On the ball at Rafa Nadal’s Sport Cafe

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Drink / Eat

Taking my coeliac father out to eat during his visits to Mallorca used to feel as though we were playing Russian Roulette. Would he or wouldn’t he unintentionally ingest some gluten and end up in agony? Thankfully, following the changes made to the EU Food Allergen Laws in December 2014, I’m much more confident about him eating out in Mallorca.

Last week, during his late-summer visit, we went for lunch at Rafa Nadal’s Sport Café in Manacor, where a nutritionist is involved in devising the cuisine. The rain was bucketing down that day and our choice of eatery for lunch was determined by the availability of car parking right alongside the venue.

The café itself is within the complex housing the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre and his Museum Xperience – and you don’t have to be visiting either of those to eat (or have a drink) here. The café is spacious, furnished in minimalist style, and bright – with views onto a terraced area (for al fresco eating) and down over the tennis courts where the Academy’s international students play. It’s a friendly informal place for lunch or drinks and the bar end of the venue has several large wall-mounted TVs screening sporting events.

The lunch menu on the day of our visit:

Starters

Mediterranean salad (with tinned tuna and boiled egg)

Vegetable soup

Pasta with puttanesca sauce

Mains

Roasted chicken with oven potatoes

Grilled sea bream with vegetables

Timbal of quinoa and vegetables (vegetarian)

Desserts

Seasonal fruits

Almond cake with ice cream

Vanilla flan

Between us, we tried all of the starters, two of the main courses, and all the desserts. No complaints from anyone.

An à la carte menu (untried so far) is also available at lunchtime (13:00-16:00h) and in the evenings. As a price guide, main course dishes range between 15,90€ (vegetable timbale with smoked-cheese sauce) and 20,50€ (sirloin steak in truffle sauce with chips and baked apple).

Gluten-free bread

We ordered drinks (wine by the glass and water) and a basket of warm bread rolls was swiftly brought to the table. Several minutes later, having been told that my dad was a coeliac, our server brought him a mini-baguette of gluten-free bread (fresh from the oven and inside a special sealed bag). He hadn’t even asked about the availability of suitable bread, so top marks to them.

The Boss and I have eaten lunch at the Sport Café on quite a few occasions – including with vegetarian friends. In the week you pay 10€ for a daily changing three-course set lunch (with choices, but drinks not included at that price!). At weekends the price is a little higher at 15€.

Rafa Nadal’s Sport Café is one of my top recommendations for a great-value lunch in the Manacor area, with a free adjacent car park. The service is efficient and swift – thankfully not as fast as Rafa’s on a tennis court – and the food is well prepared and presented. And you never know who may be there: we’ve seen Carlos Moya in the bar area but, so far, no sighting of Rafa. We’ll just have to keep visiting…

©Jan Edwards 2017

Prices correct at time of writing.

Mallorcan olive oil wins British ‘Great Taste’ Award

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Eat / Mallorca extra virgin olive oil

An extra virgin olive oil producer in Mallorca is celebrating a prestigious food award from Britain. Judges in the British ‘Great Taste’ 2017 Awards – organised by the Guild of Fine Food – awarded two stars to L’AMO Aubocassa, which is produced on Aubocassa’s 12th-century country estate, in the municipality of Manacor.

L’AMO Aubocassa was named for L’amo en Sebastiá – which means Sebastiá the owner; Sebastiá lived at Aubocassa for 40 years. In naming this oil after him, the producers wanted to pay homage to all the ‘amos‘ who have maintained the agricultural heritage of Mallorca over the centuries.

DO Oli de Mallorca

This rural estate produces two extra virgin olive oils: Aubocassa and L’AMO Aubocassa – both of which have the (Denomination of Origin) DO Oli de Mallorca. L’AMO Aubocassa is made from Arbequina and Picual olives; Aubocassa from 100% Arbequina olives. Both oils have now won awards.

‘Great Taste’ 2017 Facts

  • The ‘Great Taste’ Awards scheme is the benchmark for fine artisan and speciality foods. It has been called the ‘Oscars’ of the food world.
  • A record number of 12,366 products were entered this year.
  • More than 500 experienced palates – those of chefs, food critics, restaurateurs, cooks, food writers, and journalists – blind-tasted each product.
  • 3,171 products were awarded one star
  • 1,011 were awarded two stars
  • 165 were awarded three stars

According to the Guild of Fine Food, the judges are looking for truly great taste. “Yes, they take into account texture, appearance and of course quality ingredients; they like a good aroma, a decent bite to a sausage, a smooth lemon curd, crunchy rich pastry, but everything comes back to the taste. Is it really, truly great?”

