as the creatures that roam the country) obviously it’s an acquired taste.
But our Banana Bread was a clear favourite of the week, so for Yukako, I am sharing this ever popular recipe, as a thank you for being our first lovely guests for 2016, and also in appreciation of the lovely origami crane you left as a gift in your room. We were very touched. Thank you.
Julesy’s Banana Bread
3 large bananas mashed
1 1/2 cups of self raising flour
1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of walnuts
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 180C. Use a long loaf tin and line it with baking paper and set aside.
In a large bowl mash the bananas and add the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla essence, sugar and walnuts and mix well. Then sift in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are well combined. Pour ingredients into your tin and bake for 55mins. Remove from the oven immediately and let cool in the tin.
Serve with fresh bananas and strawberries. you can even butter with mascarpone or honeyed ricotta, or just enjoy it on its own.
Wishing you all a delicious 2016 and can’t wait to welcome all our upcoming guests to Julesy’s BnB in 2016.
It’s the small things in life that make us all appreciate and is our motto for the year.
All the best
Julie, Glen & Roxy
Cooking with Kō Shibasaki – My favourite Japanese actress….
Ko Shibasaki started her career at 14 when she was discovered by a talent scout. She is one of Japan’s top-tier actresses, having starred in many TV shows, films and commercials. Ko Shibasaki became famous for her excellent performance in the controversial film “Battle Royale”, which has brought her fame not only in Japan, but all over East Asia. Recent films also include “47 Ronin” and “Bolt out of the Blue”.
So in July, Ko Shibasaki’s European agent contacted me to help with the popular Japanese television program “Another Sky”, the task was to cook live on TV a traditional Maltese meat pie. This stunning pie was a fond memory of Ko Shibasaki’s during her days as a budding actress many years ago in Malta.
The show relived her journey visiting the places she frequented during those days and of course the beautiful Maltese cuisine. I was thrilled to help and quickly (with the help of my lovely neighbour Josephine) identified the correct recipe for this task, a traditional Maltese spiced beef pie, packed full of vegetables and encased in a beautiful rich shortcrust pastry.
Filmed live in my kitchen on a very, very hot summer’s day, Ko Shibasaki and I cooked from scratch this delicious meat pie. Ko Shibasaki was determined to learn every detail to ensure it was exactly right. Once baked, all the cast and crew enjoyed this delicious pie together around the dining table.
It’s not often that you would hear of a leading actress cooking for all the cast and crew, I found this so refreshing…Ko Shibasaki is a truly grounded and delightful person, and a true champion of her beautiful country.
Ahhh…. just another magic moment in my kitchen!!
The recipe can be downloaded from my previous blog here and I have been told the video of the live show will arrive soon.
Enjoy your day and never pass an opportunity to create magic in your kitchen.
Blessed are the pie makers too.
French Apple Cake
This is officially the best go to autumn cake to enjoy over morning or afternoon tea, our guests love it at breakfast too. This is a rich custard and apple cake that is topped with a light fluffy cake and dusted with cinnamon sugar. This reminds me of my grandmothers cooking and smells so divine while it bakes in the house.
Don’t be put off of the French title, some of the best french recipes are relatively simple to do provided you don’t miss any steps in the recipe. So read the steps thoroughly and you won’t get it wrong.
800g of Green Apples, pealed, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup water
1 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons flour extra
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean (scrape out the seeds and paste and warm through the melted butter)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Mise en place
Preheat oven to 180C.
Lightly grease a 9inch springform tin and line with baking paper. Wrap the base of the pan with aluminium foil.
Peel, cut and slice your apples and boil in a pot with the water for 3 minutes just to soften, then drain the excess water off and let cool while you prepare the cake batter.
In a large bowl whisk together 1 cup of flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1 cup of sugar, 1.2 tsp of salt.
Melt butter and add vanilla bean paste or the vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl whisk together 1 egg, 2 egg yolks melted butter and vanilla, 1 cup of milk.
Add the custard mixture to the dry ingredients. Now reserve 1 cup of the batter in another small bowl.
Add the drained apples to the remaining cake batter and fold through. Pour this mixture into your springform pan.
With the reserved 1 cup of cake batter add the extra 2 tbsp of flour and fold through thoroughly, then drizzle this evenly over the top of the apple cake mixture that is already in the pan.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle this over the top of the cake mixture.
Bake for 65-75 minutes at 180C.
Cake should be golden brown on top. Leave cake in the tin to cool on a wire rack before serving. Remaining cake should be kept in the fridge.
Serve with a generous dollop of double cream.
Happy baking everyone and I really hope you enjoy it as much as our guests do.