IT was once dubbed “Virgin town” because Sir Richard Branson owned a sizeable part of the area. Branson sold-up and it was Virgin town no more but now he is back and building a luxury hotel at his Son Bunyola estate.
I have no doubt that it will be an enormous success because Banyalbufar is a very special place. I would say that it has some of the best views on the island and also an exceptionally good restaurant.
When I went to Can Paco on Sunday I had forgotten that it was Branson´s favourite restaurant on the island. In a recent interview with my colleague Humphrey Carter he said that the paellas from this restaurant were second to none. Initially I had rather dismissed this comment...but I was made to eat my words on Sunday, the paellas were literally flying out of the door.
Can Paco is not the most modern looking restaurant in the world, in fact it doesn´t have air conditioning just ceiling fans and the windows open with views over the fantastic Banyalbufar scenery. It is one of those old-style Majorcan restaurants which are sadly disappearing from other areas. The food is excellent; freshly cooked with local ingredients. We started off with tumbet. I am not usually a great fan of this dish but the vegetables were so fresh that it was a pleasure to eat.
Initially we were going to have Sir Richard´s favourite, paella, but we opted instead for a giant seafood plateau. Again, not one of my favourites but it was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it and once again...very fresh.
I overheard a conversation in which one of the serving staff said that the deserts had a British flavour. The apple pie was superb I am sure that one of the sweets had a layer of lemon curd. Mouthwatering stuff. All was washed down with a bottle of the excellent Pere Seda Majorcan white wine.
If it is a billionaire´s favourite restaurant you would have thought that the prices would be in this bracket....not all. It worked out at 35 euros a head for a truly excellent meal. This was old-world Majorca at its very best. I am told that they even offer an excellent menu of the day during the week.
Sir Richard Branson didn´t become a billionaire by just being a man in a jumper and a beard, he certainly knows his stuff and can pick a winner. His restaurant choice is first rate. I will be back, but next time I will have a paella.