Cotton Beach Club possesses that in spades and with the extra element of an extraordinary view, you’ve reached the heights of romance. The terrace curves around the bay of Cala Tarida, presenting 180-degree vistas of the gleaming Med, where one could say romance was born in the shape of Tanit, the Phoenician Goddess of love. The evening starts with a sharp intake of breath as you enter through the reception area to the terrace. The view is (almost!) indescribable, especially as the setting sun casts its spectrum of pinks across the sky. Champagne is called for, naturally, or perhaps a cocktail such as the signature Cotton Island or Aperol Affair. Stars appear, twinkling and blushing, while Tanit’s legacy threads right through the island, culminating on the terrace of Cotton Beach Club. And there’s that perfect table for two, on the front line, with all that Mediterranean magic stretched out before you.
There’s no rush, just the gentle sound of rolling waves from below. Starting with a shared plate of sashimi and one of Cotton Beach Clubs classic rolls is guaranteed to up the romance factor. Favourites like the Cotton Roll with torched Norwegian salmon and unagi sauce or the Ibiza Roll with soft-shell crab, avocado, cucumber and wasabi mayo are utterly delicious. To follow, there is nothing more romantic than a plate of oysters – not too many, just enough to excite the palate. It’s time to move onto the wine list. The Cotton Club wine list is an extensive selection of highly curated drops. All the European favourites are represented, alongside some highly prized bottles from small producers. A scattering of excellent natural wines are there for the adventurous and are well worth the foray into this new world of winemaking. New Zealand, South Africa, Germany and Greece all appear in the form of beautiful bottles.
With the temperatures staying steady right through the night, a chilly crisp white such as the French Château Castigno or the deliciously fragrant O Luar do Sil from the Spanish Rías Baixas is an ideal choice. Evenings requiring something super special would be well suited to the Mártires 2016 from Finca Allende in Rioja. Its pale colour, subtle fragrance, mineral notes and silky mouthfeel make it a wine to remember. It’s a well-known fact that food can be an elixir for love and romances have been forged over gourmet moments throughout the ages. The Cotton Beach Club menu is unwittingly full of heady choices. Seafood features heavily and it will be hard to hold back. The spicy king crab starter is a conversation piece while whole baked fish, classic Spanish rice with prawns and chargrilled cod are just a few of the offerings available. Additional decadent options include Segovia suckling pig, a melt-in-your-mouth lamb shoulder roast or for vegetarians, an aromatic curry which is rumoured to have aphrodisiacal properties.
Now with the moon glowing high up in the inky sky leaving a glittering trail across the sea, the time has come for dessert; the most romantic part of any meal. The deconstructed tiramisu is a heavenly plate of rich ice cream, crunchy chocolate and Amaretto infused cookie powder. The Chocolate Texture adds an element of humour with toffee on chocolate powder, brownie and chocolate crumble sprinkled with Pop Rocks. Romance doesn’t always have to be serious. With the sweetness of a sticky dessert wine (try the Austrian Alois Kracher Beerenausleese or a classic Lustao Pedro Ximénez) its time to take your lover’s hand and lean back into your chair. After a satisfying meal the stars, the moon, the sea lapping at the shore are all there at your feet. There’s no need for words but if you must, make sure they are whispered sweet nothings, like little prayers of gratitude to Cotton Beach Club and, of course, Tanit.