Overlooking Marsamxett harbor between Valletta and Sliema on the side of Msida Creek, well-to-do Ta’ Xbiex is Malta’s diplomatic quarter. It’s chiefly notable for its number of embassies and high commissions, all housed in ocher-colored grand villas and palazzi along with an enclave of private mansions. Currently the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Austria have their embassies here.
A seaside promenade runs from St Julian’s to Pieta, passing Ta’ Xbiex marina, where sleek yachts bob in their berths. Along the walkway there are spectacular views over the harbor towards Valletta and the bastions of Floriana as well as a number of quality seafood restaurants. Standout among these is The Black Pearl, a wooden schooner dating from 1909 and now transformed into a fine-dining restaurant, which once had a starring role in the film Popeye along with Robin Williams.