In the case of L’AMO Aubocassa, clearly, yes!

Where to buy L’AMO Aubocassa in the UK

If you’re in Britain, you can buy L’AMO Aubocassa and the original Aubocassa extra virgin olive oils from the Spanish food company Brindisa (established in 1988). Brindisa has shops in London’s Borough Market and in Balham (London borough of Wandsworth), and an online store too.

©Jan Edwards 2017                   Photos courtesy of Aubocassa.

Where Diana, Princess of Wales, stayed in Mallorca

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Sleep

Twenty years ago today. I will never forget the day that Princess Diana died.  The radio station where I was a presenter had arranged a huge roadshow event at Silverstone, with top bands and singers due to perform. Because I made an early start from home I didn’t catch any news before I left and it wasn’t until I was en route that I switched on the car radio and heard about Diana’s death. Obviously, the station cancelled the event.

I had met ‘the People’s Princess’ twice. Once, at the end of a sponsored wheelchair push from Edinburgh to London by three young paraplegics raising money for the International Spinal Research Trust. Diana was the patron of the charity and greeted the three wheelchair users on arrival at their final destination.  I was there as PR executive for the chain Crest Hotels, having arranged free hotel accommodation along the route for the three wheelchair users.

To my surprise, Princess Diana subsequently invited me to a special reception at Kensington Palace for all those who had been involved. She chatted to everyone there and we also saw her being a normal mum: at one stage Diana had to chide the two young princes for being boisterous. On both occasions, Diana charmed everyone she met.

Escaping the world

The Princess of Wales lived her life under a spotlight – sometimes of her own making. But in the spring of 1996 she found sanctuary during a weekend’s stay at the Mallorca hotel known today as Belmond La Residencia in Deià, where her framed letter of thanks to the hotel still hangs on the wall in the reception area.

Quite a few changes have happened at the hotel since Diana stayed and she’d probably love it even more now; especially as the hotel added some new suites this year – with a high degree of privacy.

Here are some of my photos of this beautiful hotel – a place where any girl can feel like a princess.

©Jan Edwards 2017

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Palma’s 2nd gastronomic market is open

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Drink / Eat / Markets

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If you’ve visited and enjoyed Mercado Gastronómico San Juan in Palma, you’re likely to enjoy the new Mercat 1930, which has opened in an iconic building on Palma’s Paseo Marítimo. Mercat 1930 – Palma Gastronomic Market opened earlier this month and has a similar concept to San Juan, although it is smaller.

It’s easy to find, being adjacent to Tito’s nightclub (can’t miss that one!) and opposite the new Social Boutique Club (due to open soon) in the middle of the Paseo. Mercat 1930 has a terrace area (in front of Tito’s) for al fresco eating and drinking, but I’d recommend eating indoors for the ambience and industrial-chic décor.

Back in the day…

The building itself has a great history: it opened as a hotel in 1910, when the Paseo didn’t exist; at that time, there were just a few rocks between the hotel’s terrace and the Mediterranean Sea.  In the 1930s the Mallorcan architect Francesc Roca Simó reformed the building, adding striking Art Deco features to the Gran Hotel Mediterráneo. It would have been a major landmark at that time and the developers of the new Mercat 1930 – Palma Gastronomic Market clearly hope that this prestigious building will again become a venue for socializing, eating, and drinking.

Eat and drink

Mercat 1930 has 16 stands – 13 for different types of food and three for drinks (beers, premium drinks – spirits, and a vermouth bar) – although all the food stands also sell wines and soft drinks. Browse from stand to stand to check out what’s on offer, buy your food, and eat it perched on a stool at the long central table.

I’d been to look inside Mercat 1930 on the Monday after it opened but had already eaten lunch, so The Boss and I returned yesterday to try the food. We’ll be back…

Mercat 1930 – Palma Gastronomic Market is open every day from 12 noon until midnight.

NEWS

I was pleased to receive a recent notification from Anuj Agarwal, founder of Feedspot, that Eat, drink, sleep, Mallorca had been selected as one of the top 50 Gastronomy Blogs on the web. Actually I was pretty stunned by that news – so thanks, guys.

 

©Jan Edwards 2017

Outdoor concerts and theatre at Mallorca hotels

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Drink / Eat / Hotels / Sleep

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Summer nights were made for outdoor events – at least on the island of Mallorca. I do remember The Boss and I once going to a concert on the lawns of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire. We could barely hear the music for the sound of our teeth chattering – it was a really cold evening. However, the picnic basket for each concertgoer, prepared by the hotel’s famous French chef/patron Raymond Blanc, more than made up for the less-than-summery weather.

