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ISSUE 78 November 13, 2013

bestbuy. your MONTHLY shopping guide distributed with The Times

interview.

home.

eating & drinking.

meet playwright malcolm galea

design meets functionality

culinary delights

IN THIS

ISSUE...

OzoSystem – Our business is cleaning yours

OzoSystem is renowned for offering an A to Z cleaning service, with unmatched levels of personal account management and attention to detail. But that is not the best bit. You get all this, but pay no more than a regular cleaning service:

• Tailored to your premises – individual cleaning checklists and 24/7 flexibility • Immaculate results – our cleaning teams are punctual and efficient • Single point of contact – your dedicated account manager coordinates everything for you • Peace of mind – our professionals have a clean police conduct, are carefully selected and fully insured. We will get on with the cleaning services so you can get on with your business.

Our unique tailored quoting system and personalised cleaning allow us to match our services to your specific needs. Contact us now for a free site visit and quotation on mob: 7947 2557.

weddings special. tips and trends

Liebherr – Super savings in energy consumption The latest ultra energy-efficient refrigerators from Liebherr offer uncompromising energysavings. Using state-of-the-art electronic control units in conjunction with optimised refrigerating systems, Liebherr have achieved a further reduction in energy consumption in comparison with previous economical models. With energy efficiency ratings reaching A+++ -20 per cent, Liebherr have made it quick and easy for you to find products that will cost you less to run, contribute to savings on your energy bill and help you protect the environment.

Just imagine if your cleaning service were as professional as your business – efficient, reliable, trustworthy and 100 per cent focused on customer service.

Look out for your chance t win a ga o coffee m ggia achin on pg 04 e

A particular highlight of the range are the two CP 3813 and CPesf 3813 combinations which, thanks to the utilisation of innovative components, redefine energy-saving. With a consumption of only 155kwh per year, these devices are ultra-economical and are in energy-efficiency class A+++. With multi-purpose storage shelves, variable bottle shelf, a slimline door handle with integrated opening mechanism as well as SmartFrost in the freezer compartment, these devices provide a freshness

quality as well as perfect comfort for daily use. Liebherr refrigerators and freezers offer comfort, freshness quality and supreme energy-efficiency, and are being offered with a five-year parts and labour warranty. Visit the Flamingo Showroom in Cannon Road Qormi.


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Best Buy is the leading shopping guide distributed with The Times every month on a Wednesday.

Articles appearing in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers is strictly prohibited. Dates, information and prices quoted are believed to be correct at time of going to print, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

ISSUE 78 - november 13, 2013

Remember, remember... the month of November November is one of those times of year that stops you dead in your tracks – it’s not quite the end yet, but almost, and that end is fast approaching. It brings with it a longing for the festive season yet a slight sense of anxiety that yet another year has flown by so fast, and changed many things in the process.

Publishers

Content House Group Mallia Buildings, 3, Level 2, Triq in-Negozju, Mriehel. Tel: +356 2132 0713 Fax: +356 2132 0714 Email: info@contenthouse.com.mt www.contenthouse.com.mt editor Martina Said Advertising Advertising Sales Executives Mark Barbara Justine Mallia Advertising Sales Coordinator Lindsey Ciantar DESIGN SWITCH Design & Brand Strategy Tel: +356 2131 6770 www.switch.com.mt Printer Progress Press Ltd

NEXT ISSUE:

11.12.13 DOn'T MISS IT

This month’s issue is my first as editor of Best Buy, and I’m pleased to say there are a number of good reads that I hope you’ll find both interesting and

Our Children Are Obese: So who is to blame? By John F Xuereb Parents are kids’ first teachers and mentors, and set life expectations, either verbally or nonverbally. Parents can choose whether to feed their children healthy food, or not. Parents can decide to set expectations for their children, or not. From a very young age, children see the world through their parents' eyes... whether positively or negatively. Children’s attitudes tend to reflect those of their parents’. One of the biggest issues we are faced with today is obesity in our children. Kids don’t play or exercise much and they eat what is put on the table in front of them. Children are very much influenced by the example set by parents; so if we want to teach children, we urgently need

to educate parents on how to be positive role models, about healthy eating, the importance of feeling good and developing confidence and esteem by maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle. For more information visit www.bodiesnmotion.com

handy. For first-time parents, we’ve put together a practical guide that should help ensure you’re fully equipped and prepared for the much anticipated arrival of your first child. We shed a spotlight on the importance of a well-designed bathroom for your home, a space which has a far greater purpose than its mere functional value, and now that the Weddings Fair is over, we take a look at how to go about choosing the best suppliers to suit your taste and budget, ensur-

ing the end result is a wedding of your dreams. We also catch up with the hilarious and quirky Malcolm Galea on his irregular shopping habits. Enjoy the issue!

This year FXB has two reasons to celebrate The leading furniture group has been a byword for high quality furniture for 125 years! It is a remarkable achievement and a unique benchmark for Maltese furniture manufacturers. FXB built their outstanding reputation on bespoke traditional furniture, but have recently shown that they also lead the pack in terms of corporate office solutions and a wide range of modern and contemporary home pieces. You can view FXB’s impressive collection at their showroom in Mdina Road, Qormi. This stylish showroom this year

celebrates its fifth birthday. Here clients can appreciate medium-to-high-end modern furniture, a mainstay in the Group’s recent collections. This showroom is proving to be a popular destination for individuals looking for luxury home improvements. Over the last century, FXB have evolved to cater for the style and needs of the time. Testament to this is their continued success as one of Malta’s leading manufacturers of upmarket, affordable quality furniture.


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ISSUE 78 - november 13, 2013

PHOTOS BY Rene Rossignaud

Are property prices going up or down? Buying property is on everyone’s to-do list at some point or other, but you cannot be too sure when it’s the ideal time to do so. Best Buy asks passersby in Valletta what they think about the value of property on the current market. Claire Abela, Madliena

Daniela Galea, Birkirkara

Do you think that property prices have gone up or down over the past year? I think down, based on what I heard.

Do you think that property prices have gone up or down over the past year? Probably down.

If you had an unlimited budget, which locality would you prefer to live in? Madliena, because it’s quiet and central. What type of property would you go for? A villa with a pool.

What type of property would you go for? A penthouse.

Daniel Cilia, Birkirkara

Robert Seychell, Luqa

Do you think that property prices have gone up or down over the past year? I wouldn’t know, but from what I heard, they’ve gone down.

Do you think that property prices have gone up or down over the past year? I think they went down – not many people can afford to buy at the moment.

If you had an unlimited budget, which locality would you prefer to live in? Gozo, because it’s quiet and lovely. What type of property would you go for? I’m happy with what I’ve got – I restored a dilapidated house and after lots of hard work, it looks beautiful. The feeling is very satisfying.

Lino Degiorgio, Bahar ic-Caghaq

If you had an unlimited budget, which locality would you prefer to live in? Where I live now, because it’s quiet and close to the sea. What type of property would you go for? A villa, obviously.

WRITE IN & WIN This GAGGIA K111 coffee machine features: • 15 bar pump pressure • Traditional frother • Removable water tank • Capsule ejector • Adjustable drip tray • Cup storage area

If you had an unlimited budget, which locality would you prefer to live in? Madliena or Mellieha – somewhere up north. I prefer that area to the south. What type of property would you go for? A maisonette or normal house would do.

Godfrey Galea, Rabat

Do you think that property prices have gone up or down over the past year? I think they went down.

This month we invite you to write in and tell us why you or a nominee deserve to win this Gaggia K111 coffee machine, kindly provided by Top Choice. The first reply will win this useful machine worth €79.

If you had an unlimited budget, which locality would you prefer to live in? Balzan, because it’s quiet and close to home.

Available from Top Choice, 280, St Joseph High Road, Hamrun. Tel: 2122 3055/ 2122 2898 or Villabate Street, Marsascala Bypass, Zabbar. Tel: 2180 9080; email: info@topchoice.com.mt

Do you think that property prices have gone up or down over the past year? Down. If you had an unlimited budget, which locality would you prefer to live in? Attard, because it’s central. What type of property would you go for? A townhouse – I like classic styles.

