Now Café Balear is one of the most popular restaurants in Menorca. Apparently, in the height of summer, it’s near impossible to get a table here and the queues are round the block! Thankfully, we visited, well in advance of the start of the season and so had the restaurant mostly to ourselves!
A particularly popular dish here is the lobster soup. I usually prefer lobster on its own (I’ll make exception for a generous smattering of garlic butter) but I was intrigued by this meal.
See, this lobster dish is important to this island! For the longest time, lobster was what poor people on the island ate (chicken was the rich man’s dish in Menorca back then) and because the working class locals could get easier access to lobster, this very quickly became one of the most important dished on the island. Funny how the tables have turned with chicken and lobster, eh?
We very quickly settled in with some wine before heading down to the kitchen where the chef awaited us.
It’s one thing to have a delicious meal and another thing to actually see been made from scratch – which, for some makes the meal just that bit tastier (sans the little screech from Lloyd when saw what they had to do with the lobster to get it ready for dinner – I have no idea what he thought happened to the lobster that appeared on his plate in the past!)
While the chef worked his magic in the kitchen we went up and started dinner – tapas style again…
We moved on, after a few starters, to seafood – we’re talking clams, thinly sliced fish, prawns and calamari. All of which went down a treat!
Eventually the main dish was ready – the lobster soup. I was apprehensive to start (just not a fan of soups) but to cut a long story short, it is every bit as delicious as they said it would be! I found myself going back for seconds and, once I’d made sure every one else’d had enough, thirds!
For dessert we had a mix of different sweet treats, some of which I forgot the names, all of which were absolutely delicious. My favourite would have to be the thin pies slathered in condensed milk (really wish, I had made a note of the name now – I blame wine).
By the time left the restaurant, it was well and truly late (and pitch dark outside) so we just headed straight for the hotel for a great night’s sleep before starting off our next day.
The next morning, after breakfast, we decided to start our day in a vineyard and sample some of the local offerings. Turns out the vineyard also had its own cheese farm which, was the perfect accompaniment to the wine!
We worked our way through the different wine varietals before heading onto the vineyard, glass of wine in hand, and just relaxing in that beautiful Menorquín sunshine.
Still too early for lunch (my days are revolve around food as you can tell) we headed over to Fort Marlborough. Fort Marlborough is an old English fort and a little hint as to why Brits feel such a strong connection with the island of Menorca (there are still some Brits from years and years ago who live on the island).
We slowly ambled through the fort, stopping for the odd photo of the countryside and just generally making the most of the sunshine. As you can probably tell, it was freezing when we left London so this sunshine was very VERY welcome!
Now in Menorca there is one thing you have to see here and those are the local horses!
These horses are pure-bred and indigenous to the island. They are the epitome of black beauty though they’re actually born brown body turn darker over time.
The special thing with these horses is that they can actually stand on their hind legs and do a bit of a dance while on their hind legs. I’m pretty sure there’s a more ‘technical way’ of describing what they do but whatever it’s called, it’s actually quite fascinating to see (on our drive around the island, I saw a guy training with his horse and it’s the funniest/fantastic-est thing!).
In any case it was now time for lunch, and so off we went to the seaside town of Es Castell. This town is absolutely picture perfect! We’re talking white-washed houses, dotted with the odd pop of colour, all while being lapped at by the gorgeous blue Menorquín waters…
We started off with sharing platters – peppers, tomatoes, artichokes…
…before moving on to the main even – sea food (you can probably spot a theme developing here… 😉)! All to share of course.
As you can tell lots of meals in Menorca revolve around seafood (makes total sense being and island and all) and I’ve got to say, there’s something about eating sea food, all the while putting away some deliciously cool glasses of white wine and listening to the sound of the sea that truly makes an island holiday just that extra bit more special!