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Europe Ibiza

Amante 

So as you may know I’ve been writing up about some of the brilliant places I was lucky to eat at in Ibiza recently, but what you may not know is that Ibiza wasn’t just any ordinary holiday – it was my best friend’s Wed Week. This incredible week full of fun, laughing, a fair few hangovers and of course, chock full of love, culminated in a stunning wedding of two of my closest friends at the beautiful Amante Beach Club.

It being my best friend’s wedding, of course I had stalked photos of Amante online a lot, and another good friend of mine who had shot a wedding there last year confirmed it was an incredible location, but honestly I wasn’t prepared for just how amazing it would be until I arrived one morning before the big day for a run through. The other beach clubs I’ve been to in Ibiza are next to others yet Amante is totally isolated in a small bay, built up on the rocks with panoramic views of turquoise waters that melt into azure blue toward the horizon.

When we got there, one of Amante’s yoga and breakfast mornings was in full swing, and I cannot think of a more perfect spot to start the day. Classes start at 9am and are conducted in both English and Spanish, with a healthy breakfast buffet of fresh fruit, eggs, natural yogurt, cereals, dried fruit, freshly baked wholegrain patisserie and freshly squeezed juices to wash it all down (€30 for yoga and breakfast). I can’t report back on the quality of breakfast but it all looked great and if the food I have had at Amante is anything to be judged on, it’ll be fantastic.

Which brings me to talking about just that – the food. Given, I’m writing about a set menu at a wedding, but everything served is available on their a la carte and is clearly shows the quality on offer at the beach club. To kick off proceedings, tuna tataki canapes were a favourite, washed down with the most refreshing of expertly made mojitos. The drinks and canape reception allowed everyone to take in the – quite frankly – ridiculous views that Amante has to offer. It’s impossible not to be enthralled by the place, even if you were to simply go for a drink. But it would be foolish to miss out on Amante’s food, so back to that.

To start we had sharing plates of Iberico ham, the creamiest burrata I think I’ve ever had, and a delicious fish stew of sorts. Beautifully presented, the burrata was served with a basil infused cream and a scattering of cherry tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic pearls. I could’ve eaten the entirety of the seafood dish by myself, the standout element being the plump, perfectly cooked scallops among the calamari and king prawns, complemented well by a tomato and saffron sauce.

For the wedding breakfast main, we had a choice of baked cod – which was excellently cooked – served with tomatoes, garlic and baked potatoes, or Tenderised Galician beef with parmesan potato gratin, black truffle oil and vine ripened tomatoes, which was perfectly sized and married together well. On the a la carte menu there are of course ample more dishes to choose from, the tuna fillet dish and the slow cooked suckling pig, sounding particularly good to me. The perfect excuse to return.

Being the location of such a happy day for me and my friends, you may think I’m biased on Amante being a pretty special place, but I genuinely think the photos speak for themselves. There’s something magical about this beach club set into the rocks; the seclusion from everything else and the panoramic views make this a must stop during your time in Ibiza – just remember to check in advance the place hasn’t been hijacked by another wedding!

 

Cala Sol d’en Serra, Calle Afueras, s/n, 07849 Cala Longa, Ibiza
+34 971 19 61 76
Open every day from 11am until 2am; yoga mornings from 9am on weekdays

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Asia Bali Food From Travels Indonesia Seminyak

Lilin at Potato Head Beach Club

Bali has a few famous places readily recognised as ‘institutions’ and Potato Head Beach Club is one of them. Set back from the sands of Seminyak, overlooking the ocean and a prime spot from which to view the sunset, Potato Head comprises three beautifully designed restaurants surrounding an impressive infinity pool with swim up bar.

The choice of restaurants at Potato Head range from the chandelier decked out Tapping Shoes with French cuisine, the international Potato Head Bistro where I’m told there’s a particularly good smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel on the menu, and Lilin, the Asian arm of the beach club. Tables are long and communal, the restaurant covered but without walls, allowing patrons to enjoy an al fresco experience – which in Bali could just as easily be dining in the middle of a tropical rain storm as the baking sun.

At lunch Lilin is focused on sharing plates with classic Asian flavours and plenty of spice. We each chose two sharing dishes plus the chilli crab with steamed buns and were left impressed by all that we sampled, although not for the faint hearted if you’re someone who doesn’t really enjoy their food spicy. The food was bold and rich in flavour, particular favourites included spicy shredded chicken with fresh kafir lime leaves and baby aubergine with shallots and chilli. However the real star of the show was the chilli crab with steamed buns, which was a relative bargain for the equivalent of around £15.

Undoubtedly one of my favourite parts of dining at Lilin  is their sangria menu, which uses inventive and locally sourced ingredients. There are six different concoctions, from Lemongrass and Mango Sangria made with white wine and amaretto, to the ‘Zen’ – blush rose with melon liqueur and pomegranate. We sampled two or three and all were just as more-ish as they sounded on the menu, whilst the Prohibition Iced Tea my friend had was novel in its presentation in a teapot with dry ice and suitably potent for a drink reminiscent of the 1920s, complete with vodka injected oranges.

Even if you don’t fancy dining at Potato Head and instead simply go for the pool and the cocktails, you must go. As is the case with any beach club worth its salt, the drinks menu is not only a work of art (literally, it’s hand illustrated) but each cocktail reads like miniature poem. You will unfailingly see the espresso martinis being passed out of the bars en masse, and with good reason too – these are among the best espresso martinis I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a fair amount. Ok, a lot. I’ve had a lot. What’s more, each is served with a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

Lounge beds by the pool are available, though you may need to go on a waiting list for the privilege. There is a minimum spend requirement, and though I cannot recall how much, it’s not too hefty, all things considered. This sort of place in Ibiza or Marbella would set you back a lot more.

There are a few nights in which Potato Head hosts DJs and from evening until the early hours a big party ensues, and on the flip side there are nights that are distinctly chilled in comparison, so time it right and do your research beforehand if one or the other is favourable. Either way, Potato Head remains a definitive must do in Bali.

Jl. Petitenget No.51B, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 83061, Indonesia

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