By Lilian Lou, Hamburg Germany

The Abaco is not a secret tip anymore, because since over 20 years it has been praised as one of the most beautiful bars in Europe. Founded in 1980 by Salvador Palao and his friend Pedro Jaime Lloret, it is a 17th century mansion nestled in the cobble stoned Calle Juan 1 Street in the capital of Spain’s Balearic island of Majorca. Downstairs, behind 15 feet high solid wood doors where the stables use to be, you find the most distinguished and impressive interior decoration you have seen in a bar. Actually you feel like walking onto the set of an old film of Federico Fellini.
Hundreds of oranges, apples and other tropical fruits are decorated on the floor and staircases and compete with countless opulent flower arrangements. On the ground floor you find a lovely patio with many birdcages, upstairs are a few quieter sitting rooms while some other rooms are kept as a museum, maintained in the Majorcan lifestyle of some 250 years ago. To walk the wide staircase from the rest rooms on the first floor down to the main (approximately 5000 square foot) bar, surrounded by classical music and (at least this is the impression of most) watched by everybody is quite a feeling.
The two tables in front of the huge open fireplace are the most demanded. More frequent visitors know to cover their drinks with a napkin or so when the music “Also Sprach Zarathustra” commences at midnight sharp as waiters come with censers of incense causing the rooms to smell like in a church. From the ceiling, it starts “raining” rose petals; first white, then rosé, and then dark red. Waiters and others throughout the rooms throw thousands of rose petals. (I left before they decided who was to clean up the place, though not before I grabbed a handful as a souvenir).

I don’t drink alcohol but have been assured by seasoned drinkers that the classic range of cocktails can compete with the best US and UK bars and even Basil´s on Mystique. And every week the Abaco creates a new “Abaco Special”, based on fresh fruit juices/smoothies and their own composition of the hard stuff.

The Abaco is special because of the place itself and the history it breathes. And if you want to have it even more opulent but also more intimate you may want to try the Abacanto, founded by Salvador Palao as a country retreat around 1990, almost like the Abaco but about 5 times in size housed in a castle-like mansion in the outskirts of Palma with beautiful gardens (Camino de Son Nicolau, Sa Indioteria/Palma de Mallorca. Tel. ++34629-57 44 58.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 4:51 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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