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Issue No.1 – Spring 2011 €4 - where sold


Julian Calascione

Amber Knights

Martin Azzopardi

John de Giorgio

Jean-Marc Bianchi

Malcolm Naudi

Lorraine Miceli DeMajo

Phil Gibbs

Ben Stuart


A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR Spring is a time for newness and with that sentiment, I’d like to welcome you to the first issue of indulge. We have worked through the Winter months selflessly trying out treats and hope that our efforts, presented here to you, have been worth it! Our contributors talk in depth about art, the deliciousness of diamonds, the fun of feasting and the sport of sailing amongst some of life’s other little luxuries. There a neat pullout for you to share with your partner, once you have taken your time with this new magazine. Our website,, will be updated with news and indulgent offers, and should you feel you wish to share the experience, there is a registration form for you to recommend a recipient of the magazine. This magazine is being distributed by hand to select addresses, so be selfish, pour over and devour... and live by our mantra; indulge. Monique x e: t: 99891722


How I indulge.... Raina Zarb Adami tells us her guilty pleasures


Amber Knights introduces us to works of art


Pierre J Meljak shares one of his short stories


Marisa Grima invites us to Spring clean our look and update our wardrobe


Gordon Mayo gives us new Spring locks


Jean-Marc Bianchi sheds some light on the subject of interior design


Martin Azzopardi takes a peek at local theatre from back stage


Julian Calascione escorts us through etiquette

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Lorraine Miceli DeMajo teaches us to read a wine label


Phil Gibbs plays the game... of rugby


Ben Stuart gives us a guide to life at sea


John de Giorgio makes choosing the right tablet technology painless


Malcolm Naudi gets under the bonnet of the world’s most anticipated car launches


So near, so Bari... a world of luxury awaits just a one hour flight away


Our indispensible guide to anniversaries and how to indulge the one you love

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Antione Cassar reflects on his time in Sungal

Monique Chambers has a tête a tête at Etienne’s

Where to eat now

indulge is brought to you by Compass Rose, Shoebox Villa, Triq Gilormu Cassar, Birgu. Designed by Porridge Creative with photography by Kurt Arrigo and Gilbert Zammit and printed by Print It . For advertising enquiries, please contact us on or 9989 1722. All information is correct at the time of going to press. The editor does not accept liability for the opinions expressed nor accuracy of information.



CODES Throughout indulge, you will see 2D barcodes – otherwise known as QR codes. WHAT IS A QR CODE? A QR Code is a square graphic made up of a special type of coding, similar to a barcode, but capable of storing, among other things, the url of a web site. HOW DO I READ A QR CODE? To make use of a QR Code to go to a web site, you need to have: • A camera on your iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone or on your PC or Mac. • Internet access. • Free QR reader application. We recommend you use the free App called ScanLife. Once you have ScanLife installed, run the App and point your camera at one of the codes in indulge. The QR Code will be read and your Smartphone will automatically take you to the relevant web site. WHY WOULD I USE A QR CODE? Some advertisements in indulge display a QR Code. Point your phone or PC/Mac camera at the code as described above to see more information from the advertiser. For instance, IIG Bank will take you to offers with preferential rates and there are a couple that will take you to areas of our website.



Open the browser on your Smartphone and go to and follow the download instructions.

• Launch the ScanLife app on your phone. • This will turn on your camera. • Point your camera at the QR Code in the magazine (ensure the whole code is caught in the camera). • Wait until the camera focuses and goes to the url.

indulge / Spring 2011 – 5




ore than an indulgence, chocolate is more of an addiction. Like most other things I take this addiction very seriously and would say, I am very dedicated to it. I inherited my sweet tooth from my mother; this is hardly complimentary to the mature onset diabetes genes kindly provided by my family, but then again, I’m not quite as mature yet. Shoes are my material indulgence. I’m not admitting to the number of pairs I own (purely because I refuse to count). Every girl has her little extravagance. The only problem is storage. Space in London is a very rare commodity. But I can think of many worse extravagances!

My day wouldn’t be complete without at least a sliver of chocolate My day has to end with a long hot bath. This ritual started during exam time; A levels to be exact. Yes, 12 short years ago. It is the perfect wind down at the end of the day, especially if it has been an arduous one. And it’s the only kindness I allow the poor feet I abuse daily by squeezing them into ridiculous heels and also training for a marathon. My baths involve the whole shebang of bubbles, bath oil, bath salts, candles and whatever else might take my fancy..... my mobile is switched off, on silent or too far away to be heard, and as a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon is taken in too. Best let-my-hair down therapy: a glass of wine with the girls after work which is normally around 9pm. Almost instinctively we make our way to our favourite local wine bar. Forget trying to act/be/appear professional at this time of day. This is ‘chill-out /gossip / get it off our chest’ therapy. Nothing like it to get things back into perspective and to stop fretting over the day’s troubles and tribulations. I love to write. For me, it is akin to opiate to the addict. It is almost comical how anything I write is directly reflective of the mood I’m in and the day I’ve had. I am told I am rather short-fused and I never believed anyone who told me this, until I read my own writing a day or two later, and realised I must have been so annoyed that day!! Depending on how particularly colourful the piece of prose is, I either delete everything, or copy and paste to be used elsewhere. This is indeed the most therapeutic past-time. I used to commute to work, and a 90 minute commute provides you with ample time to write. However, I now drive into work

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(in 35 short minutes), so that writing time has been stolen though now I generally write before I sleep, and on a Sunday morning I stroll down to my favourite coffee shop in Notting Hill, where I am joined by other similar lonesome bodies tapping away at their laptops, committing their musings and feelings to cyberspace.

Throwing dinner parties and squeezing my friends into my tiny studio apartment is way too much fun to give up. I don’t believe in elaborate meals, but as it’s so difficult to find a plate of really good pasta here, it is what is generally on my menu. I make my own pesto and cassatella… Of which I am rather proud.

Baking is another all time favourite past time. Turn the music on full blast, sing along (think Bridget Jones, without the blue soup) and get stuck in. I can’t stick to a recipe to save my life. My success stories usually make their way to RAFT (everyone gets a Raina cake on their birthday) or to the clinic. The best part of baking has to be licking the left-over batter from the side of the bowl. Yes, I know about the salmonella dangers - I never said I’m exemplary in any way. I’m a doctor: do what I say, not what I do!

Best all time treat: the annual family do-nothing holiday. It isn’t all that often that the four of us are together in the same country. And if at Christmas time, we all happen to be in Malta, we each have our own timetables and friends to catch up with, so we make it a point to get away somewhere far where there is nothing to do, but lie on a beach and just be together. I think I struck pretty lucky in the family lottery – the 4 of us are extremely close, so this time is of the essence to us.

FAVOURITE AUTHORS Roald Dahl - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is still unbeatable, though childhood dreams somewhat ruined by both films made!! Raymond Chandler – especially for Farewell My Lovely

FOOD Green and Black’s chocolate, the Maya Gold is edible divinity, I also enjoy Lindt black chocolate with sea salt, Fresh home made gbenijt ravioli and spaghetti rizzi and vongole at Da Pippo in Valletta. FILMS I NEVER TIRE OF A Clockwork Orange, La Vita e Bella, The Truman show, The Lives of Others and The King’s Speech.

“I enjoy holidays in the Maldives & Rome”

HOW I INDULGE IN MALTA I visit many times a year - weddings, Christmas etc., but usually just for a weekend. I miss my friends; I’m still really close to my schoolgirl clique, the sixth form friends and the medical students. I have to catch up with the girls every time I visit. It’s really easy to make friends wherever you are in the world, and love to catch up every time I visit. The bonds are strong and no one will ever replace or measure up to those friendships established in our earlier years. All my cousins are having children, and they grow so fast, that they’re hardly recognisable from one visit to the next. It really is lovely to see them too. I always have to have pastizzi, imqaret and oily pizza from Champs (like in the old days). When I lived in Sydney, I didn’t have to wait for my Malta trip to satisfy my pastizzi cravings as Gorg tal-pastizzi, it-tifel ta’Leli, who is earning a fortune as a pastizzar makes pastizzi in 12 different flavours! Every trip to Malta is concluded with a packet of Twistees in the departure lounge.” indulge / Spring 2011 – 7

A woman’s best friend

Christine Mifsud, Winny, and Sara Grech



he Malta Guide Dogs Foundation provides specially trained animals to enable the visually impaired to lead a normal life by enabling better mobility with access to restaurants, shops, public transport, etc., With a compliment of 8 ‘working’ dogs at present and 3 in training, the foundation, with the help of volunteers like Sara Grech, is looking to not only expand this number but also to extend the foundation’s activities The foundation rears puppies by means of a ‘brood bitch’, which normally has guide dog ancestry. For the period of one year, a puppy walker then takes over with all expenses paid for by the association to learn general obedience, road craft and cleanliness. After this, the dog is coupled with its new owner and they work together under guidance for a month. A fully trained dog costs around €12,000 - €15,000 and the foundation needs a further € 45,000 per year to fulfil transportation requirements. To help build these special relationships and truly assist the visually impaired, telephone 23470210.

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The Malta Guide Dogs Foundation is a registered NGO whose aim is offering services for Visually Impaired Persons. Most of the volunteers who work within the organisation have lost their sight themselves. They know the needs and difficulties of all those who use the Malta Guide Dogs Foundation services. Nonetheless all the volunteers are fully committed to the tasks and challenges that they face every day. The principle aims of the Foundation are: a. ensuring equal opportunities for all, in particular for blind and visually impaired persons. b. providing specific mobility services for blind and visually impaired persons where and when the need arises, especially with the provision of guide-dog services. c. ensuring that all public and private services in the Maltese Islands are accessible to all, including blind and visually impaired persons. d. providing all necessary services for blind and visually impaired persons to achieve the maximum quality of life.

STEF CALASCIONE Carving stone is an art form that dates back centuries. Sculpting requires the artist to immortalise their artistic vision through clever manipulation of raw material; Stef Calascione has done just that. A self taught artist and painter for many years, it was her love and fascination with the goddess of fertility that led her to try her hand at sculpting with stone.

As an artist she has always had a penchant for the female form, and what it represents in the way of fertility and earthiness Numerous oils and water colours that she has produced have depicted that, so sculpting seemed like a natural direction to take. Her interests lie in the creation of shapes related to the human body. She started to see them in her dreams, it was these dreams that fuelled her ideas for her work. As she puts it, sculpting is about creating from within the space provided, unlike a canvas where the artist builds upon it. Her sculptures are aesthetically pleasing, the contours, form, and paths of movement within them are very organic and through her work, has made a complex subject appear genuine and lifelike. Through both the negative and positive spaces that are carefully created, her work makes wonderful use of Maltese limestone. Stef has great admiration for a number of established artists but finds that most inspiration is drawn from the great masters, such as Gauguin. Gauguin sought to achieve expressions of spiritual and emotional states in his work; similarly there is also a sense of spiritual feeling that Stef uses to manifest her paintings and sculptures. It is her belief that we all have the capacity to be creative; she tells me that she doesn’t feel she was born an artist, it was her will, and need to create that spurred her on to paint and sculpt. The final product of her work is truly an expression of her inner sentiments and love; her work feeds your spirit.

Amber Knights is a creative mother of three who’s chaotic life includes juggling kids, animals and art with a good sense of humour.

indulge / Spring 2011 – 9

JULIAN CALABRESE Painting has always been at the forefront of Julian Calabrese’s life, however his talent doesn’t just lie there: he has recently taken up photography as another outlet for his creative exploits. The transition from his painting to photography over the last ten years has been lengthy; nevertheless he felt that painting allowed him to develop as a person and as an artist. Julian tells me that it was only once he had achieved his personal goals within painting that he could fully focus on photography. It is not just his ability to observe his surrounding environment that influences his work but music, and even silence. To put it simply, he compares inspiration to water, it’s everywhere and comes in many forms. He believes that a healthy thirst for creative expression is what motivates him. Because of his experience with various bodies of work he feels that his style is mostly based on change, the one thing that is truly constant. To some extent he allows a sense of urgency to seep into his work, which allows him to be reminded of the fragility of life, having said this, his work almost always carries an underlying sense of humour with it, and this is true to Julian’s character. Julian’s relationship with his art and photography is one with no expectations, it has many satisfying qualities, and he refers to it as his love and loveless affair. Although at times he may try to predetermine a meaning to his work, it tends to take on a life of its own. Timeless themes are more prevalent in his artwork than in his photography, which tends to cover more current issues. In Julian’s words, the term artist describes the individual who feels whole within the process of work, an observer and producer of illusions, the blind juggler on the tight rope, the person sitting next to you.

