Well where do I start with Palma?! The amazing food? Beautiful hotel? Picturesque streets? Marvellous wine? My brain is on overdrive trying to figure out a nice little ocd order so that I don’t miss anything out so I’ve decided to tell you it in a little diary! So here goes….
We have landed! It’s warm, so warm (is it ok to complain about that?!). I’m so pale and Irish and I cannot hack the heat – its 34° aka about 10° above what I can handle! But we’re excited! We get a taxi to the hotel and as we drive through the winding, old cobbled streets its obvious that this isn’t the standard resort Spanish holiday that I was scared it might be! It’s beautiful, quaint and feels like we are going to have a lot of exploring to do!
Then we reach our hotel, Hotel Can Cera, and just wow! I mean, when we pulled up I thought “that surely can’t be it?!” just an archway into what looks like someone’s home. Then we walk through and are amazed. It’s stunning, ancient and immaculate. It’s so rustic and looks very traditional. Right up our street. With only 8 rooms it isn’t crowded but still has a nice vibe. We are warmly welcomed into the exposed brick garden with 2 glasses of prosecco and immediately feel at home. I always feel that you can tell from first meeting what the service will be like in a hotel and if this welcome was anything to go by, we knew it would be exceptional.
Then we are taken to our room BUT before we get there, we are led through several drawing rooms, balconies and libraries. It’s just amazing and already we are planning where to have our pre dinner drink! We have been upgraded! Yay!!! Its our 3 year wedding anniversary so as well as a wee room upgrade we have been given a bottle of local cava in the room! Yup, service is 10/10 so far! The room is stunning and immaculate with lots of lovely little touches including some delightful toiletries I cannot wait to use!!
Then we head out to explore the city! Although really, as its the first day, we head straight to a rooftop bar 🙈 and just wow! It has beautiful views out to the sea and the cathedral and has beautiful local wine for only 4/5€ a glass! With those views and prices it would be rude not to have 2 glasses right?! So that’s what we do. Relax, chat, take in the views and enjoy the sun ☀ now time for dinner! So there is one thing I should say before I go any further – when we go away anywhere, we don’t plan the trip so much as the food! We pick out our food stops and work the trip around that! We love food. Simple. But also, we think that the best way to fully experience a new place is to immerse yourself into their culture and a huge part of that is the food. So that’s what we do. Tonight’s meal – Italian! We head across town to a local area called Santa Catalina. It’s got a very cool and hipster vibe, lots of little quirky restaurants, cafes and bars. The meal was delicious and hit the spot (we knew we would need a huge feed after travelling all day!) and we then went on to have a yummy cocktail in a wee bar where we sat and drank in the street. It was relaxed, it was delicious, it was perfect. The perfect end to our first day and it made us super excited for tomorrow!!!
What a fab night’s sleep! That mattress 😍 first port of call – breakfast! Down we head to a wee continental hotel breakfast and it’s just lovely! Although the selection is small there is everything that you could possibly need to set you up for the day! Fresh fruit, yogurt, hams, cheeses, freshly baked pastries and fruit juices all waiting to be tried! I also ordered mallorcan eggs and a cappuccino – both were just perfect! Especially the cappuccino, perfect froth (any fellow cappuccino drinkers will know how crucial this is!)
Then we head out for a cycle tour of the old town. When I was researching what to do in Palma I wanted to do a short tour (around 2/3 hours) that would give us a good overview of the city so that we would have a good idea of our bearings and know where we wanted to head back to! So I found this cycle tour on Get Your Guide that was led by a local, you explored the old town and only lasted 2.5 hours so we still had all afternoon to ourselves! It was fab! The guide was knowledgeable and witty. Full of lots of suggestions on what not to miss in Palma! And if, like me, you aren’t a fan of sports of any description, do not fear! It was in no way strenuous! I also have a huge fear of cycling anywhere near traffic but our guide was excellent and we covered so much ground that, if we had of been going by foot, would have taken us all day!
After this we went to a little local tapas bar for lunch (recommended by our guide) and not only was it delicious it was super cheap! Win win!! The rest of the day was spent meandering, nibbling and siestaing (not sure that’s a real verb, but hey, it is now!). Oh and also spent some time at this wonderful rooftop bar at the Boutique Hotel Calatrava – those views 😍
That evening we stumbled upon a very cute local wine bar nestled on the corner by our hotel called La Vinya de Santa Clara. The wine selection was incredible and the waiter was super friendly and knowledgeable. What I loved most about it was how authentic it was and how it was full of locals, always a good sign! Then we headed on to a tapas extravaganza at Fabiolas. Firstly, walking there was just delightful, down cobbled side alleys with local apartments and doors adorned by plants. The dream: to own one of these one day 😍 and then we reach Fabiola Gastronomic Garden. It was a modern, creative and yummy take on tapas. The complimentary olive oil bread was, in my humble opinion, the star of the show! I mean, who doesn’t love bread right?! And when it was combined with their incredible local olove oil giving it a lovely crisp edge I mean, wow, perfection in carb form!!
So today we decided to not have a plan (very unlike me, I know!). Andrew had researched some foodie hour spots and so out first stop was the market, Mercat d’Olivar. This was the highlight of Palma. Food glorious food EVERYWHERE 😍 It turns out that this is where the locals go for their weekly cheese, meat and vegetables and so the atmosphere was busy but buzzing. We bought so much sobrasada and manchego to take home that I think we gained about an extra 6kg 😁
Then onto…. More food! A little local bodega. The Spanish love their “Menu del Dia” where we got some of the most delicious authentic Majorcan cuisine for only €12 each! Yet again, the place was full of locals and buzzing. We had to wait 20 minutes for a table in the middle of the day – although starving (don’t know how!) it’s always a good sign when a place is queued out!
By the time we had finished we had walked 22000 steps and so there was only one thing for it – siesta!!!! We were so full that evening that all we could manage was a wee charcuterie and cheese board with some wine at our favourite little wine shop. The perfect way to spend out last night in Palma.
Day 4 (leaving 😭)
Time to leave this wonderful city. But not before we fit in the infamous chocolate and pastry cafe of Can Joan de S’Aigo. Here we ordered hot chocolate and ensaimadas (aka the most delicious pastries EVER) and I would highly recommend using the hot chocolate as a dipping sauce for the pastry. This place was such a find!
So as we were driving through the city and up into the mountains to our next destination of Deia, we both said to each other “Palma, you have been fab and we will be back!”
My lesson I learnt this trip…. don’t always judge a book by its cover! Or in this case, a holiday destination by its reputation. I thought Palma was going to be full of tacky tourist shops, huge hotels complexes and British tourists. What I found instead was a beautiful city full of boutique hotels, unique shops and INSANE food. The best little surprise of 2019 so far ❤️
Thank you for reading ❤️