World Traveller September 2019



Cala Macarella was another knockout

southerner. On Mallorca, this beach

would be swamped. On Ibiza, it’d be

a beach club with daybeds. Here, the

council banned parking because it

was too busy, and you can’t even hire

a lounger. It only endeared Menorca

to me more. You can bus it, but we

walked there along the clifftop path

from Cala Galdana — a glorious half

hour in itself, even before we got to

the tantalising slow-reveal from the

200-plus steps down to the sand. We

swam, bought cold drinks from Bar

Susy at the back of the beach and lolled

by the shore under a pine tree. Bliss.

And so the holiday romance

continued, days rolling on as gently

as the waves tickling the shore. In

the north, we discovered the redsand

of Cavalleria Beach and, from

the lighthouse at its northern tip,

watched the sun set over Connemararugged

Cap de Cavalleria. A morning’s

kayaking round the sheltered bay at

Fornells gave us appetite enough for

a caldereta, the Menorcan lobster

stew that brings the king of Spain to

town. I hope he gets the full side-table,

finger-bowl and bib treatment we did.

Moving east for our last few days,

we added to our list of greatest

beachy hits: the dunes and shallow

bay of Es Grau and the cove at

sleepy, write-your-novel Alcaufar.

Did my smitten-ness know no bounds?

Well yes, it did. Google pictures of Cova

d’en Xoroi and you’ll see why I insisted

we go — you’ll either get a cluster of

thatched-parasol bar tables clinging to a

cliff above the peacock- blue sea, or the

rose-gold sunset that lights up the bar

each evening. And it is a wowy setting,

no question, out at the end of quietly

resorty Cala en Porter. But as with all

the best profile pictures, the reality was

a bit different. Those ledges with their

billowing white-fabric canopies were

for cash-flashing VIPs only. As the sun

dipped, everyone else — the world and

his selfie-stick — was squeezed onto

the rock-cut steps and little corners of

the cave-bar. Besides the crowds, the

dress code was definitely more smart

than casual. None of it terrible, but

still, it all felt a bit... Ibiza. Swipe left.

Nor was I quite convinced by one

meal we had in lazy, low-key Sant

This page, clockwise from top left:

Beefsteak tomatoes at Piazza della

Repubblica market; a worker harvesting

grapes; alfresco dining at a café in San

Carlo Piazza; Piazza San Carlo









Climent. Es Moli de Foc came highly

recommended and its food was

fabulous — the vast pans hanging in

the kitchen a clue to its rice prowess.

Inside were antique chairs, modern

art and colourful fan lights; we sat in

the pretty, high-walled courtyard and

it should have been perfect. Perhaps

the spark that was missing here was

a local feel. Rather than the Spanish

buzz we’d found elsewhere, here the

clientele was resolutely baby-boomer

British, including one minor celeb

in his ‘don’t look at me’ bright green

blazer. It all felt a bit... Mallorca.

It was down to our last lunch to

restore faith, rekindle love, relight

my fire. On a corner by the main road

in Sant Climent, all plastic chairs

and wall-mounted TVs, Es Casino

was an unlikely cupid. But — how

strange the change from Mallorca to

Menorca — a houseful of Spanishspeaking

Sunday lunchers boded

well. So did the golden-anniversary

granny serenading her assembled

family. We asked the waitress for local

specialities; she brought calves’ liver,

tongue with capers and rosemary.

Tender, flavourful delights the lot

of ’em, not half as challenging as

they sounded. Even the patatas we

ordered for the fussy four-year-old

came with a proper brava sauce.

We felt content, delightfully

relaxed. And there it was. Not

that the other Balearics are ugly

sisters, but it had been worth that

third shot with the glass slipper.

This was the true love island.

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call

+971 4 316 6666 or visit

Credit: The Sunday Times Travel Magazine/News Licensing


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