Send your contribution and contact details (address and telephone number) by not later than Wednesday 27th November. Write to: Best Buy Competition, Content House Group, Mallia Buildings, 3, Level 2, Triq in-Negozju, Mriehel QRM3000 or email info@contenthouse.com.mt

LAST MONTH'S

WINNING

LETTER Last month we asked you to write in and tell us why you or a nominee deserve to win a Toshiba portable hard drive, kindly provided by The Notebook Centre. The first reply was from Daniela Testa. “Once again congratulations for this month’s Best Buy. I think I deserve this Toshiba portable hard drive as I am constantly downloading material tied to my many interests including crafts, cookery, films and music. It would be nice to have them stored and always at hand in a product branded Toshiba which means an excellent product.” Daniela won this useful device with a storage capacity of 500GB.


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ISSUE 78 - november 13, 2013

PHOTOS BY Lionel galea

Playing His Cards Write Playwright, actor and director Malcolm Galea is one of the most popular faces of the local theatre scene, and he’s even enjoyed fantastic success overseas. He chats to Jo Caruana about umbrellas, two-seater sofas and crazy three-tiered wedding cakes.

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hose familiar with theatre will know Malcolm as a playwright, actor and director. Although still in his 30s, he’s got an impressive writing portfolio behind him including the Manoel Theatre pantomimes Cinderella (2003), Jack and the Beanstalk (2008), Aladdin (2009), The Curse of Snow White (2012) and the forthcoming Little Red Riding Hood and You Know Who (in which he’ll also be playing dame). Others include the musicals R+J Forever (2012) and Porn (2009) which won the OffWest End Theatre award for Best New Musical in 2011 for its London run. “I’ve also worked on the improvised comedy shows Dingle Bells Malcolm Smells and, through my company More or Less Theatre, produce my educational family comedies The Complete History of Malta and Everything You Need to Know About Science,” says Malcolm. “The third play in this repertoire – The Complete History of Europe – will be launched this month at the Ziguzajg Festival.” His first play in Maltese will premiere at the Manoel Theatre in May 2014. It is called Id-Dlam taht it-Teatru and it won the Francis Ebejer prize in 2012.

Aside from treading the boards and frantically typing up his latest masterpieces, Malcolm is married to Angele, a pianist, and they have two young sons, Ethan and Calum. How would you describe your relationship with money? I like having it but there’s no real relationship beyond that. I’m not really money-minded and it rarely influences what I do or which projects I take up. What percentage of your life do you spend shopping? I’m not much of a shopper and if I see something that I need or like, I generally buy it immediately rather than shop around for bargains or wait for

a sale. I do enjoy browsing for and buying books, as well as toys for my kids, and usually spend a bit longer on those. Still, the overall percentage of my life that I spend shopping would be pretty negligible. Do you think that because something is more expensive it is automatically better? Not really, but if I had to buy something that I don’t know much about – like say, a fridge – I would usually opt for a slightly more expensive one in the hope that it would be better. If it’s something I know more about, I’d make a more informed decision. With a lot of things like wine and ice-cream, quality can be subjective and the things I

prefer tend to be towards the lower end of the price range. I guess I’m just a peasant at heart. What’s a hobby you spend money on? In the theatre season I usually watch about three local plays every month. Much of my travel also revolves around theatre festivals so I spend quite a bit on watching plays abroad as well. Having said that, the shows I prefer watching are fringe productions that are considerably cheaper than your typical West End fare. How would you describe your style – and how important is fashion in your life?

I like shirts, long coats and braces with my suits but, apart from that, I don’t really have a style. I’m usually so absorbed in whatever I’m doing at the time that it’s a wonder I remember to get dressed at all. What’s the one fashion item you couldn’t live without? My big black umbrella. I bought it about 10 years ago and it’s awesome. Having said that, last year I was ‘this close’ to replacing it with another big black umbrella that (when closed) looked like a samurai sword in its scabbard. That was awesome too but since I was in New York, I worried that the airport people might give me a hard time about it… I’d also find


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interview. Do you hoard things or regularly throw stuff out? Angele and I throw almost nothing out. On the contrary, friends who want to get rid of stuff often bring it to our house. We have a room for props and costumes, and we use it to store all this stuff in. Sometimes when I’m out of ideas, I’ll go in the props room and see what can inspire me. Items that have sparked off memorable moments of theatre include a garish Hawaiian shirt, an inflatable crocodile and a random toy bought from a guy claiming to be deaf and/or dumb. What’s the best bargain you’ve ever made? No idea. However, I recently found a cool mask online that would be ideal for the Cospicorn – the reptilian creature in my play Id-Dlam taht it-Teatru. I was very pleased to find it since we can now chop it up and stick it to the actor’s face as a base. it difficult to live without my glasses since I need them to see stuff better with. Do you collect anything? I collect the programmes of plays I’ve watched or been in and have a big boxful. I also

collect books by and about Tolkien and have enough to fill a shelf. And if I manage to drum up enough enthusiasm in either of my sons, I will use it as an excuse to reinforce my collection of Star Wars action figures.

What is your favourite thing in your whole house? A plush two-seater sofa that I bought in 2004 for my comedy Snubbed Actors Inc. The only required set was a sofa but everyone I knew was (understandably) wary about lending

me theirs. Therefore I had to buy it and it now sits in my office. However I’m not averse to lending it to friends when they need it for a play and it has been on stage a number of times – most recently in Mellowdrama’s Fuente Ovejuna in 2011. Therefore, apart from being ridiculously comfy, it’s also building up an impressive CV. What three items would you take to your desert island? A fishing rod, a wood stove and a solar-powered water desalination unit. Given the choice, would you drink champagne or beer? I’d put the champagne in the beer and make champagne shandy. Or champandy. What’s the most money you’ve spent in one go? Since I’m a self-employed writer, the bank generally has a hard time giving me loans so when I buy a car, I have to do it in one go. What would be three things on your ideal celebrity rider? An ice-cream bar, a petting zoo and the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing background music while dressed as gimps.

If you could perform alongside anyone, who and where would that be? Chris Dingli at St James Cavalier. Why go for a fantasy scenario when I can stick with something that I know is great fun? Which is the wackiest costume you’ve ever worn for a theatre show? Dame costumes tend to be pretty crazy. When I played Widow Twankey in Aladdin (2009), my last costume had me looking like a giant wedding cake – including a revolving headdress. Let’s see what this year’s panto has in store… As a dad, what are you looking forward to about Christmas? Spending time with my family and experiencing Christmas through the eyes of my eldest son. My other son is only one so still a bit young to know what’s going on just yet. Because of the panto, I’ll be spending quite a bit of time at the theatre but I love it there and I drag my kids along quite often. What would be your last meal? Anything laced with a good dose of arsenic.


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weddings special.

Making the right choice for your wedding

coolazstubbyholders.wordpress.com

Do your homework Start off by making a list of everything you need to take care of, from venue, catering and drinks to invitations, photography and cars, not to mention hair and make-up as well as dresses and suits for the bridal party. Once you have a fair idea of what you’re after, it’s time to carry out some research. Begin by asking friends and family (particularly those who have gotten married recently) for any recommendations, before going on to consult magazines, blogs and wedding directories for ideas based on what you’re after.

What’s most important? Decide on what your priorities are, and what you’re dead set on having for your big day. Other elements of your wedding can be worked around your top priorities, so it’s always a good idea to get these sorted first. If, for example, you’ve got your heart set on a particular reception venue, making sure it’s available should be high up on your list of priorities, and depending on how flexible you are in terms of timeframe, can even impact the date of your wedding.

