Tag Archives: malta

Fancy a special summer spa experience?

spa experience Malta

Would you like to experience a massage or a beauty treatment whilst enjoying this lovely weather?

Summer spa treatments under the canopyLe Grand Spa at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta has introduced ‘Treatments under the Canopy’, spa treatments by our outdoor pool.

So this Summer if you will be staying at this luxury 5 star hotel in Malta, enjoy a dip in the pool or relax on our private beach and be sure to complement your relaxing day by booking a massage or an express treatment under the canopy.

View Our Summer under the Canopy Treatments List

For more information or should you wish to book one of our spa treatments kindly contact Le Grand Spa on spa@excelsior.com.mt or on +356 21250520.

 

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Does your country have any traditional dishes? Wondering what Slovakian Goulash is?

When coming across people from different countries, a common question that one asks is ‘what’s a typical dish from your country’?

kotlikovy-gulas

Every country has its traditional food which it is renowned for. For instance in Malta one finds Stuffat tal-Fenek (rabbit stew), Braġioli (beef olives) and Lampuki Pie (fish pie). Other local snacks include hobz biz-zejt (round of bread dipped in olive oil, rubbed with ripe tomatoes and filled with a mix of tuna, onion, garlic, tomatoes and capers) and pastizzi (flaky pastry parcel filled with ricotta or mushy peas).

We’ve asked our Sales & Marketing Trainee, Zuzana Sammut Jurcik, to share with us a typical dish found in her homeland. She mentions Goulash and explains that although Goulash is primarily a traditional Hungarian dish it has also become a popular dish amongst Slovakian people.

Goulash is a popular dish in Slovak homes and restaurants. However you will rarely find a dish that tastes exactly like the other. This varies not only by region but also from one family to another.

We asked Zuzana for some secrets of what makes a Goulash meal so appetising.

Kotlíkový Guláš - outdoor dining

Although there are many different ways to make Gulas, her favourite way is to prepare it outdoors. She tells us that back home (in Slovakia) they call it Kotlíkový Guláš, which is popular at Slovak picnics as it’s cooked on an open fire. However she personally doesn’t think that cooking outdoors is a must. She encourages you to try cooking it in your own kitchen. Why not! And name it ‘Kotlikovy gulas cooked on the stove’! :)

It is simple to cook, delicious and requires minimum preparation time. However, for all the flavours and tastes to come out, one should ensure that it is cooked very slowly for at least a good two hours. The basic version consists of onions, potatoes, water, herbs and spices, and meat – pork, beef, or venison.

So let’s start with the preparations for a delicious Goulash meal!

 

Kotlíkový Guláš
Serves 7,
20mins preparation time,
2hrs cooking time

Cooking Goulash

Ingredients:

  • 0.5kg of beef (front boneless or neck)
  • 0.75kg pork (preferably pork shoulder)
  • 2 tablespoons of lard
  • 2 onions
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves
  • 0.75kg of potatoes
  • 370ml chopped peppers (different colours) and tomatoes.
    (Normally Slovakians use precooked and conserved tomatoes and peppers called ‘Leco’ but it can also be replaced with the fresh peppers and tinned/ fresh sliced tomatoes as these will be cooked during the process)
  • Salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cumin, marjoram and venison spices – amount varies according to taste preferences
  • 1.5 – 2 tablespoons of cooking oil for the marinade
  • Beer – for the taste and tenderness of meat

For the marinade:

  • 1 mashed clove of garlic, oil, cumin and black pepper mixed together (no salt)

 
Method:
Step 1:
Marinade the meats by cutting the meat into cubes a day before, marinate and let it rest in the fridge till next day.

Step 2:
Put the lard in the pot and add chopped onions. Braise slowly!
After onions turn glossy (Make sure it doesn’t turn brown) add beef, fry for a while whilst adding Cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, salt, venison spices and beer

Step3:
Braise the meat slowly and keep adding some water.
Whilst the meat is braising cut a peeled potato into small cubes and add to the cooking meat

Step 4:
After approximately 1 hour add the pork and continue braising. 
Once the pork gets tender add the rest of the potatoes.

Step 5:
Cook until the potatoes become soft and then add the Leco or chopped tomatoes and peppers

Step 6:
Finally add some finely chopped garlic and marjoram. Once all the ingredients are added turn off the stove and let it rest.  You can also add some chilli and spices according to ones’ preference.

Buon appetito! :)
 

Did you enjoy our Goulash recipe? We’ve now challenged Our Kitchen Team to come up with a typical Maltese dish similar to Goulash. So check back soon for more updates!!

