Travel Blog - Wonderful Westreme Kitchen + Bar, and more of marvellous Mellieha, Malta.
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
Diary entry March 13th 2020
I bid #Popeye, Olive Oyl and Bluto a fond farewell 👋 I’ve decided I’m going to walk from Popeye Village back to Mellieha Bay (Ghadira) and seek out a #picturesque spot for lunch!
Exiting, I turn left and begin a slow stroll, it’s so pretty here, the road is edged with wild flower meadows and fields.
Oh horses! These two are beauties!
I’m extremely apprehensive of #horses, since I lost a fingernail to one on a #Christmas Eve many moons ago 😆
We were walking home from our local country #pub after partaking in some #festive spirit(s) 😆 A very handsome horse trotted down to greet us at the fence as we approached. I started to gently stroke his nose and he swiftly lifted his head up and grabbed my finger in his huge brown teeth.
At first we all thought it was funny, that was until he started to bite down really hard and then panic set in!
Dad thinking quickly, surprised the horse by tapping firmly on his nose and thankfully he opened his mouth and we pulled my finger out.
My friend then took control of the situation and flagged down a passing taxi van. Nearing our house, she thanked the driver, and asked how much we owed him. He replied "oh I’m not a taxi, I just saw your friend was in distress so I stopped" 😆
We felt so bad, that lovely man wouldn’t take a penny from us, he was a Christmas Eve Good #Samaritan 😊
Now picture this scene!
It’s Christmas Eve, and A&E is full of people who are really in the Festive Spirit 🥴😆 The Assessment Nurse calls me through and asks me what happened. I begin “So I was talking to a horse” 🐎😂🤣
My Dad my #hero 🦸♂️ yanked my finger out just in time as apparently I was very close to losing the tip, I did lose the whole fingernail though 😣 I left A&E with an #ET finger and a bunch of antibiotics - 😩 no Christmas Day drinkies for me! 💊😆
My sister arrived late morning armed with her Rescue Remedy Drops 😆 and I watched them all tuck into my favourite festive tipple, sherry 😤😆 Needless to say, I haven’t liked horses very much since 😆
So now you can appreciate how anxious and apprehensive I am right now as this #horse is sticking his head through the wall, trying to say #hello 😆
Come on Tracy, you can do this, I reach through tentatively, he’s so #gorgeous, and thankfully mild mannered 😆 as I begin to walk away, he whinnies, so I linger a little longer. I think I may have just exorcised my fear of horses! 🙌
The bus heads in the opposite direction back towards Popeye Village to pick up the handful of passengers who were waiting at the stop. It’s such an #exquisite day again and I'm so very glad that I decided to take this picturesque walk.
There’s an old rusty windmill, squeaking as it turns which is just so hypnotic to watch against the bright blue sky.
I can also see the Red Tower in the distance, along with the azure blue #Mediterranean Sea. This slow saunter has taken me around 40 minutes to reach the bay, and I can now see that there are sunbathers drinking up this deliciously warm early March #sunshine.
I’m tempted to walk along the #beach, but my tummy is urging me otherwise with its noisy rumbling! Gosh, its almost 2pm!
I’m immediately enticed by the yummy menu and the stunning setting at Westreme Kitchen and Bar!
Westreme Kitchen + Bar
Address: Marfa Road, Mellieha, Malta MLH 9063
Phone: +356 2152 1126
Hours: Open daily 9am until 2330
I’m greeted by the lovely Bozana who with a huge #smile asks me to choose a table.
As the waterside tables are all in the shade, I choose to dine at a table on a small balcony which is blissfully still in the sun!
Tomorrow evening I will be heading home so I’m determined to grab every last ray of sunshine I can until then. 😎
I’m #intrigued by the name, so I google it! Visiting the restaurants website all is revealed!
Our name is derived from the historically significant Westreme Battery that is located just around the corner. Built by the Order of St. John in 1715, this was actually the first line of defense breached by the French invaders in 1798. Over the years, the building was modified, restored and adapted for different uses. Today, only parts of it remain standing as a lasting testament to its illustrious past.