During the summer, Mallorca is the perfect place to enjoy al fresco cultural events – many of which start after the heat of the day has dissipated. Two of the island’s most luxurious 5-star hotels are well known for hosting such occasions.

Drama in Deià

Theatre al fresco

A magical setting for Shakespeare.

A few weeks ago we attended one of two magical performances of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the island’s Morgana Theatre Production Company in the beautiful garden of Belmond La Residencia in Deià. These two theatrical evenings were open to the public and free of charge. The hotel has strong artistic links and broadened its cultural offering this year to include literature. As well as the outdoor theatre performances, the hotel has created a Poets’ Walk within the grounds, which can be accessed at any time.

Belmond La Residencia is in the heart of the picturesque mountain village of Deià and welcomes members of the public to musical events and art exhibitions throughout the season. They have quite a programme for 2017 and events are scheduled into October.

Like and follow the Facebook page Belmond La Residencia to keep up to date with what’s happening.

‘Castell Classics’

Last Saturday evening we returned to Castell Son Claret – an independent country house hotel in a renovated 19th-century castle at the foot of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Serra de Tramuntana mountains. Castell Son Claret also has strong cultural links and every summer, since it opened in 2013, it has offered a series of outdoor concerts under the banner of ‘Castell Classics’, in which the cream of today’s young operatic singers perform.

Saturday’s ‘Young Singers of the Salzburg Festival’ concert was the third and final one for this summer and featured six talented performers (plus pianist Adrian Kelly – mustn’t forget him!). The programme included classical opera, operetta, and some surprise pieces, from composers including Rossini, Mozart, Puccini, Vaughan Williams, Schubert, and Lehar. A highlight for me was a memorable rendition of ‘I bought me a cat’ (Aaron Copland) sung by tenor Jamez McCorkle. I’m smiling now, just thinking about it!

The evening began with a drinks reception in the garden (accompanied by a variety of tasty snacks) and a three-course gala dinner with wines, on the spacious terrace where the stage had been set. It was an evening we’ll look back on during the coming winter months as a highlight of this summer.

Chef Fernando Pérez Arellano’s gala dinner

Although the hotel is set back from the road and behind large iron gates, its bar and two excellent restaurants – Olivera and the two-Michelin-starred Zaranda – are open to the public. Chef Fernando Pérez Arellano of Zaranda created the menu for this concert’s superb gala dinner. Diners were seated at large round tables so it was an opportunity to meet new people; our table included two British couples who had timed their holiday on the island to include this concert.

Like and follow their Facebook page Castell Son Claret to keep up to date with what’s happening.

©Jan Edwards 2017

A Palma spot for frozen-yogurt fans

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Eat

Palma is a popular city during the summer months and this August it’s even busier than ever, as a result of the numbers of Airbnb-ers staying in Mallorca’s capital and the huge cruise ships that dock in the port, disgorging thousands of passengers.

In Palma on Monday this week, I had a late-morning meeting and mid-afternoon radio studio booking. I figured there was just enough time between these two commitments to grab a quick something to eat for lunch. Except that ‘quick’ was out of the question: everywhere I checked was busy, busy, busy. I eventually found a place with a small vacant table for one (feeling like Jilly No-Mates), but waited long enough for the menu to make me realize that the food (which looked appealing) was unlikely to arrive before I had to leave again. So I left in search of something else.

Frozen yogurt for lunch

Plan B was to buy something snacky in the supermarket at department store El Corte Inglés but, on my way there (walking through the back streets of central Palma to avoid the crowds clogging the main thoroughfares), I came across a little café/frozen-yogurt parlour called Biscuiter. It looked new (it’s been open only a couple of weeks) and cute, so I decided frozen yogurt would be my lunch for the day.

It’s a place where you ‘build’ your own dish: you help yourself to a paper cup (una tarrina) and dispense the amount of plain yogurt you want from the machine (which is quite fun in itself). Then you add the toppings you want from those on display: sprinkles, sweeties, fruit, nuts, seeds, and the like. Take your cup to the counter, where it’s weighed and priced.

Eat in, on tables outside, or take away

I was quite pleased with the look of my creation, which featured fruit and nuts to keep it as healthy as possible; I enjoyed eating it too, perched on a stool by the window. There are a few small tables outside at the front or, of course, you can buy to take away.

