When was the last time you spent a day in one of Malta’s remarkable Three Cities? The venerable trio are packed with enough history to make a trip down to them a perfect escape from your everyday life. Even a single step past their massive bastions is like hopping into a time bubble and leaving the world behind.
Senglea (also knows as Isla) is the smallest and oldest of the Three Cities, and is full of sights to see and venues to visit.
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So if you plan on visiting the city of Senglea, we’ve put together a list of things you absolutely have to do. Plus we’ve peppered in a few stops at Hammett’s Maċina along your day plan to refuel with some fancy food and delectable drinks. Because, you know, you deserve it.
Breakfast and a sea-side stroll
Hammett’s Maċina has an exquisite breakfast menu; with a variety of pancakes, both sweet and savoury, and eggs cooked in every way you could possibly imagine. Obviously they’ve also got the classic full-English as well, complete with fried eggs, local pork sausages, bacon, cherry tomatoes, baked beans, and field mushrooms.
Once you’re all fed and energised, you can go on to explore the history of Senglea, starting with the Maċina itself.
Hammett’s Maċina is situated inside a 16th-Century fortification that’s been given a fair bit of TLC, and is even being touted as a tentative UNESCO World Heritage site. The fortification was originally built by the Knights of Malta in 1554, and was used for hoisting and lowering masts onto ships.
From the Gardjola to the clock tower and fortifications for days; you surely won’t run out of things to see.
A light lunch and a dip in the sea
After you’ve worked up an appetite by exploring the city, you can head back to the Maċina for a spot of lunch.
The kitchen prepares a select variety of Mediterranean dishes that are given a bit of a personal and contemporary twist. The menu is put together by a multi-award winning team, led by the talented Francisco Carrasco Cortes, and directed by 24-time award winning Chef and restaurateur Chris Hammett. With a culinary CV of that calibre, you just know it’s going to be good.
And after you and your stomach are satisfied, head on down to Senglea Point for a dip in the sea. If you gorged yourself a bit too much on breakfast and aren’t quite in the mood for lunch, maybe consider swapping your routine around.
Afternoon tea and some scrumptious scones
Complement the magnificent views of the Grand Harbour with a delightful afternoon pick-me-up. Wash down a selection of freshly-made sandwiches and petit fours with Hammett’s selection of loose-leaf tea and coffee.
However if you’re really looking to go all out, swap out the hot drinks for bottomless prosecco and feel like absolute royalty.
Check out the Senglea Basilica
The parish church of Senglea is dedicated to Our Lady of Victories and is a prime example of a Medieval Maltese Church. Packed with icons, paintings, statues and ornate decorations, there’s loads to feast your eyes upon. And of course, being a church, its a great spot for some quiet reflection.
The fresco that adorns the inside of the church’s dome is a masterpiece that has been constantly retouched throughout the centuries. The current fresco was painted by Frank Portelli between 1990 and 1993.
Indulge on a boozy dinner and watch the sunset
As the light begins to dwindle and the overwhelming urge to watch the sunset through a glass of wine starts kicking in, it’s time to head back to Hammett’s Maċina for a beautifully boozy dinner. And if you happen to be there on a Wednesday or Sunday night, you’ll likely find yourself being treated to a night of live jazz music.
The chefs at Hammett’s Maċina are more than ready to pamper you and your guests with their ingenious dinner menu. You can choose between a number of traditional à la carte options, or an indulgent and exciting 5-course taster menu (with optional wine pairings selected by their in-house sommelier).
Your tastebuds won’t be able to do anything, but dance to the tantalising tango of flavours.
Enjoy your aperitif and meal served al fresco while basking in the glorious view of the Three Cities, backed by the tunes of local Jazz Trio Adrian Irrussu Brincat and friends, vocalist Angela Vella Zarb and many more acts still to be announced.
The terrace overlooks Senglea’s harbour, providing the perfect location to soak up the beauty of our little island and all the history that it’s infused with.
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Commemorate a special occasion at Hammett’s own The Sheer Bastion
From weddings to corporate conferences, the luxury-laced Senglea venue is ready to cater for any occasion. Directed by the chef and restauranteur Chris Hammett, The Sheer Bastion prides itself in an award-winning events team ready to provide customers with expert advice.
The venue offers a wide range of canapés and dishes prepared using only the finest local and seasonal products, and constructed with immaculate attention to detail. For standing receptions and seated banquets alike, The Sheer Bastion offers the option of building your own bespoke selection of hot and cold canapés appertaining to a huge variety of both local and foreign cuisines.
Head on over to the yacht marina
Once the sun’s gone down and a still has settled over the city, there’s nothing more peaceful than sitting with a toe in the water and watching all the boats gently rock with the waves. And it’s only a stone’s throw away from Hammett’s so it doesn’t matter if you ate and drank a little too much.
Just maybe don’t get too close to the edge.
Check into a hotel and then do it all again the next day
After you’ve spent the day in Senglea, might as well wrap it all up with a bow and check in to the Cugó Gran hotel. Also managed by Hammett’s, the hotel weaves together landmark Maltese architecture and modern interior design. With hand-picked designer pieces juxtaposing traditional, high-vaulted ceilings, this designer hotel is home to 21 spacious suites.
How’s that for a staycation?
We’ve got a meal for two over at Hammett’s Maċina to give away
Whether you’re in the mood for a full English, a boozy afternoon tea, or a fancy dinner – we’ve got you covered! Simply tag a friend (or a lover) in the comments below, and let us know what kind of meal you’d like to treat them to.
We’ll then pick one winner at random and this could be you in no time: