In 2022, it will be fifty years since Stay Restaurant first opened in Mallorca’s Puerto Pollensa. Surprisingly, given the precariousness of the restaurant sector on a seasonal holiday island, quite a few restaurants in Mallorca have been open for decades – often staying in the same family. Two others with a long history that come immediately to mind are Can March in Manacor and Bens d’Avall, near Sóller.
Stay Restaurant opened in 1972 but has been through some changes since. In 1989 José Maria and Veronica Gassó took it over from the founders; they commissioned the building’s redesign in 2005, giving it the appearance the waterside restaurant still has today. The following year the stoves were back in action and, although Puerto Pollensa is quiet in the winter, Stay was open year-round … until the pandemic struck. Fingers crossed it can now revert to its former 365-days-a-year policy without further disruption.
We’ve eaten at Stay Restaurant on numerous occasions – anything from a glass of wine with some tapas after a stroll along the Pine Walk, to a full-blown al fresco dinner with visiting friends from the UK to celebrate a milestone birthday. It’s never disappointed.
Consistency is the key to a successful restaurant and we’ve always found a consistent quality of professional service and tasty food. The beautiful views of the resort, with the Tramuntana mountains behind them, are a given. My favourite memory is seeing a mountain capped with snow one year, while we sat on Stay’s terrace in wintery sunshine.
Open all day, Stay Restaurant has menus for different times of the day: set lunch menu (with choices), à la carte, tapas, snacks, afternoon menu (bridging the gap between lunch and dinner), and vegan (available 12 noon to 10.30pm).
We’ve had the set lunch a few times. It changes weekly (it’s published on their website) and includes an appetiser from the kitchen, bread roll, three courses (four starter choices, three mains, and dessert of the day). The cost of 38 euros a head includes water, wine, and coffee with a home-made chocolate.
Yesterday we ate à la carte and I chose two starter dishes, instead of a starter and main course, and a dessert. Portions are a decent size here and I didn’t feel deprived because of my choice.
Consistency was maintained. And nobody rushed us to leave once we’d finished our lunch, so there was time to enjoy the gorgeous views and appreciate what had been impossible back during Mallorca’s toughest pandemic restrictions.
My dishes. The Boss started eating his before I could photograph them! He had partridge ravioli with wild mushroom sauce to start and three fillets of white fish of the day with dill sauce for a main course. The Boss approved.
With the further easing of certain pandemic restrictions, visitors from some countries are now able to travel to Mallorca. More hotels here – and their restaurants – are opening their doors this month, as a result.
Last Tuesday (11th), the Michelin-star eponymous restaurant Marc Fosh reopened in the Palma hotel Convent de la Missió. Two days afterwards we were there. I’m a big fan of Marc’s cuisine – his restaurant is the only Michelin-star restaurant with a British chef – and I wanted to celebrate the fact that my novel manuscript was completed … written, edited, and proofed. I decided to treat The Boss and myself to lunch in the restaurant that’s featured and named in the novel.
New Lunch Concept
Pre-pandemic, Marc Fosh offered a weekly changing three-course lunch menu which cost under 30 euros. A new concept has been introduced for lunchtimes … a choice of two menus: the five-plate weekly menu (46,50 euros, with a supplement if you want a cheese course too), and the six-plate Menu Marc (75 euros). In addition, both menus have introductory snacks and petits fours at the end.
We were happy to have the weekly menu, which we felt was excellent value for the price.
Some restaurants in Mallorca have now introduced second sittings at lunchtimes in order to get more diners through (and who can blame them after the past year of closures?). This hasn’t happened at Marc Fosh, so we were able to enjoy the traditional Spanish sobremesa – the relaxed period of conversation ‘over the table’ after a meal has ended. We had a delicious meal, with great service, and a throughly enjoyable experience … as always at this Palma destination restaurant.