Julian’s photography certainly has an air of mystery and surprise to it; he hasn’t just grasped the ability to take photos but has unearthed a limitless talent. With his zest for life, Julian hopes that in the years to come he will be pursuing new projects, discovering more about life and carrying on with his adventures. 10–indulge / Spring 2011

CELIA BORG CARDONA With formal art training and many years of experience, Celia Borg Cardona has a number of exhibitions under her belt, with more work in the pipeline. Creativity has always played a profound part in her life and hence she has progressed to where she is today. For the last three years that art has become a full time commitment. She exudes passion when she talks about it and admits that it has become quite an obsession, a drug even, she lives and breathes art.

Celia’s style is what could best be described as a documentation of physical circumstances in which people play out their lives. She seeks to understand movement, space and time. Her use of a unique perspective and clever juxtaposition of her subjects has allowed her to generate profoundly realistic and expressive work. Space is an important element in her work and rather than being afraid of using it she embraces it. It is the patterns that people form when they congregate in their day-to-day lives that inspire and motivate her the most. These timeless scenes observed in a passing moment are captured beautifully on her canvases. Celia also has a fondness for portraiture and has an extensive collection in her studio, some are nothing more than charcoal

on a linen canvas, however the effect is simple yet powerful, they are painted with love and she doesn’t part with them. Experimentation with different media, oils are her favourite, is what helps trigger growth and variety in her work. As an artist she is driven by the pleasure gained from painting from her heart. Celia tells me that it is the process of creation that carries the most importance and value to her work, anything else is a bonus. She also finds satisfaction in commissioned work as it allows her to travel down new paths and set new challenges, her view is that a mixture of the two is the best formula. I look forward to seeing more of her work in the near future.

indulge / Spring 2011 – 11

Photo by George Saguna


by Pierre J. Mejlak (translation: Antoine Cassar)

Pierre J. Mejlak is a novelist and short story writer. He won three National Book Awards and the Sea of Words European Short Story Award. His first collection of short stories, Qed Nistenniek Nieżla max-Xita (I’m waiting for you to fall with the rain) was published to critical and popular acclaim in 2009. His second collection of short stories will be published this summer. A number of his short stories have been translated into English, French, Catalan, Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish and Italian and were read at numerous literary festivals around Europe and the Middle East. He is published in Malta by Merlin and in the US by Words without Borders.

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e’d never seen such bizarre, gawky seeds as those before. They were like roasted peanuts split in two. Almost everyone thought they were coffee beans. “Sambuca memories, eh?” “Yep. Sambuca memories,” he would routinely answer, whenever someone nosed around the shelves in the lounge and spotted the three seeds placed together on one of the ledges. Sure enough, each had their own particular story related to sambuca, and it wasn’t long before he’d heard them all. First off, Richard’s account of how once, after about twenty attempts, he managed to stick the glass on fire to the palm of his hand: then, chuffed as he was, he began circling his hand as swiftly as if he were wiping a window, until the glass took off, and of all possible directions, it flew like an arrow towards the head of his ex-girlfriend, who just happened to be in the bar at the same time. Luca told him five or six different stories. The best was the one about the gas chamber, when in a tapas bar on the Costa Dorada, he let the barman bring the lighter to his mouth to inflame the puddle of sambuca. Luca ended up blanketing the group of friends around him with the reek of aniseed, so strong that you wouldn’t smell it with such intensity even in the cell of the most alcoholic nun. “Yep. Sambuca memories.” By now, this sambuca business had begun to rub him the wrong way. What irked him the most was his girlfriend’s insistence in finding out what was so special about those seeds. Belonging as they did to an era before she came along, she simply didn’t want to let them be, there on the shelf. Of course, had he picked them up somewhere during a stroll with her, well, that would have been different wouldn’t it? She’d have framed them like Keith Richards’ buttons on the wall of a Hard Rock Café. The same complaint time and again. “So are we going to leave these seeds here?” Until one day, he took the seeds and threw them into a small plant pot, which soon found itself being watered along with those around it.

Some time passed, and one morning, while rushing out to work, his eyes fell upon the pot, and in the humid soil he spotted a kind of pointed stalk that looked just like a badly cut nail. And for the first time in his life, he went to work with an extra bounce in his step. Why on earth did he have to listen for so long to the sambuca stories and the drab questions of his girlfriend? Why didn’t he plant them in the pot to begin with, the very day he took them out of the small pocket of his jeans? *** Zsofi was one of those girls who likes to organise everything to the minutest detail, even if it’s a simple party at her apartment. You should see her sending the invitations, concocting one theme after another, cutting out paper hats and downloading dozens of MP3s related to the theme she’d have chosen. So of course, she surely wasn’t going to let an opportunity like this pass her by without her planning everything from start to finish. After all, she had months to get things ready, and she had already given Pawel a few details of the programme she was preparing until he couldn’t stand to hear any more and wouldn’t let her go on. He arrived in front of the church in the company of Tomek, Agnieszka, Peter, Luca and Martina. Soon afterwards he saw Janek and Jacek, hand in hand, with their same old lethargic pace, and then came Pawel and his new girlfriend, undoubtedly his prettiest so far. The programme she had drawn up minute by minute, and which she had left in the directing hands of her elder brother, had everybody moved. First the chosen music. Fix You... Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own... and he remembered when he saw her for the first time in the park, that hot sunny day, the kind of day his own city seldom enjoys. That day when she threw him an apple, and when he caught it, she explained the ancient Greeks’ belief that when a man throws an apple to a woman and she catches it, it would be a sign that the couple wanted to marry. “But only when the man throws it. Not the other way round.”

No Surprises played during the communion. And finally - how could it have been left out? - I’d Like to Die of Love. And he went back to that night full of colour, Johnnie Walker and Myslovitz. That night when he first saw the apple tattooed close to her navel. The day she told him the story of William Tell, as only she knew how to tell it. And when she almost had him fall into the lake, the day she threw him an apple and he didn’t catch it, and together they saw it float away, slowly, on the surface of the water. And when with that inimitable accent of hers, said to have been picked up when on Erasmus in Cardiff, she told him: “See! It won’t sink. Because the volume of a ripe apple is 20% air and 80% water...” And he stopped her with a long kiss, two hundred, two thousand words long. And he can’t believe he was remembering everything as if their encounter in the park was only two days ago. It was two years since she left his city. And when they went to her grandparents’ house after the burial, they found a wicker basket full of green apples, and her mother gave an apple to each one of them. “It was in her instructions,” she said to them with a sweet smile, in broken English and with a warm tear. “She just loved apples.” And everyone made a gesture of agreement she just loved apples. He didn’t want to eat it. He wanted to freeze it and preserve it for ever. But it occurred to him that freezing was not part of Zsofi’s plan - the one she drew up when there was no treatment left for her. He ate it on his way to the airport. And when he came to the core, the large seeds fell softly on his thigh. He took them and put them in the small pocket of his jeans. *** “Do you remember what we planted in this one, my darling?” “The seeds your aunt sent us from South Africa, I think.” “No. They’re in the garden.” “Well, maybe the ones your brother brought us from the Holy Land?” “Good heavens! From the Holy Land! We’d better take good care of it then! But the stalk doesn’t seem to want to grow.” “What’s the rush, my dear?”

Qed Nistenniek Nieżla max-Xita (I’m waiting for you to fall with the rain) This compelling and moving collection of short stories from one of Malta’s most exciting and successful authors presents colourful snapshots of lives in progress. Whether it is life in a small Maltese village, a noisy cosmopolitan existence or a life spent searching for identity, excitement or simply companionship, Mejlak’s exquisite prose draws the reader in and allows them to experience the world of his creation. In this bestselling collection, the art of the short story finds its perfect expression. Each story is a polaroid of a moment in a life, and the magic of Mejlak’s writing is the capacity to make this polaroid as sharp and focused as a full-length novel would be, with believable characters and heartfelt emotions. Mejlak’s new collection of short stories, out this summer, is sure to delight his existing fans and engage a new wave of loyal readers.

indulge / Spring 2011 – 13

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Marisa Grima invites us to


OUR LOOK Spring! What positive images the word brings to our senses. Flowers come out to bloom, the air is warmer, we forget the Winter and start planning for the coming months. And with that comes the time to spring clean our look. The cold months don’t help at all and it is so easy to fall in the ‘comfort’ zone. But sometimes a jolt is all that we need to head us into the right direction and we stop to have a good look at ourselves. Change is what we need to remind us that we need to enhance our best attributes and bring our wardrobe, hairstyle and even make up bag up to date. Simple changes, but they can make all the difference. Here are a few ways that you can adapt to your image to create a new confident you! Spring clean your wardrobe! Literally! Remove every piece of clothing from your drawers, cupboards, storage boxes and split them into 3 piles. One to keep, one to store, and one to donate to your favourite charity so they can make some money and you will be helping someone else as opposed to throwing them into the ever burgeoning landfills. If you haven’t worn something for a very long time, donate it. If an item no longer fits, donate it. Avoid keeping items ‘just because’. We’ve all been there, we keep certain items because they either remind us of past events or we

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‘like’ them but they no longer look good, if you don’t wear them, they no longer need to take up space in your wardrobe. Another good idea is to organise either a garage sale or taking your unwanted stuff to a car boot. With the extra cash you can afford to invest that money into buying clothes that are of this season! Build a capsule wardrobe with basics that will take you from season to season. Invest in a well cut coat, the little black dress, black smart trousers, a good pair of jeans, shirts and tailored jackets. Then all you need is to accessorise with the latest belts, scarves, bags etc. Some hot items to look out for this season and to update your wardrobe are – anything floral, shirts, flowing trousers, long dresses even shoes, flowers are everywhere. Flared trousers are making a huge comeback, wear with tops tucked in and super wedges - they make legs look so long. Lace has made the transition from winter into our s/s wardrobe but if you are thinking of wearing lace make sure it is red. Colour plays an important part in the way we look; every season brings with it new colour trends. Jewel colours are going to be huge this season, coral, jade, blue, turquoise; bold, beautiful and strong. Making sure we look good is not only limited for the outside but what about our underwear? Investing in a well fitted bra is a must and many lingerie shops

offer the service of fitting the correct sized bra. Many women make the mistake thinking that they would be a certain size when in fact they would actually be another. There is such a huge variety of underwear to choose from that it is inexcusable if you are still wearing greying, seen better days bras and panties. Style! Being stylish does not have to break the bank. In the words of Victoria Beckham in her book – That Extra Half an Inch, “Whether you’ve got £20 to spend in Top Shop or £2000 to spend at Gucci, looking good isn’t about money, it’s about style, and style never goes out of fashion”. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they are fashionable by wearing the latest trends, but if an item is in fashion but does not suit your figure or lifestyle then do not wear it! Simple! The key is individuality. Don’t be afraid to be different, find your own style and adapt current trends to suit you! There are no excuses for dressing badly anymore as all the information we need is at our fingertips - magazines, the internet, books etc, are all there to help if you have any style dilemmas. If you get confused when shopping and do not know from where to start, then why not hire for a couple of hours the services of a personal stylist? They will take you through the minefield of shops and zoom in on the right looks to suit your figure, lifestyle and skin colour. If on the other hand you prefer to shop alone here are some simple rules to stick by - make sure you know your body shape-what looks good on a size 8 model does not mean it will look the same on a bigger size. If you are petite avoid large prints and chunky clothes, if you have a bust avoid tight fitting tops and layer, a smart jacket will draw the eye away, and stay away from VERTICAL STRIPES, if you are tall try to avoid wearing separates as they tend to cut you in half, instead wear one colour keep the look streamlined!


Marisa Grima (pictured centre) - stylist, image consultant, fashion event organizer, PR and marketing. Having worked in the fashion/retail industry for over 22 years, Marisa has amassed a vast knowledge and has a natural aptitude towards finding the right look for the client. For more info







Gordon Mayo, Chairman and CEO of TONI&GUY Hairdressing Malta, discusses the hair trends for the forthcoming Spring/Summer season straight from London Fashion Week!

