Palma de Mallorca comes up trumps

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the Sunday Times list of “best places to live” then you’ll have spotted Mallorca’s capital city Palma right at the number one spot. The city is filled with history and is a marvel to walk around the narrow streets taking in the beautiful architecture and shop in the boutiques. The city was voted top for it’s great restaurants, living standards and is just a short drive from the airport where there are regular flights to the UK. Mallorca is doing it’s best to shake off the party animal reputation is has due to the popularity of stag and hen parties going to Magaluf. The island has much more to offer from sports, art and culture, whatever your bag you’re sure to find it in Mallorca.

 

If that wasn’t reason enough, here are six reasons summarised by El Pais: Six reasons Palma is the best place to live (Spanish)

 

Easter time means panades in Mallorca

Spain in Easter time is steeped with tradition and religious festivities. What some people perhaps don’t know is that it’s also a time to make panades, an unmistakable Easter staple on the Mallorcan dining table. The origin of the humble panada is a bit blurry, some claiming it’s Jewish, others Muslim and of course it could also be Christian, what’s for certain is that nowadays it is tied in with the Christian festivities of Easter and the recipe includes lard and pork. Generally a large batch of panades is made and eaten during the Easter weekend and some frozen for later in the year, if they don’t get devoured first.
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The filling of peas, lamb and sobrassada
This simple meat pie takes advantage of the spring lambs, authentic Mallorcan sobrassada that was made during this winters matances and fresh garden peas. The making of panades is an event in itself with the ladies in the family getting together during the Easter weekend to roll out the pastry and fill the pies. Each town has their own style of hand raising the sides of the panada and curling the rim, with a keen eye one could tell in which town each pie was carefully created.
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Plenty of panades to make a full mornings work
The glory isn’t completely taken by the panada, it’s also a time to make crespeis and rubiols (my absolute favourite). Personally I think it’s a crying shame that the delicious rubiols are only made at Easter time as this is a sweet pastry I’d happily eat year round. The crespeis can be likened to a shortbread biscuit but softer and made with lard rather than butter. A rubiol is a half moon shaped parcel filled with either strawberry jam, pumpkin jam (angel hair) or chocolate spread. The strawberry jam ones are my favourites. Both are then sprinkled with a dusting of icing sugar.
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Rubiols
The best part about all this is getting together with the family to indulge in a pie or two. If you’d like to try to make them yourself, here’s a basic recipe.
Difficulty: medium
Time: 40 minutes in the oven plus prep
Yields: 11 panades
250g of lard
150ml oil
300ml water
1kg of flour
400g lamb, diced
sobrassada (enough to have a little in each pie but not too much)
peas (as many as you like)
In a bowl, mix together the lard, oil, water and flour and add a dash of salt. Mix together until it forms a soft dough.
In a separate bowl, mix together the diced lamb, sobrassada and peas.
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Take about a golf ball size of dough in your hand and roll it into a ball. Gently push it flat and start to work the sides up to form a casing for the filling.
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Add enough filling to reach the top of the sides. Take slightly less dough to make the lid. Roll it flat and cut with a knife to make it round. Top the panada and press together the sides and lid of the pie together.
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If you want to make two types, panades with peas and some without, pop a pea on top of the ones that have peas inside to tell the difference. Remember that when making pastry cold hands are always best.
Put the panades on a baking tray covered in aluminium foil so the base doesn’t burn. Put in a pre-heated oven for 40 minutes at 200ºC.
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Leave the panades until they’ve cooled and then enjoy!
If you don’t have time to make them yourself then fear not, they are available in all bakeries and supermarkets across the island.
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Kiteboarding School Chronicles – Part I

Mallorca is a great place to live all year around. Some people may not be so fond of the winter time as the temperature drops and many towns like ours, Port de Pollença, seem to go into hibernation. It is definitely really quiet but I like to think of it as a well deserved rest after a busy summer. Last year and for the first time ever I decided to give snowboarding a chance and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that I regret not getting to go more often. It was after my last holiday to Andorra, earlier this year that I started getting jealous of the people who live in the mainland and have the ability to hop in their cars and a few hours later arrive to a ski resort. Although we had a short chance to practice snowsports in Mallorca this is definitely not the best base for weekend snowboarding getaways.

While driving back home from the airport after that holiday, along the road between Alcudia and Port de Pollença, I was greeted with a swarm of kites in the air, it wasn’t something new, we are used to seeing them in the bay all the time, but it struck me as a revelation: here’s this action sport that looks just as fun as snowboarding literally on my doorstep. Nothing seems to stop the people enjoying Kiteboarding, it was mid January, it doesn’t get much colder than this but they still seemed to have a blast in spite of the weather. I automatically remembered of Mallorca Kiteboarding & SUP, a young company that introduced themselves to our team last year offering their kiteboarding courses and paddle boarding excursions.

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This was my instructor and co-founder of Mallorca Kiteboarding & SUP

Before unpacking my bags I looked for the contact details of Pedro Álvarez (aka Perico), co-founder of Mallorca Kiteboarding & SUP who also happens to be a very talented guitarist, and I asked him to sign me up to their waiting list.

After a few weeks of not so ideal conditions for a learner I got a call from Perico and scheduled my first lesson, I freed-up a bunch of hours from the calendar and the morning after I met up with him to get started.