Biscuiter also offers ready-made sandwiches and a few pastries, as well as hot and cold drinks, so if yogurt’s not your thing, you can at least grab something to eat here. It’s a very small place – the little ‘sister’ of Biscuiter in Barcelona – and I hope that the footfall in this street will be enough to keep them busy.

Central Palma has plenty of places where you can buy an ice cream (and frozen yogurt too), but at this time of year you can expect to have to wait in line for it. As Biscuiter is off the beaten track and still new, you should be able to get your fix of frozen yogurt without too much of a wait.

A word of warning

It would be easy to get carried away with the amount of yogurt and toppings you add. For the record, my frozen-yogurt ‘lunch’ at Palma’s Biscuiter weighed in at 230gm and cost me 5,17 euros. (If you’re feeling mathematically challenged – as a words girl, I often am – that’s 23 euros a kilo). Just saying…

©Jan Edwards 2017

Almonds & vegan ice cream at Mallorca’s Ametlla+

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Eat / Mallorcan produce

A

rtà, the hilltop town in the northeast of Mallorca, is home to an interesting shop/café specializing in almond products. Ametlla is the Mallorcan word for almond but, as the plus sign at the end of this business’s name suggests, there’s more to discover if you step through the doors.  Ametlla+ was founded as an initiative to make optimum use of the island’s almond crop.

Blossom time.

Almond blossom on Mallorca.

Almonds are an important part of Mallorca’s landscape, gastronomy, traditions, and even tourism. Visit Mallorca in late January/February and you’ll see the island decked in white and pale pink almond blossom. In the past, it was common for Mallorcans to burn discarded almond shells in stoves to heat their homes. When we bought our finca here, we inherited one of the small stoves specifically for that purpose – although it’s no longer connected to a chimney.

Try a delicious version of Mallorca’s almond cake

Visiting Artà with friends, we had a very good cup of coffee sitting on the front terrace at Ametlla+, watching people come and go along this mainly pedestrianized street (C/ Ciutat). We also tried their Mallorcan almond cake, known as gató. This traditional cake is on the menu of restaurants and cafés all over the Mallorca and sold in many bakeries. It should be made with almond flour, which makes it suitable for coeliacs and those with a gluten intolerance. I always make one for my dad (a coeliac) when he visits.

Almonds are expensive and we have found examples of almond cakes that have had a little wheat flour incorporated into the mix so, if you suffer gluten problems, do check before buying or ordering in a restaurant or café. Gató is traditionally served with almond ice cream, which may seem like an almond overload – but it works.

The owner of Ametlla+ told us they have slightly adapted the recipe for their almond-flour-only cake, adding a little of one of their almond mixes to the recipe. If you’ve never tried gató, it’s well worth ordering this gluten-free version here.

A range of Mallorcan products

Even if you come only for a drink and something to eat, it’s worth browsing the shelves of this attractive modern shop/café. As well as three types of their own-brand Ametlla+ mixes (which can be used to season dishes, add to marinades or dressings, among other things), the shop sells jars of roasted Mallorcan almonds with different flavourings, and almond oil.

It’s not all about the almond though: we bought a bottle of tomato Ketchup de Forqueta made from the Mallorcan tomatoes known as ‘ramellet’ (no more Heinz for us now!), a small wooden dish and spoon for salt and, of course, each of the Ametlla+ almond seasoning mixes.

Cream Crew vegan ice cream too

We love Cream Crew‘s delicious vegan ice creams, sold in their little ice cream shop in Palma’s Santa Catalina district, so were excited to discover that Ametlla+ sells a selection of the flavours here in Artà. Yes, we had to have an ice cream too…

What began as a stop for a coffee with our good friends visiting Mallorca from Oxfordshire, ended up as a bit of a feast – and a shopping fest!

©Jan Edwards 2017

Gourmet treats & experiences with Mimo Mallorca

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Drink / Eat

When visiting a place for the first time, isn’t it great to have a friend or other contact who lives locally and shares your interest in gastronomy? With the help of their up-to-date knowledge, you can discover local products and gourmet experiences that will immerse you in the local food culture.

We’re not all fortunate enough to know people in all the places around the world that we want to visit but, if you’re coming to Mallorca and don’t know anyone here, one company – opened just this year – can step into the breach: Mimo Mallorca. Its home is within the 5-star St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, where it has a tempting gourmet shop stocked with goodies.

Mallorcan products.

Gourmet products for sale at Mimo Mallorca’s shop.

