Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin -29th April 2014

Each new season brings the newcomers, the business ideas and new people here ready to make their mark for the first time.  The Movers and Shakers arrive to have their Soller moment and we all watch with great interest as they try hard and either succeed or fail.  There really is no half way house it’s one or the other.  The Port of Soller has new arrivals with a vision of creating the largest group of yacht charters here and developing the land-side of the Port into an interesting hub.  We have an established company who currently are the prime renters of charter trips and excursions and they are about to be challenged.  The front line cafés and bars re invent themselves every year and all the new ones for 2014 seem to be following the same formula of providing reasonable priced snacks and ice cream rather than full meals.  The different spending power of visitors is very evident in the new businesses opening here.  It’s all about high volume, low cost products leaving the established restaurants to that end of things.

In Deia there is a very exciting opening this week in the form of Can Quet.  This is a restaurant with a fabulous terrace overlooking the valley in Deia.  It is situated opposite the Es Moli hotel and is owned by them.  This was an old established restaurant until life got tough for the visitors to the region and then the restaurant changed its format and became became a wedding venue and function centre.  Locals and visitors missed this unique place and have done for the past five years.  The Es Moli, by popular demand are reopening the restaurant on Thursday 1st May 2014 with some of the staff who were there five years ago.  They have an exciting new menu and will also be venue for some Deia’s cultural events.  So new life for one of the old established places of the area and a hope that it might become a year round restaurant if their plans come to fruition.  This is a great plus for Deia and the Soller Valley.

In Soller City Centre the new openings are proving very popular and this weekend has seen the opening of the Tasty Tree Factory. This is a takeaway that would sit well in Covent Garden or Primrose Hill in London.  Its cupcakes, pastries , deli sandwiches, quiches and the rest are going to be just so popular with the visitors and the English speaking Sollerics.  This will make us think that we have got a mini Marks and Spencer in our midst.  I am sure that Tree (short for Teresa) who runs this place will soon be doing sausage rolls.   She did do her training in London after all and as a private Chef of this Valley for many years she knows what combination of English and Majorcan specialities are going to work. This is another of the clever new openings who understand that many visitors to Soller want to eat at home – the days of being able to afford restaurant meals every night of a holiday seem to be over for the time being.

The City of Soller is gearing itself up for one of its oldest traditions – the Battle of the Moors and Christians which happens this year on Monday 12th May 2014.  The cannon is being fired at regular intervals to remind us that Firo is imminent and last Saturday in the Market the queue for inscriptions was long.  The people were queuing to sign up to take part in the battle and register their affinity to being a Moor or a Christian.  They have to pay a nominal amount to take part and they are given their number and told what to wear.  In fact they are given a whole set of rules and this year there are special alcohol warnings.  The tradition of the past was that local hotels on the beach used to set up tables with drinks and food that the marauding gangs helped themselves to as they marched up to Soller for the final battle of the day.  The powers that be have decided that the drinks this year should be confined to water and soft drinks until after the battle is won.  This idea is going down like a lead balloon but this is what they are agreeing to by signing their inscription form!  They need 500 participants to have a good battle and at the last count they had got to 420 with another two weeks to go so there is no doubt they will make the required numbers.

The Firo battle is at the end of two weeks of very special events in Soller.  The Art Exhibitions, Book Launches, Poetry Readings, Flower show and music in many forms is our joy at this time of year. The Events Calendar of www.sollerweb.com is updated daily and will give you a timetable of the happenings in Soller and the villages of the Tramuntana.  May is a great month to visit Soller to join us for one of our many celebrations – Life – being the most important one, which we celebrate every day…

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