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Seventies Sister Time to recapture your youth or embrace the past with a 70s’ revival adorning the catwalk in multi-music genre dos - it was all about voluminous movement and tousled textures. Think combinations of Disco fever flicks, un-kept Grunge lengths, and shakenup Rock inspired waves. The trick is to keep it young, keep it fun and definitely keep it stylish.

History Repeated

Gordon Mayo, Chairman and CEO of TONI&GUY Malta, started hairdressing in 1972 and furthered his studies at the London Institute of Hairdressing. He opened his first salon in Malta in 1976. Gordon was granted the Maltese franchise of TONI&GUY in 1994, and he has since overseen the launch of five salons in Malta and Gozo.


ommenting on forthcoming hair trends as seen at London Fashion Week, Gordon says, “As style creators we get all our ideas from the catwalk. We have to basically develop those ideas and take them from the catwalk and adapt them to create styles for the ‘street’ so to speak.” Gordon is amused by the comeback of 1970s styles – it is after all the decade he launched his career. But as can be seen from the trends described, it is not just a matter of just one era coming back into fashion. “Retro is still in”, he remarks, “but you can’t just

say it’s either the sixties, seventies or eighties styles that are back in fashion, because everyone has their own individual style, and different eras suit different personalities. This is also reflected in fashion with, for example, styles as diverse as Vivienne Westwood boots and 1940’s clothing worn together with ease.” As for the ‘ugly gorgeous’ styles Gordon comments that what we are looking at are some very elaborate styles. “At a glance they may seem ugly... but on close examination of the intricate styles, they really are gorgeous!”

Fusing period references with a vintage ‘worn-in’ and well-loved hair. Styles spanned the decades as the catwalk took us on a time-travelling adventure - from pre-Raphaelite lengths romantically tucked behind ears with flirting wisps, 1920s Marcel waves tumbling loosely around the neck line with lived-in feel, to regal and rolled ‘faux bobs’ with strong centre partings.

Ugly Gorgeous Up dos this season were blurring the line of beauty... Anti-head shapes jutted out in voluminous Hepburnesque silhouettes, reflective high-gloss shine bands sat in contrast to dreamy and feminine static textures and intricacies such as braids and plaits were either distressed or modernised with knots and tangles for that effortless ‘It Girl’ feel.

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Victor Azzopardi’s stunning collection of world-renowned, branded products will instill confidence in your guests when making their purchase, whilst ensuring you receive that special something you will cherish for life. Our wide selection of fine porcelain, limoges and bone china dinner sets, full lead crystal ware as well as a choice of solid Sterling Silver, silver-plated or stainless steel cutlery sets will adorn your home for generations.



Supreme homes Living in Style

“To us, a supreme home is not a house that necessarily has a starting price of X thousands of Euro. It’s a true house of character, a really special town house, a luxurious apartment, outstanding villa or bungalow. It’s a discerning customer’s ideal home, be it because of the location, decoration or special features. We thrive on finding the right home for the right person, indeed, the right person for the right home. It’s not just a sale to us – more the delivery of a dream. We have a comprehensive presence in the market, with agents on the ground – not locked in offices serving our clients seven days a week and we have a dedicated department to accommodate those who have special wishes and requirements setting our “Supreme homes – Living in Style” offering at the forefront of our industry. In our constant quest for improvement we often ask ourselves why clients should buy a property through Sara Grech or entrust their property with us for sale. With over 20 years experience in the residential property market we have learned a thing or two about selling homes; indeed, this is possibly

22–indulge / Spring 2011

best demonstrated by the large number of residential homes we sell, along with testimonials we receive from repeat customers. The way that property is presented to potential purchasers can really make the difference between a client realising their dreams – be it buying or selling a home – and we are on hand to take owners and prospective owners through this process. We maintain regular contact with our customers and really do go that extra mile; the benefits are felt across the chain with our team taking real pride in their work and care of their client relationships. But don’t just take my word for it, choose Sara Grech to service your property needs and see for yourself.”

Sara Grech, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and one of Malta’s best known estate agents, shows us some Supreme Homes in Malta and Gozo.

indulge / Spring 2011 – 23




Jean-Marc Bianchi sheds

on one of the most important aspects of interior design


light is first… and not last, for seeing! Albeit, I shall be discussing the subject of lighting, but let us not overlook the daily gift of daylight.

We generally accept, and take for granted, natural daylight as the air that we breathe and assume, that like air, it flows into every home… or does it? From a design and build aspect, when you consciously look for the effect of different kinds of daylight, or take a moment to ask yourself why this or that room is pleasant and satisfying, you are probably appreciating the ‘force’ of natural daylight. Do take a moment and try and evaluate the presence and effects of natural daylight in your immediate surrounding’s ambience.

This natural force contributes to creating moods, highlights a view, defines space, and changes the colour and shape of the things we see daily Let us not take this form of lighting totally for granted. We can also plan and capture moments in our everyday life, by putting lighting to good use. Let me delve deeper into the subject of lighting; just like a fresh coat of paint can rescue a home from being tired and drab, so can the right kind of ‘planned’ artificial lighting enliven a home, help create that right mood, and enhance those cold Winter nights.

SOME IMAGINATIVE WAYS OF USING ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING When I first started practicing my profession in Malta, the idea of installing, what was then referred to as ‘spotlights’, was a novelty addition to a then modern home. If you haven’t familiarised yourself in a while with the latest in artificial lighting products and techniques, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. Today, we are spoilt for choice, as the amount of all types of architectural light fixtures available on our islands is remarkable. I label certain light fixtures as architectural, as various individual fixtures offer a lighting solution for the desired result, and can be planned, with foresight, and this is very satisfying to be able to achieve. Developers and home owners, with the appropriate professional advice, can today plan and incorporate at planning stages, individual answers to specific requirements, and in the images shown here, I shall attempt to suggest areas that can be addressed. Predominantly, artificial lighting is assumed to come from the ceiling… but think again and observe. Where else have you seen the effect of lights, even if the source is not quite visible to the naked eye? You may observe lighting coming from the floor, fixtures installed on the walls, hidden behind wall covings, bookcases, staircases, suspended ceilings, etc. The result constitutes to a catalogue of lighting devices, and speaking of which, take the time to flip through lighting catalogues, as these offer images of the actual fitment illuminated, which is not always the case when visiting a lighting showroom and upon selection and subsequent installation, you may not be content with the resultant effect. With the right application of controlled light , you can make an average room look spectacular, hide flaws, or emphasise assets, indeed, provide the correct type of picture light to a favourite wall painting, and it comes to life. The proper balance of artificial lighting can attribute to bringing out the best of your selected colour scheme, fabrics and materials that you have carefully chosen; it can make small rooms or hallways suddenly spacious and help to create an air of intimacy in an overly large room. But besides its various decorative applications, lighting has also a practical side, and in today’s economic climate, the vast selection of versatile, convenient and highly flexible lighting products on the local market are greater than ever. Jean-Marc Bianchi pursued his interior design studies, in Rome and has gained 30 years experience creating unique designs for businesses and homes across Malta and offers a vast range of knowledge and solutions to meet clients tastes and needs.

indulge / Spring 2011 – 25

Images courtesy of Joinwell.

People often go out and buy lamps and other lighting fixtures primarily for their appearance and not for their effect, which is often an afterthought. One should then plan carefully when considering lighting, as a rule, there are THREE areas to consider:

GENERAL LIGHTING • TASK LIGHTING • ACCENT LIGHTING GENERAL LIGHTING It should provide comfortable background illumination. Ideally it should provide a glare-free ‘indirect’ lighting that bounces off walls / ceilings offering a general illumination in the area. TASK LIGHTING Is selected for a specific purpose such as reading / writing / cooking / sewing / etc. The light source should remain localised on the task at hand, and should offer shadow free and easy on the eyes. ACCENT LIGHTING Add drama and sparkle from a number of sources. Add a picture light / highlight textures / light wash a wall… from above or below.

Now that we have laid out the parameters for a lighting plan, the question arises, especially once out choosing fixtures… what to use where? Firstly, establish what effect you wish to achieve from your lighting and then look for fixtures that will suit your preferred needs.

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LIGHTING FOR VARIOUS MOODS In our everyday life at home (and as a result of activities away from home) our moods vary according to occurrences. Hence, once in your home environment, it would be comforting that at a flick of a switch (or the clap of hands or pressing a remote control), that a ‘mood’ can be set to accommodate that particular moment, be it wanting to relax, or entertain guests, having a family discussion, watching television, or reading a printed article. DRAMATIC DINING In the dining room, or dining area, the table takes centre stage and deserves dedicated lighting. This can be achieved by either an overhead, possibly hanging (or even a height adjustable) light fixture, also controlled by a dimmer switch, or even more romantic, by using candles placed on (or above) the table. THOUGHTFUL LIGHTING FOR BEDROOMS General lighting in a bedroom should be both soft and relaxing, yet also offer the alternative for brighter lighting for activities such as dressing and other tasks. Besides general bed-side lamps, which in this case could also be decorative, plan for a dedicated reading light, both for yourself and your partner.

Despite the rising popularity of other types of light fixtures, classic table and floor standing lamps will always be popular, and as mentioned, the types of finishes available on the local market are vast. Enjoy putting thought into lighting up your environment – believe me, the results will be noticed.

IN THE KITCHEN -LIGHT WHERE YOU NEED IT A kitchen cannot do without a general light, usually placed centrally, however this could result that whilst actually working at the kitchen counter, you could be working in your own shadow. Supplement the lighting by further adding dedicated lighting fixtures, installed under the wall kitchen cabinets, as well as over the cooking units (mostly installed on standard overhead extractors).

AND WHAT ABOUT THE BATHROOM? Undoubtedly, a central light for general use is a must; however mirror lights are also extremely important. Consider relaxed lighting, by possibly concealing the source of light below a basin unit or below a bath plinth. A further consideration in this area would be to make use of ‘soft white’ bulbs, or fluorescent ‘natural white’ or ‘warm white’, as these can be most flattering to skin tones.

At a dressing table, the lighting should be placed at both sides of the mirror, and not above it.

indulge yourself with

breakfast morning coffee


afternoon tea & dinner at

Palazzo Parisio 29, Victory Square Naxxar NXR 1700, Malta • Tel: +356 21412461 Email:



y first memory of the theatre was when I was taken to see “The Diary of Anne Frank” at St. Michael’s training college many years ago and I immediately developed a passion for the theatre. In fact that same year I was doing a spoken English exam and my main project was “The Globe Theatre”. I had a made a cardboard cutout of the theatre and spoke about Shakespeare whilst all my class mates’ projects were on football and sports. Subsequently, in my first year at College, I took part in the school play and also the Malta Amateur Drama competition. My passion carried on throughout my youth and when I first went to London my first job was in the Theatre - unfortunately, only showing patrons to their seats at the St Martin’s and not on stage! I lived in London for many years and took full advantage; I saw the original Rocky Horry show, Hair the first time round, Phantom of the Opera about 10 times and an endless amount of plays that I would like to have shared with you but - I am here to talk about the theatre season in Malta over the next three months. I am not a theatre critic but I have been asked to write this because of my passion and experience for the theatre and will use this column to keep you informed on what is coming up in most of the popular theatres. I will

also interview Directors, Actors and in future editions I will also try to entice some other players involved in the theatre. I have focused on some of the shows coming up. The March theatre season starts with a bang. From the 4th - 6th at the Manoel Theatre, Mellow Drama are producing KEEPING UP APPEARENCES - directed by Steve Cassalletto. Emmet, with the help of his sister Liz, long suffering best friend of Hyacinth, is directing a play at the Village Hill. Hyacinth, although involved in an art class, finds out that the part of a Lady Malvern is up for grabs, and thinks its just for her, and works her way in, not knowing she must also play the cook. She’s not happy, and when she finds out that here sister Daisy is playing a Duchess, she’s livid, but carries on to save face. At the village hall Hyacinth is due to meet a real local Duchess on the same day of the play and to add to the confusion, Daddy has escaped from Violet’s home and is on his way dressed as a member of the Dessert Rats; Rose has her eye on the newly divorced Mr. Milson… Unfortunately, Hyacinth’s husband Richard is never seen but is spoken at as if in the wings or out inthe audience. The cast are: Marylou Coppini as Hyacinth Bucket, James Calvert, Louiselle Vassallo, Mark Cabourdin, Isabelle Warington, Vanessa Attard, Jo Caruana and Jean Pierre Agius. I had a chat with Marylou and asked her some questions regarding her role as Mrs. Bucket:

