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Review: On the Beach, Cala San Vicente, Ibiza

Fabulous organic food on a beautiful beach, served by good people with a big smile. Ideal.

Hands up! When I went out for lunch this afternoon I had no intention of writing a review. It was 2 years to the day since I met my wonderful partner here in Ibiza and the plan was to simply relax for a couple of hours, in between various pressing assignments.

After the waiter at the first Ibiza restaurant we visited (which shall remain nameless) took half an hour just to (grumpily) bring the menu over, we quietly left and decided to head over to nearby Cala San Vicente and try our luck there. After all, it was 30ºC in the shade and the day had ‘beach' stamped all over it…

On the Beach

Parking easily in the large car-park right behind the beach (take a right at the roundabout at the bottom of the Cala San Vicente road) we followed the beach to the right and landed squarely at the very aptly named ‘On the Beach.'

Relaxing, tropical sounding rhythms drifted out onto the sundrenched beach and colourful Tibetan-style prayer flags flapped merrily in the cool sea breeze. I noted that there was ramp access to the terrace providing ease of access to disabled guests. Most importantly, the beautiful young lady behind this Ibiza bar was wearing that most charming of accessories, a large smile. Ahh. Better!

Fresh and organic

We took a seat at the only available table which was a high table with bar stools. It wasn't the most comfortable table for sure but grateful for anywhere to sit down and eat at this point, we sat and ordered drinks. Chatting away, my partner and I discussed the menu which we were very impressed to find featured a fabulous range of fresh and organic produce.

I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Would you like to swap tables madame?” A regular height table with super comfortable chairs had unbeknown to me, become free. With no prompting whatsoever, the extremely considerate waitress simply saw there was a better table available and offered it. Now that's nice.

Homemade

There were lots of gorgeous looking salads on the menu and a good range of vegetarian options, which I would usually have jumped at. But good organic meat is a special treat, if it's available. And hey, it was a special day, so we decided to try the homemade beef burgers served with hand cut chips, fried in their skins.

How were they? Delicious dear reader. Lovely, juicy, organic burgers with melted cheese and fried onions. Yum! Having lots of stuff to do, we ate pretty swiftly, ordered coffees and asked for the bill, both of which arrived quickly.

Handing over my card and entering the pin, the waitress uttered the words you hope to never hear. “Your card has been declined, i'm sorry.”

The disaster

Really? I was puzzled, but electronic glitches can happen and resolving to call the bank the next day, I fished around in my wallet for my back up card. It wasn't there. I looked everywhere, 3 times. And it was then that my memory suddenly flashed me a picture of that very back up card, along with my partner's, on the dining table, at home, 15km away. Oops.

Having absolutely no cash on me, it was with a very red face that I asked to speak to the manager.

The almost equally embarrassed waitress took me over to meet the owner, Eric. A big, energetic man with eyes that you can see smile a LOT, listened carefully to my tale of woe as I attempted to hand over personal belongings as security that I would return later and pay my bill.

A good heart these days is hard to find...

“Have you heard of Karma?” asked Eric, eyes twinkling away with amusement at my blushing apologies. I laughed and confirmed that yes, I had indeed heard of Karma. “Then I accept your word,” he announced, patting his heart and winking.

Off I jumped into the Spotlight-mobile and sped (ok, trundled - the Spotlight-mobile struggles a bit on the hills) back home, grabbed the card, commando-rolled straight back to San Vicente and with great relief, paid my bill. Faith in human nature completely restored.

On the Beach, ladies and gents, is a rare find. The walls are plastered with positive affirmations, cheery phrases and wise words of advice. The produce is fresh, homemade and organic/free range. The service is friendly, the decor is cool and the vibe is gorgeously chilled-out. My excellent quality food, a glass of decent white wine and a coffee set me back less than €20. For this reviewer, it's a shining example of a real, ethical Ibiza business. You don't just get a meal here, you get a whole approach to life.

The attitude of its kindly owner, Eric shines throughout the entire operation. Old-fashioned values of quality, decency and good-natured hospitality. When you add its stunning location on one of the prettiest beaches in the north, is not so much about why you should go, but why you haven't already been! Enjoy, ladies and gents (and say a big hello to Eric for me!)


WORDS | Jane Charilaou PHOTOS ! Jane Charilaou

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