Behind the shutters of the Soller Valley

Written by Shirley Roberts
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 16th February 2016

Photographs by Rachel Fox
The village houses of our area are wonderful delights for the imagination because you just don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors.  The huge imposing wooden doors are often left half open by tradition allowing a tantalising glimpse into a courtyard or Entrada. You can tell if it a local or an incomer by looking inside at the floor. The majority of newbies get rid of the cobbled floors and install damp courses, underfloor heating and tiles circa 2016.  The Sollerics for the most part laugh at such an affectation and know that even if they don’t keep cattle in the entrada any more in the winter months, the floors are a national heirloom.

If you take a walk down one of Fornalutx’s finest street right now and looked into a window you would see a fascinating sight.  A workshop has been created in a village house and some of the worlds finest guitars are being made there.  Kenneth Brogger is a name you will know if you are a classical guitar aficionado. Kenneth has established a second guitar workshop in his holiday home in Fornalutx.  He hates to be away from his passion and inspired work and decided that he shared Chopin’s view that ‘if paradise exists on earth, then it must be here in Fornalutx’.  To make guitars in Fornalutx as well as his workshop in Denmark means that he can enjoy everything the Soller Valley offers as well as continue his beloved passion for work.

His workshop is situated in a house that appears exactly as it was when it was originally built in 1900.  Five steps from the main hall is probably the smallest professional guitar workshop ever (7.4 square metres).  This is space enough to build one or maximum two guitars at a time and just right for Kenneth to continue working while on holiday. This is just one of the many stories I can tell about the people who inhabit our world. There is just something about this area that appeals to creative, innovative people with great talent. This means that we are never surprised at who pitches up on our doorstep and lives alongside.

Have you ever spent any time at Soller’s industrial estate of Son Angelats?  There are so many beautiful areas around that you can be forgiven for not having beaten a path to the door of the estate.  I often go there because around the developing industry a park has been created which is a perfect dog walk.  Usually I am the only person there so obviously its fame hasn’t spread yet. Tucked in the heart of the place is Tallat de Lluna which is a kitchen show room and carpentry shop with a difference.  This is the Show Cooking Centre of Soller and on Sunday 21st February the famous Indian Chef Shahin Awal is showing us how to cook Indian style and then we get to eat it.   Show Cooking at this location was the runaway success of 2015 and its great that this year starts with such a great culinary opportunity.  Check out the availability to join in on 620 458 414.

Indian cuisine has only ever been available to Sollerics in the Port of Soller from March to October.  Everyone enjoyed the seaside curry but moaned about the winter close down.  Well all that has changed and the Red Fort restaurant from the beach has opened another two locations in Soller which are open year round.  Curry for the winter has been such a pleasure for us and as for the home deliveries that is something else.

Vic Singh, the owner of the restaurants did his apprenticeship is East London and then latterly in Cheltenham before relocating to the Soller Valley.  The Indian take away and delivery service is such a fact of life in those places which was why it was his ambition for Soller.  The family enterprise has now grown enough staff to make deliveries a possibility and this is delighting the local and visitor population.

As life here continues behinds its closed doors and unexpected places (like an industrial estate for show cooking) other areas of City life are full of transparency.  In the new political administration transparency is the byword.  The beginnings of a series of meeting was held this week about the traffic flow and public transport of our area. Neighbourhood forums on the subject are scheduled to be held and everyone is being encouraged to have their say.  Changes to the roads in and out of the City are being suggested and opposed.  This is such a difficult issue to get right because at its simplest there is no room for all the cars and other vehicles that wish to use the narrow streets.  Whatever decisions are made it is just playing at the edge of the problem.  The solution is a bridge over the top of the City or a network of underground road tunnels and we all know they will never happen.

Thank you for reading about our Soller world here every week.  We look forward to welcoming you here very soon.

Leave a Reply