“The sea defines us, connects us, separates us. Most of us experience only its edges, our available wilderness on a crowded island […]”, wrote Philip Hoare in his wonderful book The Sea Inside. Chef Boris is like a young marine god who grew tired of the North Sea and came to check the mildness of the Mediterranean. His home is still an island, which fully defines him. He comes from NOMA, and his Ibizan project is a relaxed ‘food studio’ divided in two vaguely secret locations. We are taking you to Boris’ pirate restaurant, they tell us. If we go there for lunch, we will see if La Finca is open. Blonde hair like thin fantastic seaweed, ice-coloured irises, an Andalusian cowboy hat bigger than him, and a whispered tale every evening, when he turns off the kitchen lights and sits with us. We are not good at saying goodbye, so we linger while leaving Boris and his finca, both beautiful and alien. He comes with us to the entrance way with its feeble candelabras hanging from the tall trees, then hands us over to the darkness of Sant Llorenç’s countryside. Our available wilderness on a crowded island…
South American dinosaurs might have reached Australia through Antarctica. Such conclusion was drawn by analysing two fossils of two species of very big dinosaurs that were found in Queensland, Australia. I suspect it was the privilege of collecting strolls in the amazing vegetable gardens of Babylonstoren in South Africa, of Gibb’s Farm in Tanzania, of Harald Gasser in the Isarco Valley, of many organic farms in Northern California. I am under the impression it was all the years I spent travelling throughout the world and jotting down about leaves, flowers and fruits. Both activities were my training to cross the gates of La Granja, a Mediterranean farmhouse with an exotic soul, and exchange some words about the harvest of the day with its wonderful vigorous farmers. The moment you order it in the finca, salad is picked under the eyes of Cocò, the black pig, and of the pony that shares his pen and lettuce leaves. In any big private ‘fruit and vegetable garden’, eating all the produce is an activity that involves your sight, taste, senses of smell and touch, and we instinctively yield to it. Moreover, the nature in Ibiza has bold colours even on a cloudy day. And it is just a two-hour flight away from Milan.
The blue leaves of a Begonia pavonina help the plant to survive in a dimly lit environment. Roze and Pierre seem to believe in colours and their thaumaturgic power. They know how to master them to the point that I completely melt and blend with their kaleidoscope. What do I have in common with the rust-coloured linen napkin, the emerald green, the mustard, the crimson of the long veranda corridor, the lobster-red of the crochet crab on my bed, the shiny ochre of bamboo? I have been looking for an answer in the smooth rooms of Medina’s riads, in the most eccentric French ceramics, in the memories of still unvisited places on faraway tropical islands. Los Enamorados is many lives together. It is also an overpowering love, two lovers waiting for the sweetest sunrises and sunsets in a small fishermen’s port, protected by crossing rocks and greenery…
For those who love, as much as we do, the rural side of the islands, the bucolic dinners in the shadow of an olive tree, the wise evolutions of the Mediterranean cuisine and the variegated flavours of the Middle East. For those who are sanely obsessed by maquis, unusual salads and perfectly made bread, just like us, La Paloma will become the first choice for every dinner on the island.
by Zoie Kingsbery Coe
Zoie is the force behind Kid & Coe, a family accommodation website offering design-led family-friendly places to stay around the world, from cottages in Greece to apartments in New York City. She believes that exciting travel does not have to stop once you have had children – hence the company motto ‘Bring the Kids!’…