So quite a few people have told me they muted the Tat Instagram while I was on holiday. I get it. I am constantly muting people for much less than a smug honeymoon. But they may well have missed out on my GREAT tips. As I couldn't let that happen (I have a heart, people), I thought I would try and get the ones I can remember down on paper. I'm going to start with our stay at Hotel Can Faustino in Ciutadella, Menorca, a hotel that is etched on my heart.
I had never been to Menorca, but when we heard that two of our great friends were honeymooning there, we thought it would be nice for them if we interrupted their precious time together. And I am thrilled we did. I was firmly in love with the place from the moment we stepped off the plane. Between the view of flying over the island and our friends collecting us from the airport (I hate car rentals), it made an excellent first impression.
On our first morning there, our friends got us up early to have breakfast on a secluded beach, staying there for a few hours until it slowly filled up and the heat was too much for our translucent skin. Onwards we went to Ciutadella. Having come fresh from the beach, we looked like a mess. Our friends dropped us off and went on to their next stop. We looked god awful, and as I walked up to the hotel, I knew I couldn't go in with dreadlocked hair and cut-off shorts. I looked like an overgrown gap-year student rather than an eccentric billionaire. So we did a quick change, me putting on the cleanest dress and scraping my hair back and K changing out of his Fila sliders. We still looked like a mess. This was put into sharp focus when we entered the lobby of the Hotel Can Faustino. Housed in what was once a 16th Century palace, it is by no means snooty, but it is bloody elegant. Beautiful stone floors greet you next to tastefully painted walls and accommodating smiling staff. We felt at home instantly, albeit still a little embarrassed by our shabbiness.
We were shown to our room which was not in the main building; I always find this a little nerve-wracking, hoping that it's not just for the B-list guests, but thankfully I needn't have worried. It was a slice of heaven, close to the centre, and backing onto the Ciutadella de Menorca, giving the pool a majestic backdrop. Our room was superb; it had a small courtyard with a bath outside, a bed that looked to be the size of two pushed together and Hermes toiletries which may or may not have made their way back to the UK.
We knew that the Saint Joan festival was taking place while we were staying in Ciutadella. In non-Covid times it is a massive celebration in Menorca. But we had been informed that it would be a much quieter affair this year. Although there may not have been the traditional parade of locally bred horses, when we left the hotel on the morning of the 23rd, the streets were awash with young people. It had the distinct feel of the Notting Hill Carnival. There was laughter, shouting, and singing. The restaurants were packed with large parties of people settling in for long, loud lunches. Having not been to Carnival in a few years, I felt comforted by this atmosphere.
After a day spent going to bars, exploring, and people watching, we retreated to the walls of Hotel Can Faustino. The outside dining at the hotel is magical. The noise from the hordes drifted away as we sat down to an excellent supper of red prawn carpaccio & grilled octopus. We sat there feeling extremely lucky to have found such a place; it felt like a tonic for the last year.
We did miss out on going to Hotel Can Faustino's Country Club, which is a shame, but it gives me a reason to go back!
Things to do while you're in Cuitadella
Ulisses Menorca, situated in the market square it has fresh fish, great wine and excellent people watching.
Triton Bar is one of the most well-known restaurants in the Ciutadella port. It has a vast menu, but we opted for their delicious sandwiches. They open at 5am to serve these to the fisherman and the late-night revellers.
Nopales Menorca, I will seek out Mexican restaurants wherever I am; sometimes, you can be sorely disappointed with overly fatty dishes. Not here, everything is fresh, well prepared and authentic - a delight.
Shopping Ciutadella -
Papillon by Mónica Colomar, lots of beautiful pieces for your home as well as great sunglasses!
Abarcas Borrás, a small family business specialising in Menorcan sandals, hand made and if you like hand-painted!
The Room, oh god, I loved this room! Filled with beautiful dresses, tops and more. I dropped some significant hints but sadly came out empty-handed.
Things To See -
Convent Sant Agusti Ciutadella - well worth a visit, only 6 euros entry and a mine of beauty. Filled with roman artefacts, sections of natural history & entrance to the convents old church, which is now used as a concert hall. A real humdinger.
(Convent Sant Agusti Ciutadell)
Palau Salort, so I am not sure how I explain this place. Above the Moriarty bar, which looks to be a lot of fun, but not a usual place to gain interior inspiration. Well, on the said floor is a mock 19th Century Menorcan living quarters. For the well-trained eye, it might be lacking, but for me, it was heaven, faded grandeur and no one there - I loved it.
Lithica, one of the last places we visited and I am so pleased we fitted it in. Apart from the main event, Lithica, we passed an exceptional cemetery on the way, do pop your head in if you are walking. But Lithica, a limestone quarry, made into a unique trail filled with sculpture, plants and a maze. In non-covid times they have concerts in the centre. Although that would have been lovely, the bird song alone blew me away.