Indoors… Outdoors

17th July 2016 

In the second of our summer courtyard series, Marilù Vella, owner of Pastizzi Gourmet, and her artistic director and producer husband Sean Buhagiar welcome us in to their traditional Siggiewi house and pretty courtyard – the ideal space for entertaining and gardening, and the perfect spot for their beautiful dog, Olive, to watch the neighbourhood cats!

It was a picture of this courtyard that actually sold the house to us. We spotted it online and immediately asked to view it; the moment we saw it we fell in love. The whole house took us about a year-and-a-half to renovate, while the courtyard is a space we’re still relishing the chance to develop over time.

We’ve done quite a lot of work on the courtyard, including painting it, trimming the trees, planting lots of flowers and shrubs, decorating pots, and adding accessories. My dad restored the windows and doors, while Sean painted them. It’s been fun watching it all come together.

A weekly trip to the garden centre has become tradition – we love it, and try to pick up something new to plant or accessorise with. We’ve even started getting each other plants as gifts!

The garden aspect of the courtyard has grown too – the bougainvillea and jasmine were both here, while we’ve added roses, herbs, chillies, tomatoes and a lemon tree. It’s really nice to be able to use our home-grown ingredients in our cooking.

We both love cooking and entertaining, and it’s a huge part of our lives. The courtyard is perfect for that, especially as it’s right off the kitchen – it’s ideal for parties, as well as for dinners. We’ve only lived here a few months, but we’ve dined out here a lot – including on Christmas Day as it was lovely and warm!

Although our style indoors is pretty industrial, we wanted the courtyard to feel ‘typically Maltese’. We planted local flowers and chose colours that work well with the limestone surround.

We know the house dates back over 300 years and would love to know more about its history. We’ve asked around and the previous owners have told us a little about it too, including that it was a farm in its past life. We’d still love to find out the history of the gargoyle though! He’s a bit of a mystery.

This is a snippet. Read the full interview on the latest issue of STYLE on Sunday.

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Indoors… Outdoors