And if you would like to try delicious and mouth-watering dishes book a table at one of the top Malta Restaurants at the Grand Hotel Excelsior and you will surely enjoy a 5 star dining experience.

For more information about Kotlíkový Guláš kindly visit:
http://varecha.pravda.sk/recepty/kotlikovy-gulas-fotorecept/40431-recept.html
http://varecha.pravda.sk/recepty/narodne-kuchyne/slovenska-kuchyna/2

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Love Maltese History? A Spotlight on Fort St Angelo

Fort_St Angelo

Fort St Angelo

Fort St. Angelo is the jewel in the crown of Malta’s rich military heritage. It stands majestically at the
tip of the promontory of Citta Vittoriosa or Birgu, as it is popularly known, dominating the Three Cities on the South Eastern of the Grand Harbour. The Families of De Guevara and De Nava were associated with the castle for many years and the latter family had to hand over the castle to the Order of St. John, when the Knights landed on our shores in 1530.

Soon after their arrival in Malta the Knights set about strengthening the then half-ruined Castle of St. Angelo and repairing the Fort’s defences. The church of St. Anne as well as the Castellan’s house, both in the fort, were restored and remodelled by the Order’s Ingeniere e Soprastante dell Opere, the Portugese Fra Diego Perez di Malfriere. The castle soon became a veritable fortress and, thirty five years later, in 1565, was to repulse a formidable Turkish Armada which besieged the island for three months. It was the headquarters of Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette who led the local force of some six hundred Knights and a few thousands met-at-arms against the repeated onslaught of the Muslim invaders. The epic resistance of the defenders of the Fort during the Great Siege, are the archetype of all that symbolizes the character and determination of the Knights of St. John and the Maltese.

The Fort underwent various changes during the rule of the Order of St. John and the other defence works were concluded by the Spanish military engineer Carlos de Grunenburgh, in about 1689. This outline still survives today. In 1912 the British Royal Navy moved into Fort St. Angelo and the fort was turned into a naval headquarters and rechristened HMS St. Angelo. During the Second World War the fort was extensively damaged by air attack and between 1940 and 1943 it suffered sixty-nine direct hits. It continued to be used as a base ship for the Mediterranean until the British Services finally left Malta in March 1979.

In the historical agreement reached with the Maltese Government in 1998, the Order of St. John, was granted the right to occupy the upper part of the Fort, comprising the Magistral Palace and St. Anne Chapel. Intensive restoration works of these areas are being carried out.

The Church of St. Anne in Fort St. Angelo
The 15th century Chapel of St. Anne, in the precincts of Fort St. Angelo, is where the Knights first worshipped on their arrival in Malta. It is said that the original chapel was built by De Nave family one hundred years before the coming of the Knights in 1530.

The histographer of the Order Iacomo Bosio, writing in 1594, says that the present chapel was built on the site of the previous chapel thus: “The church consists of an entrance bay, a square central section of four quadripartite-vaulted bays, another quadripartite-vaulted bay in line with the entrance and, finally a small bay which seems to have supported a half-dome. The four middle bays are sustained by a central column composed of red granite known as syenite and may have formed part of a temple.”

The ‘Guva’ in Fort St. Angelo
The ‘Guva’, or underground cell, was the Order’s most sever place of confinement for convicted knights. It principally served as a place of punishment but occasionally also housed knights awaiting trial. It consists of a bell shaped hole excavated in the ground-rock, without steps, from which it was virtually impossible to escape. The base is roughly oval shaped (from 3.3 meters at its narrowest to 4.2 meters at its widest) and it is 3.4 meters high. Niches and shelves cut in the walls were probably used for candles, laps or lanterns. Sad graffiti decorate all the wall surface and the names incised indicate that the guva was in use soon after the knights’ arrival in Malta. One graffito by Fra Jeronimo Palan is the earliest, dated August 7, 1532.

The only guva known today, rediscovered in 1913, is in Fort St. Angelo in Malta, and is five meters awat from the facade of the little church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. The archives indicate that other guvas existed; with at least two or three in Gozo, but their whereabouts have not yet been identified.

EU Celebrations

EU Celebrations

EU Celebrations

Fort St. Angelo was the centre of attraction in a spectacular display of lights, music and fireworks which was transmitted live on television to millions of viewers, to celebrate Malta’s entry into the European Union on the 1st May 2004.

If you would like to know more about the History of Malta and would like to visit some interesting places during your holidays in Malta, contact Our Concierge & Transport Desk and they will surely be able to assist you. And if you would like to book a superior room for your relaxation break, check out what this Luxury Malta Hotel has to offer.

Photos courtesy of Mario Galea, www.viewingmalta.com & http://www.cc-advocates.com.

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