A Wine Presentation Unique in Mallorca to Marc Fosh
Marc Fosh restaurant’s sommelier Giorgia Scaramella recommends a couple of wines to complement each weekly menu. With the glazed beef cheeks we had a glass each of Quite 2019, from Bodega Verónica Ortega, made from Mencía grapes grown on vines more than eight years old. It’s a fresh-tasting organic wine with a bouquet of forest herbs and notes of mature fruits.
The wine we tried first though was not one of the two featured wines of the week, but something rather special: Adorado de Menade, which is presented in an eight-litre demijohn inside a wicker basket. There’s a degree of theatre in the serving of this wine, which is a 50/50 blend of Verdejo and Palomino grapes. The wine is produced in a basic solera system in decades-old sherry casks. The ‘mother’ solera dates from 1967 but Bodegas Menade only started taking the wine from the system in 2018. Adorado has a rich amber colour and a bouquet that could transport you to Jerez thanks to the wine’s time in sherry casks. It’s served by the glass, obviously, and we thought it tasted sensational.
‘Bodegas Menade extracts only 50 litres each year,’ Giorgia said, adding that in Spain only a restaurant in Madrid and Marc Fosh in Palma de Mallorca offer this wine. Canny Giorgia bought two demijohns, so there should be plenty left for a while!
Need to Know
Marc Fosh restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. Marc is also the culinary consultant for the restaurant of sister hotel Pleta de Mar in Canyamel. We haven’t visited yet, but I’ll report back if we do.
If you enjoy Marc’s style of Mediterranean cooking, look out for his cookbook on sale in the restaurant.
Thomas Moons will be one very happy – and probably busy – man this weekend. The new general manager of La Residencia, a Belmond Hotel, Mallorca, will welcome his first guests there on Monday, May 17th, when the Deià property opens its doors for the 2021 season.
I met Thomas a while ago when I visited the closed hotel to do an interview with the former PR manager, Louise Davis, whose memoir Hideaway Hotelis about her long career there. The newcomer told me he was looking forward to the property reopening, after a longer-than-usual winter closure, because of the pandemic.
New Open-Air Experiences
Anyone for tennis? La Residencia has offered tennis coaching for years. This year, tennis players can sign up for a fun-filled tennis weekend with former ATP Top 20 men’s single player Nicolás Almagro. If you’re keen to brush up your backhand or spruce up your serve, an exclusive tennis clinic with Almagro and private sessions with a Lux Tennis professional player should do it. And what amazing scenery in which to wield your racquet …
If you’re not that sporty, but love taking photographs to impress your Instagram followers, how about La Residencia’s Mallorcagram? New for this season, the hotel has planned a carefully designed itinerary focusing on Mallorca’s northwest coast and those off-the-beaten-track places. The route leads you through some of Spain’s most photogenic scenery, including visits to Fornalutx, Sóller, and Port de Sóller.
If you already know Mallorca, you may prefer simply to relax at the hotel and enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of its gardens and glorious surroundings. How about the healthy and refreshing new signature infusion, created for the hotel this year in collaboration with Katja Woehr – well-known for founding the luxury local sea salt brand Flor de Sal. The new Flor d’Oli infusion is sustainably produced from olive leaves, harvested by hand from La Residencia’s extensive olive grove.
Many people stay at La Residencia to celebrate a special occasion, such as a birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon. The perfect gift on these occasions could be an item from the new capsule collection created for the hotel by internationally renowned Mallorcan jewellery designer, Isabel Guarch.
Isabel, whose designs are inspired by the culture, nature, and spirit of the Balearics, has created a beautiful collection of jewellery with an olive tree motif. The collection will be launched early this summer.
It should be another wonderful season for staying at La Residencia in Deià.
If you live outside Mallorca, you may not have heard of Binibona. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the foreigners who live on the island had never visited this charming hamlet. We’ve lived in Mallorca for 17 years and been to Binibona only once before (in 2014), when I interviewed a British resident there for a newspaper article.
