Therese, Ottilia and Cissi outside the restaurant. | Vanessa Mayol

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Magic was created in Vagabundos Restaurant on Tuesday when Ottillia Sitkey presented her second official art exhibition this week.

I went to Esporles and the Popup Beehive at Bodega Ses Rotes last weekend. It was amazing to see so many good artists under one roof, and several of them with Nordic connections. You could see from the steady stream of people that events like these are something that the people love to enjoy. The set up in the Winery was impressive and the event was a huge success, for the Beehive which returned, and for the artists who were on display. Some of the artists that had their art on display are new to the game and others have an established career.

At the event I got an invitation for another exhibition at Restaurant Vagabundos in Santa Catalina this week by Swedish artist Otillia Sitkey. About the restaurant she says “We got to know the owners when we did a Swedish Christmas food event, and it has become a favourite place for us.” The artist about her art: “Painting makes me happy, something happens to me when I have a blank canvas in front of me and it’s pure raw happiness. Art for me is freedom and joy and I have realised since I started painting seriously during the pandemic that I am good at expressing myself on canvas.”

Otillia Sitkey paintings can be seen at the Swedish owned restaurant Vagabundos in Santa Catalina. Photos: Vanessa Mayol

Ottillia has over fifteen years of experience as a nail artist, but it was during the pandemic that she decided to start painting bigger and at the same time she created Gallery Edge art and nails on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/galleryedge/). Her style is somewhat boisterous and some of the paintings have a provocative edge. They have been very well received by the Mallorcan public. As of this week some of her paintings can be seen at the Swedish owned restaurant Vagabundos in Santa Catalina, Palma.

I spoke to two of the co-owners of Vagabundos Restaurant, Cecilia and Therese, who have had the restaurant in Santa Catalina since 2019. Emilio the third owner and the girls are true vagabonds and that is where the name comes from. On the menu you can find food that the three of them have found along their adventurous trips all over the world and you can follow where they have been with your own taste buds. The tapas style menu is fresh and exciting.

I asked the girls what they like best about Santa Catalina: “I really love the buzz in Santa Cat,” says Therese, “there is a lot of movement in this part of town, and it suits us perfectly. We have many Nordic residents as regular guests, and of course the tourists that walk by get curious and come in too.”

As I stepped outside the restaurant, I realised that Therese is right. Santa Catalina is really buzzing and there is so much going on in this part of town. I read somewhere that this is the area with more restaurants per capita in Palma and you can eat in a different restaurant every night for several weeks here. Not forgetting the Tardeo habit where every Saturday grownups get dressed up and go for a nice lunch and then straight out for an afternoon party that lasts sometimes till midnight. Where can you find clubs opened for dancing in the afternoon elsewhere in the world? When I came to Palma in 1999, this neighbourhood was a very worn-down area where the workers lived in very badly maintained old fishermen’s houses. Now most have been renovated and polished up. Signs with opening soon are all over the neighbourhood.