Day four in Malta was largely dedicated to the Half Marathon, which rightfully deserved its own blog post. However, I decided to write an additional piece about what else I got up on my final full day in my new favourite place!
While walking around Valletta during my trip, I noticed a vegetarian/ vegan restaurant called Soul Food. I have a real thing for Buddha Bowls at the moment, so when I saw that this place specialised in them, I made it my mission to visit!
I thought I would treat myself to a meal here after I had run the Half Marathon, so on Sunday afternoon, I found myself eagerly requesting a ‘table for one’ again.
Honestly, taking myself out on dates has become one of my new favourite pastimes – it’s so empowering! AND, you don’t get any of that insipid, ‘Why don’t we get a pudding and SHARE?’ Hell to the no. This sticky toffee be MINE! Cazza B does not share food. 🤣
The Soul Food menu was an Aladdin’s cave of deliciousness! As well as an extensive menu, they also had a specials board.
You know in the first Harry Potter film where Harry and Ron are on the train and the sweet trolley comes round and Harry says, “We’ll take the lot!”
... Well that’s what I felt like doing at Soul Food. Imagine me just sat in the corner on my own taking up six tables with endless bowls of tofu and edamame beans...
In the end I painstakingly narrowed my choice down to just one dish and ordered the ‘Crunchy Buddha Bowl.’ This consisted of corn burgers, rice, fresh veggies and a side of vegan mayo. Every bite was packed with wholesome flavour and was the perfect post-run fix of goodness.
I also had the apple, lemon, ginger and orange smoothie, which was so sharp and refreshing.
I sat out in the sun for a wonderful hour in the company of great food and my notebook & pen. Life’s simple pleasures.
In the evening, I headed up to Golden Bay Horse Riding for a 90 minute sunset trek. It was the best end to the BEST holiday.
I was a keen horse rider from the age of six and only gave it up five years ago. It’s an expensive hobby, and having your own horse is mega time consuming.
Having not ridden for many years, I was a bit nervous (I have some right horsey horror stories from my time in the saddle!).
I was given a horse called Brandy, who was absolutely beautiful and impeccably behaved. He was the definition of a true gentleman.
There you go you see – I certainly didn’t think I’d go to Malta and find a man!! 🤣
I can’t recommend Golden Bay enough. Their relaxed rides cater for both advanced and inexperienced riders, with horses to suit everybody.
The owner of the stables, Mario, is a complete legend! He is so quick witted – literally you blink and you miss some of his mischievous quips!
I loved that he knew each and every single one of his horses inside out, and I adored listening to their individual stories. My Brandy is a 12 year old ex-racehorse from Sweden.
The horses are all immaculately cared for – in Mario’s own words: ‘I look after them better than I look after my own kids!’
On the sunset ride! 😍
Our ride was utterly sublime. I can’t get over how striking Malta is. With its combination of jaw-dropping historic ruins, postcard coastline and rugged countryside, Malta’s landscape is extraordinarily diverse.
Riding at Golden Bay granted the island with a chance to show off all of its splendour in one humble bow.
Panoramically perfect, my love affair with Malta reached new highs. ❤️
We picked our way along the costal paths, the towering flower sprinkled hillsides hugging us from either side.
The sun set across the bay, bringing a close to a day that I will never, ever forget.
That day, I witnessed both the sunrise and the sunset across Malta and I’m glad that I got to spend as much time as possible soaking up every second the island had to so graciously offer.
Flying home… Farewell, Malta 💔
Malta: In a Nutshell -
I stayed at Carmelita Valletta, which is located in the heart of the old town. If someone had asked me to describe my dream apartment, I’d probably have conjured up an image of this place.
I couldn’t get enough of opening the curtains and the balcony hatches to reveal enchanting views of the historic streets. My bedroom was adorned by big brick beams which made me feel as though I was waking up in a castle. It was so full of character and had managed to maintain its olde-worlde feel while being well-equipped and modern. The whole apartment was extremely tasteful and spotlessly clean.
The apartment host, Kenneth, was super hospitable and helpful, and was always on hand to answer any questions I had. He even messaged me on the first day to make sure I had checked in okay.
View from the front of the apartment 😍
Food & Drink:
Veggie, vegan, gluten free, Sagittarius... Whatever you class yourself as, when it comes to culinary delights in Malta, you will be spoilt for choice.
For something a bit fancy, I really enjoyed dining at Fifty Nine Republic in Valletta. The staff can’t do enough for you and the food is unbelievable. There aren’t too many tables so booking is recommended. The atmosphere is lovely and it feels very intimate.
My other favourite in Valletta was, without a doubt, the Is-Suq Tal-Bet Food Market.
There are so many different stalls to choose from. I had a delicious ‘poke bowl’ from Zest Asian Cuisine one evening, and a scrumptious pizza from Vecchia Napoli on another occasion.
(I actually bought all of the ingredients to try and recreate that poke bowl in my big shop this morning... I don’t even know why I’m bothering to waste my time – I know full well it won’t taste anywhere near as good!)
There is also a big supermarket-style shop below the market which stocks everything you could possibly think of. I stocked up on water and intriguing looking Maltese biscuits a number of times during my trip!
Getting Around the Island:
I downloaded the eCabs app, and their service was faultless. I used them a number of times and was so impressed by their efficiency, professionalism and attention to passenger safety. For example, on the morning of the Half Marathon, mty driver ensued that I felt comfortable being left out in the dark on my own with two male runners before he drove away. The service was above and beyond every time, and the prices were staggeringly cheap.
Busses are also a great way to explore Malta and can take you pretty much anywhere on the island. The fares are very well priced and I found the busses to be reliable, clean and spacious.
Malta for Solo Female Travellers:
I can’t speak highly enough of Malta in terms of safety. As a solo female traveller, I felt immensely safe. I walked through Valletta several times in the late evening and the streets were full of families and people socialising outside restaurants.
One of the things I like the most about Valletta is that it is vibrant without being overbearing. I’m from the north – I've seen what cities can get like on a Friday night! 🤦♀️🤣
Valletta was cool, calm, collected and oh so classy at every hour.
I can’t speak for other destinations on the island, but having researched Malta extensively before my trip, I didn’t hear any negative reports.
Maltese people are some of the friendliest I have encountered on my travels and most speak flawless English. (I have never felt more like a lazy, uncultured Brit than I did while in Malta when it came to languages.)
My only piece of advice would be to watch the roads. I did see some quite erratic driving while I was there, so just be cautious if hiring a car, or even while on foot.
Beautiful Valletta ❤️
Cara Jasmine Bradley