I find the Jetparks carpark and arrive at the airport with plenty of time, so I enjoy a pint of JW Lees Atomic. The flight is uneventful and we arrive in Palma slightly ahead of schedule. The airport bus is waiting, but I’m dismayed to find it’s drizzling.
I know where I’m going this time, so I alight at Argentina (the bus stop obviously, not the country; that would be some bus ride) and it’s a short walk to Hostal Pons, but it’s raining quite heavily now, so I stop to put on a coat. It’s not cold by English standards, but when I arrive at the hostal, the owner, Sebastián, is complaining about the bitter weather.
I’m in the room next door to where I was last time, but this one is nicer – I even have a real wardrobe! I love this quirky hotel, but the walls must be very thin, because I can hear the Spanish woman next door constantly on the ‘phone. I can even hear the bloke on the other end when he manages to get the occasional word in.
It’s getting quite late so I go out for dinner. On the way, I notice that one of my favourite bars, Wineing, is on holiday until the 8th February. I decide to treat myself (it is Saturday night) and I finally choose La Paloma. Last time I was here, I had the best lamb I’ve ever eaten, so this time I start with bread and the most gorgeous alioli and then have fillet of cod cooked at a low temperature with saffron sauce, wild mushrooms and potato purée. It’s not cheap, but the décor and service are outstanding.
On the way back, I call in what was the Escape Bar, a busy ex-pats bar run by Croatians, but it’s now the Velvet Bar, with a Spanish lad behind the bar and a handful of locals drinking. It used to be all dark wood and now it’s brilliant white. They are very friendly and offer me a stool, so I stay and have a couple of glasses of wine. I tell them I want to see the almond blossom and they say, because of the awful weather, it won’t be here until March and I fear they may well be right. They suggest going up to Sollér, but that’s not almond country, it’s mainly citrus, so whilst it’s a beautiful part of the island, I dismiss the idea for the moment.