Spain – Mallorca/Palma 2018

I’m back home for a while, but I was so busy with my van, that I didn’t find the time yet to write about being in Mallorca. Every year I go to the Spanish island with work. So it’s like a work holiday, but being in the lovely sunshine, surrounded by mountains and delicious food, feels a bit like a holiday for me too. We always stay in the same villa, with more family members. There are 2 cooks, that serve breakfast, lunch and a 3 course dinner every day. Breakfast is loads of yummy fruit, what is always a good start of the day. They also make sure that they cook vegan meals for me, what I so appreciate. It’s always very tasty. In the 7 days that we’re there, I always get a day off to myself. This was already the 4th year I was there, but in the previous years I’ve never made the trip to Palma. This year I was thinking about it, but I was doubting if I really wanted to go, because it’s about an hour drive. Only on the morning itself, just before I got up, I decided to go for it.

So I got ready and drove away around 10ish. I ate an apple on the way for breakfast, with the hopes I would find lots of nice vegan food in the big city. I already checked and there were several vegan places around. I was very hopeful. I parked the car in a parking garage close to the centre and walked towards one of the places I planned to visit. On the way I bumped into a lovely pair of shorts and a top and I changed into that after I payed for it. A nice, useful souvenir. It was hot, but not as hot as last year (over 37C with no breeze) and it was very doable, wandering around the little streets. Palma is a very lovely city. Not breathtaking, but very easy-going and welcoming. It has nice little streets and it’s a mixture of Spanish and modern shops.

The first place I wanted to visit was called ‘My Muy Bueno’. It was a little tricky to find at first. I walked around, but I couldn’t find it. Turned out I already walked past it twice, cuz you have to look up. It’s situated on the first level and you need to get the stairs to reach it. Once I found it, I walked inside and I was pleasantly surprised. It look so so nice! It was so stylish, with a lovely interior and great eye for detail. Delicious looking food was right in front of me and I was greeted very kindly by the girl behind the counter. I went for a mixed salad, with a piece of seeded loaf and a fresh juice. I also got a Blondie and I couldn’t resist getting a raw snicker bar too. I could choose the salads I wanted and it tasted incredible! I really enjoyed every mouthful. For dessert I had the snicker bar, as it was likely to melt if I had it take away. It was so good too.. my goodness. Something else I really like about this place it that the plastic they use, is made out of plants and so it’s 100% biodegradable. What made me think, if this is a possibility (and you can make everything out of this as the girl handed me a sheet with all the information), why is all plastic we use not made out of this right now? My Muy Bueno also organises cooking workshops and next to the little restaurant there is a big area with kitchens, where they are given. How lovely! The girl who was serving me was super friendly and after a lovely chat I left to go do a bit of sightseeing.

I walked up to the big cathedral and I know I said that Palma wasn’t per se breathtaking, but this cathedral is! It’s huge and very beautiful. I sat there in the shade for a while, admiring it. It’s definitely worth a visit. When I walked a little further I bumped into the ‘Palau March Museum’ and I love museums, so I decided to get a ticket. It was only 4,50. There were some sculptures in the little square right after entering, I didn’t particular like, but the surroundings were very nice. It just wasn’t really my style. What I did really like is that they had a statue of Rodin and I like his work, so that was really nice. Going inside I didn’t know what to expect, but I was definitely not expecting what I saw. In the museum were a lot of little figures (people and animals), creating a scenery. The human figures were about 30 cm tall I think. They were made with real precision and all of them had their own expressions. There were a lot of animals too, that were almost all used for food or entertainment, what made me a little sad though. The building had several rooms and in another room they created a scenery of the stable, right after the birth of baby Jesus. It wasn’t only the stable, but also the village surrounding it. The every day life if you will. It was very interesting. It all dated from the 18th century and is the biggest collection in the world. Up stairs there was also some antique furniture and along the way there were several paintings (I didn’t particulate like). It’s only a little museum and I didn’t spend more then 45 minutes, but it was nice.

I walked around Palma a bit, looking at the shops, the buildings and everything. I got a delicious peach from a tiny supermarket and I had it as a snack. Then I almost walked all the way back to the car, because there were 2 other vegan places I wanted to check out and they were towards the parking garage. The first one was called ‘Vegan&Raw’. They do fresh juices and several raw food options. When I arrived it turned out that they were just closing though, but the very kind lady let met buy 2 juices anyway. Lucky me! It looked really nice btw and I think it’s nice to actually have lunch there when it’s open. It was almost time to have some dinner and that’s why I walked towards a place called ‘Compost’. To be honest, I wasn’t very hungry yet, but as I was there and I wanted to check out the nicest vegan places, I went anyway and had something light. I ordered a chai tea and I went for the nori bites. Black rice and vegetables, wrapped in a nori sheet. Like sushi. It was delicious and the lady who served me was very kind. The place itself was ok, but a bit dark and dated. I’m sure if they would make it a bit lighter it would look very different already. For the food it’s definitely recommended though.

