Tag Archives: restaurants

8 things to know in Ibiza and Formentera this summer

Formentera barefoot and beautiful
Formentera barefoot and beautiful

Summer is here and for all of us spending time in the lovely Balearic Islands this means sampling the old and the new as its constantly changing here . I have been in Ibiza and Formentera over the last few months so have had the chance to try out a few new places and to check in with a few “old faithfuls”.

There have been massive investments made in the last 5 years and it might seem scary that there are now several beach “bars” which cost more than a good night out in London or Los Angeles  and restaurants charging prices that make Paris and Tokyo look reasonable !

In Ibiza lets start by the water:

1. Xucla is my favorite beach shack, hidden away in the north of the island this small hut run by a brother and sister team serves great tasty dishes using fresh produce. Spend the afternoon there , order a cocktail and watch the sunset then wander up to the charming candlelit “shack”. They are open for lunch & dinner and you do need to reserve +34 679 670 599.

2. Babylon Beach Bar is now in its second year and has a swimming platform which makes swimming in the beautiful blue water there much easier. They have stylish and comfortable beach beds and the food is consistently good. This summer they added a more sophisticated restaurant for the evening with a very sexy bar! Babylon Beach +34 971 332 181 http://www.babylonbeachbar.com

Babylon Beach Bar Rose de Provence
Babylon Beach Bar Rose de Provence

3. The legendary waterfront Chiringuito on Tagomago Island ( once run by Roger Middleton and frequented by princesses and local artists alike ) has re opened this week. Thanks to Johnny Beach a well known DJ and entrepreneur in the event and restaurant world the little chiringuito will be open for lunch and dinner all summer from July 25th. The hours are 12.00- 22.00 and they accept cash only. John told me they are serving fresh produce and local sea food accompanied by wine and cocktails- bring your boat or have them pick you up in Pou des Lleo.

Tagomago Chiringuito
Tagomago Chiringuito

4. Aura has been a favorite night time stand by for anyone living in the north of the island so when I heard that it was changing hands I was slightly concerned …I did not need to be. I happened to go there last Monday for the opening night of Sacca as it is now called, the interior design is stylish and contemporary. The cherry blossom canopied bar is now in the center of the terrace, where it always should have been, as it provides a great nucleus, and place meeting point. The sushi and sashimi menu is fabulous as is the ambience. They still have a DJ and dance area and all in all I think its a great addition.

Several new places have opened on Formentera my tips are as follows:

5. Dont go to Juan and Andrea instead book in at Beso Beach also on Illetes and sit with your feet in the sand enjoying their service and great food. http://www.besobeach.com/besobeach.htm

6. Try the new and lovely Chez Gerdi for dinner – great italian dishes

7. Las Banderas on Playa Mitjorn is still serving great food and is a marvelous setting for lunch and swimming. They have also improved the rooms ever so slightly.

8. The police are out in force in Ibiza , sadly not so much to protect as to fine us, so drive responsibly and respect the local laws. There have been a spate of burglaries and hand bag theft so try not to walk around with the family heirlooms, keep it low key and you will avoid being noticed by those with bad intentions.

PS : I heard about a little bar in Cala St Vicent called Hidden – I have not been there yet but its sounds like fun.

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Umbria in autumn

Driving through Umbria to see a farmhouse we recently acquired, I needed to stop off and spend the night. I don’t like staying in remote places or large impersonal hotels when traveling solo so I picked an Inn with rooms…what a find. The Locanda del Molino is situated on the outskirts of Cortona…and has only a few bedrooms. Mine was large with a high ceiling an adjoining bathroom with a view over the small stream behind the hotel. The location of the Inn is perfect for discovering the back country of Umbria and the valleys beyond.

Locanda del Molino
Locanda del Molino
The room
The room

I ventured down to dinner, after struggling with the lack of internet access, anticipating a light supper and early bed. The owner who is also the chef immediatly came to my table and made some fabulous suggestions, which I had to sample. The Gnudi ( Gnocchi without the flour and made with a spinach base ) were sublime as was the fish. Meal finished with canducci and a local sweet wine – I slept well. The breakfast the next morning was equally amazing.

Breakfast at Locanda del Molino
Breakfast at Locanda del Molino

Do ask for a room on the back

Do expect to eat dinner in

Dont count on the internet !

Further into Umbria I drove to view a  farmhouse belonging to a friend, it is set in the on a hilltop with spectacular views  and the house is wonderfully stylish, the perfect place to spend a week or two.

Views of the Farmhouse
Views of the Farmhouse
The Vineyards
The Vineyards