We, Carmelite friars resident in this religious and historic space, are honoured and feel blessed to host you. We hope you will enjoy your visit and feel restored in body, mind and spirit through the short time you will be spending in our priory’s premises. Hosting, as a Christian virtue, is much cherished by the monastic tradition. Inspired by the biblical narratives of our holy forbears who unknowingly received in their homes God’s visit while hosting fellow humans (Gen 18; Hb 2), monasteries and friaries were from of old welcoming spaces for passers by, without distinction of race, gender, status or beliefs.
The hosting space par excellence is the refectory where generations of friars shared their meals and celebrated community life. There is much more to the refectory than just a space where to have lunch and supper. It is above all a sacred space wherein the presence of the Risen Christ is experienced in the simple human acts of hosting and sharing meals while listening in silence to the Word of God proclaimed from the ambon (literally ‘mountain’ or ‘elevation’) which is set up on high: “Get thee up upon a high mountain, thou that bring good tidings to Sion: lift up thy voice with strength” (Is 40:9).
Another priviledged hosting space in a Priory is the Parlour, a place reserved for welcoming visitors and pilgrims who knock at the Priory’s door to meet friars and share friendship, bonding and fellowship. One can enter the Parlour rooms from the main door of the building through the waiting area at the entrance. To preserve the tradition of the friary’s hosting and fellowship in the refectory and parlour, the old parlour, decorated with original painted ceilings, was converted into a restaurant which serves traditional local dishes and other Mediterranean dishes. At the Priory’s restaurant, on particular days and occasions, Al Convento one may taste also something of the Carmelite culinary heritage.
The restaurant entitled Al Convento, recalls the popular nickname Al Convento Notabile given to the Priory in older days, and is set up in the original Parlour. Whilst keeping alive the monastic value of hosting visitors, Al Convento enables the Friars to be financially sustainable in order to keep the historical priory, and finance the activities related to their particular mission in the Church and in society.
Click here to be directed to the restaurant’s website