Patricia Routledge created the formidable Mrs. Bucket, how do you propose to emulate such a character? I am going to have to rely mostly on voice and costumes, since, generally speaking, Patricia Routledge is a taller (and definitely bustier!) lady than I am! Unless I fail miserably, the ‘formidable’ bit will hopefully come through with the advice of the director, the excellent script and the general teamwork provided by the rest of the cast. Mrs. Bucket is such a popular character do you feel that you need to copy her mannerisms and tone of voice or are you going to give her a different treatment? At the start of rehearsals Steve Casaletto and I agreed that when emulating such a well known television character as Mrs. Bucket (Bouquet) we should do our best to present a Hyacinth as similar as possible to what audiences would surely be expecting...  In other words, an attempt at the ‘real thing’, which even if impossible to achieve fully, would be better received than a new interpretation of the character. Do you feel that all eyes are going to be on you during the show seeing you are such a central character? Following the long-standing success of the series, all the characters upon which this play is based, are very popular television ‘personalities’ and audiences will, I indulge / Spring 2011 – 29

think, be looking forward to seeing them all. Of course the part of Hyacinth is a pivotal role but by no means is this a one-woman show. Apart from the excellent writing, the success of this series relies heavily on the stereotypical caricatures of its personalities which in many cases might people we know and love - or people we love to hate! The season follows with a play called IMMACULATE - which is being staged at the St James Cavalier on 11th -13th and 18th -20th March. Following their critically-acclaimed production Ospizio last summer, Theatre anon. are back on the boards with this comedy by Oliver Lansley that is as irreverently funny as it is genuinely thought-provoking. This is the situation Immaculate’s heroine finds herself in-pregnantwhich is unexpected to say the least... To make matters worse her highlystrung boyfriend Michael turns up, blind with panic, convinced that the child is his, closely followed by Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness, who is adamant the unborn baby belongs to him! Immaculate is an irreverent comedy that deals with religion, relationships and responsibilities. Despite its rather controversial plotline, through its laugh-out-loud humour and completely absurd situation, it asks pointed questions about our beliefs in this mad, mad world. Immaculate is a

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departure from the norm for Theatre anon. It is a mainstream comedy that has garnered a huge following since its debut at the Edinburgh Festival in 2006.

In May we go back to the St James Cavalier where TmT productions are staging THE OPPOSITE OF SEX which will take place on 13th -15th and 20th -22nd.

IMMACULATE IS DIRECTED BY POLLY MARCH AND STARS: Stefan Cachia Zammit as Michael, Charlotte Grech as Mia, Alan Montanaro as Gary Goodman, Denise Mulholland as Mia’s best friend Rebecca, Alan Paris as Lucifer and Paul Portelli as Gabriel.

Following the success of their debut production The Secret Lives of Henry and Alice, by David Tristram in 2009, TmT Productions are producing The Opposite Sex, also written by the same British playwright.

In April at the Manoel theatre on the 8th to 10th and 15th to the 17th, MADC are producing Mrs. WARREN’S PROFESSION by George Bernard Shaw and directed by Joyce Grech. This is a classic period piece in which Mrs. Warren’s daughter Vivie Warren, a student at Cambridge, comes to visit her mother in Surrey. She wants to pursue a business career, but is unaware that her mother is the owner of several brothels throughout Europe. She then discovers that her education was paid for by her mother’s profession. What ensues is a conflict of characters, each righteous and trying to defend their position. An older friend of her mother’s, Sir George Crofts, falls in love with Vivie. She, however, is attached to the worthless young son of the parish rector, Frank Gardner. A very strong cast is led by Isabel Ripard in the title role.

This is an adult comedy about life, love and all that happens in between. Mark, Vicky, Judith and Eric are two fairly ordinary couples and when fate throws them together for dinner one evening, their intertwining pasts come back to haunt them. What starts off as a perfectly civilized dinner ends in chaos as secrets are revealed and tempers fray, insults are traded, punches are thrown and vases broken.

Martin Azzopardi is an actor, fitness instructor and masseur. When not treading the boards or the (tread) mill, he treads water on his boat and loves the sea.

Mia is young, free and single and hasn’t had sex for a good long while. One morning, she wakes up pregnant and to make matters worse the Angel Gabriel is on her doorstep claiming parentage. This play is directed by Herman Grech and this show promises an evening of raucous comedy and characters and situations that can be all too recognisable! And finally I had a chat with Adrian Buckle the new Artistic Director of MADC. This well loved club celebrated its 100th anniversary this year making it Malta’s oldest theatre company. Their season September 2010 to 2011, began with the annual One Act plays, followed by Death by Door Nail, directed by Coryse Borg and Pia Zammit at the Manoel theatre. The finale for the year 2010 was the record breaking Christmas Panto at the MFCC, Scrooge written by Alan Montanaro and directed by Nanette Brimmer. Adrian told me about the next two plays to complete the calendar not forgetting the Summer Shakespeare. In February at St James they produced Osama the Hero and in April at the Manoel theatre they are producing Mrs. Warren’s profession, two plays that exemplify the flexibility and commitment of the MADC in the Maltese theatre. Adrian spoke of his forthcoming plans for the MADC and told me that he does not plan to make MADC into another Unifaun Theatre. He told me that the MADC has its own history and tradition which is respected however hopes to open the MADC to new audiences and new work, by carefully selecting plays that appeal to the MADC traditional patrons as well as new and younger audiences that will help the MADC grow and develop into a stronger Drama Club. I hope you will enjoy watching these plays and to casts and crews involved in all productions… ”BREAK A LEG!”

Malcolm Galea Denise Mulholland Alan Montanaro Rowena Grima

The play brings together four of Malta’s finest stage actors & comedians indulge / Spring 2011 – 31

Julian Calascione TALKS US THROUGH




he sets of rules of conduct for any situation of human interaction are known as etiquette. State visits are typical occasions when etiquette is strictly in place, or in diplomatic proceedings that are based on deference to the visiting dignitary, for example at state banquets, where the protocol is of a very refined order with clear procedures and precedence. At the more comfortable end of the scale, entertaining at home calls for much less, perhaps the only form needed being for gentlemen to help ladies sit down comfortably at the table. Etiquette ought to be expressed in basic good manners, tact and the kind of dedication that keeps one’s guests or host and hostess at ease, inspired to interesting conversation that flows and witty banter that amuses or defuses – to result in a convivial sense of well-being and bon digerimento. The food ‘must be good’ – and the company equal to it. Be wary of the host or guest who brandishes “etiquette”, sabre fashion; it is usually a way of showing off or an attempt to get attention. If you are cornered by such a bore gently shunt the discussion towards things that are light years away from shows of grandeur.  This usually works, discreetly and politely putting things into satisfactory perspective without embarrassing anybody.

If you are cornered by such a bore, gently shunt the discussion towards things that are light years away from shows of grandeur. 32–indulge / Spring 2011

I was lucky enough to have been brought up in an environment enhanced by frequent mealtime entertainment of friends and family. The style was set by my paternal grandmother, known for her way with cooking and entertaining, although “the grand manner” was not something she would set much store by, preferring to do things a moda sua; “etiquette”, in her view, was something that did not need to be discussed.

Times have changed remarkably in a mere two or three decades, and conventions with them. Nevertheless, I have always cherished the grounding, perhaps because my own parents were of the same mind, leaving an uninterrupted continuum (of non-change!) for my brother and I to gain from.  It became clear that we really need not show too much preoccupation with textbook etiquette (although, when formality may be appropriate, it can be useful to know the conventions). What we should do, as has been staple fed to us, is to always keep in mind the universal law of doing unto others……etc. In my experience, that is a virtually foolproof way of getting things right first time most of the time. A creatively prepared dining table setting ignites interest as soon as it comes into view, and soon makes a talking point, whether the food is in sight or not and whether or not the table is embellished with an attractive centrepiece. Be careful with colour, a crucially important factor anywhere, particularly in the dining room.  Except perhaps at Christmas, when tradition demands vivid holly greens, berry reds and masses of gold-sprayed pine cones, appetite and palatability are mostly comfortable with schemes that don’t jangle the eye. With much of the dining paraphernalia made up of clear glass, white chinaware and silver cutlery; colour in everything else is best chosen to offset those neutrals, starting with the bleached white, natural or colour dyed table linen. Pastel tones in the linen itself, in clear-tinted glass drinking vessels, on glazed crockery and flatware with coloured handles are best, in my opinion – they create a pleasant acquarella effect that promotes a serene atmosphere and warm anticipation and a feeling of well-being. That is something which should be the first goal of every host. Place settings should be within the comfort range 55 to 75 cm; anything smaller (than the tighter end of this range) will cramp both personal style and elbow room. It will also limit the layout in the amount of stuff that can be on the table at one time, with potentially unhappy results or inconvenience. Too much space between places can bring on an uncomfortable feeling of distance or cause too much head turning during conversation – not very cosy.

Appetite and palatability are mostly comfortable with schemes that don’t jangle the eye. Lay out the appropriate type of cutlery for the food that is to be served, aligning and spacing each piece accurately. Remember it is better to “err” on the side of more knives, forks and spoons, rather than less, if nothing else to create a sense of generosity. If the table is set for eight diners, say, have at least two lots of salt and pepper sets, butter dishes and sauce or gravy boats, placed near each end of the long axis of the table; like that these are more easily accessible and avoid the “long arm” or disrupting the rapport by asking for this or that to be passed down. Probably more often than not, entertaining guests to lunch or dinner at home is carried out without the convenience of waiting service. Inevitably, the host and hostess will need to rise from the table to remove the remains of one course and serve another. It is perfectly acceptable for spent plates to be collected and stacked by the guests sitting either side at the end of the table, pending removal by the host or hostess. However, guests are not expected to leave the table for that purpose (it might embarrass the hosts). Do anticipate the efforts of a host and hostess by making the gift of a ‘decent’ bottle of wine or an edible delicacy, whether or not it reflects the occasion (and remember to remove the price tag) - that’s appropriate etiquette! Lastly, it is common courtesy for guests to post a brief note of thanks, or make a telephone call – but don’t leave it too long – you might be asked “Now, which dinner party are you talking about?”

Invitations An invitation, after notification by telephone perhaps, should be formalised by written note - and similarly acknowledged, unless the guest is asked to accept (RSVP) or decline (RO) on sms or e-mail. Elaborate invitation cards invite undue attention and are best avoided. Use the gilt-edged alabaster heavy weight plain “Printers Cards” with matching envelopes (from the jobbing printers who might print your invitation cards). Times New Roman italics or Garamond italics fonts are impervious to criticism about style. Avoid type-faces that are excessively stylized or fanciful – they might send the wrong messages. Various standard texts exist; these, assuming they are correctly worded for your purposes, pose no risk of ending up as a box of costly blank invitations that you suddenly realize are unusable. Probably the best texts are the “At Home” standard kind, with underscored blank space for the handwritten name of the host and hostess. If it is necessary to compose your own invitation text, have it checked by somebody else (proof-reading rule: you cannot proof-read your own wordage). If the occasion is to celebrate some particular event the invitation should say so, as a matter of courtesy (but not to intimate what kind of gift guests should prepare). The address of the venue, with location diagram printed on the back if needed, the full date including day of the week and time of assembly are all essential. A dress code might be applicable, also.

Julian Calascione has experience, dedication, qualifications and a specialisation in fine dining, including a 2 Michelin-starred venue. Since then he has set up restaurant management styles for various restaurant venues and is sometimes consulted by the leisure industry. Leisure time is dedicated to family, seaborne activities and nature-watching.

indulge / Spring 2011 – 33





he diversity of French cuisine is influenced by the climate and topography of the different regions each with their own culinary traditions.

take advantage of the mild weather we take so much for granted. A clip-top jar of Wild Boar Pâté, a portion of Camembert du Chanoine in its wooden box to protect its round form, a couple of warm baguettes, a bottle or two of wine and you’re good to go.

