Tempus heads to Pikes Ibiza to try out its island-famous roast
Tempus heads to Ibiza’s famous Pikes hotel for a roast lunch – and yes, the peas are good
I’m sitting in the restaurant at Pikes, long regarded as one of Ibiza’s most decadent and hedonistic party hotels – Freddie Mercury held his legendary 40th birthday bash here – and it’s daylight. Not blinking and twitching and ‘oh god it’s 6am I really should go home’ daylight, but there’s beautiful midday Balearic sun flooding the courtyard. For someone whose previous experience of Pikes is dancing in its brilliant nightclub until the early hours, being here for lunch is a revelation. In truth, Pikes by day is something every White Isle visitor should see. The whole sprawling site was started as a single finca (farmhouse), run by entrepreneur and all-round bon vivant Tony Pike back in the seventies, and grew organically – with interesting additions such as a bright pink tennis court – being added from season to season.
Now it offers 26 rooms, a cool pool and nightly parties that see some of the hippest, most in-the-know people on the island in attendance. But while night time is busy and buzzy, day is a more languorous affair, giving you the chance to wander around and spot all the quirky touches, such as a giant mural of a cat wearing a monocle, or a piece of Tracy Emin-esque neon slogan art.
We’re here to try what’s been described as the best Sunday roast on the island. Granted, that might seem an odd lunch choice when you’re in Spain, but I’d heard a glowing report about the Pikes’ Sunday offering from a DJ friend of mine who lived on the island and hankered for a taste of home. And boy, was he right.
Settling in with a bottle of delicious Whispering Angel rose wine, our table was soon filled with nibbles – fat green olives, beautiful breads, gossamer-thin slices of local ham and pungent aioli. The sweet, sun-dappled courtyard we sat in was the perfect setting for the feast that followed – two huge roasting dishes filled with chicken and beautifully mid-rare beef (more like tender hunks of steak, if I’m honest), plus a crunchy hazelnut, spinach and tomato roast for the veggie on the table.
Generous portions of parsnip, perfect roast potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and, of course, giant Yorkshire puddings followed, until the table was groaning with goodness. The quality was outstanding – way better than many gastro pubs I’ve been to in London – with the added bonus that our meal was soundtracked by a DJ playing low-key, atmospheric Balearic classics as we dined.