887 Reviews

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Things to do


Date of travel

October, 2019

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Having discounted or eaten in most of the restaurant options on Vlora’s promenade, I took to Google to explore restaurants near our hotel, “Hotel Partner”:

During the day, we went to check out one I’d spotted, “Marfein”:, which was neither on the promenade or on the way to the historical centre: the two ways we’d been walking. Trip Advisor suggested it served traditional Albanian food as well as Mediterranean and Italian. This was welcome as Vlora had a predominance of pizzerias being only 75km across the water from Italy.

It was a small café and didn’t look much from the outside, but whilst Roy changed money next door, I checked out the menu and we decided to stop for a drink at one of the five pavement tables.

In the evening, we’d hoped it would have been warm enough to sit outside, but on the way, we felt a couple of drops of rain and decided to play it safe. This proved a smart move as during our meal the rain began in earnest and all tables had to be brought inside.

On arrival, we were the first to eat inside. Having ordered wine as usual, a paper tablecloth came out over the linen one and the wine, which was chilled and pale, was served in an elegant carafe. We were also given rather large, nice wine glasses.

The menu was in three columns: Albanian, English and Italian. We ordered a large mixed salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives, red onion, peppers, carrot threads and sweetcorn) which was already dressed although oil and vinegar was available on the table. Unfortunately, all the small selection of Albanian dishes had finished, making us think either they didn’t cook much, or it was popular in a town full of Italians. So, it was back to the Italian: lasagne and tuna risotto. Both dishes were fine, but not outstanding, however, at 500 and 400 Lek/£3.70 and £2.96, it was hard to quibble.

This is obviously a family run restaurant and looked as though it was dad and two sons on duty, whilst a small girl ran around for a while and played in the children’s toy corner.

Bearing in mind the rain persisted, it was good not to have far to walk home.

Helen Jackson

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