Get the best deal Even if your choice of venue limits the suppliers you can engage (such as caterers, for example) it is still worth your while to compare quotes from different companies to give you an idea of the benchmark. Depending on your budget, you can then comfortably decide on the best option for you, and even have

glendaloughmanor.com

Planning your wedding can be stressful. With the weddings fair over, so many suppliers to choose from and all the different elements you have to think about, it can all get a bit daunting. As with all other challenges, however, the stress of planning a wedding and choosing your suppliers is easily overcome with a little homework. Sarah Micallef offers advice on how to make the perfect choice.

room to manoeuvre, if you are well-informed enough of what is out there. Be upfront about your budget with your supplier from the very start. If you’re honest about how far your budget will stretch from the outset, a supplier will have a far better idea of what is doable and what ideas to pitch. This is particularly important when considering elements that can vary considerably in numbers and magnitude, such as flowers.

Plan ahead The earlier you plan, the better. Most suppliers offer good deals for early bookings, and some may even offer a discount if you put down a deposit upfront. Booking early also ensures you won’t be disappointed when it comes to securing your favourite suppliers, as there’ll be less of a chance of them being booked up on your chosen date. It also goes without saying that you should mention your

top tip Having your chosen theme in mind (if you’re opting for one) when shopping around for suppliers is a must.

Top tips wedding date right away to a potential supplier to avoid disappointment after hearing a fantastic offer and realising they’ve already been booked.

Ask questions Read the small print and consider everything included in the package you’re being offered before making any decisions. If a supplier is more expensive, check whether the same service is being offered, or whether the package includes anything additional. Don’t be fooled into going for a cheaper option that will require additional expenses such as hiring of waiting staff or crockery later on – the price will soon rise!

Keep these things in mind when shopping around for wedding suppliers and you’re sure to make the right choice for your big day. Consider the season: Tailor your wedding choices to the season of your wedding to ensure your guests' comfort and enjoyment, as well as to avoid potential disaster. Risking an outdoor venue in winter or opting for a creamcovered wedding cake in summer could end up going very wrong indeed. Remember your theme: A theme or colour scheme can determine a great deal of elements in your

wedding from invitations and souvenirs to overall decor and entertainment, so having your chosen theme in mind (if you’re opting for one) when shopping around for suppliers is a must. Create a unique playlist: The music played at your wedding need not be naff and cliché. Opt for a wedding singer, live band or DJ based on your musical tastes and liaise with them beforehand to come up with the perfect playlist for your wedding day.


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weddings special.

preparing for the big day Katia Gatt

Mellieha Holiday Centre

Your vision, your style, your day. Katia Gatt – your wedding planner. You worry about being happy, we take care of the rest: catering, photography, videography, music, decorations, venues, florists, transportation and more. Just call us for a free consultation.

Katia Gatt. Mob: 7761 8905; email: gattkatia@gmail.com

Set in the tranquil, idyllic surroundings of Ghadira Bay, Mellieha Holiday Centre (Danish Village) is an ideal location for organising memorable celebrations and events, especially weddings and engagement parties. When planning important events, one should consider proper parking facilities for guests and that all areas are accessible to people with special needs. The catering arrangements for events organised within Mellieha Holiday Centre are entrusted to Great Dane & Dynasty Caterers. They provide menus for all occasions, from the simplest requirements to the most

Jewelbox

ecco

At Jewelbox we offer a variety of 18kt gold wedding rings for your special day. Our bands are all made of solid gold and come in rose, yellow and white gold. You may also combine all the colours on one band. We offer over 10 models of wedding bands at €225 each, also in solid 18kt gold, and all models can be ordered in the colour of your choice.

ECCO introduces the Dacono leather sole range of men’s smart shoes this autumn/winter 2013. Uppers are made of full-grain leather, leather lining and a removable leather-covered inlay sole with Ecco Comfort Fibre System™.

For couples who’ve handled all the arrangements themselves and just need someone with a clear head on the day to ensure all their plans come together – we are also the ones for you.

Jewelbox, 7, St John Square, Valletta. Tel: 2747 1633.

Available in a classical slip-on or lace-up with a modern last shape, super soft and comfortable with a lightweight sole and sophisticated look. ECCO is exclusively available

Pinkish Line Wedding Services

cefai formal wear

Pinkish Line Ltd and KA Photography and Video Services joined forces to combine both their energy and synergy in Pinkish Line Wedding Services, founding the very first professional wedding photography agency based in Malta.

Cefai Formal Wear is the largest locally-owned and operated formal wear hiring service on the Maltese islands, offering you the benefits of over 15 years’ experience. We promise to provide you with superior quality, high end fashions and tailoring expertise all at a price to fit your budget, by people who care. We appreciate the opportunity to earn your business and look forward to meet you in person.

Pinkish Line Wedding Services strives to excel in customer service through consultation meetings, the sharing of ideas, online services and on-schedule deliveries. We are able to offer different styles of photography including contemporary, photojournalistic, candid and portrait. We are renowned for our innovative ideas particularly themed pre/post photo sessions, print on location, printing on different ma-

terials (glass, wood, canvas) and photo souvenirs. Take a look at our latest work on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ Pinkishline Pinkish Line Wedding Services. Pietru Xuereb Street, Pietà. Tel: 2767 7212; mob: 9944 2879; email: info@ pinkishline.com; www.pinkishline.com

Whether you need formal wear for your prom, your wedding, your 25th anniversary or a special night out on the islands, Cefai Formal Wear can provide the expertise and clothing necessary to make your special day truly memorable.

sophisticated spreads imaginable. Sample menus incorporating various options are available on request. We guarantee the perfect evening for you and your guests to remember. Mellieha Holiday Centre. Tel: 2289 3000; email: info@mhc.com.mt. Ask for Events coordinator Inez Cutajar.

from King Shoe Shop in San Gwann, Valletta, Baystreet, Gozo and Tower Shoes in Sliema. Visit www.ecco-shoes.com.mt to view the full collection.

Open Monday to Friday: 8am-12pm, 4-7pm; Saturday: 9am-12pm. Independence Avenue, Mosta. Tel: 2141 9040; 81, St Bert Street, Xewkija, Gozo. Tel: 2155 0372; email: cefaiformalwear@gmail.com www.cefaiformalwear.com

Hairoscope

Make-up and Nails by Janice

There is a story behind every bride-tobe. It’s not just about creating a hairstyle, it is about the woman, who she is and what she represents. It is best to meet up for various consultations and hair trials, so that together we can work on the most appropriate hair style for the big day. Her wedding day is one of the biggest days of her life and it’s not just the dress or make-up that are important but the entire look.

Janice is a VTCT qualified make-up artist and Silcare qualified nail technician specialising in bridal, fashion, special effects, theatre and airbrush make-up. Apart from working in the exciting field of wedding make-up for the bridal party, Janice has worked on photo shoots, fashion shows and beauty pageants, including World Bikini Model 2006 and 2011, ballets and plays, and has been entrusted with various special effects make-up for Halloween events. Janice has also provided make-up for various dance shows in Malta, Tunisia and Cyprus with one of Malta’s leading dance academies.

Hairstylist Joe Briffa advises: hair is best shampooed the day before and left natural without products. Hair can be manipulated to look thicker

or longer, while hairpieces and extensions can be useful. Joe Briffa Hairoscope, Prof A. Tabone Street, Birzebbugia. Mob: 9922 4750; email: jobriffa@gmail.com

Mob: 9948 9656; email: info@makeupbyjanice.com.mt; www.makeupbyjanice.com.mt; Facebook: makeupbyjanice


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home.

Blissful bathroom The bathroom rarely makes it to the top of the list in order of favourite rooms in the house when, in actual fact, it is probably the most essential. Martina Said reveals useful tips and the latest trends sure to boost any bathroom.

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f you asked someone to pick what they consider to be the most important room in their home, it is likely they’ll reply with ‘the kitchen’, ‘the bedroom’ or possibly ‘the living room’. With the exception of a few, perhaps, you’re unlikely to be told that the bathroom is the most important room in one’s home.

