Boosting Tuesdays

Your next Food Hotspot covered

Why Avotaco is the place to be (eat)

Whenever I come to Malta between my work assignements, I always love it. Firstly, because it’s my home country and it’s an awesome place to be in, and secondly, because there are always a lot of new restaurants, hangouts, bars and cafes that open, that I like to go and checkout. I like to taste the variety of foods, new dishes, lovely cool decor, trends and their service and friendliness. Avotaco hit all of these.

I had never been to their Food truck before, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Situated in a great location, I quickly found parking and headed over inside to order. I love salads and opted for that, with a side of guac and chips. Mmmmm yummy! And yummy it was. The food is so fresh, it was as if they had just picked up the veg that very moment. My friend had the burrito and it was spectacular and extremely filling.

I went at a relatively calm time, but because you check the menu and go to order at the counter, its extremely easy and fast. And no cash. Love it. No wasting time finding your cash, waiting for the change… who has time for that nowadays. Only Cards are accepted at Avotaco and it’s genius. More and more restaurants should follow today’s trend, were everything is on card.

The management and the staff were all so welcoming and friendly and genuinely happy that we were eating and enjoying our time there. Even the chef came out to play, and the sombrero came out! yayayaayay!!

Whether you go for lunch and order for your colleagues, just yourself, eat there for dinner or order so that you don’t need to cook, Avotaco sure comes in handy and delicious. If you wanna eat where there are positive vibes, smiles all around, and everyone gulping down their beautiful dish, then Avotaco is the place to be. Well done guys on your initiative to take it to the next level and I will surely visit again when I’m back on the rock!

Have an avotalicious day peeps!

Ciao for now

Captain Falzon

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

A visit to the highly recommended Adelphi Restaurant

A beautiful evening with beautiful people and food

On a very quick visit to Malta, 2 days to be precise, I was invited to go to Adelphi restaurant in Rabat, Malta. I had already heard great things about it, so I was excited to go. Situated in a large passageway in the heart of Rabat’s centre, it is a perfect location for Rabat residents, Maltese coming from outside of Rabat, and tourists alike, to go and enjoy some mouthwatering dishes.

Upon entering, I got a sense of comfort, friendliness and very family oriented, which suited me well as I was there with my immediate family, ready to enjoy what Adelphi had to offer. After ordering a bottle of wine and talking to some of the waitresses, I was told that it was family run; from the owners of the restaurants, to the chefs and the waiters. That’s why I got such a homely feeling within seconds of being there!

Talking to KellyMarie, a joint owner of Adelphi along with her husband, she explained how everyone’s involvement is so important and so special to the huge success of Adelphi. Everyone working with detail and with a smile on their face, and I even got to go and meet 2 of the family chefs.

Adelphi offers several dishes from pasta, meat, pizza, fish, kids menu and so much more. I settled for the pizza since I hadn’t had pizza for quite a while, but I could also smell the meat and fish dishes on my table. With a huge apetite, I started eating my pizza and continuing to slowly sip on my red wine, while enjoying the company of my family, the ambiance and the friendliness of our waitress.

Upon more talking, I was informed that years ago (not years of my existence), it uded to be a cinema. Wow. This must be a treat for those that used to go there to watch a movie back in the day. Chatting away with our waitress, we were also informed that there will also be a boutique hotel, right above the restaurant. It forms part of the Quaint hotels in Gozo and will be the first one in Malta. As soon as this opens later this year, Adelphi will also be serving Breakfast and Lunch too.

What a great evening it was! I will definitely go back while on the island again. For all those tourists that go to Rabat and Mdina, be sure to go to Adelphi for some serious food and that good old Maltese style, local service with a smile! Bon Apetit!

Wine Wednesdays

Wine Wednesdays

Wine and Pizza? Yep.. Wine and Pizza

Wine Pairing with Pizza

There are hundreds of different pizzas and thousands of different wines. Wine is the best with pizza. Better than beer or liquor. What wine is best for your pizza?

