The White Isle
With the big 30 looming, I decided to plan a surprise trip in honour of Jamie’s milestone birthday. After much deliberating, I finally settled on the Balearic island of Ibiza. Neither of us have ever been and it just felt like somewhere that would be fun to tick off the list as a twosome. Plus, it’s no secret we love our sun, sand and sea a little too much… And after two weeks working in the states, I knew the idea of reading, eating and snoozing on beaches would be more appealing to Jamie that a city break this time. Actually putting it into action was kind of stressful…
Somewhat ironically, Ibiza’s one of those places that you can’t really be spontaneous. In high summer, everything needs booking in advance so you end up making reservations for tomorrow’s lunch while trying to eat todays. I’m more used to wandering up and down bustling harbours in Greece and squares in the South of France and taking your pick of any number of delicious restaurants, so this was a new way of holidaying for me. It’s also bigger than I realised so driving from one end of the island to the other involved more time and stress than I anticipated. Concentrating on staying on the right is enough for me! Even all the hotels were fully booked for August when I was reserving in early June (I can hear all you Ibiza connoisseurs saying ‘duh’ unanimously right now). Thankfully, AirBnb came to the rescue once again, and I found a really sweet private room for us up in the hills near Santa Gertrudis with charming hosts and an amazing pool.
We went for 4 days and it was only by our last day that we felt we’d got into the swing of things and had forged our own path in terms of how and where we wanted to spend our time. It’s a really beautiful place with a great atmosphere and we both came away wanting to go back and explore more of it now we’ve got the lay of the land a bit. I had some great tips before I went from the likes of Anna from Yolke, Lauren from Beautiful Bottoms and Julia from Stylonylon and can hopefully now offer some of my own too….
Beniarras beach in the north was my favourite by far and we ended up going back twice in four days. I normally hate doing that, preferring to always try new places, but we decided to spend our last day stress free and zenned out at our favourite spot of the trip. It might not be the whitest, finest sand, but it has a lovely, relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere that I loved. I was a sucker for the little wooden decks and fishing huts built around the rocks too…
The first time there we had lunch at Elements on the beach which was lovely if very expensive (first food pic) but I will say we had just as good, if not better, at the pizzeria right next door. The staff were friendlier, funner and it cost about quarter of the price. I’d say it definitely pays to look past the renowned beach restaurants and see if there are others nearby as they’ll often be better value and better food. Although if you’re need of a juice, Elements is a great place for getting a superfood hit…
It’s definitely worth going into the old part of Eivissa (Dalt Vila) for an evening. The pretty cobbled streets with their late-night shops and bustling bars and restaurants are everything you’d want from a Mediterranean island.
Restaurant-wise, both La Oliva and La Bodega are meant to be great but we couldn’t get into either sadly so ended up in a random little place just off the main strip. Average food but great people watching!
I made a pact to myself that one day I would have a bathroom as lovely as the one at our Airbnb pool house. And a cat as adorable as theirs too….
Dinner at La Paloma is a must. It’s so romantic and dimly lit I struggled to get any decent photos but these should give a little bit of an idea of the vibe… Mismatched chintzy crockery, inventive cocktails and delicious food. Plus every restaurant or lunch spot seems to have a shop attached to it so there’s literally temptation at every corner. La Paloma’s was one of the prettiest….
Necklaces | Natalie Marie jewellery
En route to Experimental Beach for cocktails and dinner, which sadly proved to be undoubtedly the worst meal we’ve ever had…. Never have we felt so entirely ripped off. Jamie’s measly portion of pasta tasted like vacuum-packed carbonara with shrivelled, cold prawns in it and my chicken was dry, sauce-free (despite saying it had a sauce) and served with raw potato wedges and without the salad I ordered. Can you tell we liked it?!
I don’t normally write negative reviews but I feel like I really have to say this to stop any other fellow foodies paying stupid amounts of money for a meal worse than Pizza Express. It’s a very pretty venue with strings of fairy lights and an old boat decked (geddit) out as a bar. But I would say go for sundowners maybe but skip the food. To top it all off the staff are incredibly inattentive and rude which never makes you feel entirely welcome and happy. Style over substance has never been more accurate I’m afraid….
Sundowners and snacks at Sunset Ashram at Cala Conta. Lovely spot for post-beach drinks but make sure you book ahead – all the tables were reserved from 7 p.m. The beach however was heaving and there was barely space for a towel when we got there at 5.30 pm but I think this was down to the incredibly busy time of year. If you want a good sunset spot, this is the place…
Terracotta is in fact the warmest colour…. More from Ibiza (and Formentera) later this week.
Ph. by myself and James Wright