By Emma Ivison –
Whilst sat in one of my lovely local bars in Es Migjorn Gran, Sa Branca, I happened to notice a half-covered poster on the notice board… it said, ‘Hats and Horses Menorca’. So, we promptly looked it up and realised it was taking place in Ciutadella on Saturday, today was Thursday. We made a quick booking, to their fourth event here. Celebrity Magazine had already told me about the Mallorca version of the event and then… ’Long suffering’ said, “you need a new dress”, I snapped his hand off, and off we went to Maó.
We were recommended a boutique shop called Dress Code for my new dress, talking to the owner and mentioning Hats and Horses, she then said, “Oh, Ariadna, the promoter and Elena the presenter, bought their dresses here last week”. I knew I was in good company! We asked for a recommendation for hats, and she sent us down to the harbour to another little boutique, Amaia. One Panama hat for him, handwoven in Ecuador from Toquilla palm, and a large-brimmed straw hat, adorned with an artisan dried Menorcan flower band for me, that was our whistle stop tour of Maó boutique stores completed. (Gulp, let’s not look at the receipts).
So, we booked our ‘staycation’ in Ciutadella at the, very reasonably priced, Hotel Menorca Patricia, with spacious rooms and a delightful plunge pool and very close to the centre. We checked in on Friday and treated ourselves to a gorgeous lunch at Cas Cònsol restaurant on Plaça des Born, over-looking the beautiful harbour, not far from where the fast Catamaran, operated by FRS from Alcúdia, docks. So, we were ready and set to go for our busy, Hats and Horses-day on Saturday.
It was definitely the start of summer, wonderfully warm and sunny. There were many interesting stalls on offer, anything from jewellery to food and drink. I even got a free fan from an island estate agent, BO, Blanca de Olivar.
We were serenaded mid-afternoon by Marc Bosch Sax Sessions, a very talented young man that I have met before, and now consider a new island friend. We had ‘Village tickets’, that we would highly recommend, as this is where we were catered for by S’algar Catering from Sant Lluís. The three-course lunch started with a delightful gazpacho with carpaccio of lobster, a suckling pig main and forest berries and light Italian méringue for dessert, and of course, accompanied by great Spanish wine.
Another very enjoyable stall, with courtesy drinks, was a company from Mallorca, Sangria Rita. Serving absolutely delicious, very classy, small bottles of pre-mixed and quite exclusive tasting, Sangria. Yes, I had 3!
We were very pleased that Ariadna found ten minutes, after social butterflying around the event, to join us for the main course. As she was looking, a touch ‘pink’, from the sun, I swapped my shady spot, so that she could at least eat in the cool. She missed starter and dessert! We were also pleased to meet the owners of the successful Menorcan shoe company, Pons Quintana, established in 1953 in Alaior, and still going very strong.
Elena kept us entertained with the intermittent race results, as well as general chatting and information throughout the day, and I put a bet on number 5 for my friends in the UK and… yeah, he won.