A local’s guide to Palma de Mallorca: 10 top tips

The Spanish island’s seaside capital punches above its weight when it comes to restaurants, art and culture – perfect for a late-spring or early-summer getaway

Wander the old city

I love the maze of Moorish-feeling little streets in the historic district between Plaça de Cort and the seafront. If you just wander towards La Seu, the cathedral, you always come across something surprising. A lot of the old mansions have been done up and are now hotels, cafes and restaurants, which is great to see. You only need to walk for 10 minutes or so to see all sorts of architectural styles and you get a sense of the history of Palma going back over 1,000 years. You emerge from this labyrinth of lanes and suddenly the bay opens up before you. I still find it magical.

Backstreet comes good

Carrer de la Missió was a pretty dodgy little backstreet when I opened the restaurant there a decade ago – it was not the sort of area the well-heeled citizens of Palma would go to for dinner. It has gradually improved over the years, and now all sorts of galleries and boutiques are opening. There’s a wonderful bookshop just around the corner on Carrer Arabí, La Biblioteca de Babel (pictured), which has a cafe with tables on a terrace outside. We’re really lucky to have the tiny Rosevelvet Bakery (15 Carrer de la Missió) right by the restaurant. I have my breakfast there before starting work. It’s run by a lovely couple who bake wonderful cakes and pastries, and make really good coffee – the smell wafting down the street is irresistible.

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