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  • Writer's pictureMark Carney

The perfect opening for Sala61

It has been a busy few days in Pollença as our dream to create a new cultural venue finally came to life on Thursday evening with the launch of the Sala61 Culture Lounge. A mixed bag of emotions as the big day arrived, apprehension, nervousness and excitement. Would people come, would they like it, did we have the right event and would our Spanish be up to it?

This story all started on a drive back from France about seven years ago after our daughter Lex had been on an intensive cello course. It was a rather rustic venue, in fact Lex spent a lot of time in a former pig pen…I guess it was character building…I’m sure she will have her own memory of the experience!

As we waved goodbye to the hosts of the course, Sam turned to me and said ‘you know we could do this’. ‘Absolutely’ was my resounding reply ‘but where, and you surely don’t mean with the pig pens?'! We had been contemplating a house move and have always loved Mallorca. So of course within the blink of an eye I was hunting around on estate agents web sites and the two ideas came together..,we were off to live in Mallorca!

That makes it all sound so simple but there were quite a few hurdles on the way and plenty of lively debates about the property we should buy, where it should be, the budget and ultimately whether we had gone completely mad. Fast forward a few years whilst remembering the challenges of Brexit, a global pandemic and a four year build project that has made us smile, cry and ultimately very happy that we have arrived at this point.

You see Sala61 is not just a venue but part of our house, in fact a rather large part as it’s the entire ground floor. The little idea we had in our car journey has certainly evolved. Cello courses are definitely still on the horizon but now we hope to have a lot more events that will be a great experience for locals and visitors to Pollença.

On Thursday night we opened the doors to our home to welcome our neighbours, the people of Pollença and visitors to celebrate what we feel is a life time achievement. Our super talented godson, William, opened with a piano recital that enthralled and entertained about 40 people and then on Friday night we had a fabulous wine tasting and music pairing night where Will and the Wine Industry took us on a journey through the seasons. Once again beautiful piano music drifted around the Sala61 cultural lounge whilst we sniffed, sipped and sampled some delicious Spanish wines.

Without this becoming a thank you speech at an award ceremony we really couldn’t have got here without some amazing support from our friends and family but also the truly wonderful people we have met since moving to Pollença. They are a huge part of this story and have made us value even more the decision to give this a go!

You might be wondering what happened to Lex after the pig pen experience? We are very proud parents as she is now off to the Royal College of Music for a Post Grad. It's a big thank you to her for being part of the inspiration to make this move and we can’t wait for her cello debut this summer in the lounge!


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