My husband always tells me that the four worst words in the world that come out of my mouth are “I told you so”. I say it a lot. I can’t help it. My super power is seeing into the future, and my husband’s is being an eternal optimist, so sometimes we do not have quite the same end result in mind. When he told me he had booked five days in Ibiza for our baby-moon I almost shat in my best suit. Ibiza? The party island? Whilst pregnant???? I was furious, and convinced it was going to be THE WORST. Having heard so many stories of debauchery and shenanigans, it was not a place I had quite envisioned for our last getaway as just the two of us. Plus, what was I going to eat? Food is very important when you’re pregnant and all your other indulgences have been taken away! The Spanish are renowned for their love of cured meats and cheeses; I still maintain that it was our trip to Barcelona in 2014 and seeing all the hanging carcasses in shop windows on every street corner that was a major part of the reason I first went vegan. Andrew assured me that Happy Cow indicated there were loads of places with veggie options and that I would fall in love with the little island he had lost so much of his youth (and short term memory) to.
Well. Andrew had got it so right (this time!). The 1960s hippy movement brought many free-spirited travellers to the island of Ibiza, which was a mecca for hippies due to the continued practise by locals of ancient songs, dance and rituals that date back to before the time of Christ. The island is also said to hold many spiritual powers, with the Carthaginian goddess of love and fertility, Tanit, said to live inside Es Vedra, a limestone rocky outcrop on the Island’s southern coast. Despite the influx of the manic party tourists in the summer, ranging from billionaires arriving on yachts to British students arriving on Ryanair flights, there is still a progressive community of spiritualists and artists living on the island, leading to a general appreciation of health, wellness and creativity. There were vegan and vegetarian options at almost every restaurant we visited and the supermarket down the road had one of the biggest selections of vegan “meats” and “cheeses” I have ever seen. There really is a feeling I can’t quite describe about the island, and it’s easily one of the most intoxicating places I’ve visited. It’s not everyday you see a lithe, dreadlocked, real-life nymph at breakfast in luminous green tights and a purple crop-top with a French bulldog on her lap. Let’s just say that I’m almost about ready to pack up my life and move to that dreamy little island!
A big part of the reason I fell so hard for Ibiza is that the best restaurant I have ever been to is there. Its called Passion and yes, I think it may even beat my previous favourite restaurant ever, By Chloe. I’m going to straight off tell you that it’s not a fully vegan spot, but it is a health restaurant, and so the eggs, dairy, chicken and turkey they do serve are all organic and GMO-free (they don’t serve any red meat at all). Every menu item is clearly labelled as to whether it’s vegan, dairy-free and/or gluten-free. There is even a symbol for when a dish is vegan, but contains honey as honey, like the consumption of mussels and oysters, is still a grey area for some vegans. The menu is extensive and there are separate menus for breakfast, smoothies and juices and lunch. The only problem I had with Passion was that our stay in Ibiza was not long enough for me to try every vegan option! We ate lunch there on our first day, and after a week of vegan travel food (i.e. junk) my body was screaming for goodness. I ordered the Zen buddha bowl with quinoa, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, broccoli, avo, and butternut. Oh, man. Home run. I was in heaven! If I thought it couldn’t get any better, we ate brunch there every day afterwards for the rest of our trip. I tried out the vegan flapjacks and the vegan tofu scramble wrap, which was so good I had to have it two mornings in a row, sacrificing the chance of trying one of their many avocado toast options. Guys, when a menu has an entire section dedicated to avo toast… then you know – you know?
Passion was founded by the lovely Lana Love back in 2002 – way before the health conscious movement was as popular as it is now. In fifteen years it has grown from one to six shops, including four cafes, a juice bar and a health shop. If you’re in Ibiza, there are cafes in Playa Den Bosa, Ibiza Town on the Marina, San Jose and Santa Eulalia. Each cafe has its own vibe and decor, but a common thread of modern, light design runs through the spine of them all. The menus also vary slightly from location to location – for example, Santa Eulalia is the most vegan and vegetarian friendly cafe, whilst the newest offering, San Jose, is geared towards a wining and dining clientele, with offerings of organic wine and beer as well as delicious and healthy tapas platters. There really is something for everyone and I almost wish we had stayed in Ibiza for our entire babymoon so I could try every spot. Next time!
We stayed at The Gran Hotel Montesol in Old Town Ibiza, which I think is officially my favourite and the prettiest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. We rented a car to get around the island – they drive on the right so take a little cruise around the airport carpark before hopping onto the highway. If you’re not into debauchery, then I highly recommend visiting the island in early spring like we did – we enjoyed some magnificent warm days and I finally got to witness those magical Ibiza beach sunsets everyone (Andrew) bangs on about. Also, accommodation is a lot cheaper in early spring than during the busy summer months. A lot of restaurants, shops and bars are closed during the off-season, so be sure to double check they’re open before missioning there and maybe being disappointed. I wish I could say I did some fancy cultural things like visit museums and art galleries – and we did consider taking a bump pic of me pretending to drink a bottle of whiskey and smoke a joint outside the famous club, Pacha – but I literally just ate, walked the streets and slept the entire time. Hashtag pregnant in Ibiza! Thank you Andrew for being right this time. This little island gem has a piece of my heart forever.