Mallorca June 2014 013 (Small)We have this stuff in a jar in the UK, called Marmite. (The Aussies have Vegemite.) You can spread it on bread or add it to your cooking. Some people love it and others hate it! The Finca dalt Murada is a bit like Marmite. I absolutely loved it, but some of our group hated it. Anyway, I diverse!

Luis met us at Palma Airport and drove half of us to the Finca. The other half followed in a taxi, which got lost. Within 20 minutes we were out of the Palma area, and in the heart of the country. The Finca is down a traditional narrow stone-walled lane. All the land right up to the main road used to belong to Luis’s family, but they sold some of it to pay for the Finca’s refurbishment. They still own a lot of farmland though, full of sheep and various types of trees.

We were taken on a tour of the bedrooms. They’re huge, often through massive windowless lounges, full of pictures of old relatives and antique furniture. My room had its own sitting-room, nearly as big as the ground floor of my house! For some reason there was a wardrobe that must have belonged to someone who was about seven foot tall. I couldn’t touch the coat hangers, even on tiptoe! I had to drape my dresses on the back of the sofa.

The bedroom had a brand new mattress, but, as I found when I pulled the bedspread back, no bedding! I told Luis and he said he’d try to find some, but the maid had gone home. He did.

There are small tables and chairs in the courtyard, all commandeered by cats and their kittens, which sit on the tables, their paws daintily tucked in, watching us as we passed. We had to keep our doors closed to avoid any of the cats moving in. I love cats, especially the Mediterranean pointy-eared breed. But if you hate them, it’s the wrong place for you to stay!

Finca means Farmhouse, and that’s exactly what it is. It’s a 16th century manor house, and has been in Luis’s family all this time. It was abandoned for many years, except for the animals, and was renovated and opened on the 3rd May 2014. Across the lane is a swimming-pool with a gorgeous view. I was given a towel by Luis’s Dad, and I had the pool to myself until joined by a couple of our group. Heaven! Sheer peace except for a distant barking farm dog and the occasional ‘me-eh’ from a sheep.

In the evening, Luis drove us to the nearby town of Binissalem, a mile or two away. A lot of people think that Majorca is a touristy island, but they’re so wrong! We sat outside a bar in the town square, under the huge church, and watched the locals enjoying themselves. It was a safe, friendly atmosphere and I didn’t spot one tourist.

I had one of the best nights’ sleep that I can remember. My room was absolutely peaceful, with just the nearby farmland outside the window. Did I hear the token moped chugging past in the early hours, or did I just expect to hear one?

In the morning, the maid served us coffee and croissants near the pool, under the almond trees. Then Luis drove us to his parents’ hotel in Palma for breakfast.

What is my opinion of the Finca dalt Murada? I would love to go back and spend more time there. It’s an absolute Paradise to recharge your batteries, maybe after a British winter, a dose of flu, or a relationship break-up. It’s also perfect for writers, artists, etc. or anyone who wants to sample the real Spanish way of life – and just a couple of miles from the hustle and bustle of Palma. Amazing! But don’t go there if you want all the facilities available in a hotel, a bar, a loud disco, groups of tourists to talk to, 24 hours Reception, if you hate cats, if you want nearby shops and bars, or 100% cleanliness and efficiency! Stay away, and leave the Finca dalt Murada to those of us who appreciate it!

P.S. Girls, Luis is young, single, good-looking, very hard-working, speaks several languages, and is a rich heir to two hotels and a lot of farmland… Just thought I’d mention it!

Finca Dalt Murada opened on 3rd May in Binissalem (  This rural agroturismo offers 25 rooms & suites in the main house & grounds with pool, gardens, and bikes for guests use.  Opening rates for 7 night stay from €675 per double room with breakfast, including an optional 2 night stay at Hotel Dalt Murada, a 16th century manor house in central Palma

For more information on Mallorca visit Fomento del Turisme

Andrew Farr Tel: 01903 836 611