What no one tells you about getting married is that the best part is yet to come. The honeymoon. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED our wedding and the planning/hours of indecision I put myself through. But those 7 days afterwards where we did absolutely nothing and got drunk every night? Now THAT’S what it’s all about.
This time last year we’d just arrived home from seven days in Gozo, Malta. A completely last minute effort by us (we booked it two days after the wedding. Yep. Really.) but one that was much needed and appreciated after the full-on Week of Wedding we’d just had. And for some reason, I took hardly ANY photos whatsoever for the entire time (and I’ll document anything given the chance – just see my Instagram feed for regular examples of flowers, cats and my dinner). Admittedly I slept solidly for the first 3 days, but I also think I was all photoed out by then and just wanted to experience everything in real life, as opposed to through a camera lens the whole time.
But, in an effort to make sure I do have some kind of record of our honeymoon – and because it’s raining and I actually have nothing better to be doing on what’s supposed to be the last bank holiday of the summer – I’ve put together a little montage of our time in Malta…
We checked into the Kempinski Spa Hotel after what was officially known as The Longest Flight On Earth. Malta is four hours from England. Except when you have to change flights in Germany, catch a connecting ferry and then take a 2 hour taxi ride. Then it’s 10 hours away. A 15 hour journey from door-to-door – or the ‘snag’ in us getting the 5* luxury hotel for the price that we did, if you will. Man was that champagne needed when we checked in.
After drinking the free champagne we went for dinner at one of the hotel’s onsite restaurants (the Italian one, I think) then wandered into the local town. Tip to anyone else staying in Gozo – if you’re looking for night life then good luck. There is none. We walked into the town centre and found some sort of stand up comedy show going on. Which would have been lovely, had it not been entirely in Maltese.
Breakfast here was So. Good. Anyone that knows me knows I’m 100% a breakfast person – I HAVE to eat first thing in the morning – however early I wake up. So naturally I loved the fact that there were about 15 different buffet tables all set up with practically any type of food you could imagine. Most mornings I went for some sort of fruit and granola as well as poached eggs, which were cooked to order outside on the patio and brought to your table. Every day the waitresses would bring a different fruit shot to the table as well – I think the one above was watermelon – which was amazing. Everything was so fresh and tasty. And even the tea here was good. On the second day, after breakfast, we walked back into the local town. Firstly to see what we’d missed in the dark (a whole load of nothing) and secondly to stock up on water and snacks for the fridge in our room – a holiday tradition we always weirdly get excited about (geeks). One of the weirdest things about waking up on the second day was waking up to gun fire. Neither of us had a clue what the hell was going on, but apparently every August there’s an annual summer festival in the local town which is celebrated with canon fire, gun fire and fireworks first thing in the morning and late at night. Possibly another reason the room was so cheap for the time of year – waking up with the fear of God pounding through you.
The second night was Friday night. And so naturally we decided we deserved a night out. And by night out I mean night in, at the hotel, in their wine bar. The previous night we’d stopped in for a quick drink after dinner whilst exploring and somehow the bar man talked us into signing up for their weekly wine tasting night. By wine tasting, we assumed we would literally be tasting the equivalent of a mouthful of wine and, um, spitting it discreetly somewhere. So we went for drinks beforehand. There we were all liquored up and trying to act like we do this sort of stuff all the time when we were shown to our table. And it turned out that not only did we get full glasses of each of the wines we’d be ‘tasting’, but there were seven of them to taste. SEVEN. Needless to say, it got messy. But, looking back, this was by far my favourite night of the honeymoon; there was a band, the wine (which was delicious) was flowing and people kept feeding us cheese. What’s not to love?
The next few days were pretty much spent eating, sleeping, swimming in the pool and snoozing on our balcony. The food here was amazing; if I could eat mezze every day for every meal then I totally would. And I think every meal I ate every day for a month after our honeymoon was basically this, but a worse version.
After nearly a week of eating, sleeping and fighting each other for the sunniest spot on the balcony, cabin fever started to set in. Don’t get me wrong, the hotel was amazing – there were so many onsite restaurants, cocktail bars, a gym and a spa but one thing we always make a point of when on holiday is getting out and seeing the local sights. And this was no exception. So on our second to last day, we booked ourselves onto one of the hotel’s daily bus trips to Marsalforno, a little fishing town about an hour away from where we were staying. Had we known how beautiful it was here we’d have definitely booked the morning trip and made a day of it. There were lots of bars, restaurants and touristy type shops here but as we only had 4 hours until the bus came back we just walked around for a bit, paddled in the sea and then had a drink and some dinner in one of the street cafes. And where my highlight of the honeymoon was getting trashed on wine on the second night, this was Troy’s. Awkward.
Without a doubt, the most beautiful thing about Malta was watching the sun rise and set every day from our balcony. I miss waking up to this and just having half an hour outside in the warm air drinking (the-surprisingly-good-for-instant) coffee.
I would, without hesitation, absolutely recommend the Kempinski Spa Hotel in Gozo to any couple considering somewhere a bit different (and a LOT off the beaten track) for their honeymoon, or even just a luxurious break away. I did miss the convenience of having shops and restaurants right there on our doorstep, as we’ve experienced with our other holidays, but as this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I’ll let Troy off on that one. The 15 hour journey each way though? Still a sore point.