Binibona, if you don’t know it, is in the Raiguer district of Mallorca, in the foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. It’s part of the municipality of Selva and comprises a small cluster of stone-built properties, four of which are hotels. Yes, four! The hamlet of Binibona was a pioneer in rural tourism, or agroturismo/agroturisme, and it’s easy to see why.
The name Binibona has Arabic roots and was documented in 1300, although other names have been recorded previously. When Cardinal Antonio Despuig surveyed his 1785 map of Mallorca – one of the most important cartographic works in Spain – he recorded the hamlet’s name as ‘Mira-buena’, meaning ‘good view’.
Finca Ca’n Beneït
The Cardinal must surely have been gazing out at the expansive island view from the centuries-old Finca Ca’n Beneït. We did the same last week when we went to stay at the Ca’n Beneït agroturisme, which reopened in March this year following the reformation carried out by the new owners of the hospitality business.
Toni Duran is now at the helm of the 10-room hotel he owns with his partner. The multilingual hotel director has worked in several five-star hotels in Mallorca and has international hospitality experience from working in Switzerland and England. But his new project hasn’t a whiff of pretentiousness about it: the focus is on warm service, comfort, and rural Mallorcan authenticity.
We arrived to a warm welcome and a chilled glass of cava, served on the terrace of the hotel’s Restaurant Mirabona. The views across the island are glorious and, if the sun falls right, the silvery sea in the Bay of Alcudia glints in the distance.
History, Authenticity, and Charm
Before going to our junior suite (number four), Toni gave us a tour of the property – parts of which date back to the 16th century. We saw the two-hundred-year-old chapel and the century-old olive mill, where the estate owners still produce the olive oil used for the hotel’s restaurant.
The place is breathtakingly beautiful, with a garden, orchard, and stone arches, terraces, and courtyards. Authentic Mallorcan features are everywhere, from the vaulted ceilings and wooden beams to stone arches. Modern facilities include a swimming pool with large terrace, bicycle storage facilities, and a sauna cabin.
Rooms & Suites
Ca’n Beneït’s 10 rooms include two suites with a terrace. The décor and furnishings have been chosen to complement the character of the property. Luxurious touches abound – but of a purposeful nature: the bedlinen, bathrobes, and extraordinarily soft towels (bathroom and pool – which are provided in the room) are from a company called Spirit of the Nomad which uses the finest-quality Egyptian cotton. I fell immediately in love with these items – particularly the bedspread and cushion covers. If you lust after the comfort and quality of this company’s products, guests of Ca’n Beneït are entitled to a 20 per cent discount on purchases from Spirit of the Nomad’s website.
The rooms have a useful set of charging leads – concealed in an attractive wooden box – in case guests have forgotten to bring theirs. There’s also a discreet power bank.
Guests have a kettle and coffee-capsule machine in the room to make their own hot drinks and the minibar offers a selection of free cold drinks. Water comes from the estate, is filtered and provided in glass bottles. And it’s free.
L’Occitane products are provided in the light, spacious bathrooms. There are bamboo toothbrushes and chewable tooth-cleaning tablets, along with the now-essential health kits – comprising disposable mask, gloves, and sanitizing gel.
Almost a week on from our one-night stay, my overriding memories of our room are comfort (wonderful mattress), light, lovely views, and tranquillity. Bliss.
Ca’n Beneït’s restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can have three plates (starter, mains, and dessert) for 35 euros, which we thought was excellent value for the quality; if you prefer only one or two courses, these are priced separately.
We dined inside, enjoying a table by the log fire that was burning on a very cool evening. We started with squid croquettes on a sobrasada reduction, and artichokes stuffed with pork and veal with almond sauce. Both were excellent. Our main courses were perfectly cooked fish (hake and monkfish respectively). We ended our dinner with a good crema catalana.
Our breakfast and lunch the next day were both taken on the raised terrace, with its expansive views across the island and the nearer sight of the finca’s citrus orchard beneath the raised terrace. Breakfast is à la carte – one of the very few good things, in my opinion, to come from the pandemic. No more getting up from the table to visit a buffet makes a more relaxing start to the day – for guests, anyway!
