For me it was the summer of '94. The place was Estellencs, a beautiful town on the very unspoilt, western coast of Majorca. His name was Ariel and I spotted him, dark haired and deeply tanned, on his moped as he sped, several times a day, past the holiday house we were staying in. I adopted that teenage practice of "just popping out" to wander round the town in the hope that he would notice me. One night my hard work paid off. My sister and I excused ourselves after dinner in the local restaurant and headed to "the place to be seen" in town, a little bar along the street. And there the magic of our, albeit brief, holiday romance unfolded.
Estellencs holds a special place in my heart for more than that reason though. That was our second family holiday to this stunning part of Majorca, thanks to the generosity of our neighbours in England who owned the house and allowed us to stay in exchange for a bottle of Bombay Sapphire (I kid you not!), giving us the opportunity to take our very first family holiday's abroad. And so my love affair with Majorca and Estellencs was born.
Several holiday's later of various combinations of family, friends and fiance in various parts of the island we returned this summer for a very special family holiday with my father.
We based ourselves in a beautifully large villa midway between Pollensa and Peurto Pollensa and other than relax by the pool, soak up the hot sunshine and indulge in copious amounts of Spanish coffee and ensaimadas - the most mouth-wateringly delicious Spanish pastry - the only thing on my agenda was to show my girls Estellencs, to see the house again, to have lunch in our favourite restaurant and go down to the beautiful, secluded beach. And that's just what we did!
Having travelled for nearly three hours taking the scenic route around the north coast of the island - it's utterly beautiful, but Majorca's mountainous roads are not for the faint-hearted - lunch at Restaurant Montimar was our first port of call. This was where we, as a young family, would wander up to most evenings. Simple, truly Mallorcian and timeless, lunch was cooked by exactly the same chef and served by exactly the waitress as it was some 22 years ago.
Dorada - the typical Majorcan fish of the day accompanied
by Tumbet - layers of potato and aubergine in a tomato sauce
Pudin Almendra - Almond Pudding, it has the consistency of
a bread and butter pudding and is just so delicious! This slice was
several inches wide and deep and I have no shame in saying
I scoffed the lot!
After lunch it was time to show my girls the town and take them down to the beautiful beach...
Finally, a visit to the house where I've spent so many happy holidays.
Going back to Estellencs was wonderful and emotional for my dad, sister and I returning without Mummy. But with all the wonderful memories of our holidays there it felt poignant yet good. I felt like I'd gone home. Seeing the house was poignant too, even more so as it's up for sale and clearly in need of some tlc. My heart jumped when I realised it was on the market, and it still is. Maybe this was one of those serendipitous moments in life. Who knows? Watch this space! But one thing is for sure, Estellencs I will definitely be seeing you again very soon!