The majority of the different styles of pizza go much better with red wine, and the type of red wine that is quite strong, full bodied and a strong taste. The only pizzas that also go great with white wine, rose or a less strong red wine, is the White pizza (meaning, more cheese and no red sauce), Hawain and Margarita. Pizzas with red sauce are higher in acidity, so the wine becomes more important with having an also strong taste, and have a full body like a Syrah and a Grenache. 


The classic Pepperoni goes well with Sangiovese or Cabernet Franc. These types of very strong wines are important since the fat from the pepperoni has a very strong flavor and it spreads its flavor on the cheese. These wines are great to counterbalance its strong flavor. If you opt for the simple Margarita, then you need a dry Rose. The ingredients are light, so a heavy and full body wine will not go too well with your Margarita. 


White Pizza is on the rise, and has become the first choice instead of the traditional (red sauce) pizza. White pizza is actually my favorite. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir love cream, and go extremely well with white Pizza. It depends if you prefer white or red wine. I always prefer the red, so Pinot does it for me.
Whichever Pizza you prefer, just remember that there is a wine that will enhance your experience. Many pizzerias, in the Mediterranean especially, also have their own House wine. It’s normally very good, but don’t hesitate to ask them what type of wine it is, so that you have an excellent Pizza and wine experience!

Cheers!

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Leading by Example

Your Employees are the Result of You

Just like young kids absorbing everything their mother or father does, your new employees, whether they were there before you with another manager, or are new to the company, they will consciously and subconsiously absort the traits of their leader.

I always stress how important it is to lead by example. If you are always shouting at your team when they do something not up to company’s standards, they will start shouting at each ther and at the guests or customers. If you treat them nicely, positively, and take time to guide them through the processes and a step by step explanation, they will take their time with the guests and with each other. Even with you. If you don’t treat them right, they are not going to treat you right eventually either.

You need to create an environment where respect is visible, attention to detail and positivety is apparent. It all starts from you. It starts from the top. Whenever I visit a team on a cruise ship or hotel especially and notice certain traits from the team that are not so good, I always try to see how their manager works, acts and reacts. If a manager for example is not attentive to the team’s questions, requests and so on, they will in time act the same, whether they are getting training by someone, attending a meeting or even with their customers or guests. 

You need to always think as their leader, that they are watching your every move, seeing how you talk, how you deal with escalated issues, your time management, your precision, your work ethic, you positivety, your reaction to certain action, how you respond to difficult questions, how you act in really difficult situations, and so much more. Think. Think for a second. How would you like to see them work? That is exactly how you should work. If you blow up and get visibly upset when dealing with an angry customer, don’t expect your team to deal with the same situation in a different way. Don’t kid yourself and pull them to the side or have a meeting with them to see why they acted that way if you do the same.

Be the better Manager. Be the Better Leader. Show them how the work should be done, and you won’t have too many situations with your team. Always Lead by Example. It is one of the items I always focus on in all of the training that I give with different types of teams and Managers. Leaders and Managers are all different, but leading by example should be the same.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

Twistees

The Forever Delicious and Popular Twistees

On one of my trips for work, leaving from the airport in Malta, I noticed a slightly bigger packet of twistees and with a different packaging. As I went closer, I noticed 6 different packets with 6 different flavors! I didn’t know what to do! I had to get on the plane fast but decided to buy 1 so I could taste. Heaven is all I could say. Wow, what a flavor! This was the Truffle Cheese, and my favourite from the 6. 

Anyone residing or visiting Malta knows about, or even more so, has had Twistees at some point. You can call them the National snack chips of Malta. In fact, you will also notice that on the new packets, there are new designes and also the advertising of the highly anticipated Valletta Capital of Culture 2018- V18. Yes! What better snack to have represent Valletta, Malta, than its favorite snack.

The 6 flavors are the Buttery Cheese, Caramel Cheese, Roast Beef Cheese, Truffle Cheese, Vanilla Cheese and the Classic Cheese. These are all Gluten Free and seriously tasty. 40 years of Twistees has expanded so much and it is even exported to a few other countries like Norway, France, Australia, U.K and more countries.

The next thing you need to do if you are in Malta right now is to go and buy these extremely satisfying snacks. If you are planning to visit between the rest of this year and next year during Valletta European Capital 2018, is to make sure you get your hands on them. If you don’t want to wait until the next visit, then you can order online through the Twistees website.

