Okay, stop all that Christmas chitterchat people. Nothing says Christmas like beach holidays and hey it’s warm enough for June here so bear with me. I have no idea how you all manage to put out so many posts but as I stagger towards the end of 2015 I’m determined to finish these off.
We’re on day 6 and I can’t believe I haven’t told you about La Rosinas! (I also can’t believe I never took a photo of the place! Just too laid back I guess!) Anyway when we’re on holiday there is nothing as relaxing as being able to stroll along to a local restaurant and enjoy a glass of wine along with a delicious dinner. So on our first evening we went out exploring and came across La Rosinas. This was a tiny restaurant, seating about 16 in one small room, situated on a square that was closed off to traffic because it was undergoing massive renovations with the street being block paved. The completion of this, we found out, was on a strict time schedule due to it needing to be ready in time for the village festa in a couple of weeks time. The work seemed sporadic with long breaks for siestas and evenings spent nursing cold beers outside Rosinas but then the men would work through until 2am and I had no doubt it would be finished in time. Festas are very important in Gozo and the centre of this village needed to be reopened.
Anyway, back to Rosinas, we went in and despite not pre-booking (they do like you to do that in Gozo) we explained we were new in town, hadn’t had the chance and managed to get a table. There was no menu and we were told we could have pasta with tomato sauce which we took, delighted just to have found somewhere that would feed us. Pasta with tomato sauce is something I cook quite often…but this dish dear reader was on another level completely and was utterly delicious. Even writing this now I’m salivating at the thought of it.
This one room restaurant is in an old stone building with an eclectic mix of interesting objects on the walls and I immediately had a desire to start a collection of old keys because they looked so good. There are pictures of people who have visited, I spot Billy Connolly, Rob Lowe and of course Angelina Jolie. The furniture is mismatched and wonderful with bench seating to fit in as many as possible and fortunately for me there is air conditioning. It feels welcoming and homely.
We booked for two days later and were then surprised to be asked what we would like to eat. We are used to having a menu to guide us so were a bit nonplussed but the wonderful waitress thought for a moment popped out the back and came back with Rosina herself. She said she might be preparing pork steaks or rabbit and we replied that we’d be happy with whatever she wanted to cook for us. Two days later we found ourselves eating beef olives with slices of beef so tender they fell apart under the knife and a thick sauce, deep and rich with flavour.
We booked again for our last night. Rosina didn’t ask what we wanted and this time we got rabbit – a first for me – and again mouth-wateringly tasty. I told her so as we hugged in a fond farewell and I suggested tucking her in a suitcase and taking her back to England with me. She wasn’t keen but her openly warm and wonderful face lit up with a smile. Her beautifully twinkly eyes and infectious laugh showing her appreciation of…er…being appreciated!
The food throughout Gozo is good and very varied having had so many influences on it throughout history.
So onward with day 6…
We go to Xlendi this morning and for a while watch others snorkelling and diving off a man made diving board. I feel too lazy to bother getting wet but eventually I take the plunge. So here I am, on the steps up to my waist in water as I faff about with getting my mask on and as I dip below the surface the first thing… the very first thing I see is a jellyfish inches away from me but determined not to be put off I persevere. Has anyone out there actually been stung by one of these things? How bad is it? And is it true you have to wee on the sting? (Just asking…ahem…for a friend… ;-)) No one else in the water seems to mind them so I decide to get on with my swim and although I see others squirting themselves downwards through the water which is a bit creepy I reckon I’ll be able to out swim them. I stay in for a while and relax as I start watching the fish around me.
Once I dry off we walk up and over the cliffs to a cave and find out that there is a 300m tunnel that stretches right under the cliff and comes out in another bay. This makes me shudder, just the thought of it makes me feel claustrophobic but it’s used by the scuba divers apparently of which there are a lot here. There are also a lot of diving schools and we discuss coming here again and I’d definitely be up for trying scuba diving if we do, but perhaps not going into that tunnel. When we eat at Xlendi one evening we watch the divers go out in the dark, bright torches lighting up the underwater world.
We head back to our farmhouse for a spot of lunch and spend the afternoon reading and dozing. The sounds of the village are all around and somewhere someone is playing a cello, they are practising, very well fortunately and it’s soothing.
I doubt there is a house here that doesn’t sport a balcony… here is one of ours…
…and the view up the road…
I finished the Victorian mystery Diamonds and Dust by Carol Hedges today, which has been a terrific read, and you can see my review here.
And I started Boot Camp Bride, a wonderful romantic suspense which is perfect for a holiday, by Lizzie Lamb. You can see that review here.
But hey it’s day 6 I’m totally relaxed and truly embracing the Gozitan style I really can’t be bothered to finish this off no…..