September in Ibiza is perfect: everything is open and the weather is gorgeous, but there are half as many people.
In the mornings I’ll get fresh bread from Can Planells bakery in Santa Eulalia. Then I’ll stop for coffee at The Royalty, a café by the old town hall that has a glamorous past. In the 1960s, Ibiza was a place where film stars could escape and enjoy drunken evenings away from prying eyes. Errol Flynn used to get into unimaginable trouble and, once discovered, would go into hiding in one of The Royalty’s guest rooms. Can Planells Bakery, Calle Sant Jaume, Santa Eulalia (+34971-807 050). The Royalty, 51 Calle Sant Jaume, Santa Eulalia (+34971-331 392).
One of my favourite tiny beaches at the top of the island is Xuclar, a rocky cove with beautiful water and a chiringuito – little shack café – serving delicious fish. Another is Cala Nova, which is bigger. The food from the chiringuito is brought to you at a small clearing. After having a beer, I’ll default to rosé and we’ll eat the fish – whatever they say is best. Then we’ll lie on sun loungers, the kind with retro-style straw umbrellas, and drift off. Chiringuito Cala Xuclar, Torrent de Sa Palanca. Atzaro Chiringuito, Cala Nova.
For Sunday lunch, we like El Bigotes, set over the water in a small inlet. It began about 45 years ago, when a fisherman would make a broth with what was left from selling his fish. Other fishermen would come and share it and it grew into this little restaurant. You sit on splintered stools at wooden tables and they bring you a bowl of fish stew from a huge cauldron. Then they throw rice into whatever’s left, mix it up and you can have risotto as a main course – all for about €24 a head. El Bigotes, Cala Mastella (+34650-797 633).
Some afternoons we’ll go to Isla Formentera by boat, stopping off at a little cove and then going on to Juan y Andrea for lunch. It’s a bit St Tropez, but the food and service are good. You have to reserve a table; go for one on the sand or you’ll be on the deck at the back, which is a disaster. Juan y Andrea, Playa de Illetes Formentera (+34630-258 144; juanyandrea.com).
If we’re eating at home in the evenings, it’s sea bass, grouper or snapper bought from the old covered market in Santa Eulalia. If we go out for dinner, our top spot is an understated Italian called Cicale. It’s in a pretty Spanish villa in the middle of the island with a terrace and really delicious food. For a bit of glamour we like Macao Café in Santa Gertrudis. Cicale, Ctra San Juan km12 (+34971-325 151; cicaleibiza.com). Macao Café, Carrer de la Venda des Poble 8, Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera (+34971-197 835).