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Ibiza Winter Diary - Indulgence mode

More island eats, treats and mischief

The run up to Christmas here on the island has been action packed! Everyone is getting into the festive spirit and lots of lovely activities are being organised to get us in the mood, even though temperatures are a highly unusual, yet much welcomed 20°C during the day. Nights are chillier, but still warm enough to sit out in the square with a beer or a glass of wine. One by one, islanders are peeling off and returning to their chosen place to spend their Christmas. This means lots of get togethers to say our farewells involving lots of food, drink and giggles. Ibiza really comes alive at this time of the year...

Monday - Arroz Y Bambu

The beginning of the week marks my regular jaunt to Arroz Y Bambu in Ibiza's New Town. As an avid fan of Asian cooking, this cornucopia of spices and sauces is a godsend. I take a trip up there and fill my basket with Japanese ingredients such as mirin and sushi rice, Indian pulses and spices and some fresh red chillies, coriander, lemon grass and galangal. Looks like it is going to be Asian food for a few days!

Tuesday - Personal Training Session

In an attempt to whip myself into shape and make some space for the annual Christmas binge, I have employed the services of the wonderfully smiley and super-fit Peta Olivia from Religiously Nutritious for personal training. We meet at the end of Figueretes beach where she puts me through a grueling hour of squats, thrusts, lunges, planks and jack-knifing. Not only does she shout encouragement as I groan my way through the reps, she also gives me lots of advice on nutrition and on how to improve my running technique. I walk home with wobbly legs but full of confidence that I will not end up looking like a Christmas pudding in the new year. Having someone to motivate you makes all the distance and I absolutely loved her approach to the whole get fit thing.

Wednesday - La Escollera Christmas Lunch

One of our friends has kindly organised a lovely beach lunch to kick off our Christmas celebrations. 30 of us descend upon La Escollera in Es Cavallet, which is still comfortably busy even in mid December. It's another scorcher of a day so we drink our welcome Kir Royales on the beach front on the restaurant's beautiful terrace. We are led inside for our meal where a long table awaits us. Food and drinks are flowing, the restaurant having arranged a special menu for us. Platters of goats cheese salad, shots of gazpacho, boquerones and carpaccio keep on appearing as we catch up on gossip with our glasses never seeming to empty! For the main course, we are treated to either mixed paella, which the restaurant is famed for, or baked seabass. Then sorbets and panacottas, before the mandatory coffees and hierbas on ice. Day has somehow become night and we head back into Ibiza Town for a nightcap in Plaza Del Parque. A fantastic day with good friends, lots of laughs and a perfectly executed long lunch from the team at La Escollera. It takes a well-oiled kitchen to produce that calibre of food for so many people.

Thursday - Cubar

Another night and another leaving do. One of our dearest friends is leaving the island for the unforeseeable future, so we gather at Cubar, a diminutive cafe on Plaza De La Paz in Ibiza's New Town, for a few drinks and some food. I have heard a lot about this place which was opened just this year by a member of the clubbing management elite who decided, with his Cuban wife, that his career should now take a very different path. And here we have it. A cosy little joint serving up homely and authentic Cuban dishes with frozen Mojitos on the side.

Friday - Oysters and Cava

As is tradition, we get together at Hostal Parque for our annual oyster and cava gathering. Every year, on the lead up to Christmas, Hostal Parque in Ibiza Town, throw down the red carpet and lay out a table of French oysters and juicy prawns which are expertly shucked to order and delivered to your table with glasses of cava. Now we are definitely feeling festive!

Saturday - Sluiz Christmas Market

Sluiz is a quirky interior design and gift store located up on the road towards Santa Gertrudis. They have set up a joyful Christmas market in their courtyard and we head up there to check out the wares. There's big vats of Pumpkin and Thai Soup, charity stalls selling Christmas trinkets and lots of glühwein and cava. A jazz band belts out Christmas carols and the place is full of families from all over the island! We spot everyone from DJs to infamous Ibiza legends mingling with a glass in hand and chasing their kids around. Now it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

Sunday - La Belle

LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING! La Belle, a chic French restaurant in San Rafael, hosts a BBQ, brunch and market every Sunday. I nip up there in the afternoon to check out the little stalls in the sun-drenched courtyard and to say hello to my friend who owns one of my fave gift shops in Ibiza Town - Bite Me. She has a table set out with wonderful Christmas decorations, jewelry, cards and luxury crackers (a must in any household!). Other stalls are selling handmade leather wares and vintage clothing. Two stunning girls come out and perform a fashion show featuring garments from the market and handbags from Bite Me. Big groups sit at round tables, quaffing wine and returning time and time again in a leisurely fashion to the big brunch table and the ‘prepared-to-order' BBQ chef. What a fab way to spend the afternoon!

Ibiza Winter Diaries

WORDS | Leena Sharma

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