Truth is, however, a home is undeniably incomplete without a bathroom. Where else can you carry out all your personal needs and rituals without being disturbed or hurried in your own home? Nowhere else, most likely, but the bathroom. Besides the obvious functionality of this room, it is also an area that

should offer tranquillity and enjoyable down time, meaning the design and attention to detail should also play a part in its completeness, making it both appealing and essential. Interior and lighting designer Maria Mercieca, of m+design (www.mplusd.com.mt), shares that many clients tend to overlook just how important a bathroom is and are more likely to focus on all other living spaces when describing what they want. “The bathroom is often only mentioned as a wholly practical space, but without it, in my opinion, the home simply would

not be acceptable to live in. The bathroom should be given as much thought as any other room in the house no matter the size – with the right designs, additions and even lighting, a

bathroom can be a room that is all about relaxation and indulgence.” Maria adds that designing a bathroom space is in fact the

most challenging: “you’re aiming to create a room in which one may be even more eager to spend time in than a living room or bedroom, but which also evokes serenity and calmness.” The first step in bathroom planning is to know the exact size of the room and the functions you would like it to have in order to make the most of that space. To this end, the size of a bathroom won’t matter as long as space is used wisely. “It can be amazing how a well-designed small bathroom can feel more spacious than a poorly designed large one. Take room measurements and make a list of features you want and features that are essential. The next step is planning a layout: the biggest mistake people make in bathroom planning is roughly estimating the size of storage space available.” Maria adds that introducing natural daylight, wall-to-wall mirrors and solid neutral colours also contributes to changing the perception of a small space. Neutral tones of white, grey, black and tan, in fact, are the go-to colour choices for many. Continued on page 14


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a bathroom can be all about relaxation Continued from page 13

TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS “A splash of bold colour can then be used to create a vibrant focal point or to contrast against a more neutral background.” Managing Director of Josies Bathroom Centre, John Aquilina, says that customers right now are increasingly interested in tiles that look and feel like wood. “This kind of tile can be used for all styles – modern, classic and rustic. Wood-looking gres tiles offer the same atmosphere created by wood without any upkeep and maintenance to the wood.” Alfred Spiteri Hili, of Alfred Hili & Co., recommends customers to avoid ‘the cheap way out’ on important things that need to last. “The only time you should ever hassle in your bathroom is while it is being built. This includes the flushing systems, the piping and most of the ceramics.” He adds, however, that people nowadays are giving more importance to the bathroom than before: “the number of customers that walk in asking for overhead rainshowers and thermostatic mixers has increased, because they realise that a bathroom should be a place where they can relax after a long day of work.” Elaborate ideas often come at a cost that could potentially burn a hole in your pocket. Is it possible to design a visuallyappealing bathroom on a restricted budget? Maria says it most certainly is as there are lots of products on the market nowadays, making us somewhat spoilt for choice. She says adding inexpensive special touches to the space make a significant difference for interested buyers or sellers. “Homeowners are looking for rooms that don't require a lot of work, which is why a bathroom renovation can make the biggest impact on your resale value.” Alfred adds that there are plenty of quality tiles and ceramics that don’t cost an arm and a leg, but one should still avoid opting for something inferior which will need to be changed a few years down the line, making it more expensive in the long term. In spite of financial restrictions, Maria says that one of the strongest trends for 2014 is the home spa, which essentially includes a number of luxury items such as saunas and steam rooms in a domestic bathroom, “with serenity being the main objective of the bathroom. Large mirrors are being used to open the space up and encourage light to flow around the room, and waterfall-style showers are growing in popularity.”

Time and Research: “Carry out some research and see different styles to help you decide what it is you would like to create. Keep it clean and simple, and you will not tire of it in the near future. Also, give it as much importance as you would any other room in the house. A bathroom is used daily – research says the average person spends 13,148 hours in the bathroom throughout an average life span of 75 years.” – John Aquilina, Managing Director Josies Bathroom Centre.

Trust your Instinct: “If you see something and really like it, you should go for it, even if it is a bit on the pricey side. In the long run it will serve you better and cheaper. Carry out your research and don’t cut corners because you will pay for it in the long run. Treat yourself – a bathroom should be a place to relax in. Make sure you are not being taken for a ride; it is better to get no discount at all at the proper price than a 25 per cent discount on something 50 per cent more than the recommended retail price.” – Alfred Spiteri Hili, of Alfred Hili & Co.


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family matters.

kids' corner for parents Handkrafts Most children today are fascinated by computer games. Although tablets and smartphone apps may not be such a bad thing, as there are games that are also stimulating, they may not be helpful for their emotional and social development, which is why it is best to give children educational toys. Educational toys help stimulate your children’s brain, develop their senses, improve their motor skills, enhance their vocabulary and provide the opportunity to use their imagination and creativity. For the first five years, your children’s brain is like a huge sponge; they are learning so much, so quickly. One very important aspect of learning is that it must be fun, so visit our outlet for a large variety of educational toys.

Menrad Eyewear Handkrafts, 83, South Street, Valletta. Tel: 2122 1160; email: sales@handkrafts.net BUY ONLINE: hk.trolleymania.com • Eyes that turn in or out • Eyes that do not appear to work together • Inability to judge depth correctly • Poor vision in one eye Early recognition and treatment of the problem in children can help to prevent permanent visual loss. All children should have a complete eye examination at least once between ages three and five. A lazy eye is a childhood condition that occurs when the vision in one eye does not develop properly. Children with a lazy eye usually have problems

Bright Sparks A start–up assisted financially by EU funds, Bright Sparks Child Care Centre provides day care for children aged between 3 and 36 months. Fully registered. Options of tax rebate or free childcare. Qualified staff are selected for their love of children and cheerful disposition, a clean police conduct, first aid, food handling and other certifications. Accessible premises are designed to resemble and feel like a home, complete with age appropriate toys and

Call for an appointment with your orthoptist, optometrist or ophthalmologist if you suspect a vision problem in a young child:

accurately judging the distance between themselves and objects, which can make tasks such as catching a ball more difficult. Ensure to have your child’s eyes checked before it is too late! Menrad Eyewear, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann. Tel: 2149 2430 / Mob: 7949 2430; email: menrad@onvol.net

Stars & Heroes equipment that stimulate interest and skills. Activities are planned carefully to stimulate the holistic development of each child and cots and beds are available for naps. Children may also enjoy different physical activities in the outdoor area. Bright Sparks, Pietru Pawl Bezzina Street, Ta Zwejt, San Gwann. Tel: 2137 1700; mob: 9928 6862; www.brightsparksmalta.org; facebook: brightsparksmalta

Stars & Heroes – the kids’ character store. Delight your kids with clothes and shoes inspired by their favourite stars and heroes – Mickey & Minnie, Spiderman, Cars, Fireman Sam, Thomas the Tank Engine, Disney Planes, Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty, Princess, Moshi Monsters and many more. During the month of November, you will receive the equivalent of 10 per cent of your total spend as a voucher, redeemable on your next purchase and additionally when you spend €40 and over, you will get a FREE Happy Meal from Mc Donald’s (valid until stock lasts – T & C apply). Stars & Heroes, 162 Constitution Street, Mosta, (close to Casa Arkati). Tel: 2141 4502; facebook: starsandheroesmalta

Party Time This month, Party Time are having a little celebration of their own to mark their 20th anniversary as leading suppliers of party goods throughout the Maltese islands. On an island that is brought together by feasts and celebrations, the idea of not having a single shop dedicated to party celebrations seemed silly in the eyes of owners Steve and Jane Cassar. Hence Party Time was born. Today the outlet prides itself in knowing that it stocks and is able to offer the widest selection of party goods, décor and costumes on the island for anything from a christening to a wedding. Visit the store in Rabat or the sub outlet in Poala to see the full range of balloons, party wear, décor,

Hometrends piñatas, party favours, fancy dress costumes, accessories and more. Party Time, 124, St Rita Street, Rabat. Tel: 2740 2205; email: info@partytime.com.mt; facebook.com/PartyMalta

Maxi-Cosi car seats offer the best protection for your child in the car. Maxi-Cosi Rodi SPS is a car seat for your growing child that fits different vehicles. According to European legislation, children up to 1.50 (in some countries up to 1.35) metres, must use an approved child car seat. SPS stands for Side Protection System, which is exactly what this child car seat does: offer the best possible protection in side impacts, which account for almost 25 per cent of all types of accidents. Peace of mind and convenience all in place, you can look forward to happy days out with your child.

