It’s that time of year again when you’ve got those good intentions of being ultra efficient and super organised but still end up finding yourself a few days before Christmas fighting crowds and frantically traipsing the ‘tienda’s’.. The good news? That’s not going to be you this December, as you’ll be snuggled up on the sofa sipping gluhwein smiling smugly thinking about those poor souls still working their way through their lists. There’s a neat pile of perfectly packaged prezzies under your colour coordinated, non-needle dropping tree which will be sure to get a lot of ‘ooh’, ‘ahh’s’, ‘how did you knows’ and will make those sock, scarf and voucher givers hang their heads in pure shame. How?
Well, we know some real gems which will allow you to do your shopping in one swift swoop and especially good is that they’re all independently owned so aside from sure places to score they’re also a shout out to the little guy. Hurray!
On Placa Navegacio 14 opposite the Santa Catalina market is a little drinking den called Del Món. Owner Lorenzo Fiol spent 24 years working for a big aviation company before he traded his desk for dry ale and made it his mission to add craft beer to Mallorca’s beer scene. Good man. Boutique-y del Mon boasts two walls stacked from high to low with anything from brown ale to Bock and from Porter to Pale Ale ‘cos if it’s made in small batches and by traditional methods Lorenzo’s your go-to guy. And whether these bottled beauties come from Germany, Scotland, The States or The Netherlands this beer buff’ll be able to tell you everything about them including which ones go perfectly with chocolate. Lorenzo’s tried and tested almost every brew in the shop and now stocks seasonal beers, Christmas ale’s and winter ale’s as well which can all be arranged in traditional Mallorquin baskets. Cool or what?
Weird, wacky, wonderful Cronopios on Calle Pou 33 is recognisable by its purple walls, crazy papier-mâché cats and the colourful items of clothing on display. It’s run by Argentinian Marcello and his sister Mara and most stuff in the shop has been made by one of the two siblings or their mum! I’ve seen her once on the back of Marcello’s motorbike- she is one funky lady! So what do they sell? Unique pieces of clothing but also dangling clowns, upside down chickens, orange boots, silver stockings and skinny geisha’s..
Inside the Santa Catalina market you’ll find Enoteca Sa Roteta which sells local wines, imports – (particularly French and Italian wine from small producers with and without a DO), as well as gins, cava’s, champagne, chocolate, sobrasada and the local Es Trenc salt. It was founded by Biel Ferra but you’ll mostly be talking to English Holly who definitely knows her Beaujolais from her Blanc de Blanc but is also the first to tell you high end wines can also do low end prices.
With booze clonking in our bags we set off to Tribeca on Calle Sant Feliu where Italian Ludovica and her chihuahua Zoe hold reign. Laid-back Ludovica doesn’t pounce but let’s you peruse in peace unless you want to chat that is.. The shop’s made out of three small spaces and has bags of personality as it contains the sort of stuff that makes you smile: treasures you would find on travels and items that have a story to tell. For example she sells dog leashes spliced by an ex captain, bracelets made by girls in Barcelona and light bulbs ingeniously set in painted blocks of drift wood by Mallorquin artist Bruno Daureo. Whether it’s for the home, for around the wrist or something to write in you’ll be able to find an original gift from as little as 8€. And whatever you end up leaving with she’ll make sure it’s exquisitely ribboned and wrapped. I sometimes pass by just to shoot the breeze although Ill admit on more than one occasion I’ve found myself returning home with a vintage suitcase or art deco mirror instead of a pint of milk which is what I originally set out for…
On the same street is Jorge Sosa Balle’s ‘Estilio San Feliu‘ which is the perfect place to find handmade modern Mallorquin things. He sells cushion covers, placemats and bags made from the rather retro Llengos fabric as well as olive wood pieces and pottery painted in every colour you can possibly imagine. I once bought a bright blue bowl to send home which he wrapped so well even DHL couldn’t do any damage..
Just a little further and on your left on Calle Sant Gaieta 4 you’ll find an Aladdin’s cave of different coloured shimmer and shine. This spacious shop’s owned by Georgia, a very talented Italian glass artist who mastered lampworking, a melting technique using a lamp or torch, in Venice no less. All studs, dangly earrings, bracelets, necklaces and sculptures are hand made in her Palma workshop from Murano glass and most are made of beads which have been drawn on by hand! And whether you’re looking for stocking fillers or to spend a bit more on something super special Giorgia will have just the thing as prices range between 15€ for a ring to 100-450 for the larger, more intricate pieces. Like Ludovica she’ll leave you to look as you please and try and test if you like while always being happy to help and advise. She’s great for guys who wouldn’t know their choker from their cameo as Giorgia once helped me pick the perfect present for a friend through a photo I brought. For girls the only downside is that’s it’s too easy to leave with something for yourself as well. Oh well.
If you’ve not ticked off all the names on your list I’m pretty sure you’re very close. In any case Bar Ombu on Placa de la Reina is just 2 min away so you can drop your bags, rest your tootsies, order a fish bowl sized G&T and finally start to give in to that fuzzy, festive feeling 😉