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A timeless classic

On an island where life is forever evolving and the beach restaurant scene is growing exponentially with every new year, it’s reassuring to discover the classic island venues that have stood the test of time. Pura Vida Beach Restaurant has been a favourite of Ibiza locals and returning holidaymakers for over 15 years, thanks to its classic approach to pure relaxation and high-end Mediterranean cuisine, in a location that is simply divine. Set right on the sand of the pretty cove of Playa Niu Blau, on the east coast of Ibiza just past Santa Eulalia, Pura Vida Beach Restaurant is a masterclass in timeless hospitality where the vibe is sweetly simple and the vibe genuinely welcoming. Here, everyone is welcome and once you settle in for the day, you just won’t want to leave – in fact, you’ll want to return, again and again and again…

Owners Daniel Sanwald and Alexandra Sixt have been at the helm of Pura Vida Beach Restaurant since 2007 and Daniel – who was born and bred in Ibiza – recalls visiting the beach restaurant regularly as a child. The location is part of their hearts, part of their heritage – something you can really sense when you visit. Since taking the reins of the stylish beach restaurant, the couple have built a loyal and long-standing team of staff who return to Pura Vida Beach Restaurant year on year, further adding to the family-style feeling of warmth evoked on each visit. When the team is happy, guests can feel it and this contributes to each and every experience.

The cuisine concept at Pura Vida Beach Restaurant takes classic Mediterranean dishes and gives them a contemporary feel and a lighter touch. At the beginning of every new season, the menu is lovingly re-worked to ensure it incorporates the very best local produce and the highest quality ingredients, drawing on creative flavour combinations from around the globe. Each dish is a delight, be it a twist on tradition or a long-term classic – inspiring those who return to the golden sands of Playa Niu Blau each year.

The classic steak tartare is served with a perfectly soft poached egg and mustard roe on a fresh brioche, while the grilled whole sea bream has a gentle, mellow paprika sauce and comes with traditional Ibiza-style fried potatoes and a crisp, fresh tomato salad. For something a little different, the zingy poke bowl is a perfect choice for a light lunchtime dish, with salmon, quinoa and teriyaki topped with avocado, sprouts, and a red curry dressing. It’s not just the grown-ups who’ll love a trip to Pura Vida Beach Restaurant – the inventive kids’ menu boasts all the little ones’ favourites and also offers healthy steamed fresh fish with rice and vegetables for the little foodies who fancy a taste of seafood themselves. The desserts on offer are a pleasure for all ages – the mille-feuille of sticky apple confit and delicious cinnamon ice cream is one of the most popular choices.

While it’s easy to see why the fantastic food attracts gourmands to Pura Vida Beach Restaurant, the venue’s laid-back ambience and chic summer style also appeals to those seeking an old-school relaxed Ibiza beach day – think no phones, a good book and a safe place for the kids to play. The pace of life on this side of the island feels gentler and slower than other parts of Ibiza, and the beach at Playa Niu Blau – peppered with shady olive, pine and palm trees – never feels crowded, even in the height of summer. Many Pura Vida Beach Restaurant devotees turn up early to enjoy a light breakfast on the sand – the many loungers and daybeds are perfect for daydreaming or a mid-morning snooze after your coffee, juice and tostada, with the sound of lapping water and island songbirds providing the perfect holiday soundtrack. A soothing full body massage can be booked if you need a little extra help relaxing.

When your appetite returns, a long lazy lunch on the shaded Pura Vida Beach Restaurant terrace is in order, then you can either head back to the beach and a horizontal position where delicious afternoon cocktails can be served directly to your daybed, or stay where you are for some social time around the table, catching up with old friends – or making new ones – over a few glasses of wine or champagne from the extensive list on offer. Three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays, an island DJ spins soft Balearic beats in the background while on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, kids can be entertained with crafts and activities at the Pura Vida Beach Restaurant kids’ club, allowing adults some blissful hours of uninterrupted conversation.

As day turns to dusk, it’s even easier to linger longer as thoughts return to food – whether a light tasty snack or an evening dinner on the deck – and the sky puts on a kaleidoscopic performance before night falls. If you’re still dressed in your beach gear, a wander around the boutique can re-kit you for the evening (or just provide a reason for some retail therapy), with a carefully curated and colourful range of kaftans, dresses and eclectic accessories on offer. Pura Vida Beach Restaurant clients receive an islanders’ discount in store and more than likely you’ll be offered a glass of delicious local cava while you browse! All the more reason to shop…

After dark, the vibes at Pura Vida Beach Restaurant are pure Ibiza nights – alfresco dining complemented by great music, including live Flamenco from world-renowned maestro Paco Fernandez on Mondays (from June 24, 2019), who performs alongside passionate dancers to create an unforgettable island experience that will stay with you long after your Ibiza tan has faded. It’s all too easy to spend the entire day, from morning until night at Pura Vida Beach Restaurant, immersed in the enchanting atmosphere of this classic Ibiza dining destination that hits all the right notes.

