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Serenity and style at Sa Capella

Divine Ibiza dining

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There are lots of things that go up to make a great restaurant: great food, impeccable service and the place itself. Sa Capella, now in its 38th year, has been spinning this winning formula and wowing customers ever since it first opened. The idea first came for the restaurant when its founders Carlos and Vicente were out picking wild asparagus and came upon an old and half-abandoned building. The pair decided to turn it into a different kind of restaurant, deciding that it would be a very special place. And, indeed it came to pass.

Agostine Royal, the head chef for around 20 years has evolved the menu to create a modern, yet traditional offering. There are some excellent starter dishes like their unbeatable carpaccio or a delectable tomato salad with sardine toast. For mains, there is a delicious Segovian style roast suckling pig; chateaubriand prepared at your table and the delicious beef that you cook yourself on a bed of salt on stone heaters.


A unique vantage point

The restaurant sits on the top of a hill from where you can sit on the beautiful garden terrace against the mountain backdrop or look out into the distance and see the twinkling lights of San Antonio. The building is beautiful, an 18th Century chapel, that was never consecrated. Legend has it that one day during the construction, the builders arrived to find their tools had moved from where they had left them. This scared anyone from ever using it as a place of worship until it was eventually sold and then used as a family home. The last person to live there was Doña Pepita, who lived there alone and whose ghost is said to cause inexplicable breakages of glassware.

Art is at the heart of what they do here and you will see portraits by local artists as well as statues and sculptures, such as the wooden olive tree created by Ibiza artist, Antonio Hormigo, which has been there from day one.


Dressed and served

You enter the restaurant through gorgeous stone arches, and enter a splendid hall with high ceilings and flickering candles in what is the most romantic of settings. Then there's the theatrical touch of waiters bedecked in Ibiza folk dress, the men mostly who don white shirts and white trousers with a red sash and a red neck kerchief. You'll find that the staff feels more like your friends adding to the warm, laughter-filled and welcoming atmosphere. It is these ingredients that make this place special, attracting a mix of locals, tourists and many a celeb like Naomi Campbell and Sting.

The final flourish, at the end of your meal is a bottle (not a shot) of its famous home made hierbas, the local liqueur flavoured with over 20 wild herbs that grow here. A fitting end to a night as attested by the many customers that return here year on year.

Sa Capella is truly a star attraction in Ibiza, go there and be part of the legend.

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WORDS | Julian Heathcote

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