Art, culture, music and food. Four of my favourite elements of Ibiza came together tonight at San Llorenzo cult café and restaurant, La Paloma, who were celebrating their second birthday with a very special event dubbed ‘Paloma Unplugged’.
After traipsing down the softly lit path to the café area, we were greeted by a stunning photographic installation by local legend Noam Ofir, projected onto the wall and window of the old farmhouse, creating a beautiful, colourful and eclectic effect that had Miss W and the White-ettes so captivated they almost forgot to say hello to the photographer himself!
The musical part of the evening was set up inside the cosy, casual indoor setting of the café, as February’s blustery breeze made it slightly too cold to linger outside all night, but there couldn’t have been a more perfect setting. With its quirky, mismatched retro furnishings, kitsch lampshades and soft coloured lighting combined with musical instruments and another selection of amazing photo prints-on-canvas (again, by Noam) adorning the walls, plus plenty of ponchos, dreadlocks and flowers in the hair, it felt like we’d stumbled into the living room of Ibiza’s very own Partridge family.
The bustling, busy bar was swiftly serving up tasty cocktails, including caipiroskas, caipirinhas and sea breezes. While the café and restaurant weren’t technically open for business tonight (by the way, the restaurant re-opens on March 18th), there was a selection of delicious bite-sized bits from the Paloma kitchen available to snack on, such as crispy light rice paper rolls of feta, goat’s cheese and onion; quiche slices of feta, tomato, olive and spinach or zucchini rolls with cous cous and artichokes. There was also a selection of completely raw foods, like mini-pizzas, lemon cake and amazing pure cocoa hearts.
The musical magic kicked off with an act that could have been transported straight from the sets of Moulin Rouge – an accordian player with the voice of an angel, who instantly got the audience involved with clapping and dancing, although Miss W has got to admit that it’s a little tricky trying to clap with a drink in one hand a ‘cosmic pizza’ in the other!
Next up was the Barefoor Doctor. Although the doc is an island local and makes regular appearances around the traps, I had never had the chance to hear him before and had no idea what to expect. Spiritual mumbo jumbo? Deep and meaningful meditation? Certainly not a bossy boots attitude, super cool guitar hero swagger and an element of stand-up comedy – I must say I kinda liked it! His improvisations and singalong tactics definitely won the room over in a flash, before passing the spotlight over to a duo performing with some trippy synths and psychedelic guitar– the kind of music you’d imagine in a Sofia Coppola film.
After a quick intermission-style break outside (mainly to check out who else had arrived!), it was very obvious who the main stars of the show tonight were as the ever-so-beautiful owner of La Paloma, Mouji took to her seat behind a microphone, alongside Asi on acoustic guitar. The crowd erupted with enthusiastic applause before a hush fell over the room as the duo began their performance.
In a multitude of languages, in heart wrenchingly beautiful, dreamy tones, their ‘unplugged’ set saw even the tough nuts like Miss W wiping tears from her eyes (especially during the amazing rendition of my favourite ever song, ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’). If ever there was a Balearic moment to be had in San Llorenzo, this was it.
What more can I say? What a voice. What a night. What an island…
THE GOOD: The Paloma kids were the absolute stars of the show from the word go. From a gorgeous Little Miss Sunshine type in her pigtails and glasses and her hippy-ish tiny amiga decked out in a kaftan, beads and sparkles doing interpretive dances to the music, to a long-haired bubba taking tumbles over bunches of balloons, it was hard to look away!
THE BAD: Aah! I’m afraid the bad may have been me! While it may have looked like Miss W was constantly texting back and forth all night (I am popular you know!), I’ll have you know I use my trusty iPhone for everything – taking notes for this review included. As for those people prattling on outside… while it was polite of you to take your conversations outside, it may have been advisable to lower your voices!
THE GOSSIP: What’s with the shoes, Barefoot Doc? I know it’s chilly in San Llorenzo at night, this time of year but… well, quite frankly, I feel a bit ripped off not seeing your tootsies…