Family matters

Kids on holiday don’t need much to be made happy. A beach, a bucket, lunch and most importantly – ice-cream. As for parents on holiday? Well, in order for mums and dads to be happy, they need to ensure their kids are entertained, fed and happy before thinking about themselves. Stylish beachfront restaurant Chiringuito Blue ticks all the right family-on-holiday boxes so everyone can be happy all at once. From fantastic food and drinks with sea views, sunbeds (from May 1) and sand at your feet to a super cool kids’ club the little ones will never want to leave – family holidays in Santa Eulalia have never looked so good.

Start your experience with a freshly brewed coffee while gazing out over the tranquil beach. Follow up with a lazy dip in the sea, luxuriating in the gentle lapping of the glistening Mediterranean. If you’ve got little ones you might build a sand castle and beachcomb for shells. Take advantage of this quiet moment with your kids because when the effervescent and endlessly fun team from Kids In Ibiza arrive at Chiringuito Blue at 1pm (on weekends), you probably won’t see your offspring again until the sun goes down. To a frazzled parent on a beach holiday, it’s the very definition of bliss.

Chiringuito Blue is not like other Ibiza beach clubs. There are no hoards of fluoro-garbed clubbers at the bar and there’s definitely no techno floating over the airwaves. Nestled into the south end of Santa Eulalia beach, there’s a sophisticated yet casual vibe here – it’s all about taking your time, enjoying your family, eating well and basking lazily in the Ibiza sunshine. At Chiringuito Blue, time slips away in a haze of holiday indulgence. The staff are friendly and attentive, the DJ is in tune with the waves and the food is simply divine. Don’t forget to pack that book you’ve been meaning to read, because it’s entirely possible to spend all day here. Then again, you could always just make the most of the quiet time and catch up on some rest…

The biggest difficulty arises when it comes to choosing between a table with a view, a sofa with a view or a sunbed with a view. First things first: get the kids settled in with a starter of cauliflower popcorn, soon to be followed by a choice of mini burgers, penne with red sauce, basmati with carrots and zucchini, chicken schnitzel with potatoes or fish fingers with chips. The Chiringuito Blue kids’ menu is almost enough to make the grown-ups mouths water – until they see the options on offer for adults, that is. With a menu crossing the Mediterranean all the way to the Middle East and back, capturing those holiday flavours is easy. Sharing is encouraged – basically because it’s going to be hard to keep your fork to yourself once the food arrives on the table.

As a starter, the chargrilled aubergine is subtly smoky with a smooth, creamy texture best matched with a plate of Nablus-style tabbouleh and a bowl of Greek tzatziki – you’ve just imbibed the taste of the Eastern Mediterranean. Mains  at Chiringuito Blue consist of myriad choices from tantalising sharing plates such as raw red shrimp with citrus aioli and spicy chilli sauce to a herbaceous ceviche, crispy calamari, clams marinera, grilled octopus and the not-to-be-missed araies – charcoaled pita bread stuffed with minced lamb, herbs and spices.

Naturally, with such proximity to the sea, seafood takes a star turn on the menu and the catch of the day, either grilled or salt baked, is a traditional Spanish lunch offering. However, there are days when a classic burger is essential to one’s wellbeing and the Chiringuito Blue burger is really a sight to behold. Even the most burger-centric of diners in your family will be pleased with its soft bun encasing a 100% Galician beef patty dressed with lettuce, tomato and shallots and served up with a robust side of French fries. Repeat visits to Chiringuito Blue might be a necessary addition to your Ibiza holiday itinerary, if just to sample the grilled free-range chicken, chargrilled squid and the linguini seafood pasta with tarragon. Decisions, decisions…

All parents know ice-cream is crucial to a successful day at the beach. The Chiringuito Blue ice-cream counter is stocked with everyone’s favourite flavours plus a few exciting specials to pique the interest of ice-cream loving adults too. Be sure to sample the tahini olive oil ice-cream – it’s dairy and gluten-free and an unexpected taste sensation. Within the dessert menu is a lovely lavender frozen yoghurt, an aromatic and cooling option topped with crushed pistachios and homemade Orgeat almond syrup that would go well with a handful of spoons if you were willing to share.

Everyone needs a lie-down after such a satisfying meal. Back to the beach it is then, for more sunbathing, chatting and zoning out. Kids In Ibiza has all the little people’s needs covered in the shaded kids’ area. Games, face-painting, arts and crafts and general hullabaloo in addition to oversized beach-friendly versions of Connect Four, giant Lego and turn ball plus a selection of architecturally approved sand castle building tools mean that, for grown-ups, the rest of the day is a breeze filled with cocktails and sunshine. As the sun finally descends, leaving a trail of outrageous pinks and reds across the sky, thoughts might turn to dinner and before you know it you’ll be perusing the menu once again. Even though Chiringuito Blue is the definition of a family beach day, upon seeing it under a star-filled sky might have you thinking of date night. Call in the babysitters…