Natty & Marcos of Don Pedro in the Port of Soller
Written by Shirley Roberts
Photographs by Rachel Fox
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
on Sunday 16th April 2017
I know Natty and Marcos because I met them as they arrived on the Repic Beach of the Port of Soller in 2013. They opened a small restaurant with little inside space and showed us all their hospitality magic.
This great young couple are from Argentina but they didn’t know one another there. They were both in Tourism colleges in towns outside Buenos Aires. Marcos is a chef and after college was trained in the Sheraton Hotel in Mar Del Plata, one of the beautiful coastal resorts of his country. With his qualifications in place he joined many of his friends who were ready to travel and see what opportunities were waiting for them. He arrived in Majorca in 2005 and loved the Palma vibe and started working immediately in a sea front restaurant in Arenal. This led to a number of years in the Santa Catalina area of Palma in the RKO restaurant. Marcos was soon at home here cooking in multicultural Majorca.
Meanwhile Natty took her degree in Tourism in Argentina and was contemplating her life’s journey. Family members had left many years ago and settled in Majorca. Her uncle was an eminent doctor in the public health system here. It was this family connection that brought Natty to this country and to the beginning of her travelling adventures. She was determined to see as much of the world as possible.
Natty was being shown around Palma by one of her cousins who took her to the restaurant that she worked in. Introductions were made to all the staff which included Marcos. It was love at first sight and Natty who had arrived here at the beginning of her adventure soon readjusted her plans. The girl had travelled all this way and then fallen for a boy from home within a week of arriving!
Natty and Marcos had a great five years in Palma working at the Convent of the Mission restaurant and in the jazz world of the Saratoga Hotel. They worked and saved as they had their eye on worldwide travel and meeting as many people from the global population. For them travel meant as much about the chat as the locations they hoped to explore. They had met many people in Palma from all over the world and that had increased their desire to take off and see what was out there.
In 2010 their adventure began in Italy where they got married and then they ticked off travels in 40 countries. Buses, trains, planes, hikes and hanging out was their adventure. To sit in a square in Eastern Europe and be best friends with many at the end of an evening was the skill that these two had in abundance. After a couple of years, the money began to dwindle and it was time to work again. By this time, they had landed in the land of the midnight sun and Norway was to be their next adventure. Bergen was first stop as they got back into work mode and then they headed for what was to become their very special place in the universe in the Lofoten Islands.
The Lofoten Islands are in the heart of the waters of the Norwegian Sea, far above the Artic Circle. This is a landscape of mountains, fjords, surf swept beaches and and nature in its harsh and benign beauty. Hiking, skiing, fishing, surfing, diving and the Northern Lights are all here. This is a holiday paradise for those looking for something outstandingly beautiful and different.
Natty and Marcos fell in love with this place and the beauty all around them. They found the travellers to this place particularly interesting and they learnt so much about life from true adventurers. They worked in a fine restaurant and were accepted by the local people. An honour not afforded to all in this isolated place but who could resist the smiles, chatter and the genuine desire to connect that this couple had.
Then one morning they woke and decided that they had enjoyed the best time but now it was time to go home. They needed to start their own business and maybe one day a family. Lofoten was just too far to expect their families to come for visits and they missed them. Now for two children of Argentina where were they going to call home? They had lived in many places in all their travels and they could have chosen Argentina or one of their many happy places in Europe. There was really no contest for them both and they returned to Majorca and arrived in the Soller Valley in 2013.
A small restaurant on the Repic Beach – really no bigger than a sandwich bar was what they could afford when they arrived here. They had saved in the Lofoten Islands because all the adventures were free and there was nothing to spend money on. This gave them their start and ability to acquire the premises and they began creating a Tapas and Burger menu which has become their trademark. Marcos was challenged by the mini kitchen he inherited but he smiled through it. Natty and Marcos brought an energy and happiness with them that made customers their best friends and Don Pedro was the place that everyone wanted to go to.
For three years they worked hard and expanded their team to cater for the ever expanding numbers who loved their food and the ambience they created. Then in one of those defining years everything happened at the same time. The much longed for addition to their family arrived last Christmas. Paula is a smiling delight and makes her parents very happy. At the same time premises just two doors from their little Don Pedro became available. This was a complete game changer as it has seating for 60 inside plus a full terrace overlooking the sea. This had the space to create a proper kitchen after massive works and this was taking them into a different league.
The decision was between standing still or moving up to the next level and opening their doors and their hearts a little wider. The team was assembled and Grandma came to help with Paula while the Don Pedro team set to work to create their new gift for 2017 to the Repic Beach of the Port of Soller.
This weekend Don Pedro opens with nerves and smiles from our friends Natty and Marcos. It looks magnificent and they have so many exciting plans for the space in the future. For now, they just want to have a great season welcoming old and new friends to enjoy with them what they have created.
Don Pedro is named after Natty’s grandfather – a hard working Argentinian who inspired Natty to travel, talk and ask questions. She credits him with the positivity that has taken her on her travels and the genuine interest she has in people.
Don Pedro takes its place in our world this weekend with the good wishes of all who know this family. The Repic Beach of the Port of Soller is a gastronomic paradise with some of the finest restaurants of Majorca situated right here. Don Pedro with their home made innovative burgers and sublime tapas are right there with the best.
Don Pedro will be open from 12 noon to 11.30 pm each day and closes on Wednesdays.