See ya’all. Time to open a new one! 🙂

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Who Works for Who?

What Some Managers Get Wrong

I don’t mean to start off with the negative, but it is unfortunate to see so many employees become the manager of the team and suddenly think they are better than the rest. Of course, you are now the manager, or one of the managers, for a reason. You have worked hard, put in your efforts, did more than others and so on. But the moment you feel that because you are the Manager, you have a team to work for you and that your team owes you, is the moment that you are devaluing your team, yourself and what you do.

In any management training workshops that I do for many managers in hotels, firms, companies and cruise ships, I start by asking the same question; ” Who are you here for?” In the case of hotels and cruiseships, the majority of the managers tell me that they are here for the guests. WRONG. Managers that have thier own staff/ team to work directly with guests are not there for the guests. These managers are there for their team and their team is there for the guests. Of course, they are there to make sure the guests are happy, but they need to take care of their tram first. Same goes to firms and companies with clients. These managers don’t deal directly with the clients so, but their employees do. I’m not the first one to say this. 

If you feel that your team owes you and that they are there for you, you are very very wrong my friend! YOU work for them. THEY don’t work for you. If your team is not successful, then you are definitely not successful either. The manager needs to be the one working more than his team, developing them, helping them, supporting and empowering them. And this can only be done when the manager is highly present, attentive to his team, guiding and leading them.

When managers think that they have the team to work for them, the guiding, leading, coaching amd empowering stops, and instead, you get an unhappy, overworked, scared of the boss kind of team. Show them you are there for them to help them be better, to succeed and to develop. Remember that the manager’s success relies on the employees’ success, happiness, advancement, empowerment and so much more.

I have always worked hard for my teams. They didn’t work for me. I WORKED FOR THEM. AND STILL DO.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

The Island Sanctuary Dog Shelter in Delimara, Malta

A Great Day at the Open Day at the Island Sanctuary Dog Shelter

I was scared of dogs for almost 30 years of my life. Those that know me will tell you how petrified I had always been of dogs. Even when going to someone’s house, they would need to have the dogs be somewhere else when I was there because of my fear. About 2 years ago, I decided to face the fear, actually had to kind of force myself. My partner’s family had a dog, and I was going to be there a lot, so I had to do something about it. Not to bore you with the details, I fell in love with dogs. Well I always liked them and wanted to not be scared of them, but I couldn’t! My partner and I adoped a puppy a bit more than a year ago, and I cannot imagine my life without him. When I am working away on ships or anywhere where he is not, I really truly miss him!

Last Sunday I decided to go and visit the Open Day at the Island Sanctuary so I could visit the dogs and contribute to the donations. I took my niece with me, who had an amazing time by the way. The Kids area and the face painters were great! They took care of the kids, engaged with them, played games with them, rewarded them with gifts and so much more. The visitors could bring their dogs with them too. I had a chance to visit all the dogs and then spent some time speaking with the volunteers, workers, organizers and everyone that was sporting the yellow paw t-shirt.

There are many stray dogs, or sadly enough abandoned dogs everywhere in the world, and this Charity Organization works very hard everyday to contribute to these dogs in Malta. They know they could do more and take in even more dogs, with the help of every dog lover out there by donating, sponsoring or adopting a dog. The Island Sanctuary started more than 26 years ago and was first based in Manoel Island before moving to Tas- Silg. It was so amazing to see all the volunteers, so happy and so caring for all the dogs and this was their best event yet! They give their hearts to them and you could see how much the dogs loved them back. I wish that I could have taken one of them home with me, but since I am always in Malta for a short time only on my vacations, it would be unfair to them. But this guy below was so cute!

You can help the Island Sanctuary by donating, so that they can keep on taking more strays, take care of them and find them caring homes for them to give joy to. We all know how much joy a dog brings to the home. You could see how thankful the dogs were for being treated so nicely and also excited that they were seeing so many people visit them last Sunday. An SMS Donation is the easiest: 506173680 EU2.33, 50618082- EU4.66, 50618935- EU6.99. If you go to their website: http://www.islandsanctuary.com.mt  you can also become a member for as little as EU10.

