The X factor, jungle, celebrity dancing juggernaut is already hurtling towards its home straight. Adverts for breaded finger foods in sparkly boxes are out numbering bingo ads by 2 to 1 and morning TV guests are referencing ‘panto’. But in Ibiza, discrete boxes of decorations sit undisturbed in corners, the summer’s dust yet to be shaken off.
Whilst Black Friday passes in a lower key European version of an Amazon frenzy, we kids of Ibiza sit back and settle into our quiet versions of seasonal preparation: namely the winter weekend beach club.
This year’s gem is Tanit at Nassau Beach, the new baby sister of the Nassau Beach Club. Nestled at the end of Playa d’en Bossa, further than Space (RIP), it is the latest restaurant that will be open every weekend this winter. In the season I wouldn’t make it to this area. How do I put it? Squaring up against people jostling for crazy golf parking spaces doesn’t seem worth it, or should I say, risks bringing out the long gone snob in me. But post October, gently glide down the mostly boarded up shop fronts and pull into a space right by the beach. And what a beach. The longest and deepest on the island (I have no idea if this is factually correct, it just looks as so..) it has a Bondi or a Santa Monica quality about it. When it is teeming with bathers and daytime dancers it is impossible to see the vast expanse of golden sand stretching from the airport right around to Ibiza town. Yes the airport. In summer the music and revelry barely dents the sound of the constant low flying aircraft desperate to tip out another bucket load of partyers onto the island’s warm shores; in winter they pass so seldom that it turns into a charming plane spotting exercise, a rare chance to see the underside of a plane so close up. My globally facing islander 4 year old well versed in livery and tails:
‘Easyjet, Airbus’ he says when it’s orange,
‘Vueling,’ for the grey and yellow,
‘Ryanair, Boeing,’ as the blue and yellow passes (sssss my middle one chimes in panto style, not sure why, I find Ryanair surprisingly slick). A plain one passes.
‘What’s that?’ he asks.
‘That’s his own’, my oldest says, mysteriously. ‘Hers’, corrects my middle girl pop fan.
It would be easy to have a day-dreamy moment and get carried back to the scent of perfumed sun lotions and hot bronzed bodies, never quite sitting long enough at their tables to eat. But cycle on 3 months and watch couples and families, bask in the winter sun, savouring the menu’s delights, to the sound of a warm, wintery beat. The food is typical: Asian fusion, great burgers, fresh salads, seafood – but done really, really well.
It’s a fascinating catch 22, as to why Ibiza is so quiet in Winter. Not much is open because there aren’t many people around; there aren’t many people around so not much is open. But this is to our great advantage. It’s truly special to get to enjoy such a peaceful piece of Ibiza prime real estate. So that’s how we gear up for the festive season.