Port Andratx (of Puerto Andratx if you know your Spanish) was base for my two weeks in Mallorca and despite only being a little place it never disappointed. The town’s row of restaurants line the seafront and cast a watchful eye over the bay and marina where boats, from small Mallorquin fishing boats to luxury mega-yachts, motor in and out throughout the day and night.
During the day fishing boats lay out their nets to dry in the sun and the fish market sells prawns and squid by the bucket load to the locals and the sea-front restaurant. Moving back from the sea front and away from the fishy smell you enter into a labyrinth of narrow streets which are lined with boutiques, architects, flashy estate agents, sunglasses shops, cafes and more interiors shops than you can shake a stick at! There is a wonderful atmosphere as people browse and the shops and drink coffee on the tables set up on the pavements. But why spend time shopping when you could be out at sea…the best time to visit the town is by night!
Fire eaters, street entertainers and Spanish buskers playing Daft Punk on a bongo drum…the place comes alive at night. For a cheap and cheerful down to earth dinner then everyone knows Coppola is the place to go. This small restaurant, best known for its incredible pizza, is always full so getting there early is definitely recommended. As the only place in the bay to do take-away you will see stacks on pizzas being rushed out from the kitchen and flung onto the front passenger seats of cars which swing by from the villas in the hills to come and get their dinner for the night. And I think it is safe to say that despite being the cheapest the pizzas at Coppola surpassed any other…even those in posh upmarket restaurants!
But if a slightly more fancy restaurant is more your thing then you have choice aplenty and may even be able to do some celebrity spotting from your table if you choose the right one. Porto Bello was one of my favourites…not only was the food brilliant but it’s family run and has some of the friendliest waiters (the most entertaining being Pepe). We had chipirones, which are baby squid (like calamares but even tastier), seafood paella and salmon fettuccine- all of which was a complete treat for the taste buds. As the evening grew darker and as people started to migrate from Porto Bello to get their ice-cream from Capri we noticed the owners sitting on the terrace of the restaurant having their own supper which added charm and lashings of character to the place.
After food there is always room for a chilled Tanqueray and tonic or a zesty mojito. Tim’s was a great English bar for enjoying such tipples. Usually the idea of an English bar abroad fills me with a little dread as I imagine rowdy stags, dartboards and not even a dash of local culture but Tim’s is different. Musicians play jazz from the balcony above the seats looking out over the bay. Friends, both old and new, gather to reminisce and recall fond memories of previous summers spent in Puerto Andratx whilst new friends get to know each other and share anecdotes of their day’s sailing adventures.
The only place which rivals Tim’s for doing the best mojito in town in Mitj Mitj. As the hippest bar in the port you may struggle to find a seat as it is always packed but you can always take a perch on the resident Labrador which is quite happy to spend the night amongst the party-goers or plonked in the middle of the road. Dinghies look close to sinking as the ferry hoards of people in from moored yachts…all eager to get a Mitj Mitj nightcap (or two..or three..) down them before heading back to their boats.
Jolly after a couple of mojitos in embarrassing matching outfits…perhaps consultation before choosing what to wear would be wise…
When it is time to call it a night and head home Club de Vela is a sight for sore eyes. Everything is lit up and the reflection of the lights in the ripples of the bay is breathtaking.
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