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A great recommendation from the oldest wine Bodega on the Island

Tuesday morning and the grey skies of Yorkshire feel like a distant memory as the cloudless azure skies of Mallorca welcome us to their colourful spring.

A little jet-lagged after a late flight last night, we set off vaguely in the direction of lunch. On the way we take a diversion to Ribas, one of the many family owned wineries on the island, situated in the small village of Consell; the winery is a devil to find if you don’t know where it is, but fortunately after a determined effort a few years ago it is now a regular stop. Pedro Ribas de Cabrera first set up this excellent winery in 1711. It is now run by his descendants, who continue to produce truly fine wines from the same house their illustrious ancestor did 3 centuries ago. We plump for a bottle of Sio, the year’s premium vintage; Sio is Spanish for grandfather. With the bottle comes what turns out to be a fabulous recommendation for lunch.

They say, “never judge a book by its cover”, something we completely failed to do this time, as we had just walked past this unassuming restaurant and for some unfathomable reason had not been convinced by its menu – I suspect it was on account of the fact that it was translated into 3 languages and seemed to be targeted at the infrequent tourists who make their way past its door.

Es Rústic was opened in October 2012 by a delightful husband and wife team from Soller, who treated us to a truly magical lunch. Aina is the Chef and the right-hand wall already boast awards from the various culinary competitions she has won. Her husband Toni runs the front of house with warmth, charm and panache. Starters included a delicious fish soup brimming with freshness and a goats cheese and bacon salad with crispy lettuce. For mains we opted for stuffed aubergine, full of tender meat delicately spiced to compliment the vegetable. The house wine was from Ribas (50 metres from the front door), a full bodied red, just the ticket to complement the cooking. The desserts were the finale I was hoping for; all homemade with the same attention of the rest of the meal; tiramisu and orange almond cake with chocolate sauce. A good coffee marked the end of a delightful visit – thank you Aina and Toni, and Ribas, what a recommendation!

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