Hotel Xuroy, Cala Alcaufar, Menorca

IMG_2258

After the last few weeks getting the house ready for sale, we really needed this break to Menorca!  We’ve stayed here before at the Hotel Xuroy (pronounced shoo-roy) and knew it would be the perfect place to kick off our shoes and get lost in a good book.

We had a shockingly bad experience with Thomson right at the start when we found ourselves bumped off an overbooked flight and bussed to Gatwick from Manchester, resulting in a 12 hour delay.  I kid you not, I can barely write this without steam coming out of my ears, so I’m going to say nothing more, other than our claim for compensation is in.

When we come across poor service, our normal way to deal with it is to vote with our feet, so goodbye Thomson, nice (or not so nice) knowing ya!

 

IMG_2268

Anyway, back to Cala Alcaufar.  The place is drop dead gorgeous.  The water is clear and there are jetties stretching out into the sea where you can climb down from a ladder and just drop right into the sea.

IMG_2265

The Xuroy is only two stars and is basic, but clean.  The food is good but there is very little choice – it’s a bit like going to a friend for dinner and just eating with the family.  There is no aircon so I wouldn’t go in the summer months, but in September it’s just fine.

IMG_2305

At night drinks are on the terrace and the view above is what you see as you sip your glass of rose and watch the sun go down.  Service is a little slow so you have to be patient!

IMG_2279 (2)

Our room faced the courtyard at the back.  The rooms have been done up quite recently and are modern and fresh.

The village itself has just one hotel, some self catering places, one shop and one other bar (Piccolo Mundo).  Within walking distance though, you can reach Punta Prima (about 35 mins scramble over rocks) where we had an excellent paella, and S’Algar which is another small village with a few more bars and shops (15 mins walk).

I’d go again, but next time I think we’ll rent a small place in the village and book flights independently.

 

IMG_2266

Time To Reboot

Well, summer is over an it’s time for a reboot.  We’ve had a great time sampling food in both the UK and Spain, but my waistline is feeling the pinch!

DSCF2395

Here I am stuffing my face with jamon in the Mercado at Mahon, Menorca.  Very nice it was too, but like all good things, it has come to an end.

So today I’m back to clean eating and feeling very positive about it.

Wish me luck guys!

A Post Card From Menorca

A few pics from last week’s holiday.

DSCF2354

These gates are typical of Menorca.  The rustic look is the in thing it seems.

DSCF2362

This Popeye art is right on the harbour in Mahon.

DSCF2366

Pastel coloured houses in Mahon.

DSCF2369

I wonder what’s behind this little door?

DSCF2377

Fish in the harbour at Es Castell.  These are leaves on the top of the water which the fish seem to think is bread.

DSCF2370

A Menorca snack: grilled pimiento, patatas bravas and a fried egg.  Very good it was too.

DSCF2401

Avarcas – a holiday purchase.  Gotta be done.

DSCF2402

Modern graffiti.  Not sure what the meaning is, but brightens up a car park.

Hope you enjoyed!

 

Less Really Is More at Collingwood House

I’m not sure how exactly it’s happened but I seem to have managed to achieve a sense of calm.  We’ve been on holiday to Menorca, staying near Es Castell, in the 18th century Collingwood House.  There are strictly no mod cons at this place (no TV, no aircon, very basic food), although you can get wifi in the main reception.  We read books, played scrabble, went for walks and enjoyed the wildlife (lots of lizards and big bugs).  There are places to eat out within easy walking distance, but for the most part, we kicked back and relaxed.  At bedtime it was very dark and very quiet, great for a good night’s sleep.

DSCF2416

It’s only a two star hotel, once the home of Admiral Collingwood, second in command to Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.  The interior has been lovingly restored by the current owner who has been adding to his collection of artefacts since 1961 and the style reflects how it would have looked in Collingwood’s day.

DSCF2412

Although not far from Mahon, we heard that the owner had bought the surrounding land to prevent development, so you have the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.

DSCF2406

Being in such a calming place has really made me think about stuff.  And I do mean literally ‘stuff’.  We were very happy with the simplicity.  Logging on once a day to check emails and happily ignoring social media.  I read a couple of great books and indulged in time frittered away.  There was no dressing up and no putting on make up.

DSCF2420

It made me think about why we feel we need so much stuff in our lives.  In fact, the first thing I’ve done this morning is drop a load of clothes off at the charity shop. I also realised just how much time I spend on social media and have to ask myself, does it really benefit me, or is it just a drain on my internal resources?

So with a rethink on the cards, I’m re-energised and ready for the run up to the winter solstice.  Can’t say I’ve thought about giving up blogging though….I spent loads of time scribbling notes in my little yellow diary instead.  Can’t live without committing my thoughts to paper…it’s the habit of a lifetime.  Happy Days!

Happy Doing Nothing in Menorca: Hotel Xuroy

Last September we had such a relaxing holiday in Menorca, we were practically horizontal by the end of it!  We stayed at the two star Hotel Xuroy in the tiny village of Alcaufar and I can honestly tell you there is nothing to do here but relax, look at the scenery, maybe swim and read books!  No TV in the room, only one tiny shop in the village and only one bar apart from the hotel.  You could practically hear a pin drop if you went out in the afternoon at siesta time.  Total bliss if that if you want away from it all!   Beware if you want to blog there – the wifi was patchy!

DSCF0932

The hotel is extremely basic, chosen for its location and not its facilities.  There is no aircon, no mod cons, food is nothing to write home about (except for my daily, sugar dusted, breakfast ensaimada).  But, the view from our room was amazing, looking right out onto a secluded cove!  The hotel does have a separate restaurant on the terrace where you can choose from freshly caught fish of the day brought to you on a platter, but it is very expensive and for us, a one off treat.  There is however a little bar Piccolo Mundo, a stone’s throw away where you can get good tapas for lunch.  Piccolo’s too has amazing views, so worth a visit.DSCF0942

There are two villages within walking distance if you feel the need to get out and about, plus good walking nearby with lots of little coves to discover.  If you want to go to Mahon,  there is a regular bus from the village.

DSCF0916

The jury is out on whether we’ll go back.  I loved the seclusion, but I didn’t love the food and that’s a big part of the holiday.  I was never hungry as there was always something tasty, but I wasn’t excited by it.  Some people go back year after year and I can see why.  Let’s see what happens shall we!

DSCF0914