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One of the marvellous things about living in Ibiza is the warmth of strangers. Many moons ago, when we bought our first car, we were taken by Jorge (not pronounced Horhay as you might expect, but Jorj because he is Catalan) to the Town Hall to register our car. The official we met with greeted him with kisses. I assumed it was his wife or his sister or at least a childhood friend. In turned out they had never met before. My inner upright Englishness found this rather arresting but it didn’t take long for me to become rather looser with my kisses- bank manager, girl at the fruit counter, headteacher, architect, plumber. It is a joy to watch new arrivals ease into these tactile displays. The anglo-saxon and viking people who would proffer a hand to shake finding it crushed between bodies and before long they too are flinging their kisses around. Men rarely shake hands without a grab or a stroke. What is awkward, is when I am in the UK and I forget and press my cheeks to acquaintances who were neither expecting nor seeking such contact. So I have decided to play on my amateurism and use the theme of ‘warm’ as the segue for this week’s eclectic list of must dos in Ibiza.
(A note: my neighbours are English and our outlooks used to be separated by a rather handsome pine; two months back their gardener went a little scissor happy and suddenly we were privy to all their bathroom behaviours. Is this part of that same openness, I thought to myself, my cheeks ‘warm’ from blushing…)
Where were we? Back to my useful list…
– Warm spinach salad at Sol de Sienna (see Hidden Gem #9). The succulent prawns are served warm on a bed of spinach and avocado salad, cooking the green items just so, drizzled with a warm flax based dressing. Heaven in a shallow bowl.-
– Warm stone massage. Ok supposed to be hot but they quickly turn warm. No better place to do this than at the Atzaró spa. Check in just for the day and let the warmth of the stones ebb that tension away (not that you have tension, you’re in Ibiza). –
– Solar panels for your pool. The temperature has fallen slightly at night. If you want to enjoy your pool deep into September and open your aquatic season in May, invest in solar panels for your pool or even a heated pool cover. You’ll be the envy of all your friends, which is reason enough.
– Warm sake from Nagai. The great thing about this entry is that you get to taste just caught, melt in the mouth sushi, the lightest turbot tempura and wagyu tataki. All washed down by that warm sake.
– Now it is September and the crowds have a dissipated a little (less than normal but still a little) experience the warmth of a Sunday sunset at Benirrás. Every local or holiday maker needs to experience this intense explosion of hippiness that will warm your heart and your soul as the sun goes down in the north of the island and you’ll find yourself unwittingly embraced by strangers.
Last weekend, as the handsome pine had been growing back in, my English neighbours installed new privacy shutters on their bathroom windows, lest I confused their neighbourly warmth with a suggestion of something else.
http://www.el-sol-de-siena.com My hidden gem in San Jose
http://www.atzaro.com/en/spa-natural/masages Hot Stone Massage is €125 for 80 mins
http://www.piscinaspepe.com – the dons of San Antonio. Rumour has it they did the pool for Ocean Beach Club, completed it and then the investors (a Lineker included) decided they wanted the pool edge to be half a centimetre lower. Spanish, but with an English speaker in the office.
http://www.sunshinepools.de – If you prefer the German approach, also a fantastic company.
http://www.nagairestaurant.com – a beautiful sushi destination, run by beautiful, warm people.