Mimo is the Spanish word for “I pamper” or “I spoil” – a good intention. I’m always up for a bit of pampering, especially of the gastronomic variety, so Eat Drink Sleep Mallorca was delighted to receive an invitation from Mimo Mallorca’s manager Katja Wöhr to a presentation of Perrier-Jouët Champagnes.

I first knew Katja as the founder of the business Gusto Mundial Balearides in 2003; she’d obtained a licence to hand-harvest flor de sal from Ses Salines in the south of Mallorca.  Today, the award-winning Flor de Sal d’es Trenc is an essential ingredient in kitchens here and around the world. I’m never without the natural salt flowers and a few of the different flavoured ones.

Perrier-Jouët

Mimo Mallorca stocks some excellent cavas but, for those occasions when only Champagne will do, you’ll find Perrier-Jouët in the temperature-controlled vinoteca. At Mimo’s interesting and well-organized evening, an ambassador of the Champagne house (what a fabulous job he has!) gave a presentation about the history of the company, its association with Art Nouveau, and how its delicate floral-style Champagnes are made. Oh, and then there were tastings, of course.

It was a really enjoyable evening, when I was also able to catch up with a few people I hadn’t seen for a while and discover Mimo Mallorca – a business I’d been planning to check out for months.

Did you know?

Although this famous Champagne is not a Mallorcan product, I thought I’d throw in a few bite-sized facts about Perrier-Jouët here:

  • It was founded in 1811 by married couple Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adelaide Jouët. He was 25 and she was just 18!
  • Only seven cellar masters have worked for Perrier-Jouët since the company was founded.
  • The Champagne house has over 65 hectares of vineyards, covering five of the most important Crus of the region, cultivating Chardonnay, Pinor Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
  • In 1861 Queen Victoria awarded Perrier-Jouët the Royal Warrant, making the company an official supplier to her Court.
  • The Art Nouveau association with this Champagne house began in 1902, when the celebrated artist Émile Gallé created the design of Japanese anemones that would become its symbol – sought out by Champagne connoisseurs around the world today.
  • Perrier-Jouët was one of the sponsors of last year’s Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival.

The story behind Mimo

Mimo began in 2009. Interestingly, the founder was a Brit who had left a finance career in the City of London in 2008, to move to Spain’s gastronomic mecca, San Sebastián. Identifying that visitors could use help to discover the local culinary terrain, Jon Warren founded San Sebastián Food, offering tours of the city’s pintxos bars. The following year he expanded activities to include trips to wineries and local food producers. In 2014, Jon opened his gourmet shop in the city’s Hotel María Cristina, where a cooking school was added the following year.

In 2016, San Sebastián Food changed its name to Mimo San Sebastián – the HQ of the business, where more than 30 people now work. Mimo Sevilla opened in Seville’s luxurious Hotel Alfonso XIII, dedicated to Andalusian cuisine.

Mimo Mallorca

Mimo Mallorca opened in February 2017 at the beautiful 5-star St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort. It offers the following:

Gourmet shop with views of the hotel’s garden and the Mediterranean, selling a range of artisan products from Spain – of which more than 60 per cent come from the Balearic islands.  There’s a temperature-controlled vinoteca for wines, cavas, and champagnes (yes, a little bit of France has crept in here!). I even spotted a temperature-controlled case for sale that’s designed to transport your wine purchases back home safely on a plane! The shop is open from 10:00-22:00h.

With a small but knowledgeable team of food and wine professionals, Mimo Mallorca also offers a number of experiences – including food tours, wine tastings and workshops, and visits to the rural heart of the island for authentic culinary experiences. And, what’s very exciting, is that a Mimo cookery school is also planned for Mallorca, to be located at the St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort.

©Jan Edwards 2017

Celebrate International Beer Day on Mallorca

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Breweries and beer / Drink

Yes, it’s a thing: all around the world people are celebrating International Beer Day. It’s been an annual event – on the first Friday in August – since 2008; today, people in more than 200 cities around the globe will raise a glass to the brewers and bartenders who keep the beer flowing.

Pub landlord

A warm welcome from Pep at Lórien

Prop up a bar

If you’re on Mallorca – and in Palma – pay a visit to the characterful pub Lorien, where you’ll need some time to choose from the vast range of bottled beers and the guest beers on tap. Pep opened this place in 1990 and has what many beer fans would regard as the dream job. I am sure he doesn’t always think that when he’s clearing up at the end of an evening!

Shop the island’s craft beers

beer and bread and cheese

A chilled tankard and a bottle of Nau…perfect for this International Beer Day.