The Boss raved about his avocado toast with poached egg, and I had a generous fruit salad – after a tempting array of cold cuts, cheeses, bread from Forn Per de sa Palla, fresh pastries, and preserves.
At lunchtime we tried the lamb terrine and chocoholic cake – both recommended. Then we reluctantly made our way home, talking all the way about our wonderful time in this hideaway part of Mallorca. We both concluded that when foreign travel opens up again, the 10-room Can Beneït will be a magnet for discerning guests who value the authenticity of rural Mallorca. It may be difficult to get a booking once that happens so, if you’re on the island and feel like stepping off the crazy merry-go-round of everyday life for a while, take your chance while you can.
Seven years had passed since our previous visit to Binibona, but we won’t leave it as long to return to Ca’n Beneït Agroturisme.
Good to Know
The easiest route to Binibona from the MA-13 motorway is via Campanet, thus avoiding traffic in the centre of Inca and passing through the villages of Selva and Moscari. I’d recommend using the Campanet route there and the Moscari/Selva/Inca/MA-13 for the return journey, to see more of this area.
Ca’n Beneït has bicycle storage for those exploring on two wheels.
Children are welcome.
Take some appropriate shoes if you enjoy walking. The beautiful forest walk from the hotel to Ses Figueroles and Alcanella, with its soundtrack of birdsong, will lift any jaded spirits.
The late Princess Diana was only one of the many famous guests who’ve sought relaxation, sanctuary, and privacy at Mallorca’s 5-star Belmond La Residencia hotel, located in the mountain village of Deià. But you won’t read tabloid-style revelations about celebrity guests in Louise Davis’ debut memoir, Hideaway Hotel – Secrets of a Mediterranean Celebrity Retreat (pub Ant Press). Instead, readers will find a discreet and fascinating behind-the-scenes look at this much-loved hotel.
Louise worked as public relations manager at La Residencia for twenty-two years, witnessing changes to the property, its ownership, and management. She wrote her debut memoir after retiring from what is probably one of Mallorca’s most enviable PR roles.
Having worked in hotel PR myself (for a couple of international chains and a country house hotel in the UK), I found Louise’s book an interesting read. I imagine anyone who’s stayed at Belmond La Residencia or has an interest in hotels, hospitality, tourism, or public relations, will also enjoy finding out more about this iconic hotel. I found the details about its history and cultural and community involvement particularly interesting.
I interviewed Louise Davis for my podcast ‘Authors in Mallorca’ and you can hear our conversation on the link at the end of this post..
If you’d like to read Hideaway Hotel – Secrets of a Mediterranean Celebrity Retreat by Louise Davis, you’ll find it on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. If you’re in Mallorca, check out Universal Bookshop in Portals Nous — where owner Kay Halley is an enthusiastic supporter of local authors.
New General Manager for 2021
There’s been a change at the helm of Belmond La Residencia this year. Following the departure of Ulisses Marreiros — who was at the hotel for eight years and has now moved to Belmond’s Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro — Thomas Moons was appointed general manager.
Moons brings more than 15 years’ international hospitality experience to his new role in Deià, having worked at renowned hotels in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Dubai, before joining Belmond in 2012. He worked for the company in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, before moving to Peru. Under his leadership, Miraflores Park in Lima gained recognition as South American’s Most Romantic Resort, Peru’s Leading Hotel Suite, and Peru’s Leading Business Hotel in the 2020 World Travel Awards.
‘It is my great pleasure to lead the team at La Residencia,’ Moons said of his new role. ‘Together with my team, I look forward to welcoming guests back to the storied history of La Residencia when the hotel opens for the spring season, and taking the hotel and brand to new heights.’
The five-star Deià hotel is expected to open for the 2021 season on May 17th.
