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Ibiza Winter Diary - December bliss

Tis the season......

This year, there seems to be a solid contingent of locals who are choosing to spend their Christmas on the island. In fact, with regular flights from London City Airport now in existence, winter paradise is a mere 2 hours away. I know a fair few folks who have asked their families to come and join them rather than they head back to the motherland. And why not?! Ibiza has SO much to offer at this time of year and there is a festive feeling in the air. This week I got involved in a few Christmas themed activities, embraced a new form of exercise and indulged in one of the island's most famous winter events - The San Mateo Wine Fest...

Monday - Work and gossip

The week began quietly with me setting up shop in La Cava on Vara De Rey. This petite and comfortable tapas bar has always been a bit of a social hub and a great place to sit and have meetings over coffee and maybe a pintxo or two (small snacks held on a piece of bread with a cocktail stick - very popular in Spain). There is always someone around who has the same idea and today, I spend five and a half hours in total either with clients or with friends who are also in between meetings. A highly productive morning and I didn't even have to move! My kinda business...

Tuesday - Flotante breakfast

Up with the larks, I wander across to Talamanca around the marina in the morning sun. It is tranquil and calm with a few people hopping on and off the Formentera ferry and going about their daily business. I meet up with a friend who is heading back to Croatia for Christmas and New Year for breakfast. For those of you who have never been, Bar Flotante (pictured on right in foreground above) is a charming little beach cafe with tables strewn across the sand leading directly into the water. In the summer, this is a popular joint for post-club brekkie as the sun comes up right over Talamanca bay. In the winter, it attracts a more sedentary crew who enjoy the basic menu and the simplicity of the place. We eat tostadas and drink coffee whilst debriefing and saying our farewells until 2016. Only €4 each! We love a winter bargain.

Thursday - Yoga Fusion

I have heard a lot about the La Galeria Elefante Yoga Studio near Santa Gertrudis and, with my yoga teacher being away, a friend suggests that we go and try Yoga and Pilates Fusion. The room is extremely cosy with candles lit everywhere and the class is a perfectly formed size of about 10. The teacher specialises in both yoga and pilates and has combined the two practices to create a lovely yoga flow with some serious planking and abs work for the core. Pretty challenging! She is offering a pre-Christmas ‘skint rate' of just €5 for one and a half hours! There is an ethos of giving on the island which makes it such a special community. The room gets steamy hot and then she finishes off with a little head and neck massage on each of us before the end of the class. Absolutely perfect! I'll definitely be going again.

Friday - Kathmandu

It's always good to get the girls together for a long lunch, so I organise a Christmas lunch at the local Indian restaurant, Kathmandu in Ibiza Town. Sixteen very strong and hilarious women congregate in order to consume the exceptional lunch menu and a rather large quantity of wine. Kathmandu offer 3 courses for €9.95 at lunchtime and the Nepali kitchen consistently delivers fantastic home-style cooking. Volume levels are ridiculously high as we talk over each other and fall off our chairs crying with laughter. Some of the girls move on to the Atzaro Christmas Carol session, whilst the rest of us have a few more drinks in the square before calling it a day.

Saturday - San Mateo Wine Fest

San Mateo Wine Fest is the stuff of legends and takes place in a sleepy village in the north west of the island on the second Saturday in December every year. Logistically, it is a bit of a tough one to get to, and nobody wants to drive, but it is certainly worth the effort. San Mateo is the most prolific wine producing area on the island, and for one night only, in the basketball court of the local school, the payes farmers bring their season's haul for us to try. FOR FREE. As the night progresses, we buy local sausage (or sobrasada) to cook on the end of a twig atop cast iron bathtubs that have been filled with coal, had a piece of chicken-wire attached to the top and called a BBQ. The wine flows and the local band starts. Cue much dancing to Status Quo cover versions and the biggest conga seen in the north of the island this year. Hangovers guaranteed. So who won the prize for most drunk? Let's just say he is ginger and is a Pacha resident. Excellent skills!

Next week we are in the final week before Christmas! What will the island have in store?!

Ibiza Winter Diaries

WORDS | Leena Sharma

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