If you take a look at the fresh fruit on this market stall in Palma, you’ll realise the island of Mallorca is blessed with a wonderful Mediterranean cuisine. Along with the abundant fruit there is fresh fish, meat and vegetables and you’re never far from tapas: those enticing sharing plates of loveliness. We knew when we booked our walking holiday with Inntravel that the food would be excellent and boy does that help you when you’re hiking in the hills, knowing when you reach your destination there’ll be a good dinner to enjoy.
As soon as we arrived in the village of Fornalutx we headed for the main square to soak up the sun and the ambience. This was our first taste of the local freshly-squeezed orange juice that we supped for most of the week. No chance of scurvy here: I must have been swimming in Vitamin C by the end of the holiday. Of course, the local pastries – those pillowy ensaimadas – redressed the balance on the naughty scale, and the local rosé wine and cheap Estrella beer pushed the scales even further in that direction. But starting the day with the orange juice felt so virtuous. In our first accommodation, the Petit Hotel Fornalutx, each table at breakfast had its own basket of oranges so you could squeeze your own juice.
We had two great evening meals in Fornalutx. The popular and, hence, very busy, Es Turo, served up local Mallorcan soup and a fantastic roast suckling pig. On our second night we tried Sa Cuina d’en Marc, intrigued by the purple paintwork outside. The food was delicious and the hospitality warm and friendly. We loved the prawn tempura salad, the yummy strawberry soup with apple pie ice-cream and the skate with caramelised onion and saffron sauce plus, in translation, ‘brick pastry bags’…
Our favourite restaurant in Sóller was Casa Alvaro, a tiny place off the main square, serving the most fabulous tapas. It was great to sit on stools at the high tables, reading the graffiti on the walls. It was so good we returned the second night. The service was fun and slightly chaotic but the food was sublime. I’ll never forget the delicious slivers of Galician octopus, tender lamb cutlets and the excellent rabbit with garlic and chilli. I forgot to snap a picture of the hot chocolate fondant we had for dessert: I wonder why?
On one of our walks we had lunch in Port de Sóller, sitting in a sea-front restaurant, Sa Gavina. There’s something special about eating at the seaside and we chose well with padron peppers, potato wedges, garlic prawns, fresh bread, olives and garlic dip, before a pudding of ice-cream when we returned to Sóller and a glass of Cava by the pool at the hotel. You see, it’s not all about the walking.
The day we walked from Sóller to Deià was tiring, so a late morning stop at Finca Son Mico , an old manor house, was like finding an oasis in the desert. Orange juice, coffee and homemade chocolate and almond cake was very welcome in this extraordinarily beautiful setting.
There were plenty of eateries to choose from in Valldemossa, where we stayed at the gorgeous Ca’s Papà hotel. We chose Turkish on the first night in Troya restaurant, opting for lamb meatballs and chicken skewers: delicious. Spanish fare, with a Mexican twist, on the second night at Casa de sa Miranda. Patatas bravas, stuffed aubergine, a chicken quesadilla plus a frothy lemon mousse to finish.
When we left the mountains and headed to Palma for an add-on city break, the good food continued. Palma is chock full of great restaurants: we were spoilt for choice. Grilled fish, tapas and superb cocktails were delicious one evening at Koa, and a lunch of avocado salad and sparkling wine on the roof terrace of Hotel Almudaina proved that slow travel is possible on a city break too.
If I had to choose one restaurant to return to, La Bodeguilla would probably be at the top of my list. In very stylish surroundings: walls full of wine bottles and large hams hanging above the kitchen hatch, we tucked into asparagus, monkfish and steak, with a brioche and coffee ice-cream for dessert. The Rioja wine was excellent too.
I thought we would come home from Mallorca thin and wiry after our mountain treks. Sadly not, as the fantastic cuisine, beer, wine and gin, helped to put all the calories back on again. But then, what a wonderful balance: lots of exercise to build up an appetite before being rewarded with ambrosial dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We booked our own holiday with Inntravel but did receive a small discount for a review and social media sharing.