And so another chapter begins for Belmond La Residencia…
Have you ever scrolled with a touch of envy through Instagram, seeing influencers flaunting fabulous freebies and their aspirational lifestyles? The reality of an influencer’s life is not always as it may seem, as my guest in this episode knows too well. In 2015, when comedian and writer Bella Younger created her alter ego Deliciously Stella – parodying clean-eating Instagram influencers – she had no idea it would lead to 150,000 followers … and a spell in The Priory clinic. Bella performed sell-out stand-up shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, authored the spoof ‘Deliciously Stella’ cookbook, and was twice named one of the Evening Standard’s most influential Londoners. Today she lives a very different life in rural Mallorca, where she finished writing her second book last year. Her mental-health memoir is very funny but is also essential reading for anyone who thinks they (or a family member) may be spending a little too much time on Instagram. ‘The Accidental Influencer: How My Need to Get Likes Nearly Ruined My Life’ was published by Harper Collins on May 13th.Hear Bella talking about her unusual route into the BBC, her process for her current fictional work in progress, finding peace and inspiration in Mallorca for her writing, snail racing … and more. ‘The Accidental Influencer: How My Need to Get Likes Nearly Ruined My Life’ is available now in bookshops and from Amazon, in Kindle and hardback formats. It's also available on Audible, narrated by Bella. Instagram @deliciouslystellaTwitter @bellayoungerPODCAST THEME TITLE: “Lifestyles”COMPOSER: Jack WaldenmaierPUBLISHER: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI)AUTHORS IN MALLORCA will be back in September, after the hot summer break. Jan Edwards has been working on her novel – 'Daughter of Deià' – now published on Amazon.
Mallorca has some superb boutique hotels outside Palma and the coastal areas. In my last post I wrote about a memorable dinner we recently had, featuring the cuisine of private chef Piers Dawson — of whom we are big fans. The hotel where this guest-chef dinner took place was Ten Mallorca and it’s at the very heart of Mallorca, in the authentically Mallorcan town of Sineu. We’ve stayed at the hotel twice — the first time for my birthday last November and then again for the recent dinner.
English-owned-and-run hotel in Mallorca
Ten Mallorca is owned by Joanna and John Yaxley who were property surveyors when they lived in England.
Their idea had been to semi-retire in Mallorca and buy an apartment overlooking the sea. It didn’t quite work out like that: John was busy with work in the UK and unable to come to Mallorca with Joanna to view some properties. Instead of the apartment by the Mediterranean, she put a deposit on the old house that the couple has turned into a must-visit hotel for many islanders and tourists.
Over a period of several years they painstakingly restored this property, which is tucked away in a quiet lane in Sineu, into a unique nine-bedroom hotel (a tenth is being added).
They did most of the renovation work themselves, including the interior design.
‘We wanted to create something unique,’ Joanne told me, ‘something that was a bit of us. Every boutique hotel we saw in Mallorca and Ibiza was white, with rustic wood and materials. All very nice, but very similar.’
In terms of style, Ten Mallorca has hints of London, Paris, and even New York. Every bedroom is different and the bathrooms are gorgeous — three have a freestanding bath, as well as a walk-in shower. You’ll find wallpapers by designers Matthew Williamson and Christian Lacroix.
The couple preserved some of the property’s original heritage, including the beautifully patterned original floors on the ground floor.
‘One of the joys of the project was us working together,’ John told me. ‘It was the first time we’ve actually done that, to create something for which we both had a passion.’
A high-quality renovation and stylish design are not the whole story at Ten Mallorca. This owners of the hotel are also the hosts and, despite not having worked in the hotel business before, they are naturally hospitable and good fun. The warmth of this couple will make you feel right at home.
Food & Drink
Ten Mallorca has an attractive bar — both in terms of design and what it offers to drink. Gin fans will have fun choosing from a tempting selection of premium gins (including Mallorcan) but the bar is also well stocked with other drinks. The hotel has an excellent selection of Mallorcan wines, including organic.