The Maxi-Cosi range is available at HomeTrends Baby & Kids, Industrial Estate, San Gwann. Tel: 2144 5654; email: shop@hometrends.com.mt; facebook.com/Hometrendscomplex


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family matters.

welcome home, baby Welcoming your first baby into the world is a life-changing experience that requires both psychological and material preparation. Sarah Micallef looks into what it takes to prepare for your bundle of joy.

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tarting a family is no small deal. Before you welcome your new baby, you have to ensure you are fully prepared for the great responsibility it will bring with it – both mentally and materially. Once your baby is born, you will need to change your lifestyle dramatically to cater for your infant’s needs: from feeding, changing, washing and entertaining the new addition to your family to finding time for household chores and basic needs like getting some sleep. Parentcraft courses for pregnant women and their partners are held at Mater Dei Hospital, and are targeted at teaching you about your pregnancy, as well as the essentials for when your little one is born. Early Pregnancy Courses provide information on eating well during pregnancy, what to expect in the early weeks and exercises to carry out while you’re pregnant; while Childbirth Courses offer detailed information on pregnancy, childbirth, baby care and breastfeeding. Other courses and seminars for new parents on coping with the first months and years of their baby’s life are offered by various other entities too. Local online parenting resource www. kidsmalta.com features a handy reference list of courses for parents which could also help guide you in enhancing your baby’s development after birth. Aside from practical aspects of caring for your baby, you will also need to prepare yourself emotionally for the dramatic change in your life. The stress and lack of sleep following the birth of a new baby can put a strain on the parents’ relation-

ship, but if handled carefully, it is an experience that brings you closer together. Aside from getting your emotions in check, you also have a lot of shopping to do. Babies require a great deal of equipment for their care, and you will do well to stock up on items like nappies, bottles, clothing and safety equipment, well in advance.

A couple’s experience Sarah and Roderick Camilleri recently welcomed little Benjamin into the world. Sarah shares her experience of what to expect when you’re expecting. “Benjamin was born on 5th October 2013. Our lives have changed completely since taking him home. When people used to tell me that life will change and everything has to be done in a rush, I used to think they were exaggerating, but they were right. Luckily, my husband helps me out a lot and stayed home with me for the first couple of weeks until we settled down and got into a routine. Once at home, you start getting to know your baby and your baby will start getting used

to you. You won't be able to imagine your life without him and you'll want to spend every minute with him. It is such a beautiful experience.

and blankets. Mothers who will be bottle feeding will need six bottles and a sterilizer. I also think that mothers who will be breast-feeding need to have

bottles and formula prepared. The choice of formula milk should be discussed with a professional before the baby is born.”

Classes at hospital before birth do explain a lot of things, but things in general. Obviously, they can't explain everything in detail – I believe that all children are different and have different ways. By the time the

baby is born, you may end up forgetting a lot of what you learnt, but in the days after the birth the helpful midwives will show you everything again and help you with whatever you need. My advice for first time mothers is to prepare yourself emotionally, because when you first look at your newborn you almost won't believe he's yours, and a mother begins to know what is best for her baby as time goes on. It is very important to have all the baby’s necessities ready before the birth, because you will need everything from the moment you get home. Things you will need are the travel system, nappy changer, cot and Moses basket for the first few weeks, baby grows, vests, socks, muslin squares

Your new baby shopping list Here is Best Buy’s selection of essentials for your new baby. For the extended list, go to www.kidsmalta.com.

Bath Time • baby bath and seat • baby towels • flannels and sponge • baby shampoo • skincare toiletries

Car Seats • infant car seat • travel system • head cushion and neck support • window blinds • baby view mirror

Nursery • cot or cot bed • Moses basket • sheets and blankets • mattress • mattress protectors • baby monitor • night light

Pushchairs • pushchair • carry cot • raincover/sun shade Breast-feeding • nursing bras • breast pads/shells • breast pump • breast milk storage kits or bottles Bottle-feeding • bottles • teats • bottle brush • steriliser • bottle warmer • infant formula baby milk

Baby Changing • nappies • nappy wipes • baby lotion • cotton wool • nappy barrier and nappy rash creams • changing station • changing bag Baby Clothes • vests or bodysuits • socks • pram shoes • cardigans • hat and mittens


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health.

Beating the odds With a dropping birth rate and longer life expectancy, Malta’s population is unquestionably an ageing one. Martina Said looks into this pressing demographic trend and the services available for the elderly.

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here’s no denying that people are now living longer than ever before – encouraged by better healthcare, quality of life and social conditions to name a few. The benefits of this are obvious: we get to enjoy the company of our loved ones for longer and they, in turn, get to enjoy the fruit of their lifelong hard labour. An extended life expectancy, however, is appearing to impact Europe’s population, Malta being one of the most affected. The term ‘ageing population’ comes up a lot when discussing our country’s demographics, which essentially means the average age of our population is increasing due to rising life expectancy and declining birth rates. Statistics published by Eurostat last year show this is a steady trend sweeping across the whole of Europe. The discrepancy in Malta’s changing population, however, is particularly striking: over 20 years, the number of young people, from birth till age 14, has dropped by a high percentage, from 23.3 per cent in 1991 to 15.3 per cent in 2011. Meanwhile, the number of persons over 64 years of age has increased from 10.5 per cent in 1991 to 15.5 per cent in 2011. The implications are various and significant. According to

experts in the field, longer life expectancy means that the working age population will drop, which may affect the country’s economic growth rate. On a more practical and human level, however, what are the implications for those experiencing the process of ageing? Are there enough aids in place to facilitate this stage of their lives? The onset of ageing proves to be a difficult time for many people – we’re largely indifferent towards our age until the dreaded half-acentury mark, after which it almost begins to feel as if every year that passes is taking us one step closer to retirement and old age.

did you know? Over 20 years, the number of young people (0-14 years old) making up Malta’s population has dropped from 23.3 per cent in 1991 to 15.3 per cent in 2011 – Eurostat.

As old age sets it, illness becomes more common, as does frailty, causing greater immobility and eliciting feelings of giving up. It is safe to say that a longer life does not automatically translate into a better-quality one if the right facilities are not available. According to figures published by the National Statistics Office last September, persons over 59 years of age have a 21 per cent chance of being at risk of poverty and social exclusion, which does little to enhance the morale of people in that age bracket. A number of

long as possible. I meet Konrad Bezzina, Managing Director of We Care, a locally-established company that targets independent living. those over 60 years of age – a total of 3,441 – are also residing in old people’s homes. Living in such residences offers several benefits such

as round-the-clock care and companionship. Some elderly persons, however, prefer to live at home for as

“One of the main problems faced by the elderly is that they would want to stay at home but rely on help from their relatives, who all work and are also ageing, so there’s no one to care for them,” says Konrad. “What we are trying to do is help the elderly, who are clients to us, not patients, in this way, as well as to support the family.” Services start from basic caring – such as help getting dressed, showered and other personal needs – medical services such as speech therapy, physiotherapy, counselling and nursing, as well as a range of non-medical services such as house cleaning, maintenance and companionship. He affirms that the great thing about such care, which is a novel service for our country, is that life goes on as normal. “The majority of people have memories linked to their house, and they don’t want to let go of that. At home, life goes on, surrounded by people you are familiar with, your neighbours, shops and the neighbourhood Continued on page 20


