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Travel guides

Palma

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Elena Gual
guide
Patricia Roman
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Casar Canudas

Although I live in London, I was born in Majorca, and I still have all my childhood friends here. You might say that I only come back for holidays, but I always try to follow the same routine as when I’m in London; in my art works, I can see changes in the colours and moods of my paintings, depending on where I happen to be. Of course, Palma is extra special. It has its unique spots. When we find a place we love, my friends and I like to keep going back to it.

It’s only a good start to the day if I can have breakfast at Santosha. I love it because, apart from the excellent food, they have a lot of respect for vegans, vegetarians and people with various food intolerances. They’ve succeeded in creating a really pleasant atmosphere with the décor - and especially with the staff who always make me feel at home. I always recommend it.

A place I love to go for lunch is Picco. They have three restaurants. They are all equally good, but my favourite is the one in Paseo Mallorca, in Palma.

The best thing about going there in a group is that they have an Italian menu and an Asian menu. So there’s always something to please everyone - although I always order their sushi, which is amazing.

Spot, near the Santa Catalina district, is another of my favourite places. When I go to a restaurant, I normally have the set menu, but here I can be bold, and try the rest of the menu knowing I won’t regret it. They have put a lot of thought into their style and décor. In fact, I’d like to work in collaboration with them one day.

There are so many special places in Palma, in terms of their location as well as their food. If I had to single one out, I’d go for Ribello which, for me, is the best Italian restaurant in Palma right now. Here, you can enjoy good Italian cooking in the heart of Palma. I’m proud that they have hung some of my photographs there. I’ll probably end up having one of my paintings hanging there as well! What a place! I highly recommend it!

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Born in Palma and a huge fan of the city, Patricia recommends magical places where she goes to eat breakfast, to keep fit, to have lunch, to relax, to go shopping or to have dinner.

For breakfast bites:
Rosevelvet Bakery where, as soon as she sees me, Rosa Planisi sets about carefully preparing my breakfast: my classic coffee with oat milk and avocado on toast with a poached egg. As well as healthy breakfasts, they bake delicious red velvet cakes and prepare daily specials.

La Molienda. Their cooking focuses on breakfasts made with organic, local, seasonal ingredients. Their specialities are home-made granola and organic sheep’s yogurt, from a small producer on Majorca. The business’s greatest asset is María José’s passion for keeping alive the island’s traditional products.

Where to practise yoga:
Mysore Mallorca is a centre specialising in Ashtanga Yoga. My instructors, Lleo and Siau, are experienced teachers with a cheerful approach to their work. I’ve been practising this type of yoga for years, and I find it simple and effective. This school has become the place where I try to develop and improve the best of myself, both physically and mentally.

Where to have lunch and relax:
Beach Club Gran Folies is a hidden gem in Andratx. It retains the true quintessence of the island. It’s a place on the beach front where you can enjoy a day’s relaxation by the swimming pool and the Balinese beds. Its tranquil ambience is ideal for chilling by doing yoga, having a relaxing massage, having a dip in the swimming pool or the sea, enjoying one of their healthy dishes for lunch, such as bluefin tuna with coriander cous cous or a healthy salad with a detox milkshake, or watching the sun set while sipping a cocktail.

Beauty centres:
Silke Von Rolbiezki, where I am happy to have my hair taken care of by Silke, a dedicated hairdresser, expert colourist, and all-round fan of beauty and good taste. Her salon has an exquisite décor - relaxing, intimate and harmonious - and her team make me feel at home and treat me like a queen. They use high quality products by La Biosthétique, and offer the most exclusive treatments.

Calm Slow Beauty. In this calm, charming beauty parlour, all the treatments are organic and vegan. What I love most is the care that Rosario lavishes on my eyelashes and nails. I’m a great fan of natural eyelash lifting and Fedua’s semipermanent vegan manicures.

Where to go shopping:
Paula’s Room is undiluted style with independent and international brands, including Scandinavian. I always shop for my clothes at Dinamarca, guided by the advice of the owner, Antonia. Anine Bing is my favourite brand, along with others, including Ganni and Samsoe & Samsoe. Here you can find lingerie, clothes, jewellery, shoes and much more.

Dolores Promesas is a positive, courageous woman, who sets out to make her dreams come true, and reflects that in her designs. It is a vintage-style brand made in Spain. I can really relate to their long dresses, which I find perfect for special occasions. The fit is amazing!

Palma Dog. I’m never far from my little dog, Noa, a lovely, affectionate labrador. When we go for a walk through Palma, we absolutely have to call in at this shop, where Ulf advises me on organic food for Noa. They also have the most creative, artisan accessories for pets, made with natural materials

Where to go for dinner:
La Rosa del Mar, a new Grupo Garito gourmet restaurant, is a genuine tribute to creative Mediterranean cooking, inspired, and of the highest quality. You can choose from fresh fish, flavourful rice dishes or succulent meats, along with the finest wines. The sticky rice with Sóller prawns and the lobster with eggs are out of this world. After dinner there, the ideal way to round off the evening is enjoying a drink and good music at Garito Café.

There’s nothing to compare with the dawn in the port of Sóller, where I live, that moment when the sun peeks in through the window to tell me that the day is beginning. In the morning, I often get my bike and go for breakfast at the Hotel Finca Ca N'Aí, where I can gaze out over the peaceful valley and listen to the birds singing while I have breakfast on the fantastic terrace. All this, together with the friendliness of the staff and the magic of the location, make this a unique spot.

When the sun is warming the earth and the first thermal currents are rising, those are the ideal conditions for my sport. I get my Hyundai Tuscon out, and I drive towards Alcudia, one of the best places for paragliding. I wait there for my Madventure team, my company. We go on tandem flights, which enables me to share my passion for flying with others. I recommend it to everyone! When we’ve finished flying, we return to the port of Sóller. By now it’s lunchtime, so what could be better to recharge the batteries than some fresh fish at Villa Luisa?

The afternoon draws on, so it’s time for the best activities. Nothing could beat taking out a boat from Maksiboats, in the port of Sóller, and sailing around the northeastern coast - one of the best! Traditional and underwater fishing are two of my other passions. It’s such a treat to take your dinner home with you!

Another of my favourite places is Minibar, on the harbour of the port of Sóller. It’s one of the best spots to sip a good cocktail and enjoy watching the sunset among pleasant company.

For dinner, I love La Base, which has barbecues where you can cook your fish yourself. It’s the perfect setting in which to enjoy live music or nibble a snack from the food trucks.