Last year, once lockdown was over, Ten Mallorca offered Sunday roasts, courtesy of Joanne and John’s daughter, Hannah, an accomplished young chef. These lunches quickly sold out. Current restrictions mean the hotel cannot serve food to anyone not staying overnight in the hotel, but Ten Mallorca has some interesting Supper and Stay events including dinner, accommodation in one of their luxurious rooms, and a breakfast the next morning that will set you up for the day.
Our most recent visit was for one of these Supper and Stay nights and there are more of these events scheduled in the coming weeks. Hannah, Piers Dawson, and private chef Ross Hutchison will be taking their turns at the stoves in Ten Mallorca’s envy-inspiring kitchen during April. Follow Ten Mallorca on Instagram for details, or see their website.
Good to Know
Sineu is on the railway route between Palma and Manacor and the hotel is a short walk through the town from the station. If you arrive by car, a free public car park is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the hotel.
Ten Mallorca has a ground-floor wheelchair-accessible guest room.
Pack your swimmers! Ten Mallorca has an inviting courtyard saltwater infinity swimming pool.
Sineu has a huge weekly market every Wednesday morning; it’s one of the island’s biggest and most varied markets.
Eating dinner in a restaurant that’s not in a hotel is still not possible in Mallorca, because of Covid restrictions, but the good news is that the interiors of bars and restaurants will be able to open again from next Monday, March 15th. Whether this will be just during the day or include evenings too is not yet known… but it’s a step forward.
Meanwhile, we enjoyed a superb dinner out on Friday evening, combined with an overnight stay in the stylish boutique hotel Ten Mallorca, in the heart of Sineu (which, if you don’t know it, is right in the heart of the island). The English owners and hosts of the hotel decided to do something different to attract islanders and came up with the idea of supper-and-stay events, featuring well-known guest chefs who work on the island.
Piers Dawson First at the Stoves
Private chef Piers Dawson launched this series with a few events during February and March; after an unsuccessful try to book the first event, we managed to book early enough to secure two of the limited places for Friday evening’s dinner. As at his Charlie’s Kitchen events, Piers came into the dining room as his wife Holly and the Ten team served each of his eight dishes, to describe the food in more detail than his minimalist menus give. When you listen to him, you realise just how much work goes into each dish he creates.
Having eaten Piers’ cuisine on a number of occasions, I am firmly of the belief that whatever he serves will be amazing – not only because of his talent for cooking and his incredible creativity, but also because of his evident passion for making people happy through his food.
Pea & Mint – a pea-and-mint ‘milkshake’ with a wafer topping.
Sobrasada Lollipop – not a traditional way to serve sobrasada!
Butternut, Sage, Jamon, Parmesan – The bread-and-butter course. Sourdough bread and flavoured whipped butter with Parmesan and crumbs of Iberian ham sprinkled over.
Beef, Rocket, Artichoke – sirloin beef tartar with truffle oil and puree, shallots and chives, chargrilled baby artichoke
Salmon, Citrus, Vodka – fish course: home-cured salmon, avocado, pink grapefruit, orange, lemon and saffron aioli, granola, radish
Masterstock Pork, Tenderstem, Wasabi – local pork belly cooked in Chinese masterstock (6 years old!), jus, blackened onions, wasabi aioli
Chocolate, Peanuts, Banana
The Ten Club
Numbers for these supper-and-stay events are currently limited to 12 and the hotel is using its lounge as a dining room during this period, to facilitate social distancing. The events are very popular and the first of Piers’ dates was fully booked within 20 minutes of being announced.
Ten Mallorca came up with the clever idea of The Ten Club. For a fee of 35 euros per couple, members receive 48 hours’ advance notice of the March and April events before they are advertised generally. Members also receive a complimentary glass of house wine, beer, or cava on the evening. The cost does NOT include the price of the event, but does give early access to book events that are likely to fill quickly. If you’re in Mallorca and would like to become a member of The Ten Club, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prices for these supper-and-stay evenings vary according to the guest chef’s menu, but they are fair prices which include the overnight stay and a very good breakfast the next morning. Friday’s cost was from 150 euros per person (depending on the room booked). It’s blissful being able to enjoy fine food with one of the hotel’s carefully chosen wines (drinks are extra, but reasonably priced) and have only to climb the stairs to your room at the end of the evening.