If you look at cheese alone it is said that the French haves a different kind of cheese for every day of the year. That is an understatement. It is probably closer to three times as much. But their variety is not as important as their passion for food. Whether they

The beauty of French cuisine is that you can present a gastronomic feast without much preparation… an excellent way of spending a Friday evening with friends after a hard week at work. An extensive range of pâtés, terrines and rillettes are

consider themselves to be bourgeois or peasant, whether it is haute cuisine or provincial cuisine they believe that eating well is what defines them.

available ready to serve out of the jar, accompanied by cornichons and hot toast. If you really want to spoil your guests go for the whole duck foie gras. Fill their glasses with a red wine. Open a can of extra large escargot and stuff them into their shells or escargot dishes with garlic butter. Stick them into the oven for twenty minutes while you enjoy the entrée. Serve them with fresh sliced brown bread. Keep the wine flowing. Place some Brie, Camembert, Roquefort and fresh goats cheese on a cheese board, add some grapes and walnut halves. Serve with crusty rolls or warm baguettes. Finish off with coffee, petit fours and a cognac for that final touch.

There are two easy ways to enjoy French cuisine. Book a table at one of the many fine restaurants on the islands or savour it in the comfort of your own home, or anywhere you choose for that matter, with a wide range available at The Wembley Store in Valletta who also make their product conveniently available for delivery anywhere around Malta through a telephone order or through their website The former choice offers sophisticated dishes elegantly prepared. The latter can be just as sophisticated and elegantly packed, so convenient you can bundle it into a picnic basket and indulge / Spring 2011 – 35

Lorraine Miceli DeMajo explains


Optional information

arly wine labels show the minimum of detail – perhaps no more than the name of the village from which the wine came. Over the past few years more importance has been given and as wine laws have been introduced in different countries to safeguard consumer interests, labels have become more informative, with New World wine labels being more consumer friendly than Old World ones and most with back labels describing the origin of the wine, how it was made, as well as giving a tasting note and food pairing. The most important things to look out for when reading a wine label are:

GRAPE VARIETY OR APPELLATION gives the bulk of the information about the body and complexity of the wine. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo are full-bodied, intense and tannic. Pinot Noir on the other hand, has a thin skin, and so is not as full bodied and tannic as the above. The

New World countries especially New Zealand and Australia have labeling regulations that require a producer to state the use of egg whites, milk or isinglass if used in the fining and clarifying process of the wine. The United States is also considering

36–indulge / Spring 2011



VINTAGE (Except for Vin de Table, not allowed)


NAME OF THE WINE (Chateau, Domaine, Brand)



Legal information

• The grape variety or appellation • Country or region • Producer, bottler or importer • Alcoholic degree • Vintage



similar requirements. Wine labels from the member states of the European Union, as of 30th June 2012 must also declare whether the wine was treated with casein and ovalbumin, derived from milk and egg respectively, used as fining agents in winemaking. Another allergen that is required to be stated on the label is sulphur, as this can cause serious











allergic reactions in some people. Sulphur is important to grape growers as well as oenologists as it is used as a preservative in all stages of the winemaking process, but should be used with caution, hence “ this wine contains sulphites” as is frequently seen on a wine label.

The size of the region stated on the label, gives an indication of the quality of the wine. Italian San Giovese variety is known to produce wines with high acidity and sour cherry flavours which pair beautifully with the extensive use of olive oil and tomatoes in the Italian cuisine. Many European wines, in particular French ones are described by appellation rather than by grape variety. Appellation essentially means place of origin. In order to qualify, the wine must be made from certain types of grapes e.g., Paulliac in Bordeaux is predominantly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot whilst Chablis is composed of Chardonnay and Sancerre of Sauvignon Blanc. REGION Region describes the wine’s expected style, intensity or flavour. Bordeaux wines are often more tannic and acidic and age better due to their cooler climate, rich soil and respect to appellation norms. On the other hand, a South Australian Barossa Valley Shiraz wine, comes from a hotter climate with less vintage variation and usually has more concentration with eucalyptus aromas and sweet spice coming from the grape variety, terroir, barrels used and vinification practices. This may take the form of a generic statement like South Australia or be more specific – Barossa / Eden Valley, or even down to identifying the specific vineyard, such as Chateau Ste Michelle

Cold Creek Vineyard Merlot. PRODUCER / VINEYARD These tell you most about the wine quality and its expected consistency. Is it a Bordeaux Premier Cru, Cru Bourgeois or Petit Château? Is it a Vin de Pays, or a wine made by a négociant? Use a reliable guide or the internet for information about the wine, its ageing potential and suggestions for food pairing. ALCOHOL LEVEL The alcohol level statement gives an idea of the body and viscosity of the wine. As a general rule that the higher the alcohol, the hotter the region. Too much alcohol in a wine the wine tends to unbalance it. When pairing wines to specific foods, it’s a good idea to consider their alcohol level. Light shell fish is better paired with a low alcohol Muscadet from the Loire than a fuller bodied New World Chardonnay which would be better off with a heavier fish like salmon or tuna VINTAGE Most wines have a vintage stated on the label unless they are table wines (which, under EU law are not required to do so). This is the year in which the grapes are harvested.

Most wines are best consumed while they are young and fresh, and should not be aged. For a few prestigious, age-worthy wines, vintages make a huge difference. For example, the price and quality of a 1990 wine from a good Bordeaux estate will be much higher than that of their 1991, because this was an outstanding year with almost perfect weather; 1991 was a relatively poor one. Seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres are inverted relative to each other. Wines from a given vintage will be made from grapes harvested in February, March or April (southern hemisphere) and August, September or October (northern hemisphere). As a result, Southern Hemisphere wines will be half a year older than Northern ones from the same vintage. This can make a difference for wines that are made to be consumed as young and fresh as possible, such as rose wines and fruity un-oaked whites.

Lorraine Miceli DeMajo, A.I.W.S. is a working mother of two, advises clients on wine lists, organises wine tastings, and chooses wine we will consume. She likes to garden and entertain and even finds the energy to voluntry work.

indulge / Spring 2011 – 37

Classifications FRENCH WINES AC OR AOC is the highest level possible that a French wine can attain with strict regulations regarding areas of production, grape varieties, viticultural practices, maximum yields, vinification and alcoholic degree, which must be achieved without chaptalisation. The word “Origine” is often replaced by the name of the place of origin of the wine. Eg. Appellation Bordeaux controlee. VDQS classification is always evolving as since its inception, many VDQS wines have been promoted. The laws cover the same ground as for AC wines but are generally less stringent on yields and grape varieties. VIN DE PAYS – VDP is a French expression meaning “country wine” though recognises and encourages the production of wines that are distinctly superior to basic Vin d‘ table. VINS DE TABLE classification covers about 40% of wine produced in France. Vins de table can be produced anywhere in the country with no restriction as to grape variety, though chaptalisation is forbidden. No region, grape variety or vintage may be stated. Price is usually based on alcoholic strength.

ITALIAN WINES DENOMINAZIONE DI OROGINE CONTROLLATA E GARANTITA – DOCG is a legal category for its highest quality wines. The express purpose of this category was to identify wines which are “guaranteed” (the G), and not just “controlled”. DOC was first designation to be introduced and specifies geographical zone, grape varieties, yields etc., There are now more than 300 geographical entities entitled to their own DOC. IGT stands for Indicazione Geografica Tipica. This classification came about because some of Italy’s best wines were being sold as table wine which technically, are not allowed to show a vintage, variety or name of estate on the label. Super Tuscans fall into this category. VINO DA TAVOLA is a large but declining segment of the market, partly as a result of EU policies to reduce the so-called wine lake and partly because many of the better wines have been reclassified at a higher level.

38–indulge / Spring 2011

GENERAL TERMS ALSO USED ON WINE LABELS CUVEE: A blend. This is often part of a brand name. OAK-AGED: the wine has been aged in oak vessels, of any size, which could be new or old. AGED IN NEW BARRIQUES: This wine has been aged in small (225 litre) oak barrels. New barrels will add lots of oak flavours and complexity to the wine. BARREL-FERMENTED (for whites only): Fermenting the wine in oak results in a better integration of oak flavours in the wine, but it is more labour intensive than simply ageing in oak, and therefore more expensive. OAKED: oak flavours have been added using chips, staves or barrels. Not used for premium wines. UNFINED / UNFILTERED: In order not to alter the wines character, it has not been filtered before bottling, so it may not be perfectly bright, and may throw a big deposit in bottle. ORGANIC: The grapes were grown without using synthetic chemical treatments. BOTRYTIS / NOBLE: Indicates a sweet wine made from shriveled grapes affected with noble rot. VIELLES VIGNES: Old vines normally over 40-50 years, these vines give less bunches of grapes but with more concentration, thus producing wine with more complexity. WINERY: Estate, Chateau, Domaine, Weingut, Bodega etc., ESTATE BOTTLED / MIS EN BOUTEILLE AU CHATEAU / DOMAINE / A LA PROPRIETE / GUTSABFULLUNG: This means that the grapes have been grown on the estate and the wines bottled there too.

Dressed at the table with a pungent olive oil that made us stop talking for a second and breathe in 40–indulge / Spring 2011



am filled with fear every time I have to go to Attard, Balzan or Lija because I know I always get lost. I usually find where I am looking for by sheer fluke, but getting out is another story. The winding streets full of traditional houses are pretty; the occasional narrow alleys I’m sure are there to test my driving skills, and patience. I am learning however not to book any meetings straight after one in that locale, and now I have found a reason to leave the car parked and relax a while before endeavouring to head off out of the maze.

Etienne’s is a compact and bijou wine bar and bistro nestled next to the church (good landmark) and just passed a day spa. It’s in an old, small house with room for about 25 diners. An extensive wine collection is housed on the ground floor; the bottles resting and proudly showing off their neck tags which have been lovingly hand written. You’ll find bottles of Petrus, St Estephe, Amarone and Pomerol amongst the racks with a good variety of price points to suit every palette and pocket. We were offered a glass of Champagne and the menus which we took way too long over. The game of choosing began with the ‘I’ll have this if you have that’ banter and we finally decided. John had the aubergine timbale and opted for ‘The Pork’ which was baked with apple and shallots, I ordered The Barley with roasted squash and chestnut as my starter – almost all my favourite ingredients in one dish - and ‘The Duck’ which was offered studded with cloves on a pear risotto with pear sorbet. The menu was neat but the combinations of ingredients showed a real

knowledge and love of food. This menu probably won’t be around for long as I’m guessing the chef and the patron spend thier spare time playing... The wine book arrived and all our favourites were in there. Though packed full, it wasn’t intimidating at all – and with the wines there for you to see, the choice making was not overwhelming as it can sometimes be. We were about to settle on a wine you rarely find in Malta when we were introduced to a Pomerol, Chateau Bel Air 2003– a very nice Pomerol indeed. The starters arrived and the timbale was beautifully presented. A tower of the ingredients, finely sliced with scattered flaked baked almonds, then dressed at the table with a pungent olive oil that made us stop talking for a second and breathe in. My eyes must have said it all as when my barley dish landed a second later, the same treatment was bestowed upon it. I have to say, with or without the oil it was delicious, but the oil splashed portions were for sure influenced by the taste. The richness of the sauce was almost as if cooked in rabbit liver; it was, and I hope you will understand what I mean, chewable. It was a soup one ate with a fork. I could have had this as a main but would have probably had to be hoisted out of the balcony. I did leave one sage leaf on my plate, which is more than I can say for John. No need to wash up his dish! The mains arrived a suitable while afterwards; big plates, deceptive portions, swathes of sauce and juliennes of vegetables. I got a bit jealous of The Pork thinking the crunching noise John was making was from crackling which he hadn’t offered to share, but it turned out to be baked bread; phew. I had a taste and with the apple, this was just right. You would have to make of pig of yourself to get through the whole dish though. The Duck deserved my full attention. A splayed fan of pinky meat displayed on the pear risotto with a china Chinese spoon of perfectly white and rounded sorbet waiting to be invaded. Each taste individually strong but together? Flawless.