Then I went back to the car and drove to Porta Pollenca. It’s a harbour town close to where the villa is. I spend half an hour in the sea and I ate my blondie right before I headed back. The blondie was very good btw!

I had a lovely day and I would recommend you to go to Palma to check it out for yourself. They have some very good vegan cafes and restaurants and it’s a lovely day out. Out of everything I would say, definitely go to My Muy Bueno if you only have time to go to one thing. It’s so worth it!

HOTSPOT LIST:
My Muy Bueno –  Floor 1, Carrer de Tous i Maroto, 5B, 07001, Palma.
Palau March Museum – Carrer del Palau Reial, 18, 07001, Palma.
Vegan&Raw – Plaça del Bisbe Berenguer de Palou, nº2, 07003, Palma.
Compost – Carrer de Rubén Darío, 4, 07012, Palma.

Have you been to Mallorca yet? You should definitely go and check out these lovely places. Please let me know if you do! You can leave a comment or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

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Spain – Mallorca 2017

A little more than 2 weeks ago I was still on the (very) sunny Spanish island, Mallorca. I’ve had a lovely week there. It was a working-holiday, as I travelled with the family I used to work for, as their nanny. They go every year, with family and this is the 3rd time I went with them. You might remember it from last year. If you didn’t read that yet, you can read it here if you like. So it was the same group of people and the same lovely chefs who cooked me amazing vegan food every day. There are some hotspots in the end of this article too, in case you decide to go to Mallorca yourself.

FRIDAY
Our flight was at 12:50, from Luton. I left my flat around 9:30 and got there perfectly on time. There was was a very little delay, but 2 hours later we landed. The rental car was ready and so I drove (I love driving) us all to the villa. It’s about an hour drive from the airport and so we got there around the kids dinner time. Dinner is served around 20:30 and they made me the most delicious carrot soup as a starter and my main was an oven dish with potatoes, aubergines and tomatoes. So delicious! For dessert I had a soy chocolate pudding. The rest of the evening I just relaxed a bit, before an early sleep.

SATURDAY
It’s so hot here. Like 35C-37C.. and it will stay like this the whole time we are here. Luckily the vila has a swimming pool. So we swam all morning. For lunch we had a lovely pasta. This is I think one of my favourite things they make here (though it’s hard to choose). Delicious pasta, with cherry tomatoes from the vegetable garden, garlic and fresh rocket on top. Simple, but define. In the afternoon we collected fruits and veggies in the vegetable garden and the orchard: tomatoes, aubergines, beans, bell peppers and lemons. For dinner they made me a salad with melon and potato crisps as a starter. Couscous with peanuts, aubergine and a broccoli burger for main and one of the chefs made me an amazing chocolate cake for dessert. It was so so good and I ate from it the rest of the week, lucky me!

SUNDAY
The chefs were not here this day, so everybody who got up first, helped with getting breakfast ready. So like every morning I had lots of nice fruit for breakfast (breakfast here must be my favourite moment of the day as it’s all different kinds of fresh fruit. We then went swimming all day long, as it was super hot. For lunch I had some leftovers from yesterday and after everybody’s siesta, we picked some delicious grapes in the vineyard to snack on. For dinner I had the left overs from last Friday, the potato dish with aubergine and tomato, so yummy. And of course I had a piece of cake (duuh!). After dinner I went for a quiet swim, just to cool down (such a relaxing moment). Then had a shower and spend my time reading. First outside, but there were too many mosquitos, so I had to go inside. I’m read Marie Kondo and I still am actually.

MONDAY
It was, again, a super hot day today. As usual, I started the morning with lots of yummy fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice and then went swimming almost all morning. I had some very nice and huge (and delicious!) potato fritters, with salad and baked apples for lunch. In the afternoon we all went to the nearest town, called Pollenca. We were going to get an ice cream and lucky me, they had a delicious strawberry sorbet. It was nice to have a change of scenery for a bit and Pollenca is a lovely place. I was starving for dinner, but I didn’t eat anything until dinner, because the portions are always quite big and I wanted to enjoy it to the fullest. I had an avocado salad as a starter, very yummy baked potatoes and broccoli for main and another piece of delicious chocolate cake for dessert. Well worth the wait!

