Those of you who enjoy visiting Spain are probably familiar with Tapas, the small bites of delicious food, often placed on little slices of bread. An evening spent with friends, eating these tasty snacks, accompanied by wine, is something that we love to do. The experience of trying new foods in bite size pieces is a great concept. Seafood, meats and vegetables combined in a variety of different ways. One of Noel's favourite Tapas is oxtail, mashed potato and onion relish on a small slice of bread. Usually devoured in two bites!
Whenever we have friends visiting our island we introduce them to the concept of the 'Tapas Crawl', where you simply walk from one Tapas Bar to another, sampling a little wine and food at each location. It is a fun experience and an inexpensive way of eating out. You can often have a couple of Tapas and a glass of house red for around €6, if you avoid the tourist areas and eat with the locals.
As the British holiday season begins in earnest this weekend, perhaps you will be braving the UK motorway system, as you battle to various resorts. Maybe some will head off to far flung points of the globe.
But the discerning ones among you, will have chosen Palma, Mallorca as the holiday destination of choice for 2016.
No doubt you will want to budget wisely when eating out in this beautiful city, so here we offer some places to visit on your 'Tapas Crawl'.
It is best to do this on foot, as walking around the city on a warm summer's evening, when all life spills out onto the street, is a great experience.
Start around 8pm (no earlier - after all this is Spain) and you will easily fill the next few hours on this journey.
All these places are off the tourist trail, so you will not be paying tourist prices.
Lizarran - Carrer de Blanquerna, 6, 07003 Palma de Mallorca Website
What a find. Really inexpensive Tapas, Pinchos and drinks. We visited last week with friends and had a wonderful time. The staff were so friendly and continually brought freshly made hot Pinchos and Tapas, to our table. We sat inside which seems the place to be, since we were offered first choice, as items came out of the kitchen. The house red wine was perfect and this was one of those places where you really want an extra stomach, in order to enjoy all that is on offer.
This restaurant is in a street which is filled with scores of places to eat, patronised by the locals, so you can also spend a happy time wandering from place to place. But don't get too distracted. Just a few minutes walk away, is our next recommended port of call.
Can Terra - Calle 31 de Diciembre 1, Palma Website
We highly recommend Can Terra, a fairly new Basque-influenced Tapas restaurant. Excellent wines at reasonable prices, fantastic selection of Tapas and other dishes and very friendly and attentive service.
They serve the best Pimientos de Padron (fried green peppers sprinkled with sea salt) we have ever tasted in Mallorca. The restaurant does not take reservations but if you get there around 8pm, you should be able to find a table or space at the bar. Don't stay too long as the next venue beckons.
Bodega La Rambla - Via Roma, 6, 07012 Palma Website
One of Noel's favourites. This Tapas bar has been around since 1940 and moved to bigger premises last year. Even so, we waited almost an hour for a table on a busy Saturday night. It is impossible to reserve a table in advance. You just turn up and hope for the best. If you cannot get a table, there is usually room at the bar. The wait is worth it. The food is excellent and the atmosphere is wonderful. You must try - Salpicón de Pulpo (a very refreshing octopus dish) and Albóndigas con Tomate (meatballs in tomato sauce).
Loads of locals use this restaurant. Be aware, you can only pay in cash but prices are not high. Leave a little more room, because there is one more stop on our journey. If you have had enough savoury, the next place also does great desserts.
Tast - Carrer de la Unió, 2, 07001 Palma Website
This is one of our favourite restaurants. We love Tapas and Tast never disappoints. Whenever we have friends visit us on the island, we take them there. They often go back the next day on their own, to try out more of the Tapas and dishes on order. The same staff have been there, ever since we started visiting the place. A good sign. The restaurant is obviously a good place to work and the staff are always friendly and helpful.
The food, is always freshly cooked, arrives quickly and tastes perfect.
This restaurant is perfect, if you just want to slip in for a few Tapas and a glass of vino at the bar, or want to spend an evening sitting down with friends in a great atmosphere. If you want a table, it is best to call and reserve ahead of time. The restaurant gets really busy, so it is good to do this, rather than wait for a table.
As a guide to price. Our bill for a full meal for 4 people was €67 for 2 bottles of house wine (always excellent), water and loads of Tapas. For a final drink and a couple of Tapas, you may pay less than €10 each.
Below is the route from Lizarran to Tast. A total of 17 minutes at normal walking pace and only 1.4km distance.
One final thought. If Summer sun is not what you enjoy, why not visit the island for a weekend in the Autumn/Winter period. Less crowds, mild weather, lots to see and do and of course Tapas.