Future Guest Chefs
This weekend, Sebastian Pasch – of the wonderful Restaurante Sebastian in Deya – is the guest chef. His menu looks superb and is based on dishes he’s cooked at his romantic restaurant since he opened it in 1994.
If you need time off from cooking duties in the kitchen, eating out is still not an option in Mallorca. It’s being reported that restaurants, bars, and cafes will be able to open their terraces again from next Tuesday, March 2nd — albeit with reduced capacity, a maximum of four people at a table, and an early closing time.
It was suggested that these establishments would have to close by 6pm; however, the Balearic government has now said they want a closing time of 4pm. You can bet some heated discussions will be going on over the next few days between hospitality sector representatives and the government, before the official announcement and details this Friday (26th).
What about Dinner?
The upshot is that we could possibly be eating lunch out next week (fingers crossed for the weather) but, for a-night-off-cooking dinner at home, takeaways and delivered food are still the best ways to achieve this.
Restaurant owners and chefs continue to adapt what they offer during the restrictions to appeal to consumers who may be tired of menu planning and seeking out new recipes to counter the routine of cooking every lunch and dinner.
Easy, Healthy, Affordable
Chef Ross Hutchison — aka Private Chef Mallorca — has just launched an appealing and affordable service from Palma de Mallorca for those of us fortunate enough to live on the island. From this week, he’s offering a choice of healthy, prepared dishes to pick up from his premises, The Kitchen Space Palma (Carrer del Torrent, 4). Prices are super-keen: soups and salads (presented in glass jars) are 6 euros each; return the empty jar for a one euro credit on your next jar. Main dishes (in boxes) are 8 euros each, and include veggies and healthy grains. Desserts are 3 euros each. Ross calls his new concept ‘Tuesdays & Fridays’.
How it Works
Ross publishes the weekly meal plan on a Sunday and asks for orders by 8pm the next day for a Tuesday pick-up and by 8pm on Thursday for a Friday pick-up. You could give yourself a whole weekend free of cooking by ordering a few dishes on Thursday for collection on the Friday.
Pick-up of dishes from The Kitchen Space Palma is on Tuesdays and Fridays between 11am and 4pm. Or get Glovo to collect your order to deliver to your home or workplace.
Payment is in cash for now, but you’ll soon be able to order and pay via card online. To order food or receive the weekly menu plan each week on a Sunday, visit this page on the PRIVATE CHEF MALLORCA website.
Here are just some of the dishes Ross offered for this week’s inaugural meal plan, to whet your appetite for future weeks:
SOUPS: Coconut, Cauliflower, Cashew; Vegan Chili; Spicy Broccoli and Spinach.
SALADS: Caesar with Anchovy Dressing and Croutons; Five Bean Salad; Spinach, Fried Chickpeas, Pickled Onions, and Orange Vinaigrette.
BOXES: Saffron Salmon, Garlic Chili Broccoli, Brown Rice Lentil Risotto, Orange Salsa; Real Tex-Mex (Ross is a Texan!) of Mixed Grilled Fajita with Beef, Chicken, Sweet Peppers, and Onions, Black Bean Rice, Two Home-made Tortillas, Pico de Gallo.
DESSERT: Almond Cake with Vanilla Cream and Salted Caramel.
Ross bakes fabulous seawater sourdough bread so while you’re ordering your easy, healthy, and affordable takeaway dishes, give one of his loaves a try.
He’s a great chef and we’ve eaten his food on many occasions, so we wish him luck with this new service — a real boon for anyone who lives and/or works in Palma de Mallora or fairly close by.