The texture of the tender meat, al dente risotto and ice cold smooth sorbet was a real treat. I did share the duck but there was still 4 or 5 slices left on my plate (when Paul McKenna was whispering to me stop when you are full....) but too chic a place to ask for a doggy bag I thought! None of the other tables made noises to move and it seemed that it was dessert time. Like a kaleidoscope of tastes and colours, ices, cheeses, cakes and tarts were paraded and delivered. It was too much for us to resist. The cheese and the banana and pineapple spring rolls were ordered, given a few minutes of life on a plate and devoured. It is so unusual to see cheese as a course on menus in Malta and we have an abundance available – never mind the delicious jams and chutneys that can be made from local produce to accompany them – and let’s face it – are galetti not the best biscuits in the

world? Such a simple course to deliver and so appreciated, especially by us. The banana and pineapple spring rolls took me back to the days of dancing at Raffles with a Malibu and milk in hand. The pastry crisp and the contents gooey and warm and sweet and tart. These could have been improved – by making them a foot long. All the diners seemed to rise to leave at the same time, I am sure all will return. I have logged it not only mentally, but also in the GPS. Etienne’s, Main Street, Attard Tel: 2142 4647 indulge / Spring 2011 – 41

TUNA KEBABS WITH HERBY PANZANELLA 2 fresh tuna steaks 3 tsp Hanbury Seafood Rub 4 slices ciabatta, preferably a day or two old 4 ripe tomatoes ½ tsp cucumber 1 Bart Basil in Sunflower Oil 1 tsp Bart Garlic in Sunflower Oil ½ tsp Bart Fairtrade Ground Black Pepper 2 tsp capers, drained & roughly chopped 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 5 tbsp olive oil

Cut the tomatoes & cucumber into chunks, retain any juices from the tomatoes & stir into the bread & dressing. Thread the tuna onto four kebab sticks & grill on a high heat or cook on a BBQ or griddle for 2 minutes on each side. While the kebabs are cooking combine the vegetables & bread & divide between two plates.

Once the tuna is done add two kebabs to each plate & serve.

Cut the tuna into kebab pieces & place in a bowl with 2 tbsp of the oil & the Hanbury seafood rub. Mix well & set aside to marinade. Prepare the salad dressing by combining the basil, garlic, capers, red wine vinegar, the remaining olive oil & ground black pepper. Rip the ciabatta into pieces & stir into the dressing, add salt to taste.


OF HERBS & SPICES 42–indulge / Spring 2011

Bart’s range of herbs and spicesare distributed by Stand Palace Agencies Limited and available from the following outlets: Ta’ Natu Supermarket MOSTA • Day Fresh MOSTA • Chain food Store SLIEMA • Conti Confectionery QORMI • Tal-Ginger BUGIBBA

CRACKLING BELLY PORK WITH CIDER SHALLOTS 1.5 kg belly pork, with the skin scored 1 tbsp Hanbury Great with Meat Herb Cooking Salt 1 tbsp olive oil 20 shallots, peeled 400 ml dry cider 8 Bart Juniper Berries, crushed with the back of a knife 1 tbsp Bart Corn Flour

Heat oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Dry the pork skin with kitchen roll, rub in the Hanbury salt & drizzle with oil. Place in a roasting tin & blast on the high heat for 30 minutes to start off the crackling. After 30 minutes take the pork out of the oven & reduce the heat to 200°C/Gas 5. Remove the pork to a plate & place the shallots in the bottom of the roasting tin, pour in the cider & throw in the juniper berries.

Replace the pork on top & return to the oven for a further hour. Remove from the oven & set the pork on a warm plate to rest. The meat should be cooked through & very tender. Put the roasting tin on a low heat on the hob, combine the corn flour with a little water until smooth & tip into the cooking liquor. Simmer for 1-2 minutes stirring continuously until you have a smooth gravy.

SPICED PEAR CAKE 2-4 pears depending on their size, pealed cored & sliced 5 Bart Juniper Berries, bruised with the back of a knife 1tsp Bart Fairtrade Ground Cinnamon 5 Bart Fairtrade Cloves 4 tbsp honey 4 eggs 50g caster sugar 200g ground almonds ½ Bart Fairtrade Vanilla Pod, seeds scraped 150g plain flour 1 tsp Bart Baking Powder Heat the oven to 180°C, grease & line the bottom of a 9inch spring form tin. Heat the honey, juniper, cinnamon & cloves in a pan then add the pear slices & cook gently for 5-10 minutes until they are soft. Set aside to cool. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla & sugar till pale & fluffy. With a large metal spoon, fold in the almonds, flour & baking powder. Remove the spices from the pear juices. Arrange the pear slices in the bottom of the tin along with all but a table spoon of the juices. Pour over the cake batter & bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until cooked through & springs back when you touch the top. indulge / Spring 2011 – 43

Veterans rugby team in Malta specifically for the over – 35s, and in the ‘gentler’ Golden Oldies version, some players continue into their seventies!

Are there different types of rugby? There are two separate codes of rugby 15–a–side Union and 13–a–side League – each with their own laws. Although Rugby League is occasionally played in Malta, the vast majority of people involved in rugby here are following the Union code. Beginners are often introduced to the game by playing touch or tag rugby. These are extremely safe forms of rugby in which no tackling is allowed, and players running with the ball are stopped by an opponent either touching them, or in the case of tag, by removing one of two ribbons attached by Velcro to either side of a player’s belt. Touch rugby is ideal for new players to get used to catching and passing the oval-shaped ball, as well as improving their levels of fitness. A special version for children, usually called mini – rugby, is also very popular, and there are several age grades. There are three competitive versions of the game played in Malta, depending primarily on the number of players in each side, either 7, 10 or 15. These are all contact games in which tackling is allowed. Although they can look a bit rough to the outsider, surprisingly enough, there are far many more serious injuries in football!


egend has it that, in 1823, a young man called William Webb Ellis was playing football in the English town of Rugby when he decided to pick it up and run with it instead of kicking it. Nearly two centuries later, the game is played by over 120 countries and watched by millions, and the Rugby Union World Cup is now the third largest single sporting event in the world. What makes it so popular? Well, it is said that the unique blend of discipline, fair play, fellowship and mutual self – respect, combined with a strong social and community aspect to the game, makes it both rewarding and enjoyable to all those involved in it. Whenever I’ve moved to a new country to live, the first place I head for to make new friends is the local rugby club. Phil Gibbs is a qualified rugby referee, cricket umpire, and weight – training instructor. He plays for Malta Marauders Veterans rugby team.

44–indulge / Spring 2011

Who can play? There is an old saying that football is a game for gentlemen played by hooligans, and rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen. Well, here in Malta, rugby is also played by ladies and children too! At present, there are over 500 people of all ages and both sexes actively playing rugby in teams in Malta.

When and where can I play? The season traditionally runs from September to April, although fun games of beach rugby are also popular in Summer. At present, adult competitive games are played on Saturdays, and youth games on Sundays. In addition, 40 schools in Malta have introduced rugby to their sports curriculum. Most competitive rugby is played at Marsa Sports ground, although the Malta International team plays its home fixtures at Hibernians stadium.

When can I start? Basically there is no age limit, as long as you are reasonably fit. Children can start playing specially modified versions of rugby from as young as five years old! At the other end of the spectrum, there is a

The 7-a-side version is fast, fun to play, and a great spectator sport which will feature in the 2012 London Olympics. Each half lasts just 7 minutes, and is played on a full-size pitch. With so few players in such a large area, there is plenty of room to run with the ball 10-a-side is similar to 7’s but there is more emphasis on the scrummaging and tackling aspects of the game. 15-a-side is the traditional game which you normally see on the TV being played by the rugby giants such as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina of the southern hemisphere, and the six nations (England, Wales, Ireland, France, Italy and Scotland) in the north. This version is played by the senior sides in Malta.

How is it played? The general aim of the game to work as a team to move the ball forwards towards the opposing teams’ try line. Once the line has been reached, the attacking team needs to touch the ball down on the ground to score. This is called a ‘try’ and is worth 5 points. After a try is scored, the scoring team then has a chance to kick the ball through the upper part

of the H-shaped posts. If successful, this is called a conversion and is worth a further two points. The only other way of scoring is from a penalty, which is also a kick through the posts worth 3 points. The ball is moved by running with it, kicking it, or passing it to another player on your team. One of the unique things about rugby is that the pass has to go backwards, not forwards! The ball can be kicked forwards, but the kicker’s team – mates must be behind the ball as it is kicked. Players running with the ball can be stopped by the opposition tackling them. Apart from tackles, the other key contact situations in open play are rucks and mauls. The main difference between these two is that a ruck occurs when the ball is on the ground, and the ball cannot be touched with the hands, but only played with the feet. By contrast, in a maul the ball is off the ground and carried by the players. If the ball goes out of touch, a line-out re-starts the game. In this, one player from the side re- starting throws the ball into the air above two lines of opposing forwards who contest to catch the ball or tap it backwards to win possession. If the game is stopped on the field of play for a minor infringement, it is re-started with a scrum. Two groups of 8 opposing forwards in a special formation link arms, face each other and bind together to form a tunnel between them, into which the ball is rolled. One member of each team (called ‘the hooker’, coincidentally) tries to hook the ball backwards with their feet towards their own team – mates to secure possession. None of the players in the scrum can touch the ball with their hands until the ball has reached the back of the scrum.

Do I need any special equipment? Apart from a rugby ball, you will need a pair of regulation boots (trainers are OK for touch rugby if it’s dry), a rugby jersey, shorts and socks, and a mouth guard. Optional extras include head guards and shoulder pads. If you join a team, the playing jerseys are usually supplied by the club in question.

How do I start? The best way to start is to join a registered club. There are currently 7 of these, dotted around Malta, running 29 teams between them. All players need to register with the MRFU for insurance purposes, and this can be arranged through the clubs themselves. Training sessions are held once or twice a week in the evenings, where newcomers are always welcome. Qualified coaches are on hand to guide you through the intricacies of the game, and will soon have you joining in. The MRFU also runs regular coaching and refereeing courses, if you want to get involved in another capacity.

So what are you waiting for? Here are the websites of the teams. Check them out! Overseas: Alligators: Lions: Kavallieri: Stompers: Gladiators: Falcons: Veterans:


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THE WORLD OF YACHTING Just to put sailing in Malta into perspective: Out of Malta’s total territorial area, land covers 11% and water (i.e the sea) covers 89%. Malta has 150km of coast line which means that, if everyone chose to do so, we could stand shoulder to shoulder on the shoreline and cover its entire length. Malta has one of the highest populations / density in the world. To me these facts, coupled with the fact that so much of our country is built up, underlines the important role our sea and coastal water plays in our society, indeed lifestyle. More and more people are looking to spend more time at sea, if nothing else just to get away from the man made environment that exists on land and, let’s face it, other people. I went sailing in the first week of

January – when everywhere else in Europe was suffering the vicissitudes of winter, there we were anchored off the island under a clear blue sky. The peace and tranquillity was what a super yacht friend of mine calls ‘a 30,000 euro moment’. I suppose the editor would want me at this point to encourage you to go sailing, (must I?), to be honest I would rather be alone. It is this sentiment that we need to ensure we preserve, the feeling of being able to get away from the trappings of today’s world. Malta’s yachting community is growing in stature as well; we have already a number of local individuals who have made their mark in the greater yachting world outside of Malta;

Sebastian Ripard and Benji Borg, aspiring Olympians in the 49’er class – one of the toughest race divisions out there –aiming to win Gold for Malta. Aaron Ciantar; World champion offshore power boat racer. Audrien Ciantar; One of the worlds few female power boat racers. We have individuals who have sailed single handedly across the Atlantic and at the time of going to print, have an individual ROWING it....

John Ripard Snr, an international judge and possibly one of the first notable Maltese figures in the world of yachting.

Every year, local yachtsmen participate in the Sydney Hobart race and this year Maltese yachts wrestled with the top international professional crews and came within just 30 minutes of bringing the Rolex Middle Sea Race trophy back to our shores.

Chris Dougal, permanent crew member on RAN one of the world’s finest race boats competing in the world’s toughest and most publicised races.