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the average age of our population is increasing Continued from page 19

in general. We shouldn’t have to change our ways at the last phase – you’ve worked for your entire life, now it is time to get back what you worked for,” he asserts. As we get older, health problems undeniably start getting more frequent. According to Isabelle Vella, of St Anne’s Clinic, not all adults face the same health challenges but “what we can safely say is that older patients have a higher risk to certain conditions, such as osteoporosis and colon cancer. Most patients understand the importance of early detection of any medical problem and that routine check-ups are the key to keeping well.” The services offered to patients at the clinic range from blood tests for sugar and cholesterol levels to prostate markers for men, and from stools tests which help in detecting colon cancer to routine mammography and bone density check-ups for women. “We must also keep in mind that we are living longer and healthier lives. As a result, many older patients are also concerned with looking their best. St Anne's offers a wide selection of cosmetic procedures too, including botox and fillers,” she continues. Isabelle says there is plenty of information out there today guiding us on what to eat, what to avoid and the importance of exercise, but what it ultimately boils down to is finding and maintaining a balance in our lives, and, in the case of older patients, keeping an active mind too. “One doesn't start living well just because he or she is over 60. We are all responsible for our good health and the choices we make throughout

our life will be reflected in our health when we are older,” cautions Isabelle. “Society is continuously pushing the boundaries of what is considered 'elderly'. If someone has reached the age of 70 or over, he or she must be doing something right. The challenge is to continue with all that is good and work other healthy lifestyle changes into everyday routine.”

did you know? Persons over 59 years of age have a 21 per cent chance of being at risk of poverty and social exclusion – National Statistics Office.


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photos supplied BY www.camilleriburlo.com

The best options for your windows and floors

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home.

Selecting the right flooring and aperture solutions is an important part of doing up your home. Aside from aesthetics, there are a number of aspects you should keep in mind when choosing your fixtures and flooring, ranging from style to efficiency. Sarah Micallef talks with architect and designer Trinity Camilleri Burlò about the best options on the market today. One of the main things to keep in mind before purchasing apertures for your home, according to Trinity Camilleri Burlo’, is energy efficiency, as well as the different types, styles and treatments available. Trinity highlights the main materials for apertures as wood, aluminium and PVC. She explains, “wood is traditional and attractive, and there are specific areas where MEPA implies timbre apertures. Consumers can choose to paint or stain wood windows themselves, or choose from a variety of colours. However, while wood does not conduct cold or allow condensation, it can shrink, swell, or rot over time.” Aluminium, on the other hand, is virtually immune to moisture and rot, and is reasonably priced. “Aluminium is durable and can be fabricated in a variety of colours. However, aluminium windows are not the best insulators and the metal can expand and contract during temperature changes,” she explains. Moving on to PVC apertures, Trinity maintains, “high-quality PVC makes for a great insulator, resists condensation, and will not distort when exposed

to extreme heat or cold. Don’t skimp on quality though, as inexpensive versions will distort, leak air and become hard to operate over time. PVC cannot be painted or stained, and is available in a limited palette.” Other factors to consider are energy efficient solutions such as double or triple glazed windows, which provide additional insulation and significant energy savings. Another option is a thermal break or barrier, which reduces the flow of thermal energy and sound transmittance. Additionally, reflective film helps reduce glare and heat gain. Malta’s climate should also factor into

your choice, Trinity advises. “Pay attention to a window’s U-factor and SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) to determine how well it is insulated.” For flooring, Trinity explains that the most common types are grès or ceramic tiles, marble, laminate, hardwood and concrete. Whereas ceramic or grès tiles come in a wide variety of colours, textures and sizes, “visible grout lines can be difficult to clean and low quality tiles may chip.” Trinity goes on to describe marble tiles as an elegant option. “Some varieties are easily maintained while others are porous and age, but that is the beauty of a natural

product. Marble is also easy to engrave with stylish textures and designs.” Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is cheap and easy to maintain while giving a cosy effect. She affirms, “laminate flooring provides a durable surface that can resist burns, some scratches, and chipping. One of its disadvantages is scratching, and this cannot be refinished. Laminate flooring comes in various sizes and colours, including ones specifically designed for high-moisture rooms.” Another alternative is hardwood flooring. Trinity advises, “Hardwood flooring presents a

combination of beauty and durability, providing a long-lasting product with a wear-resistant surface that can be refinished if necessary. However, certain types may darken with age, and others can shrink and expand, creating gaps.” Lastly, despite being a relatively new material locally, concrete flooring, according to Trinity, is a beautiful option. “It is durable and low maintenance. Moreover, concrete's disadvantages of tonal differences, subtle cracks and aggregates can be considered a plus as it gives a stone-like, natural feel.” Flooring trends also influence what type of flooring you choose. Trinity points out the latest trends locally. “The trend for tiles is size – the larger, the more aesthetic value and less grouting joints. With regards to colour, the trend is neutrals like white, beige, sand, grey and black, which give a more homogenous and ‘safe’ look. Concrete tiling is also becoming more popular due to its urban feel.” Aside from what’s popular, Trinity recommends considering use and space. “If the room will have heavy traffic the flooring needs to be durable.” One must also consider moisture levels, as this would necessitate watertight and non-porous material, and possibly subflooring that prevents moisture ingress. Colour should also be given some thought, and can be directly affected by the size of the room and it’s propensity to show (or hide) dirt.


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home.

Top Telly Technology From Smart TVs to 3D, and 4K to OLED – today’s TVs do it all. Whether you’re on a budget or not, Jo Caruana discovers the latest technology that’s wooing telly fans the world over.

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elevision sets have come an awfully long way since their humble beginnings in the 1920s. Back then they were a genuine rarity and, until 1939, there were less than 1,000 sets in use across the whole world. How times have changed. Fast forward a century or so and there are now 1.5 billion TVs in homes across the globe – and a whopping 400 million of those are in China alone. So how exactly did the modest blackand-white TV go on to achieve veritable world domination and completely transform itself into a cutting-edge product that continues to defy belief? Well, it all started when TVs went into mass production after World War II, when they became the natural extension to radio. By the 1960s, TV networks had started to adopt colour format and that became mainstream too. From there the evolution was steady – cable channels, stereo sound and

VHS, DVDs and flat screens, digital video recording, HD, 3D and, recently, Smart TV. “Smart TV is often a completely new experience for the buyer,” explains Eman Castagna, director of Sound Machine. “It’s a bit like experiencing TV for the first time! Smart TV actually allows you to explore online content and get personal viewing recommendations. With Samsung’s Smart Interaction, you can change channels and more using simple voice and gesture commands. “I definitely consider it to be a new way of enjoying your TV and the contents available on the world largest platform – the Internet. From your TV you can Skype friends, use Youtube and some even come with face recognition,” he explains. But it doesn’t stop there either. The current television-related innovation that everyone’s talking about is Ultra HD 4K TVs, which have a resolution four

Budgeting for your next TV?

“There’s a range of models available to suit every bud get,” explains Joseph Vella Zarb from Toshiba Malta. “A full -HD, LED TV is ideal for a low-end buy er, while, if money is no obj ect, a ‘future-proof’ Ultra HD 4K model would be the way to go!”

times greater than standard Full HD TVs. “This means extra clarity and superb detail,” explains Joseph Vella Zarb from Toshiba Malta. “Containing over eight million megapixels natively, each screen can be viewed at closer distances without individual pixels being visible. Meanwhile, when it comes to pricing, customers tend to get ‘more bang for their money’ now, with more features and functionality for the same cost.” Another development has been the introduction of OLED TVs, which stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. It may only be a slight variation on traditional LEDs at the minute, but OLED displays are actually completely different. Rather than relying

on an LCD filter to turn an individual subpixel on or off, OLED pixels are independently lit, so they do not require backlighting and filters to function. “At this stage, OLED TVs are still having some teething prob-

lems, largely because they only have a short lifetime, are quite intolerant to humidity and they lack the 4K technology more and more people want to see. If all that is sorted, then they may well be the next big thing,” continues Mr Vella Zarb.

