October is a great month for visiting Mallorca – particularly if you’re a foodie. There’s lots of room on the beaches, the sea is warm, the island is lush and green, and there are two upcoming events that could tempt you to book a last minute short break on the Spanish island, which remains mainly sunny and warm in early Autumn.
During a short break you’re unlikely to have time to dine in seven different restaurants, but the Grand Gourmet Award Mallorca enables you to experience the cuisine of seven of Mallorca’s top chefs in one gala dinner. On the night of 19th October 2013 these chefs will leave their own restaurant kitchens for the St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort in Costa d’en Blanes (around a ten-minute drive from central Palma), the venue for this annual event.
This year, the seven participating chefs are: Tomeu Caldentey (Es Molí d’en Bou), Macarena de Castro (Jardín) and Fernando Pérez Arellano (Zaranda) – who all produce Michelin-starred cuisine on Mallorca. The others include British chef Marc Fosh (Simply Fosh), Benito Vicens (Bens d’Avall), Victor García (La Fortaleza) and María Solivellas (Can a Toneta).
Diners will enjoy a reception of Champagne and amuse-bouches on the 5-star hotel’s terrace, followed by a four-course gala menu (with matched wines) and dessert buffet in the hotel’s ballroom. The event includes live music.
Tickets just for the Grand Gourmet Award Mallorca cost 199 euros.
Where to stay
Why leave the hotel when you could just ride the lift up to your room? St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort is offering a three-night accommodation package, including the gala dinner.
The gastronomic fair TaPalma is in its ninth year in 2013. Last year almost 40 restaurants and bars took part in this celebration of tapas, which takes the form of a tapas trail, or tapeo, around the island’s capital, Palma de Mallorca. Each participating venue creates one or two special tapas (just two euros each in 2012), with a glass of beer or wine also available at a special price.
Armed with the special TaPalma map, guide and ‘passport’, you can follow one of several routes around Palma, enjoying the different tapas on offer. Get your ‘passport’ stamped at just six of the venues where you’ve had a tapa and you’re entitled to vote for your favourite. TaPalma has a competitive element, with judges awarding prizes for the event’s best three tapas (including the public’s favourite).
My hot tip: head for Santa Catalina, a charmingly bohemian area of Palma de Mallorca that’s packed with eateries and bars. Here you’ll find the restaurant UMMO (it doesn’t have a website, but is on Facebook), which scooped the top TaPalma prize in 2012, 2010, 2009 and 2008.
TaPalma 2013 is on from 30th October to 2nd November 2013, which coincides with the Spanish public holiday on 1st November.
Where to stay
Hotel Cort is Palma de Mallorca’s newest hotel, located in Plaza Cort in the heart of Palma, opposite the distinctive town hall building. Hotel Cort has just 16 rooms (14 of which are suites), and is jointly owned by the Swedish owners of Hotel Tres in Palma and the Mallorcan owner of the Tast group of restaurants. The hotel, which opened this summer, has interiors by one of Spain’s leading designers, Lázaro Rosa-Violán of Contemporain Studio in Barcelona – who also designed Palma’s most stylish tapas bar, Tast Club. And Hotel Cort also serves very good tapas…