Havaneres, Gin, Chickens and more in Soller
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 16th September 2014
Photograph by RACHEL FOX
The Soller Valley is awash with gin and tonic and experts. We have watched at fiestas when the hospitality kings of the Tourism University have demonstrated the art of preparing the ultimate drink. Special swizzle sticks to pour the tonic against to get rid of some of the fizz are apparently de rigour. Bars are defined by their gin and tonic prices and reputations are made and broken on the best gin to use for the drink. The list of gins you are offered is overwhelming and you find yourself muttering ‘I don’t care – I just want a gin and tonic’. The gin wars have now given way to the chicken nugget battles of the Port of Soller .
Mums have been complaining for years about the quality of processed rubbish contained in the average chicken nugget. This year beach bar owners (who are also mums) of the Port of Soller decided to make a stand. Notices started appearing that the only chicken nugget served in their establishments was home made and used 100% chicken. Pieces of chicken battered and cooked to order became the only dish on the beach and they were being eaten by children and their parents alike. Simply delicious was the verdict and the gauntlet was laid down. It is now the sport in the Port of Soller to judge the rest of a restaurants menu on the quality of its chicken nuggets. Pass the nugget test and you can then enter the ‘Chicken Nugget Fry Off’.
This is the invitation to the hotels and restaurants in the Port of Soller to enter the competition to find the best chicken nuggets in the place. There is one entry criteria and that is to declare from the outset that never again in your establishment will you use chicken nuggets that are not 100% chicken. More information about this event will be available shortly. We are hoping that the new Manager of the Jumeirah will take this challenge and host this event of the year.
The football season has started and even in this extreme September heat the children and adults teams turn up for the training and play their matches. The football team of Soller is sponsored by the Es Moli Hotel and I found myself knocking on their door this week. A reader of our site www.sollerweb.comcontacted us to see if we could get a football shirt for him. He had tried while he was on holiday in Soller to get one but had no luck. The Es Moli used their best endeavours and sent me to the orange juice stall in Soller market on Saturday. The juice stall is run by the football team to raise money for the children’s activities of the club. Incidentally the orange juice, freshly squeezed in front of you at 1.50€ is just lovely. The whole surreal plan worked and I came away from my orange juice bearing the prize of the last of the shirts for last season. Straight to the Post Office and the Soller FC shirt was on its way to Neil in Chesterfield . The photograph came back three days later of him proudly wearing it. Thanks to all to helping me please a reader and thanks to the postal services that delivered it to Derbyshire within two days!
This weekend we have such a treat in the Port of Soller as the Havaneres roll into the Valley. The music of the Havaneres is a cross between sea shanty laments and country music. Originally this came from the migration groups that went to Cuba from Spain and other places. They missed their homeland and the Havaneres genre of music came from that era. The Port of Soller is celebrating its fifth anniversary of hosting this huge festival. It is on the beaches of the Costa Brava that you might have come across them before because the spiritual home of the music in Spain is there. A decision was made a few years ago to give the local Havaneres lovers a nearer beach to celebrate on and so the Repic Beach of the Port of Soller was given the prize. We just love the Havaneres here and people make their holiday plans around being here for the three days of the festival.
The Fiesta is well organised and can be accessed from Palma via the Soller Train and Tram at specially reduced prices. This is from Friday 19th September 2014 to Sunday 21st September 2014. On Friday and Saturday it starts at 8 pm and on Sunday they play two sets – one at 7 pm and the final one at 11 pm. Restaurants have special Havaneres menus and many people have picnics on the beach listening to the free music wafting the bay. The stage is set up near the Agapanto Restaurant and seating is available there. Nine Havaneres bands are booked to play and we have a visit from the godmother of the Havaneres – Marina Rossell. This is equivalent to having Dolly Parton come to sing if you are a country music fan. Marina is an icon and is one of the reasons that the TV cameras will be there for the duration of this festival. The eyes of the Havaneres world are upon us and making sure that The Repic Beach of the Port of Soller is earning its keep as a ‘keeper of the music Havaneres style’.
We welcome you to join us for this very special weekend of music in Soller which is (according to the Havaneres brochure) The Cultural capital of the Serra de Tramuntana. How special is that …