So it happened...
I approached the White Isle wary of the weekend to come, haunted by the fear of drowning under a current of hen do’s and reality TV stars. My premonitions weren’t wrong - a group clad in L plates brandishing selfie sticks like truncheons held fort at Stansted - but Ibiza fought hard to forge friendship with me.
Within one hour of landing I’d spent thirty euros on a meal that could only have been made with lifetime dieters in mind. Within two we’d spotted a middle aged millionaire, flanked by a twentysomething model girlfriend, Instagramming selfies together in stone silence. It's true, Ibiza is a money spender’s paradise. But sun, skin and soulful house music make for a fun atmosphere - even if it is a tireless, mainly inoffensive, flashy, happy sort of fun.
Though patience had worn thin by the end of day one, my attitude started to change on day two after meeting the reps who pounded the streets in the name of Hed Kandi, proving that the island isn't only inhabited by people bankrolled by OK! Magazine exclusives. You can meet them right here.
Stereotypes were subverted further after a tongue in cheek visit to Lineker’s turned into the wildest part of the trip. Owned by Gary's brother, the busiest bar in San Antonio comes complete with a DJ who aggressively insists that chairs are for standing on, not for sitting on. And toilets that bear pleasantries like this on the back of the door.
It’s here that we see our first real life Z lister: and it's only multiple murderer Janine from Eastender’s! She’s clearly taken advantage of the two doubles and a shot for 10 euros deal, so we leave her alone, only to see her three days later riding in an airport golf buggy with a pensioner. #whathappensinbeefa
Scoping out competition is essential and a trip to Sankey’s proves that if Hed Kandi caters for a no hats no hoods clientele, you can pretty much wear what you want to Sankey’s, but drinks are still 14 euros, tho. The bass ruins our eardrums and the journey back is terrifying because Spanish cab drivers are speed demons after dark, but a trip to Playa D'en Bossa is essential, if only to remind yourself that Ibiza isn't actually England but with good weather.
Our final days prove that there can only be one way to spend your last 24 hours on the White Isle: massaging a head of regret and scoping out some decent food to help ease it off. There seems to be an assumption made by every restaurant in Ibiza that British people only eat chicken, chips and salad - so follow Hed Kandi’s guide to avoid paying for a watered down Nando’s.
The plane home is full of people trying to pretend they're sober enough to be airborne. Sunglasses and human crutches are abundant. Luckily it’s a Sunday night so the straight through crew have seen wiser than to fly into work the next day. The atmosphere is sombre, the comedown begins now. I, however, have a smile on.
Ibiza has proved its worth and staying power. Its hippy hedonism is long gone but what it’s been replaced by makes for happy people, golden brown from too much sun and happily tucking into plates of fake Nando's. Come nighttime they'll dance in enormous(ly overpriced) clubs and revel in the fact that there really is no place like Beefa.
You can live the Hed Kandi dream in Ibiza by heading right here.
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11 Jun 2015