LAURENCE EARLE SUNDAY 03, FEBRUARY 2013
In August, according to the pages of Grazia, there was only one place to be, Majorca's spectacular northern coastline.
There were the Camerons in matching dark-blue in Pollença's pretty town square.
But our celebs are parents all – and to those who treasure Majorca's quieter north-eastern corner as the perfect destination for a civilised family holiday, it was really no surprise at all.
As more people are coming to realise, there are two sides to this island – safely separated by the jagged peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana, which divide the island from east to west. And over here to the north, the fleshpots of Magaluf and Palma Nova seem a world away.
With its luxuriant garden, mountain views, fabulous pool and satellite TV, it proved the ideal base – and at first we found it hard to drag ourselves away. Before long, however, we ventured out.From Soller, we drove on a while to a fêted country-house hotel, the Gran Hotel Son Net in the village of Puigpunyent. Only a 20-minute drive from the bright lights of Palma, this beautifully converted 17th-century finca, perched on a hillside above a verdant hidden valley, seems to belong to a more rarefied world, with private cabanas around the pool, paintings by Hockney and Chagall on the walls, and what may be the most romantic restaurant terrace in the Med.
This is the high life, we thought, settling in to watch the stars come out with a cool white from the estate's own vineyard. As we perused the dinner menu, our waiter told us that the hotel's regular guests include another Tour de France winner, the Spanish champion Alberto Contador, who bases himself here during training. For perhaps the first time in our lives, we wondered whether all these cyclists know something we don't.