This is exactly what I adore about these islands, you’re totally immersed in centuries old #history! 💕
Bozana happily presents me with the #food and #wine menus and I’m given the perfect amount of time to leisurely peruse them.
There's a super choice, again just the right amount, I find some menus can just be too overwhelming.
It’s so difficult to choose as everything sounds mouth-wateringly delicious! I’m so hungry I decide to opt for both a starter and main.
To begin I’ve ordered a favourite of mine #Bruschetta, which I will only ever have whilst here on the Maltese Islands, its simply sunshine on a plate 😊
To follow I’ve ordered a salad of Parma Ham, Figs and Mozzarella Cheese 😋 and to drink, a half bottle of Palazzo Verdala crisp white wine.
I have nowhere I need to be and I #adore this location so much I’ve decided I’m going to relax and chill for a while. It’s a joy to dine by the calmest bluest sea whilst admiring the stunning sail boats and brightly coloured #Luzzu!
Its heart-warming to read that the restaurant loves their setting as much as I do,
We can take credit for the genuine food we produce, for the comfy furnishings we have opted for, for the high standards we have set for ourselves; but when it comes to the awesome view we are privileged to absorb every day, we can only bow our heads before the magnificent spectacle bestowed upon us by mother nature. Eternally grateful!
The restaurant is beautiful, for chillier months or for those who simply wish to shade from the sun, there’s an attractive indoor dining area. Westreme also has an open kitchen, which I’m a huge fan of! The restaurant markets themselves as a family restaurant and therefore its super to see a dedicated area where young ones can have fun and entertain themselves. Oh and the toilets are also exceedingly clean!
The outdoor seating area is more than ample, and I spot one of the #Geordie couples from Popeye Village earlier tucking into the delicious looking #pizzas and enjoying some #cocktails 🍹 😊
Bozana asks if I’d like to taste the wine first as she presents it in its own cooler. 😊 I’ve yet to try a Maltese wine I dislike 😆 so it’s no surprise I find it delectable! 😋
After around 10 minutes my starter is presented with another huge smile. This bruschetta is sooooooo good!
Clearing my plate, Bozana very thoughtfully asks if I’d like my main course serving straight away or would I like to take a little rest! I’ve opted for the rest 😊
15 minutes later, she asks if I’m ready for the main course to be served, perfect, thank you Bozana.
My #salad arrives and it’s so lovingly presented on the plate by the chefs. It’s so clear to see that the staff enjoy working here as much as the diners enjoy eating here!
If I thought my bruschetta was sunshine on a plate, my salad is a dish filled full of #sunbeams! It’s a true taste of the Mediterranean and I’m so very much enjoying each bite, it’s outstanding!
As Bozana collects my second empty plate I ask her to please pass my compliments to the #chef 👩🍳 👨🍳 Lunch has been an absolute #pleasure.
I glance at my watch, wow, it’s already 4pm. Time truly fly's when you are having #fun!
After settling my bill and saying my second fond farewell of the day I turn left and I’m contemplating walking 🚶♀️ back up the steep hill 😱
Ohhhhhh, here is Nora’s! Actually two Nora’s! One a lounge bar, and one a little further along which is a traditional pub!
My new friends at #Avis on #Gozo told me how good Nora's is.
The Lounge is busy and the sunny terrace tables have already been taken. The pub however has a small table and stool still in the sun ☀️ Hurrah, one for the road, or steep hill 😆 it is!
The pub is full of #jovial #expats, and the local #wine is again delicious. I sit facing the last of the sun thinking what a #wonderful day today has been. In fact every day has been utterly amazing, I’ve met some lovely people and visited some #magical places! am indeed a very lucky girl.
As the pub terrace is so quaint it’s impossible not to get chatting to your fellow drinkers! They are lovely, and my one for the road, turns into another for the kerb 😆 I’m having so much fun!
I very much enjoy the company until the sun goes down and decide it’s now more prudent to take a taxi rather than walk 😆
Sadly I need to pack this evening as tomorrow I will be returning home to the UK 😢
Diary entry March 14th 2020
I wake to another deliciously sunny day and to a note popped under my door!
