Mdina, Malta. A city free of cars and just the hustle and bustle of tourists and a whole plethora of alleyways and buildings to explore.
One of the most popular stops on a walk through Mdina is to head for Fontanella Tea Garden for lunch with a view, but more importantly to enjoy a piece of one of their famous cakes.
It is a wonderful cafe, a cafe with no razzmatazz or PR etc. It doesn’t need it, it is a place that speaks for itself, in word of mouth, and everybody on the island knows about it, and the cakes it produces.
A Must Do In Malta
It is true that when in Malta and you say you have been to Mdina, a whole lot of people will automatically ask “Did you have a cake at Fontanella”?
Now, I am part of that mass of people that will ask the same of others.
I have visited Malta quite a few times over the years and was lucky to have stumbled upon Fontanella on one of my first visits. That has meant that I surely have been returning not just to the island but also to make a beeline to this wondrous tea garden
It is not just a place to eat cake, far from it. The menu has savoury choices as well as beverages. I must say the coffee here is delicious so now my personal choice becomes both coffee and cake.
The Chocolate Cake
If you have a problem making choices expect to be there a while! You already know you want cake but then you see the list on the menu and the choice becomes nearly impossible.
The big favourite that people rave about is the chocolate cake. It is a recipe that has not changed since 1975. The same with their strawberry meringue. It is all still made fresh and home made every day, according to the owner’s grandmother’s recipes.
That is how it all started, with those 2 cakes. A hobby selling home made cakes. Now look at it, it has grown into a huge operation with plenty of staff to keep it going, whilst keeping the same principles and recipes from nearly 50 years ago.
This time, as you can see above, I went for the double chocolate and hazelnut. And it was divine!
As you wait for order to arrive you find yourself watching others getting theirs served, with a constant ‘oh my’ feeling in your body. So many gorgeous looking options, strawberries, cream, chocolate, orange…. and much much more.
There is plenty of seating inside or out in the garden. In holiday season remember that this place is well known so you may have to wait for a seat.
If you want the famous Fontanella views then get yourself up on the terrace. A perfect place to have cake and coffee. You get a view from high in the Mdnina and all the way across the island to Valetta and beyond.
The Name And The Fountain
In the garden, take the time to say hello to the fountain. For it is this where the tea room got its name.
The fountain depicts a cherub holding a dolphin. It is baroque and 17th century called Putto Con Delfino, translating as Cherub with Dolphin.
In my opinion, Fontanella is an experience you truly must try when in Malta, and especially when in the Mdina. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth.
The food is amazing, the staff are amazing and the views are amazing.