Welcome to the Seventh Malta Regency Weekend!
As always, we’re beavering away to make this one the best yet. The activities have
all been lined up, for your pleasure, and the costings should be finalised within
the next couple of weeks. The program will be:
– late morning winery visit with light lunch
– dance workshop
– evening meal at the Castille Hotel
– Palazzo Falson in Mdina and the Dominican Priory
– lunch in the cloister of the Dominican Priory
– the Ball and a Corsair Captain’s meal
– a day of leisure at Villa Bologna, Attard
Friday 26th April - Maria Rosa Wine Estate (modern outfits)
We start our weekend with a late-morning wine tasting and light lunch at Maria
Rosa, a boutique wine estate in Attard, where we will be shown around the
vineyard and cellar, hear an explanation of the production process, and enjoy a
light lunch while tasting several wines. A selection of Maria Rosa wines will be
available for purchase. A coach will take us from the meeting point outside
Phoenicia Hotel to Attard and back, in time for a rest before the dance workshop.
Friday 26th April - Dance Workshop & meal
The dance workshop will run from 5pm to 8pm. We had planned to hold the
workshop in the under croft of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, as we’ve done many
times, but we’ve just learned that it may not be available due to administrative
changes. We have alternative venues in mind and we will advise you of the chosen
one in an update before the event. Wear modern clothes and comfortable shoes.
Biscuits and lemonade will be served during a break. The workshop will be
conducted by Valerie Webster, who will call the dances at the Ball.
When the workshop ends, a ‘fun train’ will convey us to the Castille Hotel, where
we will socialise while partaking of pasta and salad in their rooftop restaurant
which has magnificent views of the Grand Harbour.
Saturday 27th April - Palazzo Falson and the Dominican Priory
Our Saturday morning visit, in period clothes, will start from the meeting point
outside Phoenicia Hotel. A coach will take us to Mdina for a guided tour around
Palazzo Falson, also known as The Norman House. This attractive old house dates
back to the late 15th century and is home to an eclectic collection of artefacts
assembled by the late Captain Olof Gollcher, artist, scholar and philanthropist,
who set up a Foundation to preserve his house and vast collection for the cultural
enrichment of the Maltese nation.
A coach will take us to the Dominican Priory where we will visit the church and
crypt before settling at our tables for lunch in the stunning cloister which wraps
all the way round a baroque orange grove.
Game of Thrones fans may recognise this beautiful space, which featured as
Red Keep Garden in Episode 7 of Season 1, “You Win or You Die”.
Saturday 27th April - The Ball at the Maritime Museum, Birgu
Apart from the usual coach from the Phoenicia Hotel, we are offering the option
of crossing the Grand Harbour in a fleet of small boats, survivors from the horde
of water taxis which served the Mediterranean fleet at anchor in port and the
many eminent visitors to Malta. Each boat can take a maximum of six people.
Birgu, one of the oldest cities in Malta, is where the Knights of St John first made
their home in 1530. The Ball will be held at the National Maritime Museum on the
waterfront with views over the Marina, the city of Senglea and across Grand
Harbour to Valletta.
This building was erected in the 1840s as the Naval bakery and has architectural
features which are quite unusual for Malta, including cast iron columns and
The Curator, Liam Gauci, has spent years researching all aspects of Corsairing in
the Mediterranean in the second half of the eighteenth century. He has revealed,
in astounding detail, what was eaten and drunk by these corsairs, both serving
men and top-ranking officers. Based on this research, he has prepared for us a
selection of delicacies which would have been served at a Corsair Captain’s dining
table accompanied by the same wines which the Captain would have drunk.
Liam will give us a short introductory talk before the food is served. We will be
free to roam the museum and view the exhibits throughout the evening.
Valerie Webster will call the dances. We will have a few old favourites, some
less-known dances which deserve an airing, and we will have four Maltese dances.
Two of these, based on musical themes collected in Malta, were published in
England between 1807 and 1813. We’ve identified more music collected in Malta
in the same period and we will launch two more dances with appropriate dance
The Museum has a terrace, from where we may be able to see the Fireworks
display which should start at about 9pm over the Grand Harbour.
After the Ball, a coach will take us back to the Phoenicia Hotel meeting point.
Sunday 28th April - Villa Bologna in Attard
The charms of Villa Bologna have lured us back four years after our first visit.
This palatial villa, with its extensive gardens, was built as an aristocratic country