Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin – Tuesday 27th May 2014

Soller oranges – don’t you just love them?  They  are special and taste different from all other oranges in my considered opinion.  Take no notice of me because the historians made that claim long before I came on the scene.  The orange aficionados talk about the type of tree and the soil combination.  The soil of the L’horta district of Soller is considered to be the optimum for the Soller orange.  We have a Museum devoted to the Orange now and the history of the orange and its place in Soller can be charted through its documents and demonstrations.  The Capvespre Project is the place to go for so many things ‘orange’ these days.  This is a Museum/Cultural Centre in the same grounds as the Co-opertiva Agricola halfway between Soller and Fornalutx.  There is car parking there and you really can’t miss it if you drive in the direction of Fornalutx.

The Capvespre project is really thriving this year from a tentative start it is now the heart of so many things orange. It hosts marmalade making workshops, and museum lectures on the the skill in bringing the Soller orange to the world.  They are equally as passionate about the lemon and last week they had over ten versions of a grapefruit to show us.  Did you even know there were ten types of grapefruit?  Everyday there is something going on in this new building and there is orange information exchange to  tourists, holiday makers, locals and school and youth groups.

From Friday 30th May to Sunday 15th June 2014 Soller and the Hidden Valley celebrate The Orange Festival.  This annual event has many manifestations and the first starts on Friday 30th May with the Chef of the Bens D’Avall Restaurant – Benet Vicens ‘Show Cooking’ with oranges in the Capvespre Project.  This is a tasting menu including drinks for 25€ per person and is a magnificent opportunity to taste what this valley produces cooked by one of the highly acclaimed food artists of the area.

This is followed on Saturday31st by another highly acclaimed expert in his field also taking the stage at Capvespre. This time it it Toni Motoso – the King of the ‘Gintonic’.  From his position as the Professor of the University of the Balearics specialising in Bar Tendering he knows all there is to know about the ultimate gintonic.  He has taught the finest bartenders of Majorca and he is giving us a lesson to celebrate the lemons of the Soller Valley.  This event takes place at Capvespre from 12 noon to 14.00 hrs and costs 15€.  Both these events have limited capacity and are sure to be oversubscribed so phone 971 63 08 76 to book as soon as possible.

Soller is definitely in Fiesta mode, it’s almost any excuse for a party but we keep being brought back to the orange.  The poster was up for this special part of our calendar on Sunday when many visitors came to our City for the Majorcan Dance Festival.  The square was packed with parents and friends of all the children who were taking part in the Dancing Workshop plus the locals who love the dance.  A very enthusiastic audience applauded the children and it was a lovely occasion made possible by the Aires d’ Sollerics and their music and singing.  It was one of those ‘pinch yourself moments’ when all was well with the world and everyone was friends and supporting one another’s efforts.  The power of dance and joint enterprise is always uplifting I find.

We are always delighted to welcome people to the Soller Valley and for the next two weeks that is the reason for our existence.  The Orange Festival means that the Soller Train, Tram and 17 local Restaurants have got together to give the ultimate day trip.   The special price includes a return train trip to Palma, a return Tram trip to the Port of Soller and then lunch or dinner at one of the participating restaurants offering a special ‘orange’ menu.  The price is  38€ and this represents incredibly good value on the normal prices.  Some fine restaurants are participating in this offer and are giving you the opportunity to sample their cooking.  For local residents and visitors staying in the Soller Valley they have the opportunity to have the special ‘orange’ menu at 23€ per head.  So special treats all round for everyone at this ‘orange’ time of year.

The final event that I invite you all to participate in happens here next Sunday 1st  June 2014.  Soller square becomes a Taster’s Paradise with all the local restaurants offering their tasty orange treats for your delectation.  You buy a page of tickets and the go round all the stalls tasting their starters, main courses and desserts using the tickets as payment.  This is a great day in our calendar and the food is exquisite, the wine magnificent and it’s just great to see old and new friends.  If you’ve never been to Soller for a tasting day I would urge you to make the trip.  We love to share all things orange with you at this special time of the year and it will be great to say hello next Sunday.

More stories and timings of all our great fiestas can be found on the Events Calendar of www.sollerweb.com.

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