So we might as well enjoy our curse.
Truth is we outdid ourselves and had the time of our lives at the Spa, Hotel and Restaurant Es Marès, in Sant Francesc.
The hotel crew treated us to an amazing day in its spa followed by the best lunch we have ever had. Ever. And mark my words, this is not the love bug talking.
Es Marès is one of those charming boutique hotels that excite and soothe you at the same time. It owes its name to Formentera’s typical sandstone and the Deu i Deu architecture studio truly did an outstanding job. Whites, woods and earth tones combine to create a cosy, sober and elegant atmosphere, loyal to the Pitiusa islands style.
With 18 rooms, it is located in Sant Francesc, one of the island’s most picturesque corners.
We started our stay relaxing in their gorgeous spa. It has a steaming room, a hot tub, a sauna with chromo therapy and stone ergonomic beds. We happened to be there all by ourselves and reached a state close to nirvana.
Then came lunch. Oh, that glorious meal.
Carlos, the maître, took great care of us and praised Chef Juanmi Santandreu came to greet us and introduce his tasting menu.
He promised to keep the dishes coming until we succumbed. And succumb to his wonders we did.
We started with Marès of foie: foie gras bricks with Granny Smith apple and Japanese quince.
Only to move on to the Burratina with half-dried tomato, shiitake in ponzu sauce and rocket coulis.
We then indulged in a heaven of Bluefin Tuna Tartar with lotus root, red onion, chili and crispy nori seaweed.
Along came the very local Formentera octopus, soft and crispy with a cream of potatoes and paprika. And to think that we may have swam with the little creature mere hours ago!
And just when we thought it couldn’t possible get any better, we tried the Kobe hamburger with wild rice, caramelised onions and “blown” potatoes.
To crown lunch, we feasted on the most delicate of desserts.
A pagan poem pudding, as I would call it. A story in itself picturing a little boat crossing the sea to get to the “Luna de Valencia”, a Spanish expression meaning Valencian Moon used to describe daydreaming.
A delicious sweet ode to the Chef’s own story tale made of fig cake, ice cream made of white chocolate and Formentera salt and an ‘Horchata’-based sphere.
Right in the middle of our daydream, Juanmi came to check up on us and tell us a bit more about his cuisine. How his Asian wanderlust and discoveries inspired him to revisit Mediterranean classics.
Local meets elsewhere. Slow contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with a subtle Oriental twist based on the synergy of umami, the fifth taste.
Let me just say that the exquisite lunch only worsened our addiction to Formentera. Kathryn and I had no doubt, it was the best lunch we had ever had.
If you are in Formentera, and even if you’re not a hotel guest, don’t miss out on this culinary gem. They are open the whole year long and organise thematic nights and tasting menus. Plus you can take a dip in the pool and have a delightful spa experience.
If I were you, I’d make it number one of my to-do list. So stop reading the blog already and start booking. Adela will be glad to help you out with all the details at firstname.lastname@example.org