This summer saw the launch of Bulldog Gin’s ICONS book in Ibiza. The gin brand, which is independently owned and distributed by the Campari group, is now the fastest growing premium brand gin in the world. This August, they brought together a number of movers and shakers on the White Isle for a launch party. We spoke to three of the icons about their hidden finds in Ibiza.
Bulldog Gin Icons: top Ibiza hotspots
8th March 2016
Three of Bulldog Gin's icons reveal their favourite in-the-know restaurants, bars and beaches on the island of Ibiza
Dawn Hindle is Co-Founder and Creative Director of the Ibiza Rocks Group and Owner of Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes, Ibiza. A trained architect, Hindle arrived over 20 years ago and together with her husband, Andy Mackay, has become central to the island’s social scene.
Cocktails at the original “Club Tropicana” poolside bar at the intimate boutique luxury hotel Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes are a must. George Michael filmed videos there and Grace Jones, Freddie Mercury and Julio Iglesias were all regulars. These days, catch the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro, Ed Sheeran and Mark Ronson hanging out pre and post the weekly Ibiza Rocks live gigs.
Enjoy outdoor swimming in the lap pool at Atzaro, which is surrounded by beautiful relaxing orange groves and a full Balinese-inspired spa. A full body massage with Bunki in the spa is highly recommended – it’s absolute heaven and a million miles away from most people’s vision of the white isle.
The fish shack next to Sa Punta has the best view of Ibiza Town, complete with laid-back rustic vibes and the best fish on the island.
Spend quiet Sunday afternoons at Cala Leña market, or in Saturday’s Sant Jordi market in the centre of the local Hippodrome. You can trawl through all sorts of bric-à-brac, from vintage clothing to fresh garden flowers.
La Paloma is the place to go for cool Ibiza campo dining (and my favourite food on the island). The natural and organic dishes complement the setting in the traditional finca and garden. Think great salads, smoothies and home-made bread. I really recommend the goats cheese and rocket focaccia.
The Sa Caleta beach restaurant serves incredible bullit de peix and their signature Cafe Caleta. The restaurant overlooks the stunning small cove of Sa Caleta, which is popular with locals.
Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes
Pikes is great on Sundays, with the Brothers Grimm DJing (and the best Sunday Roast on the island).
Surrounded by 10 acres of forest and beautiful grounds, La Granja is a members’ club and one of the oldest farms on the island. It is the perfect place to relax with great organic food produced on their farm.
One of the island’s larger-than life-characters. Famed for his twin passions of music and food, this chef to the stars has served many of Ibiza’s most glittering guests, and is author of several Ibiza-inspired cookery books.
Can Miquel Guasch Olive oil
Can Miquel Guasch produce 100% organic extra-virgin cold press olive oil from trees flourishing in the Ibiza countryside, benefitting from the hot Mediterranean summer sun. They are the biggest producer on Ibiza, and you can still find the passionate owner Miguel overseeing production.
Cafés Ibiza is the longest standing and most established coffee company on Ibiza. Their history dates back to the years when Spanish workers left the island to earn better salaries in South America. One individual, Vicente Tur, emigrated to Venezuela, and on his return brought coffee (then mostly an unknown product on the island). Coffee at this time was heavily controlled by the Franco regime, so Vicente had to smuggle it from ships to his toasting facility. Today, the family business is run by his animated and equally passionate daughter Rosario.
A newcomer to the island, MEKE coffee are also doing great organic coffee, blended and roasted on the island. Cafés Meke is a perfect example of the new wave of foreigners bringing another edge and taking on the existing offerings of the island.
An authentic, well-established fashion designer on the island who has shows and collections scattered all over the world. Think island chic and bohemian cool with flowing summer cotton ready for the beaches, sea and sun; Charo Ruiz embodies the laid-back Balearic sentiment.
Secret Sa Caleta Cove
Just before the well-known and well-frequented Sa Caleta fish restaurant, in the bay of Sa Caleta in the South of the island, there is a left turning down a dusty road. Follow this and you will come to a charming little bay with fishing huts, old men tending their nets, friendly cats hoping for a tasty piece of fresh catch and or locals enjoying a paella. Take a picnic (as there is no bar or restaurant here) and soak up the ambience of this authentic hidden Ibiza gem.
The west coast of the island has many and varied spots to see the sunset. All are equally magical in their own way, but for the most breathtaking and refined head to Experimental Beach at Cap des Falco (in the South). Cross the salt flats to head to the southern end of Playa Es Codolar and catch the sun setting behind the rock of Es Vedra, or for hippy chic head to the beach at Cala Comte and the Sunset Ashram restaurant for an Indian Thali and colourful sky. For youthful craziness, bright lights and noise, head to Mambo or Cafe del Mar in San Antonio.
“Must-Have” Ibiza Souvenir
Sid Shanti has developed a range of chocolates influenced by, and containing, island flavours. Liquid centre Hierbas (the local and famed tipple) truffles, Ibiza sea salt after-dinner thins and chilli chocolates make up just some of the range. For 2017, there will be a range of chilli sauces made from 100% Ibiza ingredients, all made on the island. Think foraged wild island fruits, lemons and chillies grown in the Balearic blood-red soil. The sauces utilise many long neglected local ingredients of Ibiza that over time have become redundant – and yet are in abundance, ripe for rediscovery.
La Galeria Elefante
This modern and quirky store is probably the best “boutique” in Ibiza, selling everything from the ridiculous to the outrageous, with the refined and bespoke in between. Victoria, La Galeria Elefante‘s owner, travels far and wide to find the best things around the world – and she has an excellent eye!