TUESDAY
After breakfast and a quick swim, we went to the Formentor beach. It was such a nice ride, over the mountains. Mallorca is really beautiful. The beach was bus, but not too busy. The children loved it. A lot more than me, haha.. because though I love the idea of beach and sea, I don’t really want to go into the sea too far. As I have this huge control freak fear of not knowing what’s under and around me. It was still nice to be on the beach though and I did go in the water a little bit. We also had lunch there. I had the vegetarian pizza without cheese, what was quite nice. So much better than the pizza’s I’ve had in Spain before. Then we went back to the villa for our siesta. Before dinner I read some of my book in the hammock and it started raining a little, what was amazing, as I love rain. Especially in combination with hot temperatures. Dinner was bruschetta on very delicious nut bread for a starter. Then for main I had some rice, with grilled veggies and an avocado. And another piece of chocolate cake for dessert. It was the last piece, but we sliced it in half, so I can have another piece tomorrow (yay!). It was raining after dinner again, so I hurried outside and I just lied down on the terrace, what was still very hot from the sun. The feeling to the warm tiles, the cold rains drops on my skin whilst staring at an olive tree and a black sky was just a great moment of happiness.

WEDNESDAY
Like yesterday we went out after breakfast and a quick swim. This time we went to the beach in Port de Polenca, a 15-20 min drive. Almost everybody came, so we were with a big group. The sea was calm and clear here, so I was ok going in until the water was a little over my knee. After that we had lunch and all the kids behaved so well. I ordered an asparagus and buckwheat salad, without cheese and honey. It was an alright salad, but it was mostly just lettuce. There was I think 1 asparagus  (cut up) and maybe 1 tbs (yes really!) of buckwheat. Luckily there were some fries to fill me up too. In the afternoon we all went swimming at the villa again. Because the chefs were off today, I helped making dinner for the kids. When they all went to sleep, I made some dinner for myself with some leftover veggies and rice. Super yum! Almost everybody went out for dinner that evening and when the kids were all sleeping, I went for a quick topless swim, lovely! Then a shower and some reading, before going to sleep. It was a lovely last work day!

THURSDAY
My day off! I had a very easy morning, some relaxing and sorting out some things for my blog etc. I missed breakfast, but that was ok as I was going out anyway. I was able to take the car all day, what was super handy. First I made a quick stop at Pollenca as I saw some earrings there earlier, which I couldn’t forget. Buddha hand earrings, that will match my ring. At the same shop, what is called ‘Nilay’ btw, I also got 2 bracelets for the kids from work. The oldest loves all my tree of life things and I found a tree of life bracelet for her. For the younger one I bought a braided colourful bracelet. I hope they’ll like it. Then I drove to Port de Pollenca to go to this place called ‘Bellaverde’. A vegetarian place with lots of vegan options. I had brunch here, with yogurt, fruit, muesli and a (very perfect) croissant. You also get orange juice with this. Not the best juice, but it certainly looks nice on the plate. I did really enjoy it all together. It was a beautiful little restaurant (a must go!), with a garden to sit in, under big old fig trees. There were also 2 cats, so sweet! From there I drove to Alcudia, which is only a 10 min drive from Port de Pollenca. I parked the car and walked around a bit. A funny thing is that the exact same shop (Nilay), with the same earrings was here too, what made my Pollenca stop a little unnecessary. Oh well.. It was sooooo hot though. When I passed an ice cream shop and asked for the sorbets, they had quite a few, so I picked mango, passion fruit and banana. It wasn’t the best sorbet, very sweet and with bits of ice in it, but it did help for the heat. I went here to find a place called ‘Verdeteja’, another vegetarian place. I walked around a bit, taking pics of beautiful little streets, when suddenly I bumped into Verdeteja. I must be a magnet to vegan food, hehe.. I was still full from brunch and I was eating the sorbet, so I decided to come back later. Instead I sat down on somebodies doorstep (in front of a beautiful old door), in a lovely quiet street, to finish my sorbet. There was even a little breeze. Perfect! Then I went for a little walk, but it was just too hot for this. What explained why there was almost nobody on the street. I still wasn’t very hungry, but I decided to have lunch anyway, because it was simply too hot to stay in the village and I really wanted to go an review this place. It turned out that only 2 products in this shop are not vegan, what does make it, very officially, a vegetarian shop. The vegan products were all very nice. It’s a tiny place, but the products are good, tasty and helpful. Like these very nice raw biscuits from Mrs. Sweet (I’m afraid its only in Spanish).The lady was so nice too! I felt super comfortable and welcome. She cooks a dish every morning and it’s almost always vegan (sometimes it’s quiche, what contains egg). I had gazpacho as a starter, courgettie with an amazing tomato sauce for main and a delicious carrot-banana cake for dessert. I was very full after though. I did buy 3 of the Mrs. Sweet biscuits, to try for later. Back at the car I first had to cool down a little bit, before driving up. I drove up to Penya Fort and further, (until I wasn’t allowed to go any further) it was absolutely breathtaking! A little narrow road up to a mountain, along the coast. It was hard to let another car pass, but it was all well worth it. A beautiful view with such blue water, very nice! Coming back down the mountain I drove back to Port de Pollenca and spend an hour in the (shallow) sea. I snacked on the biscuits I got and they were very tasty. Especially if you like a lemony taste, you’ll love them. Then I drove back up to another mountain and enjoyed the amazing view and the sunset. After I took about 10 pictures for other tourists (as a single girl, I was the person to ask! Haha! It’s a good thing I like doing it..), I drove back to the villa. By the time I got back it was a little after 21:00. I packed my suitcase and took a shower, ready for the last night. This day was a lovely end of this very nice week. I sooo enjoyed this day!

