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  • Mark Carney

No Lycra Required ...

We have finally turned the corner and the intensity of the summer sun has hung up its hat for the year and we are now left with these beautiful Autumn days, warm sunshine but no longer the hairdryer effect when you go outside. So today I have swapped the air conditioned office for a little bit of al fresco writing at the Illador hotel down at Pollensa Bay…you can see what inspired writers over the years from this very spot. Of course much has changed since 1924 when it opened its doors but the view across the bay still captivates you, although it’s very easy to lapse into day dreaming!

Last week we decided to have a little holiday and went over to the East side of the island. It is very different to Pollença without the dramatic setting of the mountains but very beautiful and peaceful with countryside reminiscent of Tuscany. Before our staycation we spent a lovely weekend with my cousin and her partner. Lots of fun as always which included a fantastic paella lunch down at Ponderosa Beach, the iconic restaurant on Playa de Muro. Thankfully the ridiculous decision to ban them from placing tables in the sand has been reversed and this year Chef Rafael Serrano and his team are once again producing delicious food to enjoy with your toes and feet in the sand.

As they left us for the airport, we thankfully didn’t have to worry about departure gates and jumped in the car for our hour drive to a beautiful small hotel called Son Penya. We stayed here thanks to a review by Jan Edwards on her eatdrinksleepmallorca blog. Jan was reviewing Chef Gabriel Nebot and his restaurant 5 Sentits at the hotel and gave it a big thumbs up, so for us the perfect place to spend a few nights.

Despite having rain we managed to dodge the showers and get out on the hotel bikes for a ride on the old Manacor to Arta railway line and also along the coast. Now for those of you who are serious bikers and by that I mean embrace the full Lycra kit, then this is probably not going to be one of your top spots for cycling in Mallorca but for those of us who climb onto a saddle once every few years it was fantastic and the little bit of help from the e-bike was most welcome!

The sun did shine and the hotel pool was the perfect spot to get over a bit of saddle sore. The team at Son Penya were very lovely, the service was excellent, food delicious and the location a haven of tranquility, exactly what we wanted. You are also very close to Porto Cristo and although not my favourite place it does have a fantastic restaurant called Quince on the quayside. We had a fabulous dinner here one rainy night and I am sure it would be great for a sunny lunch. Ceviche and the beetroot salad were delicious as was the sea bass we shared.

We finished our final breakfast feast and after a final few more rays of sunshine we left Son Penya happy people. Jan said Son Penya was authentic and had an unpretentious feel, we couldn’t agree more. As we travelled home the late afternoon sun was dipping behind the Tramuntana casting the most beautiful shadows over the hills and mountains…what a place this is.


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