Palma Diary, March 2016 – An Englishman abroad
Walk to Placa Espanya and the train to Marratxi. There is supposed to be a market in neighbouring Sa Cabaneta and I envisage an array of enticing produce including the famous local pottery. After a twenty-minute walk, I encounter an imposing old church with directions to the Museum of Clay and local manufacturers of siurells (the clay figurine-whistles), but after walking around for a while, I can’t find anything. This is just a dormitory town with barking dogs. No market. Not even a bar. Nada de nada. I walk back to Marratxi for a coffee and then get the train back to Palma. At least the short train journey is pleasant.
Things start to look up in the fish market in Mercat d’Olivar. I struggle a little ordering oysters (there’s so many varieties to choose from), but after a couple of glasses of wine, I’m jabbering away like a local. Then percebes – gooseneck barnacles. In truth, not the most exciting thing I’ve ever eaten, but at least I can tick that box.
Celler sa Premsa for lunch – one of my favourite haunts. Not always the greatest food, but at €12.75 including wine, you can’t grumble and it’s a delightful place with black and white waiters scurrying around. Sopes followed by huevos estrellados and a new variation on crema catalana or flan – pudding mallorquin. Probably my favourite.
So, two versions of broken eggs. At Gaudeix, thinly sliced potatoes lightly fried – exquisite – at Sa Premsa, egg and chips with a slice of fried sobrasada!
Beer in the sunshine at Bar Bosch, then I try to find my favourite secret bar near Parc de Mar. Not there. A door and closed window near where I think it used to be. Perhaps it was too secret.
It’s still sunny, so a shame to go back. I stop off in Escape Bar. Can’t understand why the waitress wants to speak English, but she turns out to be from Croatia!
It occurs to me that most people go on holiday to sunbathe or visit theme parks, the more cultured to see the sights; I go largely to eat and drink.
Later, I strike out for Portitxol, but the fifteen-minute walk must be Oldham time or from much further on, so I sack it and go back. A nice walk anyway and the illuminated cathedral is absolutely stunning. I return to Apuntadors and call in Wineing. This is a concept bar about which I had read, where a range of wines are dispensed by machine – a taste, half a glass or a glass – and the purchases accumulated on a card. I didn’t know whether it was a brilliant idea or something a bit tacky. Turns out to be a brilliant idea and the manageress is very friendly and efficient. There is a large selection of local wines; my favourite is Aia from Miguel Olivar. I impress a couple of English ladies with my knowledge of wine. I manage to force down a couple of really good tapas. Mini goat’s cheese with bacon and wraps of pulled pork cheek.