We have Maltese captains and crew in the superyacht industry The question to you you want to be a part of the experience? indulge / Spring 2011 – 49

While Malta is not highly rated for its beaches, not so can be said for its seas. The clarity of the water and its warmth make it a wonderful place to sail. Unlike much of the Sicilian coast which has seas which are generally opaque, particularly on the southern coast, and either very shallow fairly far out or very deep right up to the coastline, Malta offers excellent anchorages at convenient depths all along its north coast as well as some of its western coast. The lack of tides also provides the opportunity to enter and leave its bays and harbours at any time of day or night. Malta and Gozo’s craggy coastline, indented with bays, offer comfortable anchorages for most wind conditions. Protection from the prevailing North Westerly winds can be found all along the northern coast while Easterly and North Easterly winds require you to travel up around the northern tip to Armier Bay and beyond for some comfort, a journey of about 1½ hours. While owning your own boat is a joy (usually), there are plenty of opportunities to charter boats either with a skipper or without if you have the competence. Some charterers will arrange all the food and drink while others will allow you to do it yourself. You get what you pay for. If 6 or 8 friends get together to charter a boat, an excellent day out will cost you about the same amount as a dinner in a restaurant while being much more unusual and great fun (weather permitting). Even better, find a friend with a boat. Sailing other people’s boats is so much easier.

Ben Stuart, general manager at Grand Harbour Marina talks to us about the pleasures and practicalities of yachting in Malta.

50–indulge / Spring 2011

Malta annually attracts approximately 1,200 visiting yachts from overseas. Some are passing through, some come for maintenance work and some stay for life.

If you are interested in racing there are plenty of racers looking for crew. Get in touch with the Royal Malta Yacht Club or the Malta Cruising Club. If you want to learn how to sail, in addition to various companies teaching sailing, you could just go out on a race. Many of the larger boats need crew just for weight and this offers you a great opportunity to learn on a race. The racing season opens in March with the Spring Series at the RMYC and closes with the Round Malta race on 13th December. However you can sail in Malta 12 months a year, although most people take a break for a couple of months to maintain their yachts. If you are after a spectacle rare to be seen, enter Marsamxett or the Grand Harbour at night. These are two of the world’s most beautiful harbours surrounded as they are by the 16th and 17th Century fortifications glowing orange.

Take a look at Seb and Benji in action

We offer a full service beach club in an idyllic location, with outstanding service, great restaurant serving local,fresh produce, and all the comforts of a home away from home. Book a table for lunch, a Mandalay for the afternoon, a watertaxi to and from your boat by calling Baia Beach Club, Armier Bay. Tel. 21573421. Last orders 10pm. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in Winter.


Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy?


ablets have been around for many years but, despite the Apple iPad being less than a year old, Apple have revolutionised the tablet market in the way they did Smartphones with the iPhone. After various failed attempts by various manufacturers at developing a competitor, enter the Samsung Galaxy, which is carving significant market share and the battle lines seem drawn: iPad or Galaxy? Each device has certain advantages over the other and the competition is driving innovation in the market. We explore the two devices and provide you with some tips to allow you to make your choice. The Galaxy tablet runs Google’s Android operating system which, while having less applications available than the iPad to date, is more open and supported by various hardware manufacturers.  

Applications Adoption of tablets is being driven not just by their convenience and usability for on-the-move computing but also by the applications available. While exact figures for available applications are inconsistent, no one doubts that the iPad has a much bigger choice of applications today.

Usability The usability that Apple has become famous for is not missing in the iPad. The Galaxy’s Android operating system is designed for phones and does not scale well to a tablet. The iPad comes out first in usability of the features and the seamless synching available with iTunes is far ahead of the Galaxy.

Keyboard Both devices use a virtual keyboard and the iPad’s bigger screen makes typing a lot easier, especially in landscape mode.

What is a Tablet? A tablet computer is a flat touch-screen device designed mainly for browsing, e-mail, social networking, and media, all while on the move. Having only a virtual keyboard, tablets are optimised for consuming information rather than creation. Essentially, a tablet is more than a phone, but less than a laptop.

John de Giorgio has been a gadget-man as long as he remembers with a long-standing interest in how things work. He has run a software company for the last 27 years, keeping him close to technology.




iPad’s 9.7” screen offers twice the screen space of the Galaxy’s 7” screen. Useful when watching movies, playing games or viewing maps. Galaxy’s smaller size makes it easier to carry.


Weight The Galaxy weighs in at 380g instead of the iPad’s 680g.

Storage The Galaxy offers a 32GB of external storage on an SD Card with the ability to drag and drop files between the tablet and your computer while the iPad has no external storage at the time of going to print.

Telephony The Galaxy natively supports phone calls while the iPad relies on Skype, Viber and other such apps.

Camera Galaxy has a front-facing 3.2 Megapixel camera and a 1.2 megapixel camera for video chatting while the iPad currently has none.

Battery Life The iPad offers better battery life than the Galaxy but depends on usage patterns.

Support for Adobe Flash® Many web sites rely on Adobe Flash for special effects. Apple have blocked Flash usage and seem to be battling to kill Flash. The success of Apple’s iPhone and iPad and Apple’s unwillingness to support Flash seem to be putting lots of pressure on web site publishers to implement alternatives to Flash.  Only Apple have this clout to bring about change.

Tethering Tethering is the capability to use your device’s 3G connection as a hotspot to support other devices’ access to the Internet. While the Galaxy supports tethering, the iPad does not. This is more of an Apple restriction rather than a restriction of the technology.

Put your files into your Dropbox folder on one computer, and they will automatically appear on any of your other computers that also have Dropbox installed for example at your office or home. Your files & folders are stored securely out on the web and synchronises your files giving you access to correct information in the event of losing / breaking a device.

Flipboard A social magazine application for the iPad which presents content from news publishers, Facebook and any web site publishing an RSS feed in a very readable magazine format. Conversely, page turner software works on the Galaxy and not on iPad.

Travel A range of apps related to travel such as, Kayak for airline bookings, AroundMe to identify items of interest around you like restaurants, banks, ATM etc. News & Magazines - A sign of the times? While accessing conventional news web sites works fine, most leading newspapers and magazines are also offering native iPad publications for download. Currently, £2.00 per month buys you access to the UK Sunday Times’ iPad application and a subscription to their web site and the daily ‘paper’ for a whole month while a single paper issue of The Sunday Times alone locally is around €4.50 per issue.  

Conclusion Buy a tablet to do new things not to do on a tablet what you do well on an laptop. Tablets are great for travelling and their one button instant start-up (more like a phone than a laptop) makes them very convenient.  Browsing in front of TV - perfect. Instant Googling - perfect. Writing an article - not so perfect. indulge / Spring 2011 – 53


ne glance at my crystal ball to catch a glimpse of a few of the upcoming four-wheel goodies a handful of luxury carmakers have in store for us in the coming months and you would be hard put to think that those with little budget restrictions have their choice crimped in any way. Not only are the carmakers coming up with top end models but they are expanding the scope of their brands with an eye for regulation and as a way of maximising their appeal (some would say that it is quite the opposite). This is a rarefied atmosphere in which sales numbers are actually restricted and exclusivity is key. Not all of these carmakers have local agents, so I have quoted sterling prices. Anyway, feast your eyes and enjoy this handful of beauties…

54–indulge / Spring 2011

FERRARI The official Prancing Horse website,, has revealed the first photographs of the new FF, Ferrari’s 2+2 GT that is set to replace the 612 Scaglietti. It is set to break cover at the Geneva motor show in March and will be Ferrari’s most powerful, versatile four-seater ever, as well as its first ever four-wheel drive car. Sales are set to start in the autumn. An open top version of the 458 Italia is expected to appear later this year, with deliveries of the SA Aperta continuing throughout the year.

Malcolm J Naudi has been writing about the car business for over 25 years and is a pioneer of motoring journalism in Malta.

BENTLEY The all-new Bentley Continental GT may at first glance not look very different from the outgoing model but it features a new, sculptured interior, a more powerful 6.0-litre W12 twin-turbocharged engine producing 567 bhp and a new, highly efficient 4.0-litre V8 that achieves a 40 2 per cent improvement in CO emissions. Starting price (in UK showrooms) is £135,760 (€159,400). Incidentally, there is a FlexFuel capability on the W12, Bentley guarantees a dynamic, engaging driving experience and it also comes with class-leading infotainment systems (for when you are caught in the queue to board the Gozo ferry).

MCLAREN This spring sees a return for McLaren to the supercar segment of the market with the MP4-12C. This is the first in a range of high performance sports cars from the makers of Formula One racing cars. This high performance, two-seater mid-engined model is powered by a 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo producing 600 bhp. Prices starts from £168,500 (€197,800), which is some £3,000 (€3,500) cheaper than a Ferrari 458 Italia.

PORSCHE February saw the launch of the Porsche Cayman R, the lightweight edition of the mid-engined Cayman coupé. It is 55 kg lighter than the Cayman S and has a more powerful 330 hp flat-six engine. Prices start from £51,731 (€60,740). As one can expect from a German carmaker, a lot of emphasis is being placed on the Frankfurt motor show in September. This is when the latest incarnation of the Porsche 911, codenamed 991, will be revealed, with sales expected early next year. The next generation Porsche Boxter may also be shown later this year, along with diesel and hybrid versions of the Panamera, which will come to market by the end of this year.

ROLLS-ROYCE The Rolls-Royce Ghost is set to see an expansion in terms of range options. First off the line is the long-wheelbase version, with all of the 150 mm extension to the wheelbase coming behind the central ‘B’ pillar, ensuring greater rear legroom and rear passenger comfort overall. The rear doors are also going to be enlarged and the roof lengthened, so even the proportions of the car should be different.

ASTON MARTIN The most expensive car ever to enter series production at Aston Martin, the One-77, has started being delivered to its new owners. Its 7.3-litre V12 engine has been certified at 750 bhp (brake horse power) and 750 Nm (Newton metres) of torque (pulling power), positioning it as the most powerful naturally aspirated road car engine in the world today. The One-77 has been three years in development and, as can be expected from its price tag of £1.2 million (€1.4 million, plus taxes), is the ultimate expression of Aston design, engineering and craftsmanship. If you really don’t know what to do with your money and needed a city runabout with the Aston Martin badge, consider the Cygnet – actually a dolled up Toyota iQ, with a £30,000 (€35,000) price tag for a car with a 1.3-litre 97 bhp engine. In reality, the Cygnet will play a major part in bringing down the average fuel economy of the Aston range, enabling it to keep its V12 and V8 engines in production after 2012.

See the Aston Martin One-77 in action

Once this version of the Ghost is launched, there are also plans for a two-door coupé (Bentley territory?) and a drophead. If you’re curious about the price, you can’t afford it.

The Murciélago, Lamborghini’s new V12 flagship, is set for a Geneva launch. The super sports car is set to feature Formula One-type pushrod suspension for the first time in a production car. It is lighter and faster than the previous model, with a unique ‘motorsport’ feel combined with long distance comfort.


The VW-owned Italian carmaker is responding to customer demand and will produce a limited run of its Sesto Elemento concept car. No prices have yet been published and the cars are not expected to be street legal either. Delivery is expected in the autumn.

indulge / Spring 2011 – 55

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e switched off our computers at just after 5pm and swung past the house to finish our half packed bags before setting off to the airport to catch our €20 (return) flight to Bari with Ryanair. A smooth-ish one hour flight took us to our destination slightly ahead of schedule and with hand baggage only, were off the plane and in the hotel transport before you could say Alberobello.

Whitewashed walls adorned with antique farming implements, vases filled with olive branches and lemon peel, striking; simple and so effective. I mentally redecorated our hallway.

Driving through Bari’s shopping outlet centre and a short stint on the autostrada we were soon in the windy roads with hoards of boards advertising shops and various hotels but these soon thinned out and we were almost in pitch darkness except for streetlights. Stopping at an electronic gate we sat up in awe at the sight before us. Millennia olive trees like beautiful silhouettes dancing across the vast landscape and miraculously lining the driveway which took the eye towards the lantern lit buildings about 100 meters away. Our bags were deposited in the lobby of a beautiful old house which had a roaring open fire crackling away and decor to die for.