HOTSPOT LIST:
Nilay (jewellery shop) – Carrer d’Alcúdia, 14, 07460 Pollença.
Bellaverde – Carrer de les Monges, 14, 07470 Pollença.
Verdeteja – Carrer del Lledoner, 13, 07400 Alcúdia.

I had an amazing week! Have you been to Mallorca yet? You should definitely go and check out these lovely places. Please let me know if you do! You can leave a comment or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Spain – Mallorca

14037802_1213183238725777_1913738389_oThe family I work for go to Mallorca every year. There is a lot of their family too and they stay for a whole week in a villa with a swimming pool, vegetable garden en a lot of space. It’s breathtaking. Last year I came with them and this year I went with them again. I feel very fortunate that I can come with them as Mallorca is beautiful and the family is very nice.
In the villa there are 2 ladies who cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for all of us and they’re so sweet to make vegan meals especially for me. I so appreciate that! The food they make is amazing. Everything tastes so much better in Spain. The tomatoes smell like tomatoes and they’re deep red and their flavour is mouth-watering. So different from the salad 13932143_1213183205392447_749421339_otomatoes in the London supermarkets. And then the oranges.. I mean.. Oranges ripened under the Spanish sun, without pesticides. Do I need to say more?!

We arrived Friday the 29th, just before the kids dinner. The weather was amazing. Between the 30C-35C and its was going to be like that for the whole week. It’s hot, but not as hot as you think. Quite perfect actually as long as you don’t stand in the burning sun around midday.
They do dinner quite late, around 20:30. So after I did some unpacking and the kids were sleeping I just relaxed a bit, watching my series on Netflix, waiting for dinner to be ready. My starter was a lovely salad with balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, orange slices and bread on the side. 13987062_1213183165392451_570688126_oFor the main course they had super delicious rice with green beans and some delicious tofu. Th dessert was very yummy too. Fresh fruit, cut up, with freshly squeezed orange juice. The fruit here is so amazing! This was just the first evening, but the whole week I had delicious food. Like ‘avocado salads’, ‘pasta with fresh garlic, cherry tomatoes and rucola’, ‘an oven dish with tomatoes, aubergine and potatoes’ and ‘raw coconut chocolate balls’. All meals were very nice, but out of everything I think I liked breakfast the most. Just because every morning there was a big big fruit platter ready in the middle of the table with more than 10 different kinds of fresh fruits. I love fruit and every morning my heart skipped a beat when I saw it. The day the ladies had a day of I even had the chance to make one myself that morning. So lovely!

