Entrance (access to a sunbed and regular umbrella): €8
Average spend (for umbrella, sunbed, two drinks and one course): €65
Free access: Yes
Table (sunbed) service: No
Access to the sea: Yes
Best for: Socialising by the sea; value for money
Stay away if: You are looking for luxury venues; you are outside of Sliema
A long day at the beach isn’t always an option as work life and responsibilities tend to get in the way of serious beach mode. But island life means that the sea is never very far away and there are plenty of options that work pretty well when time is limited.
Getting to Exiles can be the easiest option or the worst nightmare depending on where you are trying to get there from. If you are already in Sliema, then popping down to the beach for a swim is easy. Walk, cycle, run – those are the easiest options. However, if you are outside of Sliema and need to drive to get there, this could turn into a bit of an ordeal. And once you get there, there is nowhere to park. I have, on occasion, driven to Exiles to meet friends, drove around Sliema for 20 minutes and gone home because there was nowhere to park. The added bonus of roadworks at Spinola and Balluta Bay don’t make the idea of driving around that area any more appealing.
Most people tend to just lay their towels down on the rocks and rough it, however if that sounds a little uncomfortable there are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent for really reasonable prices. €8 gets you a bed and umbrella for a whole day.
The restaurant at Exiles is always heaving with activity. If you’re planning to go at peak hours – lunch or after 5pm – then booking a table is highly recommended as there are bums in all seats at almost all hours. The kitchen is open from 9am till 1am. The menu is simple and fresh, written out on a blackboard so is subject to change according to what fresh ingredients are readily available. They are popular for their burgers that are served with handcut fries that are incredibly moreish. Wash that down with a couple of Coronas or ice-cold ciders and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer meal. Also on the menu is plenty of fresh fish, pasta and salads. If you get there before noon, they also serve breakfast… eggs Benedict by the sea? Don’t mind if we do.
As soon as the working day is done, Exiles comes into its own, with plenty of young people flocking to the bar to wash the worries of the working day away with a cool dip and cooler drinks. The crowd at Exiles are friendly and people who go there usually know a whole bunch of other people at other tables, so conversations flow as quickly as the alcohol.
July is live music month, with live bands playing three times a week. Head over to their Facebook page to see the schedule.
Exiles is the kind of place you can go to everyday. Good food, cold drinks, cool dips in the water, chats with friends and live music make this one of the best value-for-money spots this side of the island.
Address: Off Tower Road, Sliema
Facebook: Paradise Exiles
Written by Rachel Zammit Cutajar who was too busy doing handstands and having ‘F’ it Fridays to load herself.