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MT 29 June 2014

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30 RESTO OF THE WEEK IT'S that time of year again when lunch plans come with a number of conditions – it has to be outdoors, it has to be by the sea, it has to be in the shade, it has to be relaxing and if the kids have some sort of entertainment, then all the better. And naturally, the food has to be spot on. Every other restaurant along the coast should be offering something along those lines, yet the reality is that there are few and far between that offer a summer dining experi- ence worthy of missing a day at the beach. Baia is one spot that has proved, summer and summer again, that it is up to the task. The fact that it is, in fact, a beach club helps the decision-making process. You don't have to sacrifice a day at the beach, just those intense hours when UV rays are so harmful and the heat stress index has you seeking out shady spots anyway. The beach club was inspired by the owners' travels around Europe and Asia and their wish to share one of Malta's most idyllic loca- tions with friends and family. The blue and white colour scheme makes the beach feel like you're on a Greek island whilst the view of the crystal clear waters with Comino in the background remind you just how beautiful the Maltese archipelago really is. The truth is what really sells Baia are the views coupled with the luxurious décor. If they threw a handful of peanuts at you and called it lunch, you'd still appreciate the experience and happily part with your hard-earned pennies. Thankfully this is not the case and the food is simple with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and cooked to accentuate natural flavours. Meals can be of an elaborate three-course nature or a simple one-plate meal to get you back out into the sun as soon as possible. And if you don't want to waste precious sunshine hours in the shade of the restau- rant, you can also order food off of the snack menu – sandwiches, salads and platters – right at your beach bed. The kids won't be disappointed either, with special kids menus that include the regular favourites as well as healthier options. And for the really little ones, there is also an infant menu, which promises fresh, homemade goodness with no lumps or added salt or sugar. The wine list has been carefully selected to accompany the menu with a good variety of reds and whites from all over the world as well as champagnes. The somme- lier will help you to choose your wines should you require assist- ance. After lunch you can meander down to the beach club and settle onto a comfy sunbed you'd prob- ably be happy to spend the night on, with waiter service to keep your glasses refreshed whilst you take a dip in the Mediterranean blue. The best day to make Baia your day out is a Sunday, when the end of lunch sees the setting up of a cock- tail bar, where Simon Briffa shakes up some cool, refreshing cocktails he has become famous for and Julian Drury spins easy listening tracks that guarantee to turn your lazy Sunday afternoons into not- so-lazy evenings. The perfect end to a weekend! Baia is also open for private func- tions, including weddings, so it is best to call in advance to book a table. The restaurant at Baia Beach Club is open daily for lunch be- tween 12:30 and 15:00 and for dinner between Tuesday and Sat- urday from 19:30 to 22:00 in July and August. Charles Grech & Co. Ltd., Valley Road, B'Kara Tel: 2144 4400 Classis Riesling - Framingham, Marlborough - New Zealand Another gorgeous expression from yet another riesling-devoted winery. The minerally, toasty, wildflower scents are intriguing; the way the wine opens out into juicy, citrusy lushness is pure pleasure. Ideal with casseroled chicken made with riesling. Extremely delicate, low alcohol wine, inspired by the elegant Spatlese styles of Germany. Showing varietal characters of lemon meringue pie, mandarin and apple with a stony, taut, mineral finish. Harmless crystals may form in the bottle. CRITICAL COMMENT "Very Mosel-like Riesling with rapier purity. Lime, mineral, white rose and a suggestion of honey from very ripe and concentrated grapes. Another dazzling wine under this top label." – Bob Campbell MW, 2013 Exclusively imported by Charles Grech & Co. Ltd, Valley Road, B'Kara T: 2144-4400 WINE OF THE WEEK Baia Beach Club Little Armier L/O Mellieha Tel: 21 570942; 21 573421 E: Lazy Sunday afternoons with not-so-lazy evenings Rachel Zammit Cutajar takes a look at a restaurant and brings a recipe, wine and delicacy of the week. Write to us with your comments on restaurants or submit your own recipes to FOOD

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