The Island Sanctuary organizes many events throughout the year, and if you know anyone that would like to get a dog, urge them to go there and adopt not shop for a dog. This shelter for homeless and abandoned dogs is truly a blessing and their efforts need to be duly praised. You can also follow The Island Sanctuary Malta on facebook for their latest news, events and so much more. Remember! Adopt don’t Shop. These dogs deserve all the love in the world and they will surely give it back to you!


Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

The Magnificent Boutique Hotel of The Saint John in the Heart of Valletta, Malta

Exploring all the Historic and Modern Wonders coming together



On a very quick stay in Malta, I wanted to be in the heart of Valletta, the island’s Capital. I wanted to sleep and wake up in that city, and that is why I chose to stay at the beautiful and elegant, freshly inuagurated The Saint John Boutique Hotel. I wanted a place were it was calm and quiet, had space to work, relax, feel pampered, create moments with my partner, and most of all, not need to get a car to go around Valletta. This place had them all checked!

After I took a moment to capture its beauty and history from the outside, all the way to the inside of the hotel, I went to check in at the reception, given the details and my RFID room key. I had some work to do first and wanted to have it ready fast so I could explore the beautiful hotel and then Valletta. As I entered the room, I had to take in a deep breath as this was the most amazing, welcoming, sophisticated yet with a home feeling kind of room. I also had to take a moment to test the mesmerizing technology that the room has. Don’t think that a historic building would not accomodate today’s modern technology, as this far exceeded many hotels that I had to stay in for work.

After a few minutes of letting this all sink in, I sat at the beautifully decorated and inviting desk. Working away, I had never felt happier doing my work, knowing that I had so much in store after that. I happily closed my laptop to start getting ready for the evening. The spacious and modern bathroom was so beautiful to see, that I didn’t even want to use it. But hey, a girl needs a nice warm shower and a few minutes to get dressed and prepare for the evening. Well.. maybe more than a few minutes. 

After I got dressed, I wanted to go round The Saint John and take some time to enjoy the beauty of the building, its construction and its decor. My partner had joined me and we set to roam around the hotel, then Valletta. The hotel experience had already elevated our exitement to the city, because we were staying in a part of it.

The elegant evening mood was set. It was then time to go eat. The Saint John has the Cheecky Monkey Gastropub attached to it, but as we had already tasted the delicious food at one of their locations, and they were pretty full due to its popularity, we decided to go walk around the city and then find a restaurant in the heart of Valletta. That is the beauty of The Saint John. You are right there, in the heart of it all! After a great evening, a great meal, a wonderful long stroll around the vivid and colorful streets of Valletta, we were ready to doze off in the large comfy bed in our elegant room.

We did go to Cheeky Monkey Gastropub in the morning as they serve breakfast there. We were spoilt for choice, and as we woke up a tad later than the rest of the guests occupying the hotel, we decided to have some fun with it. We even had quite a long conversation with the friendly Gastropub staff. The boutique hotel and the Cheecky Monkey Gastropub both make you feel at ease and that time is passing slow, so you can enjoy the moments. When you lead such a busy, hectic and sometimes stressful life like mine and my partner’s, we couldn’t stop wondering what a perfect choice this Boutique Hotel was for us to accomplish our work, enjoy each other’s company, relax and take it easy.

We got another cup of delicious coffee and took it to our room so we can enjoy it from our balcony. You really feel that you are one with the city and can hear and feel the different activities going on in Valletta, yet so quiet and peaceful to enjoy our moments together. We felt so lucky to be sharing the experience of The Saint John Boutique Hotel and Valletta. (We booked the balcony at The Saint John. Not all rooms have a balcony, but they do have large windows to make you feel more part of the building and the city)

We were then ready and energized to take on the city and explore more of what Valletta has to offer. Whether you are there for a short stay or a long stay, The Saint John Boutique Hotel elevates your vacation or getaway experience. Strategically located in the heart of Valletta, it is highly inviting to celebrate moments with your loved ones, to take some time to work, to relax and re-energize, explore and other amazing things. The place were you stay for your vacation or your getaway can make or break it. That’s why I am glad I chose The Saint John Boutique Hotel in Valletta. It totally made it!