14037471_1213183282059106_572121707_oAnother very nice thing was that there was a black street cat. He was very skinny and hungry, but so sweet and lovely. He was shy at first, but with a lot of patience and calmness he felt more and more comfortable and even the kids could stroke him. And not only he liked to be stroked on his back, but you could touch him everywhere. He was a true sweetheart and I really bonded with him. What was unfortunate in a way as I of course wanted to take him home. If I had the space in London I’m sure I’d take him to a local vet on my day off, to get him vaccinated and chipped. 14037822_1213183362059098_118626460_oInstead of doing that I went to Inca on my day off. A town not far from where we were staying. Inca is quite a shopping town and the day I went there was a big market. I went here because there is a vegan cafe there and I needed to check that out of course. I parked the car under a supermarket, which was nice, because then it wouldn’t be so hot when I come back.
On my way to the market I saw such a sad thing. On the pavement, under a few trees there were animals locked op in tiny cages. Rabbits, chickens, chicks, ducklings, birds.. there was almost no space for them to move around and with 35C they were so hot. The birds were all opening their mouth, from stress and trying to keep cool. It was 14037862_1213183312059103_152760932_oheartbreaking and I wanted to shout at the people who’re selling them and shout at the people who’re buying them. I felt so powerless. How could they do this to them? Was I the only one there who thought this was just not normal?! There was a little girl who was picking out a bird. This is the trouble. Nobody was telling or teaching here that this isn’t the way of treating animals. She was happy to get a pet and she’d probably grow up thinking that this is normal. I just stood there, being angry and feeling devastated. It was such a bad start of my day. I hate to walk away and leave the poor creatures.
13987852_1213183328725768_451265783_oIt was very crowded, but I was looking for my vegan cafe. Following the map I found it easily. It’s in a little street, away from the market. You wouldn’t think there was a cafe if you’d just look at the street. I was very excited. The cafe is called ‘Acai’ and the entrance looks very nice. Inside it wasn’t really what I expected it to be. First of all there was nobody, apart from a few guys sitting around a table in the middle. Second.. the place was quite big, a bit too big to create a nice atmosphere. There were tables with chairs randomly put down to fill it up, but it looked a bit odd. Now this might sound a little negative, but it was just not what I expected. The place was only open for 2 months and so that explained a lot. I do really like it that there was a vegan cafe and that they tried to make it nice with the things 14037704_1213183382059096_505720343_oavailable. What I also really liked were the handmade things on the wall from ‘Jipita’, which were for sale. Especially the huge dreamcatcher without feathers and a peace sign was really nice. It’s not only a cafe, cuz in one corner there was a little vegan shop, called ‘Lo Vegano’ with all vegan stuff. I couldn’t resist to buy some cheese, spacebars and chocolate biscuits. Then I had my lunch. They guy who served me was very nice and friendly and though he said his English wasn’t very good, it was no problem at all to talk to him. There were a lot of nice things on the menu, but they also had a burger and of course I went for the burger, haha!  They only had 1 smoothie, an Acai smoothie and as I didn’t have a smoothie for a while I ordered that one too. The burger came with chips, cheese, bread, olives and garlic mayonnaise. Quite a lot for only 14009843_1213183318725769_1766107487_none person, but it was so good!! The burger was just amazing, the chips so tasty, the garlic mayonnaise so delicious and the smoothie.. I’ve never had such a good smoothie and I’m not joking. This was the best smoothie ever! I really enjoyed my lunch. It would have been nice to go there again, but the next day we were leaving, so no chance. I really enjoyed my lunch and I really recommend it. So when you’re in Mallorca and you happened to be close to Inca, definitely go and have a meal here. Or at least try the smoothie! On my way back to the car I walked past a jewellery market stand and saw a beautiful hanger for a neckless. A silver Ganesh! I just had to get it. Now I only have to find something to hang it around my neck, but I’m sure I can find something in London. It made me so happy, as it is so beautiful!

14045095_1213183358725765_841688693_oI still had the afternoon to spend and I decided to go to a place I also went last year, called ‘Port de Pollenca’. I’d be only 15 minutes away from the villa and so it would be easy to go back from there. I went for a little stroll near the water and the little shops and then decided to do some sunbathing. Normally I’m not a big fan of the beach, just because (and I know this sounds slightly ridiculous) there is sand everywhere. It sticks on everything and even after a shower you have the idea that it’s still there. I went anyway. I brought my towel and some smoothies I bought in the supermarket in Inca. It was actually quite nice. I figured out that, because I was on my own I enjoyed it a lot more. The sand was still sticky, but at least I was able to do what I wanted. I went into the sea, had a little dip, looked at the fishes and then back to my towel and I did that as many times as I wanted. Also I had the time and so I made sure I was all dried up and almost sand free before I put my clothes on again. I really enjoyed it! 14012969_1213183338725767_159322694_oFor dinner I went to a restaurant called ‘Cappuccino’. They had an organic quinoa salad over there and so I had that, together with a very expensive organic lemonade (8 euro’s for basically 2 glasses). It was delicious though, but knowing there are lemons growing everywhere in Spain I thought the price was just crazy. I stayed a little longer, just to watch the people and then again I went for a little stroll through the little streets and then walked back to my car. It started to be a little dark already and so it was time to go back. It was a lovely day!

14012710_1213183285392439_1023298818_oThe next morning we left to fly to Geneva, where we will be staying the rest of August. So a lot of goodbyes and not knowing I’d come back here again, I sure enjoyed this week!
It did break my heart to leave the cat and I hope he’ll be fine. I’m still thinking about him and wish I could do something for him. ❤

 

Did you go to Mallorca? Or are you going? Let me know if you know ‘Acai’ or if you’re going after reading this. You can leave a comment or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X