Are you planning on purchasing a new TV? Follow our top tips before you do! 1. Before you buy anything, measure the space where your TV is to be placed (including the height, width and depth) to ensure that the TV (and any stand) will fit comfortably. 2. Assess the layout of your room and identify the different seating positions and different viewing angles. Take a careful note of the viewing angle from any main seating that is not directly in front of the TV. 3. Once you’ve done that, work out the size of the TV that will work best – as a quick formula, the ideal screen size can be calculated by multiplying the distance that you intend to sit away from it by 0.535, and then rounding this up to the nearest size.

4. Make sure you buy technology that is upto-date and that your TV, even if it’s a Smart TV, is upgradable. “In this fast moving world things change so quickly,” says Eman Castagna from Sound Machine. “Our Smart Evolution Kit takes this worry away by helping you keep your Smart TV up-to-date. The easily installed chipset upgrades the key components of your TV to make sure you can experience the most cutting-edge entertainment experience, without buying a new television.” 5. Do your research about the latest technology. Do you and your family want to make the most of 3D? Do you want 4K HD to watch sports and documentaries in incredible detail? Or are you looking for a budget option? Either way, there will be one that suits you to a tee.


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taking care of your home Ceilings and Walls We are introducing the method of Stretch Ceiling, the modern and fashionable solution for decorating any interior space. It is an ideally smooth and amazing surface that can be used in all kinds of private and public spaces. With this method, there is no need for sanding, painting, and, best of all, it does not generate any sort of dust. It is available in various colours and textures.

Mediterranean Building Finishes Ltd ceiling, wall lining, bulkheads, partitions, parquet and light fittings. For more information contact us on mob: 9944 9234 or email: info@ceilingsandwalls.com.mt

We also specialise in gypsum board work for both commercial and domestic projects. Our services include: flat

Andrew Vassallo General Trading LtD Andrew Vassallo Ltd has one of the best decking systems and raised flooring used internationally.

tal, and come in various adjustable heights enabling the finish floor levels to be level with inner rooms.

We offer real wood decking ranging from slats to tiles, which are rot proof and require very little maintenance. Composite decking and ceramic tiles in various sizes and colours are also available. These are very stable, guaranteeing very little distortion and have smooth anti-slip surfaces which are suitable for internal and external domestic and industrial use.

Andrew Vassallo Ltd, Tarxien Road, Gudja. Tel: 2169 2917; www.andrewvassallo.com

This system is supported by polypropylene screw jacks which can take a load of one tonne on each pedes-

When a building is properly insulated, the occupants will benefit from the feeling of ‘well-being’ as the temperature within is always kept at a comfortable level, both in our extreme summer heat and also during our cold, damp winters. In order to achieve this effect, the dwelling needs to be totally insulated from the outside elements. If the dwelling has a roof, then a thick layer of EPS needs to be properly laid under the concrete screed. The external walls also need to be covered with varying thicknesses of EPS and plastered over with waterproof material, and the apertures need to

The family-run company has been established since 1987. Our clients’ satisfaction is of utmost importance to us and we are committed to delivering our best service. We operate from a 1,000 square metre factory, adjacent to which is a 1,200 square metre yard, equipped with the latest machinery and tools to enhance our various and varied stone works. The stone we use is supplied from the best quarries in Malta and we can meet our clients’ demands and specifications. We also offer on-site delivery. We are always renovating our style and design to ensure that our works are innovative and in-line with today’s trends.

MG Interiors

Planning a bedroom for young kids or teenagers can be a tough job. You have to squeeze one or two beds, a desk, a TV, wardrobe, storage space and more in a limited space. The new Mundo Joven collection by Rimobel can solve all the problems in planning the perfect room for your kids. With a catalogue containing over 2,000 different components, we can plan your room to the last centimetre and detail.

Specialists in domestic and commercial projects. Contact us for all kinds of gypsum designs: flat ceilings, wall linings, partitions, bulkheads, soundproofing, covings, rockwool sound insulations and suspended soffits (60x60). We offer quality material at competitive prices!

WP Ltd WP Ltd is one of Malta’s leading names in the laying of waterproofing, rubber spraying and the provision of elastic bituminous and liquid membrane, adaptable for metal sheet and asbestos roofs. We specialise in waterproofing services to accommodate every client’s needs, be they for households or businesses. Our waterproofing membrane – be it reinforced polyester, non-wover polyester, or other types of high quality membrane – is certified to be of the best quality and is available in various options both in terms of colour and size. All our waterproofing membrane solutions carry a 10-year warranty. We are here not simply to get the job done; but to get the job done right.

Mediterranean Building Finishes Ltd. Tel: 2137 4454; mob: 9949 3086.

Jason Vella Stoneworks

R Living

The new Mundo Joven collection is available on display at R LIVING, Mriehel Bypass, Qormi. Tel: 2149 9699; email: info@rliving.com.mt

have a thermal break to eliminate the transmission of heat or cold through the doors or windows.

We also specialise in large-sized stone that can be purchased or else tailormade to our clients’ needs. Jason Vella Stoneworks, 19, Triq il-Kbira, Mosta. Tel: 2141 2216/ 2143 2352; Mobile 9947 7167; www.jvellastoneworks.com

Call Michael Grech on mob: 7925 0895; email: m.grech@live.com

Betacentre Lighting Contact us now for a FREE inspection. WP Ltd – Waterproofing Specialist Tel: 2148 8972/2143 8326; mob: 9944 5527/9949 3840; email: williamm@go.net.mt; www.wpmalta.com

At Betacentre in Fgura we now stock a full range of high quality LED lighting at the most affordable prices. You can find GU10 bulbs to substitute regular halogen bulbs, ropelight, downlights for soffits, LED bulbs to replace incandescent or energy saving bulbs, floodlights for external commercial lighting and panel lights to substitute soffit modules or installation on flat ceilings. Our range of new generation, energyefficient LED lighting provides bright, beautiful light while effectively reducing energy costs.

We are currently offering a 10 per cent introductory discount. Betacentre, Zabbar Road, Fgura. Tel: 2166 2028; email: info@betacentre.com.mt; www.betacentre.com.mt


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eating & drinking.

ISSUE 78 - november 13, 2013

PHOTOS BY Lionel galea

SEAFOOD FEAST There’s nothing like a great plate of seafood followed by a light dessert. The chefs at Pegasus Restaurant of Hotel Phoenicia have put together a delightful feast using simple, easy-to-follow recipes.

Granny Smith Apple Pockets with Local Red Shrimps INGREDIENTS 6 slices Granny Smith apple 4 red prawns Lemon juice Salt 6 red currants Nero di sepia Cream cheese Herb oil Orange marmalade Pistachio powder

Method 1. Peel the prawns, squeeze lemon juice over them and sprinkle with salt. Cut each red prawn in three pieces. Next, cut six slices of Granny Smith green apples 2.5mm thick. Spread some orange marmalade over the slices of apple and lay a piece of prawn on each and fold.

2. Smear a line of nero di sepia along the edge of a rectangular plate. Pipe six small beads of cream cheese along the nero di sepia and place a red currant on each. Arrange the apple ‘ravioli’ on the plate. Sprinkle with pistachio dust and drizzle herb oil around the apple ravioli.

Octopus Salad INGREDIENTS 1 octopus Blue potatoes 4 slices fennel Mangetout 4 orange segments Fried carrots Pink peppercorns 1 clove garlic Herb oil Method 1. Steam the octopus for approximately 35 minutes. In a hot pan, gently fry the octopus and the potatoes.