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Hopefully they’ll be a photo of me like this in a few weeks time. For now, here’s another photo of Perico, the pro

One of the obvious requirements for kiteboarding is the wind and in the Pollença bay in particular we aren’t short of it. The other side of the coin is that if the water is cold on a winter’s day, the constant breeze does not help you warm up! In all honesty, I have never been much of a beach person and it is very unlikely that I’d get into the sea anytime before July but I was excited, so excited that I went into the water in March without much hesitation (with a wetsuit, obviously).
Before I dipped my first to into the water, we spent about an hour going through all the equipment and all the security protocol. In this sport you are dealing with two great forces of nature: wind and sea, so all the great explanations I received from Perico were actually very helpful. From an early stage I felt confident that I was controlling the kite rather than the kite controlling me – kind off, it was only my first day, I still have a lot left to learn!
The very important thing to understand is the wind windows. Understanding this is critical for managing the power of the kite and the direction of traveling. After this we covered the all important hand signals to communicate with other kiters to maintain order and safety and also to learn the rules and etiquette when kiting.
Getting closer and closer to actually going out onto the water, I was also encouraged to set up the whole rig, starting with inflating the kite, inspecting and untangling the lines and attaching everything to my harness properly.
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Learning my lines, almost ready for the water.
 
Once it was all ready it was time to get into the water, which didn’t actually feel that cold with my two wetsuits on. We actually had a lovely sunny day and it felt great temperature wise. I can’t wait to try this in the summer with less neoprene on!
It is not advised to learn to fly a full size kitesurfing kite on a beach – as this is the most dangerous place to do so. You need to head out into the water at a safe location to learn.
In the water I was taught how to pilot the kite, launch and landing, relaunching it in the water as well as powering and depowering the kite which enables the kite lines to let go of pressure,  decreasing the speed of your kite.
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Up, up and away!
Feeling the force of the wind pulling you can be a bit daunting at first but once you start to understand how the control bar works and how sensitive it is, you start enjoying the experience. It was fun to see the 14m2 kite being steered from one side of the wind window to the other.
It might not be as simple as other action sports and it might take a bit longer to get you on a board but with all the good tips and support I received from Mallorca Kiteboarding & SUP, they made it is as easy as it can possibly get. Knowing whats next; body dragging, waterstarting, steering/reaching the board, etc… it makes me really look forward to my next lesson.
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Stay tuned for part II!
Josep Sebastián
Director of Prestige Villas

Let’s try kiteboarding!

It’s not all doom and gloom in the Prestige Villas office, although it never is, but today is a particular highlight – Josep is off to try out kiteboarding with the guys from Mallorca Kitebaording & SUP. Here’s his first glimpse of the waves that await him. More updates and photos to follow!

More reasons to visit Barcelona

One of Spain’s biggest tourist locations, Barcelona, was graced with magnificent views on Monday morning. The ‘back bone of Mallorca’ the UNESCO World Heritage sight Serra Tramuntana. This image was taken by the Observatory Fabra Alfons Puertas and such a view can only be seen in certain weather conditions. With good visibility, no clouds and low light in Barcelona were exactly what made this view possible. The stretch of Mediterranean sea that separates Barcelona and Mallorca is 206 kilometres.

Hello Spring, we’ve been waiting for you…

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow

~ proverb

And it’s true! Spring is hot on the heels of winter and what we’re ready to welcome it with open arms. Winter 2014/2015 has been harsh this year in Mallorca with battering winds, snow, hail, rain, you name it, we had it. Despite loving the warm smell of a log fire and eating bunyols, there comes a time when the sun has to come out and us too. With it, spring bring flowers, fresh new smells and green all around, the warm temperatures start to take over and the longer days start to draw round.

In anticipation of Spring and to encourage the Mallorca-goers to visit our beautiful island out of peak beach season we have launched our new offers section starting with arrivals on the 21st March. Come and join us in spring and see what it’s all about.

Check out our website for offers: Welcome Spring

It ain’t just sun and beach in Mallorca

Over the past week Mallorca has been suffering a particularly cold snap with snow even reaching some of the lower mountains and completely covering the highest. Check out some of the winter wonderland we’ve been experiencing.

Photo credits: 1. @mas_alexandre (twitter), 2. Esports Kenia, 1. repeated, 3. Jose Luis Forteza, 4. Carlos Solano, 5. Guillem, 6. Jane Leitch, 7. Albert Amb Oli, 8. Miquel Salamanca

The latest addition to the Prestige Villas collection

With the booking spree well under way at Prestige Villas our properties are booking up fast for summer 2015. What better time to launch a brand new property to our books offering a fantastic family home for those looking to get away for a week or two.

Gotmar 35

Located in the Gotmar neighbourhood of Puerto Pollensa this property is a spacious and bright family home that sleeps up to 8 people. With plenty of living space and a lovely garden to boot this villa is a catch at just 10 minute walk to the beach. The garden is completely fenced which is ideal for wondering toddlers and the pool and lawn area are ideal for spending the warm summer days. There is a large glass door onto the deck outside where there is a dining area and outdoor seating area.

The villa is an ideal property to bring all the family, from grandparents to grandchildren the villa caters to all tastes.

The property is available to book online through our website: www.prestigevillas.com