With 19 top-quality golf courses all within an hour of each other, there is already plenty to whet any golfer’s appetite on Mallorca.
But when the golf course makes way for the main course, your mind switches from that missed tap-in to mixed tapas and you want to swap pars for paella, the largest of the Balearic Islands can also offer the finest dining experience.
Mallorca now boasts seven chefs whose fabulous cuisine has been deemed worthy of a Michelin star – the hallmark of fine dining quality and restaurants around the world.
And one of the island’s top chefs, Fernando P Arellano, now even boasts two Michelin stars for his Zaranda restaurant based at the five-star hotel Castell Son Claret.
Just as Mallorca’s standing as a golf destination is on an upward trajectory, so too is their gastronomy. With the fantastic weather and beautiful beaches, all the ingredients are there for a memorable holiday.
Among the magnificent seven is Macarena de Castro at Restaurante Jardín in Alcúdia, who offers her own creative twist on local recipes, while Rafael Sánchez of Es Fum at the St. Regis Mardavall has held the star since 2013.
An authentic Mallorcan version of outstanding cuisine is produced by island native Tomeu Caldentey – the first Mallorcan to gain the coveted recognition in 2004 – at Bou restaurant in the five-star Protur Sa Coma Playa Hotel & Spa in Sa Coma.
Marc Fosh, of Simply Fosh in Palma, became the first British chef in Spain to be recognised with a Michelin star with his healthy Mediterranean cuisine, while Andreu Genestra – originally from Inca, Mallorca – has built himself an impressive reputation at his self-named restaurant at Capdepera.
Meanwhile, in Deià, Josef Sauerschell first gained a Michelin star in 1991, lost it in 1999, but then regained it in 2002 and has held it ever since at his establishment, Es Racó d’es Teix.
The golf courses certainly play their part in adding to the island’s reputation for quality food and many of them also boast their own excellent restaurants to enjoy after a round. There is still a rich quality and diversity on offer without a Michelin star.
But if you venture further afield, there is huge choice and a chance to try a bit of everything on Mallorca with the number of quality restaurants and the style of food on offer. As you would expect, many offer quality tapas with different combinations of meat, seafood and vegetables to sample various flavours.
Although paella is not a native Mallorcan dish, it is widely available with paella ciega (blind man’s paella) without bones, especially popular. The local version of the dish often uses saffron rice or – fideua – which uses noodles rather than rice.
Spicy sausages and cured hams are delicious while the plentiful supply of quality seafood is celebrated in several festivals throughout the year.
Of course, a quality meal can always be enhanced with the right wine to accompany the dish and the quality of Mallorcan wine has also made huge progress since the 1990s – boosted by some significant investment from determined local winemakers. These exciting wines are now highly-regarded and forging their own growing reputation.
But just as those lush fairways and stunning views await you on Mallorca’s golf courses, golfers who love their food will be delighted to know there is just as much to enjoy when the round is over.