We were invited to have a drink before dinner; we opted for bottle of Primativo, the region’s unsung hero of a wine, and joined a group of Italians in the dining room. Antipasto started arriving: courgettes, buffalo mozarrella, fennel, salami’s, tomatoes, parmeggiano ..... the vegetables we were told, all from the gardens. The main course was lamb which is s prevalent in the region. This, however, made me want to spy on the chef to see just how she got the meat to be so tasty. Served with nanna style crisp edged potatoes. I could have made the journey for dinner every day. indulge / Spring 2011 – 57

We prized ourselves out of the wicker and wooden chairs, which were painted in the most delicious chalky duck-egg blue to match the chunky wooden tables and wooden window screens. Across the gravelled courtyard to our home away from home for the weekend; the whitewash and blue combo continued throughout. The lodgings we chose were once part of a masseria; all festooned with little chimneys like cheeky faces chattering to you with their olive and vine wood smoke. The room had ample storage for those lucky enough to have a longer stay than us. And the bathrooms! Instant hot water and showers with a view. The bed had crisp white linen and big square pillows, fluffy bath robes and logo’d slippers; we were happy to dive in. The antique light switches took a couple of goes to get used to but the subtle lighting under the water filled vases with olive branches lit the room so romantically... The next morning our agenda was to drive to a couple of villages and be back in time for a spa treatment or two. We had a wander around the grounds, enjoyed the gunshot free birdsong

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and discovered a pool amongst the accommodation and a golf course just the other side of some trees. After an uncharacteristically healthy breakfast, we collected our hire car and drove to Alberobello and Noci. (see boxouts) In the daylight we could see the magnificence of Borgo Egnazia, the main hotel complex. Across the road from Masseria Cimino with fields of fennel with fluffy fronds that make you want to strip naked and run through them towards the entrance, the hypnotic flickering of the oversized lanterns beckoning you. A symmetric building with a bank of doors open to a long reception area where each booth seems sectioned so each customer’s conversation is private, with ceiling to floor log stores to feed the fires warming the calico sofas. Church candles and twine bound stacks of newspapers are decoration with hanging stone lights and bird cages. We were escorted to the spa area, cooing. I was going to use my spa time wisely and mentally redecorate the rest of the house. We had time for a swim in the heated indoor pool before heading off

The bedrooms are decadent with walkin wardrobes à la Carrie Bradshaw to our respective treats. Mine a Turkish bath and his, a massage which was chosen from a booklet which describes its treatments like a cocktail menu with degrees of pleasure tempting you page after page. The spa is well equipped and everyone adheres to international etiquette with whispered conversations and therapists motions silent. Who would know that just a couple of hundred meters away is a whole village with 93 town houses with terraces and gardens and 28 stupendous villas with varying size pools for holidaymakers to enjoy? This ‘borgo’ concept which really is akin to a small, well run town. There are tennis and basketball courts, a football pitch, cooking school, boutiques, numerous bars and eateries and of course a piazza which hosts events from fashion shows to folk shows. There is an infirmary and a church to complete the picture.

All festooned with little chimneys like cheeky faces chattering to you with their olive and vine wood smoke The villas are beautifully decorated and should a time share tout approach me for one of these – I could well be tempted. They sleep 8 with separate living areas on separate floors; the bedrooms are decadent with walk-in wardrobes à la Carrie Bradshaw, a large garden, al fresco dining area and pool (varying sizes). The house also has a spare room which, check this out, you can have equipped as whatever you like! Could be a gym, an office, a spare room for a babysitter or butler – which they can also arrange – you could even have your own pamper room set up in there and have a therapist visit to give you treatments in the privacy of your ‘own home.’ The villas are on the edge of the complex and enjoy surrounding land which belongs to Borgo Egnazia all the way till the sea – where it has a 2km frontage with a beach club, restaurant and plans for a dedicated marina. You can hire bikes or buggies to get you around and there is a shuttle bus too. I could go on and on and on, but my feeling is that if you golf, if you spa, indeed if you breath... you should visit.

Puglia is renowned for its simple, honest, local food. Lamb is the most popular meat and sheep’s milk cheese including percorino, ricotta and the fluidy balloon ‘burrata di Andria’ mozzarella, which must be consumed within 24 hours are specialties. The regional pasta is coin or ear shaped and called orecchiette, much lighter than its neighbours’ elaborate shapes; but the piece de la resistance is the locally produced wine, Primitivo, which, in my humble opinion, is fantastic!

In the middle of the town of Noci, is a tiny restaurant whose doors are covered with stickers of just about every guide book. On entering, it is obvious L’Antica Locanda is no winner on the style stakes, so we were eagerly anticipating the food. The antipasto seemed endless; plates of note were deep fried chillis, which were sweet and tasty, the finely sliced pickled cucumber which was a perfect accompaniment to the fine, delicate ricotta. The usual bitterness of artichoke hearts was neutralized by being wrapped in pancetta and roasted but the plate that really caught our attention was a deep fried lampascioni. This gorgeous hyacinth bulb has been cross cut at the top, soaked in water

before being deep fried and served with balsamic and fig reduction. This was so delicious that I noticed it was served with a baked lamb dish and decided to change my order. A small portion, but in truth, adequate after the plates and plates of antipasto. The lamb, lampascioni and potatoes were baked in herbs. My partner took the veal cutlet with rucola, tomato and cheese salad. Both plates were cleaned.

The meal, with a bottle of precious Primativo was just €60. L’Antica Locanda, Via Spirit Santo 9, Noci Telephone: +39 080 4972460

indulge / Spring 2011 – 59

ALBEROBELLO A short distance from the hotel is Alberobello. Alberobello is how one imagines Narnia to be. Arriving in the dark is a magical experience; the distinctive trulli; round houses, whitewashed with conical slate roofs, often bunched like washing-up liquid bubbles to make a series of rooms in a home or guest accommodation – you almost expect Mr Tumnus to appear. Worth a visit is the museum - but just wandering around the town is a joy.

San Domenico Golf Club is an 18 hole championship course bordering the Adriatic Sea. Home to the PGA European Challenge Tour Grand Final in 2010, the course is spread over 6300 metres and was designed by European Golf Design. Being so close to the sea, wind plays a significant role in the challenge of the course. Together with strategic bunkering, definitive fairway shaping and clever green design, a thought provoking game is had. A handicap of 36 is required to play. The club houses a fully equipped gym, a hammam and first class restaurant. The Masseria San Domenico spa, thalassotherapy, golf is a haven for adults and children over 12. With a more traditional Italian style designed interior, you want for nothing.

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Malta Property Expo

MFCC Tel: 21 410 371


Stitch & Craft Show

Earls Court, London


Festival of Milk

Gharghur info:


Michael Jackson Forever concerts

MFCC Tel: 21 410 371


Live screening from the Ballet De L’Opera National De Paris at Eden Cinemas


Gardens Festival

Balzan Tel: 21442323


Joseph Calleja in Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor: Edgardo

Berlin, Deutsche Oper


L’elisir d’amore

Recorded screening from Glyndebourne at Eden Cinemas


Fireworks festival

Grand Harbour



European leg of tour starts in Germany then on to Dublin, Manchester, Birmingham, London

Fatboy Slim concert

MFCC Tel: 21 410 371


Joseph Calleja, La Boheme

Munich Opera House


Valletta Grand Prix


Le Cadre Noir de Saumur – The French National Horse Riding School

Earls Court, London


Senglea Maritime Fest

Senglea Local Coucil Tel: 21662424



indulge / Spring 2011 – 61



• I N D U L G E •

Tickets to Teatru Manoel for a special night out.








Decant a vintage wine into a crystal decanter from Victor Azzopardi & enjoy

Victor Azzopardi’s stunning collection of world-renowned, branded products will instill confidence in your guests when making their purchase, whilst ensuring you receive that special something you will cherish for life. Our wide selection of fine porcelain, limoges and bone china dinner sets, full lead crystal ware as well as a choice of solid Sterling Silver, silver-plated or stainless steel cutlery sets will adorn your home for generations.



























All women love silk lingerie.

62–indulge / Spring 2011




adition and innovation form a unique breeding ground from which Rosenthal has veloped. Today, it has become a leading international brands in contemporary table d living culture. Rosenthal has always remained alive and fascinating, united and otivated by the desire to create the best in design in every era. Let yourself be inspired our products, make a gift of sheer delight and embellish your home.










indulge the one you love on your special day with our ideas for anniversary gifts




Get your someone special something really special. Unusual and beautiful Yvel pears from Victor Azzopardi









Look out for a local artists sculpturae



Have a decadent tea party at Palazzo Parisio





Celebrate in style with a silver service party by Osborne Tailored Catering



Take up diving together or visit the coral reef?







































Buy a tagine and cook a sensuous spicy meal together


Order one of these beautiful laser cut maps of your locale or of your own design.


Stylish his & hers shirts from 7Camice









Have red roses delivered every month of this special year... Or plant a rose bush in your garden!



Surely no need to wait 60 years to buy the woman you love diamonds?!

indulge / Spring 2011 – 63


Take 5 minutes

to enjoy this reflection In September 2009, Maltese author Antoine Cassar was awarded the United Planet Writing Prize for his multilingual composition Merħba, a poem of hospitality. The prize consisted in a two-week sojourn as a voluntary teacher in Sungal, a small village in the far north of India, in late Summer 2010.


awake to the sound of torrential rain, and to the constant pouring of water from the roof of the camp onto the inundated lawn outside my window. Here in tiny Sungal, a snaking seven-kilometre mountain road away from the town of Palampur, deep inside the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, the humidity would be stifling were it not for the lush swathe of green that straddles the foothills of the Himalayas. It is coming to the end of the monsoon season, and although the sun is not shy to peep out at least once a day to mark its imprint on the balding crown of my head, the bone-cooling dampness is constant, and clothes take almost a week to dry. In fact, it wasn’t until the day before leaving that the thick cloud would retreat completely, to welcomingly reveal the breathtaking peaks at the end of the valley, and how close they actually were. After the early-morning dose of spirituality and sweetness (a yoga session led by Sanji, followed by Auntie Ji’s cinnamon tea and scrumptiously simple banana chapathi), it’s time to prepare the day’s lessons. I spend the mornings with a group of seven boisterous, sprightly and extraordinarily respectful mentallychallenged kids, teaching them simple English and maths, singing songs and, weather permitting, playing sports and going for walks in the nearby forest. If I were to say that I have never before seen children so jubilant to attend school, I would not be exaggerating in the least. Highly affectionate from the second I met them, the energy that their hyperactivity drained out of me each morning would quickly be replenished with their smiles and laughter. No material comforts are needed: there are no tables and chairs, for example, only a mat rolled out on the hard floor, which you quickly become accustomed to, and which, I eventually discovered, has a double advantage: not only are teachers and pupils on the same level, but it is easier to sit in a circle, so that no child feels distant from the centre of the action. We are playing a card game I invented on the spot, to practice the order of numbers in English and in Hindi, counting backwards and revising simple addition and subtraction. Raja, a usually quiet 7-year-old boy with Downs’ Syndrome, is thoroughly enjoying himself, throwing his cards down with joyful force, bringing out all the contagious charisma he appeared so much to like to hide. ‘Raja’ is the Sanskrit word for monarch, and his tough, lively character quickly earns him the nickname of ‘Raja the King’. On a couple of occasions, his overenthusiasm leads him to pick a fight with his two older companions Lekhraj and Anish; I swiftly carry him outside to sit in the garden and calm him down. After a couple of minutes we become friends again, as he turns to look at me with the face of a bashful angel. At that very moment, I realise how excruciatingly difficult it will be to leave him only days later.

plongeur one concept. unique to all.



Bon Appetit

FANCY SOMETHING DIFFERENT? Wednesday night is Schnitzel night! After home made soup, choose one of the following “WIENER STYLE” traditional breaded slice of pork served with juicy lemon quarters “JAEGER SCHNITZEL” swathed in a delicious mushroom sauce

“ZWIEBEL SCHNITZEL” Topped with onions and a tasty gravy All served with your choice of either our famous Bratkartoffeln or French Fries and fresh boiled vegetable Plus “HOME MADE GERMAN FRUIT CAKE” for just €12,90 Duck night on Tuesdays and Steak Night on Thursdays

“ZIGEUNER SCHNITZEL” with a light spicy bell pepper sauce

NUVO art & dine, 104, Triq iz-Zonqor (opp. il-pitch), Marsascala. Tel: 2163 3363

OR WHEN IN ROME... If your body needs a recharge, step into this simply divine cafe, where all the food is organic – choose from soups, sandwiches, salads and guilt free biscuits and brownies! The variety of juices is too numerous to mention – challenge them with a concoction U Juice Via Boncampagni 14d, Rome Tel: +39 0645449269

66–indulge / Spring 2011

imperial collection 18cT gOLd WITH SEMI-PREcIOuS STONES ANd FuLL-cuT dIAMONdS



Indulge Issue 01  
Indulge Issue 01  

Indulge Issue 01