Pegasus Restaurant The Pegasus Restaurant at the iconic Hotel Phoenicia Malta offers a relaxing sanctuary for any busy day. The relaxing, intimate atmosphere, together with friendly and attentive staff, provides the perfect cocktail for a memorable dining experience. Renowned Chef Saul Halevi and his award-winning team have introduced a new concept to the Pegasus. Classic Mediterranean cuisine is combined with a wealth of local products with a touch of creativity and flair to traditional dishes. This new approach has been welcomed by guests and diners for its freshness, taste, quality and nutrition. At Pegasus only the freshest of ingredients are used. Only the best local vegetable and seafood produce are sourced, which make up approximately 80 per cent of all the ingredients used in the dishes. A 4,000 square metre vegetable kitchen garden within Phoenicia’s extensive 7.5 acre grounds has been planted to supplement a very carefully selected supply chain. “While remaining true to basic culinary principles, the culinary team at Pegasus pursues outof-the-box techniques, presentations, flavour sensations, tastes and textures – with a variety of dishes finished theatrically at your table,” reveals Chef Halevi. The Pegasus is now open daily for lunch and dinner, and for a delicious Sunday lunch including mouth-watering carvery. For reservations and further information call on tel: 2122 5241 or email: dine@phoeniciamalta.com. Hotel Phoenicia Malta, The Mall, Floriana.

Add the garlic and toss until the octopus turns a golden brown colour. Blanch four pieces of mangetout in boiling water. 2. Cut the fennel in half and slice four pieces. Lay the slices on a plate. Place the octopus and potato mixture on top of the fennel, together with the mangetout and orange segments. Garnish with fried carrots and pink peppercorns. Drizzle with herb oil and serve.


ISSUE 78 - November 13, 2013

bestbuy.

eating & drinking.

Helwa tat-tork Gateau INGREDIENTS Biscuit base 400g digestive biscuits 240g butter Ground cinnamon Filling 500g helwa tat-tork 100ml fresh cream 4 gelatine leaves 25g ground pistachios Method 1. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water and put aside. 2. Blend together the digestive biscuits, butter and cinnamon until the mixture combines. Take this mixture and place in a greased baking tray, pressing down until the dish is covered. Place the base to the side. 3. Dissolve the gelatine leaves over a low heat. In a mixer combine the helwa tat-tork, fresh cream and gelatine leaves. Add the pistachios. Place the mixture over the biscuit base. Leave to set in the fridge. Serve with whipped cream.

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wine & dine this winter Check out our recommended restaurants.

Vermell Bistro Get ready to take a bite out of Vermell – meaning red in Catalan – which best describes the red theme which flows through our bistro, creating a warm ambience. Tucked away in a relaxed corner of St Julian’s, Vermell has a glass facade from where one can enjoy the gorgeous view of Spinola Bay from within or from its outdoor terrace. Our menu focuses on Mediterranean cuisine, and our signature dishes are made using fresh local fish, seafood and different cuts of meat. We strive to offer our customers genuine food, efficient and friendly service with a smile, and most importantly, a dining experience worth remembering. Open Monday-Sunday lunch (by bookings only) and dinner from 6pm till late. Vermell Restaurant, Spinola Bay, St Julian’s. Tel: 2137 5567; mob: 7944 6158/7902 0991.

PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR AT THE HARD ROCK! Now accepting group bookings for the Christmas season It’s never too soon to Jingle Bell Rock at Hard Rock and the Hard Rock venues at the Valletta Waterfront and Bay Street Complex are offering an array of group packages.

Let Hard Rock organise your staff event for this Christmas season! You can choose between the Hard Rock Bar at the Valletta Waterfront, or the Hard Rock Café at the Bay Street Complex. Complete buy-out of venue is available upon request. Ask about the party that rocks on tel: 2372 2250 or email: events@hardrockcafe.com.mt or chat with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Ir-Rizzu Restaurant Ir-Rizzu, a family-run restaurant established in 1986, is situated on the seafront of Marsaxlokk, 50 metres away from the church square. The restaurant is run by Ruzar and Leli Farrugia and their families, and specialises mainly in fresh fish and seafood which is bought daily by one of the brothers from the fish market in Valletta. Our menu is varied, with a lovely selection of pasta, seafood, fish, beef, chicken, pork and a kid’s menu. Our client’s favourite dishes are the traditional fish soup, our very own fresh prawn pulpetti, spaghetti with fresh seafood and our selection of seafood served on a tray to share to start with. The choice of fresh fish is displayed at your table and you can watch our chefs cooking your meal through our open kitchen. A wide selection of local and foreign wines is also available to complement your meal. We also offer a vast choice of desserts, including ice-creams and fresh lemon sorbets. The restaurant opens daily for lunch and dinner, and is closed on Sunday evenings. Seating capacity: 150 inside and 20 outside. Reservations for the weekend are highly recommended. Ir-Rizzu Restaurant, 52, Xatt is-Sajjieda, Marsaxlokk. Tel: 2165 1569/2165 0492; email: irruzzu@gmail.com

hugo's lounge Situated in the heart of Paceville, Hugo’s Lounge offers an exquisite Asian fusion and sushi menu, served in a warm and cosy ambience by friendly staff. Hugo’s lounge has become a very sought-after casual diner which, apart from offering excellent food, is also well known for the best cocktails on the island. Hugo’s in the place to dine, meet friends or simply relax and enjoy a drink while watching your favourite game on any of the TV screens scattered around the restaurant, and the place to listen to melodious music while sipping a cocktail. Open daily from noon till late. Hugo’s Lounge, St George’s Road. Paceville. For Hugo’s deliveries call on tel: 2138 2264; www.hugosdeliveries.com. For reservations call on tel: 2138 2264; www.hugosloungemalta.com

Photo by Matthew Grech

Hard Rock is a full-service event-planning facility for any occasion; from glam receptions to buffet lunches, open-bar parties and live concerts.


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take note.

HSBC Malta launches new website and Personal Internet Banking service HSBC Malta has upgraded its public website and introduced an improved Personal Internet Banking service. The website, hsbc.com.mt offers a fresh online look and feel, new features and the very latest in online banking security. New features include a convenient product comparison page and tools section to help customers choose best suited products, a ‘three-click navigation system’ for faster site navigation and simpler online applications for HSBC products and services which now allow customers to apply for more than 15 HSBC products. An enhanced HSBC Personal Internet Banking service, complete with a new Secure Key, is also being introduced to offer the latest group standards in customer experience and secu-

The importance of nutrients found in grains in pet food MYTH: many dog and cat owners believe their pets will get better nutrition by being fed grain-free diets.

rity. The Secure Key, being mailed to all HSBC PIB users together with user instructions, will replace the previous Internet Banking security device. Once the new Secure Key is activated, the old Internet Banking security devices are to be disposed of. Recycling bins are available in all HSBC branches for this purpose.

HSBC Malta also implemented a new online credit and debit card authentication system, offering added security for customers who use MasterCard and Visa credit cards, as well as Visa Electron debit cards on enabled websites. More information is available on hsbc.com.mt/secureonline

FALSE: All the nutrients in pet food add nutritional value to the food. These include carbohydrates, proteins and nutrients coming from grains. Grains supply energy. The body’s cells need carbohydrates as a primary source of energy. Grains provide fibre and other nutrients. Fibre is very important in the diet to maintain the health of the gastrointestinal tract. Grains also contain nutrients that contribute to healthy skin and coat as

well as certain essential fatty acids. MYTH: Grain-free pet foods are better for my pet. FACTS DRIVEN BY SCIENCE: The idea that a particular food item is grain-free is very misleading to pet owners, since the carbohydrate source will be potato or sweet potato which contains more carbohydrates than corn and is proven to release certain amount of toxins when cooked and ingested. In a nutshell: • Grains help the overall digestive system and serve as a building block in the body of your dogs and cats • Grains contain fibre which is an essential part of the diet • A grain-free diet does not contain fibre • Grain-free diets contain a high amount of protein part of which is unnecessary for the body thus can turn the unused energy into fat • Grain-free diets lack important nutrients that will help support the overall functions of the body of your dogs and cats. For more information visit www.royalcanin.com.mt, Facebook Royal Canin Malta or Borg Cardona Pet supplies or email sales@borg-cardona.com. Trade enquiries: 2144 5816.


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Best Buy November 2013 Issue  

The Leading Shopping Guide distributed with The Times of Malta

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