The village of Santa Gertrudis, situated in the centre of the island, is not only famous for its huge restaurant offering and its charming feel – it is also home to Bar Costa. This unassuming bar sells the best quality Pata Negra ham, cured cheeses, toasts, nibbles and drink. Venture inside and up and through the building (it’s huge) and you will find one of the largest private collections of surrealist art in Spain, garnered by the owner from (then-unknown) artists trading their work for food and drink in the mid to late 1900s whilst living “la vie d’artiste”!
Ibiza is not only throbbing with the heavy bass-lines of the clubs, beach bars and private parties – it‘s also throbbing with the buzz of wildlife. Drive at night and always keep a slant eye on the electricity cables, as you will very often see owls hunting in the night or kestrels hovering during the day, hoping to catch a rogue gecko. Flamingos rear their young on the “Salinas” salt flats in the South – when the many hundreds of birds take flight the blue Balearic sky turns pink.
As the Legend Goes…
In February – very much “off the Ibiza Calendar” – head to Santa Agnès and lie under the full moon to see the whole valley blanketed in white and pastel pink almond blossom. Legend says that a visiting dignitary who was charming his mistress decided to plant the many thousands of trees in this part of the island, to replicate the snow that fell on a night of passion after his mistress was enthralled at the beauty of the valley that had turned white overnight. The story may be hearsay, but the beauty is very much there to behold.
Owner of the luxurious Hotel Es Vivé. His story exemplifies the inexorable draw of Ibiza, having left his old life roofing and labouring in the UK behind and starting afresh in the Balearic sun, rising to the top of the Ibiza bar scene.
Hotel Es Vivé
The hotel that has it all, with VIP service in your very own home from home. Hotel Es Vivé is for Ibiza veterans who know what they want. A glorious roof terrace with delicious food, all served up with smiles and happy faces from the moment you wake up in the morning (until you go to bed the next morning).
They say if you go to Paris you must go to The Moulin Rouge – and so, if you go to Ibiza, you must go to LIO. This venue is a fresh concept from the Pacha Group that has got Europe excited once again for cabaret. It has amazing food and an atmosphere that leaves you feeling so good you become lost in the moment. Distracted by the breath-taking views, the cabaret and dancing will have you on your feet all night long – try not to let your food get cold.
Having opened in 2015, La Dispensa quickly became one of Ibiza’s trendiest new restaurants within the walls of the castle in Dalt Vila. It’s perfect for a Mediterranean dining experience, specialising in Italian cuisine. The entrecote is divine, juicy and tender, washed down with cava sangria. Finally, the white chocolate brownie leaves you feeling deeply satisfied and ready for a night of dancing.
Barbaboon is a taste of cosmopolitan London in Ibiza. This beautiful establishment, new for Ibiza 2016 from The Cotton Group, has taken the concept of inventive mixology to a whole other level, serving cocktails in candleholders, with bright new exciting drinks, which leave you wanting more and more and more. Genius.
Cotton Lounge Ibiza Town
Also from the Cotton Group – and new for 2016 – is the Cotton Lounge Club on the promenade of Figueretas beach in Ibiza Town. The Beetroot Gazpacho takes gazpacho to a whole new level, while the orange chicken is unbelievable – and to finish, the passion fruit cheesecake… there are no words! The darker the night sky becomes, the more wonderful the view, with the lights of the gleaming Playa d’en Bossa illuminating the Ibizan sky.
KM5 is one of Ibiza’s longest established venues, with over 20 years of experience on the Island, KM5 has still got it. You can spend an entire evening there, starting with early evening drinks in the lounge area, followed by dinner in the beautiful restaurant enjoying sushi, or selecting from the amazing Mediterranean menu on offer. Then it’s time for a round of after-dinner cocktails before dancing the night away in the club. With some of the island’s finest resident DJs spinning the tunes, KM5 is always a winner.
El Row @ Space Ibiza
This is the Saturday night place to party in Ibiza for Summer 2016. Originally a Sunday morning after party from Barcelona “El Row 14”, El Row came to Ibiza in 2013 is currently celebrating its third season at Space. This party is one step further than fun, offering something for everyone. The atmosphere is euphoric, people smile and there is a real sense of how Ibiza was 10 years ago, keeping the magic alive. Confetti flies all over the place, people hang from the ceiling and inflatable objects fall, as if from space, making a great souvenir to take home with you (or to the beach the following day). All rooms are open and each room has a different theme mixing things up from deep house to techno.
Beso Beach Formentera
A boat trip day would not be complete without a venture over to Formentera and a visit to Beso Beach. A trip to Formentera leaves you feeling fulfilled and warm inside, not only because the temperature is normally two or three degrees more than Ibiza, but also because of the colour of the water. The white sandy beaches and turquoise waters are to die for. Beso beach also offers a fantastic paella with views of this amazing paradise.
Las Salinas Beach
With its shallow crystal clear waters, Las Salinas has something for everyone, in keeping with the Ibiza spirit, from your average Joe Bloggs to the rich and famous. It has the Malibu beach club, Jockey Beach Club at one end and the Sa Trinxa restaurant at the other. At Sa Trinxa, ask for the fresh fish of the day or the pulpo (octopus). Kick back with a nice fresh fruity jug of cava sangria and enjoy the vibes and music, spending the afternoon people-watching and soaking up the sun. Feet-tapping, finger-clicking fun!
New and fresh for this summer is Cala Bonita at S’Estanyol. Their amazing food – all locally sourced and organically grown – leaves your taste buds relishing the authentic tastes of Ibiza. You can chill out listening to a the Balearic beat whilst taking in the beautiful views of the calm Mediterranean, or take a dip in the bay below, which is perfect for snorkelling,