While all the kids are going to bed after a night of clubbing in Ibiza, I’m walking around the Finca Fluxa Botanical Garden (fluxaibiza.com), mowing aromatic herbs to make a bottle of payesas.
In my little breadbasket went sprigs of thyme, rosemary, fennel, veraine, lavender, rue, eucalyptus, chamomile, juniper, spearmint, spearmint, sage, St. John’s wort, and absinthe, which I later tucked into a pint bottle with a stick bottle.
After adding a leaf and sliver of lemon and orange peel, making 18 ingredients in total, I poured in just enough anise to cover the contents up to the middle of the neck—and then an extra dripping sneaky for luck.
Juan Tor, owner of Finca, said, “Now, we shut it down, take it home, and leave it for three months to ferment and drink as a digestive. But if you can’t wait that long to try it, here are some I made earlier.”
He must have seen Blue Peter when he was a kid.
Juan’s 24 payroll liquor, made according to his 100-year-old grandmother’s recipe, is a sip, but I’d never be able to sample – I only had hand luggage and had to leave the bottle behind.
And I won’t get to taste the flao – a traditional Ibizan cheesecake – that I made on Finca Can Muson’s organic farm (ibizacanmuson.com).
On the expert’s instructions from Mother Maria, I mixed, kneaded and pressed the dough into a baking tray, then put my hands in a bowl and pressed together a large wobbly goat’s cheese, four eggs and some finely chopped mint.
I had just got a sticky, sticky consistency when Maria handed me a baby beach bucket overflowing with grass and other bits of green that you normally see on the compost heap.
I thought the poor woman was hugging the homemade herba, until she saw my bewildered expression and laughed.
“No, no – this is to feed the animals,” she said. “Now, pour the cheese mixture into the tin and I’ll put it in the oven. The floo will be ready when you get back.”
There’s nothing quite as calming as feeding cute goats, piglets and Shetland ponies on a sunny day on an organic farm that smells of flowers and herbs.
The floo looked and smelled great, but with just that carry-on I had to donate it to the farm kindergarten, where kids learn all about growing fruits and vegetables.
I stayed at the Aguas de Ibiza Grand Luxe (aguasdeibiza.com) at Santa Eulalia, which was a super luxurious experience, but could have done with a few tweaks to fully deserve its five-star status.
I’ve never seen a breakfast buffet so sumptuous, omelettes cooked to order are divine, but service doesn’t start until 8am, which is a pain for early risers; And when I ordered coffee, it took time to arrive, cup after cup – it doesn’t make sense to deliver it in a pint pot so guests don’t have to wait so long to start consuming caffeine.
The outdoor rooftop bar closed at midnight, but this is probably a seasonal thing, and there were very few tables and chairs to sit and enjoy a drink, although there was plenty of room for more.
These are sayings from the first world. However, the strip lighting on some parts of the decking floor should be called flight lighting – it’s so dim and misleading in parts that I almost had to do it twice on my ass on the way to the bathroom.
Regardless, the staff are absolute points and could not have been more gracious, and my room, with its separate ceramic bathroom, was so large that I could have cycled around, even though the cleaners weren’t. very happy.
I went cycling and luckily on a battery powered bike (kandani.es) delivered to the hotel door for two hours along coastal paths, past pristine beaches, through woodlands and beside wheat fields rippling in the breeze.
Ibizan-born guide Gomi, a self-employed graphic designer who leads bike tours in his spare time, was a great company and a line of information about the history and culture of the third largest of the Balearic Islands, after Mallorca and Menorca.
While stopping in a hole in a roadside café, I asked him, as casually as possible, if he had heard anything on the news about an outbreak of cheesecake poisoning the previous afternoon at Mawson’s Kindergarten.
He didn’t, which was a huge relief. Either the kids loved my creation and told their mothers it was the best flavor they had ever tasted, or Maria had other ideas and fed it to the goats, who weren’t too concerned about what to eat.
Jaume’s colleague was waiting with a bike-collecting truck when we got to downtown Santa Eulalia, where a quick lunch provided fuel for our kayaking adventure.
The option on the hotel’s afternoon menu was a poolside yoga session, God loved us, but since I didn’t bring any WD-40 with me, it took all evening – and a half pound of Kerrygold – to get my ankles down the back of my neck.)
So was kayaking, off Es Figueral Beach in the northwest of the island, where the sea was calm and the waters clear and shallow – perfect conditions for leisurely kayaking.
Paulo dell’Agnolo, whose parents immigrated to Ibiza from Argentina as a child, set up his trading company 15 years ago with two used boats and a rickety pickup truck that he drove from beach to beach in search of customers.
Now he has his own headquarters (kayak-ibiza.com) and a small flotilla of brightly colored kayaks and vacationers flock to it. Good things happen to good people.
While the 90 minutes of paddling with Paulo was fun, it was far from entertaining. The only exercise my shoulder usually does is when I get up in the morning and stretch before I yawn and reach for the snooze button. Rowing is a different kettle of fish.
You know how to carry two heavy Lidl shopping bags home, then place them on the kitchen floor with your arms above your head? This was really yours when I finally got back to the beach – it looked like someone was pointing a gun at me.
However, thanks to Paulo’s banter on the water and despite the wear and tear on my shoulder, it was a lot of fun.
There were less taxes It was a three-hour boat ride at sunset from San Antonio to watch a clear blue sky turn orange, pink and red while sipping a beer and dipping into tortillas de patatas and coca slices, the traditional flat balearic bread with just a couple of sweet toppings or saline;
Docked a few hundred meters from a cliff-top restaurant, we enjoyed the scene of an outdoor wedding reception, as Bruno Mars sang “Hello baby, I think I want to marry you” from the venue’s speakers.
Unknown to the happy couple and their guests, in a small bay at the bottom of the cliff, a model who didn’t care who could see her from the water was turning into bikinis and stepping out for a photo.
I was told that dolphins were also hopping around the boat, but for some reason I missed it.
I miss Ibiza too, although I just came back, but isn’t this a sign of a place worth visiting?
Musonet . canin San Rafael, open only on weekends, but do yourself a great favor and reserve a table for lunch or dinner – it’s the best restaurant I’ve been to in years (canmussonet.com).
Agrotourism can KoryoSan Carlos has a beautiful garden for outdoor dining (cancurreu.com).
Ka Na Ripsin Santa Eulalia, has a lot to praise, especially the simple and wonderful rayon baked with potatoes in a juicy sauce (FBcanaribes).
it’s hotoutside of Santa Eulalia, will delight those who love grilled meat served under the stars (escaliuibiza.com).
Ryanair (ryanair.com) fly from Dublin to Ibiza. For more information about holidays on the island, see Ibiza And the spain.info.
Tom was a guest of the Spanish Tourist Office in Dublin.