If you want to buy beers to drink at home, the Palma district of Santa Catalina is home to a shop dedicated to the sale of the amber nectar (and a few different-hued brews too). A good choice of beers awaits you on the shelves of the small shop del Món.

The number of artisan breweries on Mallorca has been growing and you’ll find some of their bottled beers on sale in specialist shops such as the Palma stores Mos Espai Gastronòmic and Cocinaria. 

In the southwest area of Costa d’en Blanes, the 5-star St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort is now home to the rather tempting gourmet shop Mimo Mallorca, where  the top-quality products from the island include bottled Mallorcan craft beers.

Mallorca has plenty of other shops specialising in island products, so look out for beers made locally by craft breweries including the following:

As Mallorca is so hot and humid right now, I don’t think many of us would object to drinking a long cold beer this evening. Cheers!

©Jan Edwards 2017

Get your craft beer here!

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Breweries and beer / Drink

Posts about beer are regularly sought out by readers of this blog about eating, drinking, and staying on Mallorca. One – about the atmospheric beer bar Lorien in Palma – has been viewed quite a few times pretty much every day this summer. It could be something to do with the heat and humidity that seem to be a relentless feature of the summer of 2017; nothing slakes a thirst like a long cold beer…

If you’re craving a craft beer (or two) and are on Mallorca this month, a festival in the small town of Sant Llorenç may be of interest. We went last year and shall certainly return for this year’s on Friday, August 11th from 20:00h.  If tasting some of Mallorca’s finest artisan beers tempts you, here’s a modified version of a post I wrote about last year’s festival on my other blog about rural living on the island. The poster for this year’s event suggests that there’ll be more than 20 types of beer on sale. The band Oques Grasses will be on stage – part of a summer of gigs that has seen them performing on the Peninsula, Mallorca, and at Milwaukee Summerfest. Sounds promising…

Sant Llorenç Boscana Craft Beer and Swing Festival

July and August are awash with local fiestas: the streets are decked with fluttery bunting, the ubiquitous white plastic chairs are set out in the streets, and the locals either join in the fun or get out of town (or the village) for the duration.

The main components of these fiestas are usually music (local bands or DJs), food (anything from giant ensaïmadas and enormous paellas, to tapas or street food, served from vintage food trucks), and drink.

The Boscana Craft Beer and Swing Festival takes place in the small town of Sant Llorenç, in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament, the square by the distinctive town hall building. One side of the square was lined with stalls offering around 20 different beers (no, we didn’t try them all).

This was only the second edition of this particular festival. Apparently some lessons were learnt after the 2015 inaugural event. One, was to bring in a refrigerated truck to keep the beer cold. The second was to provide some food to soak up the alcohol. On the opposite side of the square some local eateries and a bakery had set up stalls selling a few snacks, and someone known as Kitchen Guerilla was rustling up some sausages on a BBQ.

Strike up the band

Five swing bands were on the billing and an enormous professional-looking stage was set for the live music. Until the first band – Long Time No Swing – came on stage, we were treated to a performance by a strolling local pipe-and-drum group (xeremiers) and then a local batucada band. The latter is a popular (and incredibly noisy) feature of many local fiestas. The drummers process through the streets followed by crowds of people – a bit like the Piper of Hamelin, but thankfully without the rats. We love batucada!

Working up a thirst for beer

Eventually the stage came alive with the music of the first of five bands scheduled to play. We stayed to see Long Time No Swing and Monkey Doo – both terrific and worth going to see in action if you get the chance. When we left for home (around midnight), there were still three bands due to perform. Nessun dorma in Sant Llorenç that night!

Dozens of couples took to the centre of the square to dance the Lindy Hop, and they seemed to know what they were doing. Unlike most dancing, this one seems to be done in sneakers – so no twisted ankles due to perilous platforms or soaring stilettos. What struck us – apart from the ability of so many locals actually to do the Lindy Hop – was the energy and joyful nature of this dance. We couldn’t stop smiling as we watched.

At some point we spoke to a girl who was taking a break from dancing for a well-earned beer; she told us there was a well-attended Lindy Hop class run in the town in the cooler months. Ah, that would explain it. This time next year, The Boss and I could also be Lindy Hopping.  Just need to persuade him. And buy some sneakers. Or, more likely, we’ll watch from the side-lines, craft beer in hand.

Like and share the July 27th post on Boscana Cervesa Evolutiva’s Facebook page and you could win a box of their different beers and an official festival t-shirt.

©Jan Edwards 2017