GOOD TO KNOW: Carrer Torrent is close to the Paseo Marítimo, near the AC Ciutat de Palma hotel. Street parking for the time it takes to pick up your food is available in the area.
Photos courtesy of ‘Tuesdays & Fridays’
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If you’re feeling a little stir-crazy because of travel restrictions, a night away in a local hotel offers a change of scene and a welcome break from the domestic chores that have become part of the daily routine. Such a break also helps a local business to keep operating and employing people during the pandemic.
In Mallorca, most hotels are closed at the moment and, although one or two are suggesting when they may open their doors to guests again, there’s uncertainty about when the tourist ‘season’ is likely to start this year.
Find Spacious Rooms & Mediterranean Views
One hotel in Mallorca that is open is the 5-star Hospes Maricel in Cas Català, a short drive from Palma de Mallorca. The property is built in the style of a 17th-century stately Balearic mansion right on the seafront but was, in fact, constructed as a rather different hotel in the late 1940s.
Hospes commissioned Barcelona-based architects ADD+Arquitectura Xavier Claramunt to create the beautiful hotel that awaits guests today. The property is rich in marble, wood, and golden sandstone from Santanyí. Beams, arches, and columns grace the huge public areas. In 2008, Hospes Maricel opened an extension across the road – again designed by Claramunt, and inspired by the terracing of the Mallorcan coastal village of Banyalbufar. The extension is contemporary, features a lot of stonework, and each room has its own terrace and private plunge pool. An underground passage connects these rooms with the main hotel building, so there’s no need to dodge the traffic on the road between them.
I first visited Hospes Maricel to do an interview in connection with an article for Interiores y Diseño by Deluxe magazine in 2008. I’ve subsequently reviewed the restaurant a couple of times and had a drink there, but we’d never stayed overnight.
The hotel had a special offer for Valentine’s Day so we booked one night away, having noted that the Hospes Maricel has the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality’s ‘Safe Tourism Certified’ accreditation. Their protocols to protect against Covid-19 were prepared with the help of Quirónprevención, Preverisk, and the Institute’s guidelines. We were impressed by the attention to detail and felt safe during our stay. The spacious public areas make social distancing easy too.
We booked a room on the top floor, which had two windows looking out over the Mediterranean. Our bathroom had both a shower cubicle and a free-standing claw-foot bath.
A ‘Covid’ pack of two masks and a small bottle of sanitizing gel were in the room for us, although there were sanitizing stations throughout the hotel.
Rafa Sánchez – Chef
Rafael Sánchez joined Hospes Maricel to lead the kitchen in 2018. His previous experience includes working at the former Plat d’Or restaurant, which had a Michelin star. We had a special set menu for Valentine’s, which was tasty and balanced so we didn’t feel uncomfortably full afterwards. Due to the romantic (low) lighting, my photos don’t really do the dinner justice. We’ll return one day for lunch sitting on the terrace by the sea…
Breakfast at Hospes Maricel is an assisted buffet – help-yourself buffets are not allowed during the Covid restrictions. We had a choice of eating on the terrace or indoors. Quite a few people were breakfasting outdoors, but we opted for indoors on this occasion, as it was quite a cool early morning.
Guests queued to point out what they wanted from the breakfast buffet and the masked-and-gloved server plated up the selected items. Hot dishes are made to order and brought to the table.
We were pleased to see the service team reminding people of the need for social distancing while in the queue and the requirement to wear a mask. I saw only one person who arrived without a mask, who was told she had to wear one (which they fetched from a drawer) while she was waiting in the buffet queue. We also spotted the hotel’s general manager, who came to cast his eye over things.
Good to Know
One thing to note if you are staying in a hotel in Mallorca: bathroom amenities in the rooms are limited for hygiene reasons. We had soap, shower/bath gel, and shampoo – but were told other items were available on request.
The Hospes Maricel Spa is closed because of the pandemic.
If a luxurious night away in Mallorca appeals to you at the moment, check out the Hospes Maricel offers.