Reading through it I’m slightly panic stricken, does this mean I won’t be able to return #home today? 😬
A quick phone call to reception reassures me and calms my nerves - the new rules only apply to arrivals from 1pm yesterday!
My #heart goes out to the new arrivals although I'm also very much applauding the Maltese Governments decision.
The islands are locking down as the virus 🦠 is taking a strangle hold across the #world.
My #EasyJet app assures me my flight is operating as scheduled this evening 🤞 and Dave my friend is due to collect me at 1730.
Following another #scrumptious Solana Hotel breakfast I pass by reception and enquire if it’s at all possible to arrange a late checkout. Super duper, I can have an hour free and then it’s only an extremely reasonable €10 per hour following that.
I extend until 4pm 🙂 I now have the whole day to #explore the village and to also spend a little time lounging on my sun-bed on my very own balcony!
I notice walking through the village that all of the cafes are serving takeaway food only now, from a table at the door, safeguarding staff and customers.
A large queue has formed outside of the chemist and on the door is a sign advising if you have recently returned from any of the countries on the newly restricted list, sadly you won’t be able to enter. Ooh this is really real now 😢
I’ve received worried phone calls this morning from my parents and best friend. The situation in the UK is quickly escalating and the new Maltese #quarantine restrictions have filtered through to them. I reassure them I’m fine and everything looks ok for my departure this evening, but underneath I can’t ignore the unease which is slowly starting to settle in.
But whatever will be will be, I decide, and keeping my fingers and toes crossed I head off to my first stop this morning, Mellieha's WWII Air Raid Shelters!
Hewn from the limestone rock and located right in the centre of Mellieha, the complex tunnel systems stretch over an incredible 1600 feet! Sadly today they are closed too 😔
However the street art on the steps leading up to the shelters is just #magnificent!
I just adore the #quirky #architecture of the islands, even when its run down. Here its so very easy to find beauty in everything!
Passing the Mellieha Police Station, there is a police car parked outside, the first I have spotted during this trip!
My next destination is just across the road, I'm visiting Our Lady of the Grotto #Shrine.
The #Grotto was constructed in the mid 1600s and is set deep into the limestone hillside. The shrine of the Virgin holding Baby Jesus sits above a natural spring - the water of which is reputed to have #healing powers.
There are a number of steep downhill steps approaching the entrance. As I enter I’m temporarily blinded as it’s so bright outside and extremely dark inside, with only a small natural skylight and the flickering votives providing light.
As my vision adapts I can see that I’m the only person here 😊
It’s so #serene, and I feel #blessed to have this chapel all to myself right now. I kneel in #prayer, it’s so very peaceful, as I’m way below the traffic din above. During prayer the only thing I can hear is the trickling of water into the natural spring below the Shrine, its heavenly.
The flickering votives along with the ex-voto offerings which adorn the walls, (given in thanks for successful healings,) are hypnotic and heart-warming.
I notice three niches carved into the stone walls housing statues which are mysteriously missing their heads.
After conducting a little research now I'm back home, I've discovered that it’s thought the desecration was caused by #marauding Turkish #Pirates back in the 16th century!
Inside the shrine I took some photos on my #Canon #camera with the flash, but I most certainly prefer those taken without. I feel they truly show the shrine in all of its atmospheric glory!
Leaving I decide to pick up some lunch to enjoy on my balcony.
I choose an all time scrummy Maltese favourite, a juicy tuna #Ftira sandwich! I also can’t resist the delicious looking cakes in one of the patisseries so treat myself to a passion fruit tart. 😋
Now its time to #relax and drink in the last of these caressing warm rays of sunshine before I have to head back home. ✈️ ☺️
In the days following my return, #Malta completely locked down, closing the airport completely as well as the ports. The Maltese Government acted exceedingly and admirably quickly and because of this swift no nonsense approach they are now #COVID free 🙌 👏 👏
I’m so excited to being able to return soon to my #beloved second home 🤩
Until next week my lovelies, stay safe, and enjoy the beautiful sunshine ☀️