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Ibiza Winter Restaurants - The Royalty, Santa Eulalia

The Royalty in Santa Eulalia - a little history with your delectable tapas.

The Royalty is one of Santa Eulalia better-known restaurants, situated as it is right in the main square of the town, La Rambla.

It is unmissable, everybody knows it but as we arrived to do this review, my editor, Cat, and I were both unsurprised to learn that the other had never actually dined here before. Yes, everyone knows of the Royalty…it's that place that we, as residents of Ibiza, walk past every day and leave to the holiday-makers. We were just about to discover what a grave error of judgment that really had been.

And Now for a Little History...

Originally built in 1933 as an eleven-room hotel, the Royalty pre-dates the Spanish Civil War; an event that divided Ibiza (and indeed the whole of Spain) between the wealthy Royalists, and the Republicans. Back then, the two ends of the spectrum were represented in Santa Eulalia by dueling local bars the Royalty, frequented by those favoured by Franco, and the Can Cosmi directly across the street, where the Republicans would gather.

The Royalty Today...

Of course, many decades have since passed, and the Royalty has been run since the 1980s by the mother of Eva, who greeted us with a warm welcome and, in impeccable English, went through the menus with us...and it is fair to say that we were certainly not short of choice. As well as the restaurant's main menu, there is a menu-del-dia, or set 3-course menu offering three choices of each course priced at €14.90, a very extensive tapas menu, a breakfast and snacks menu, plus a children's special menu.

After much deliberation, we decided on the tapas...a choice of six tapas to share from the wide-ranging and well-balanced selection (there is plenty of choice for non meat-eaters) with half a bottle of wine for €29.80 seemed like a real bargain to us.

We were served first with fresh bread and alioli, and a dish of olives, but our tapas soon followed and were set out attractively on the table. Just take a look at this for a perfect Ibiza lunch-time tapas selection...

The Food...

Patatas Bravas…Fried potatoes in spicy tomato sauce.
Calamari…Squid in batter which was extremely fresh and not at all rubbery.
Ibicenco Salad…Potatoes, egg, tuna, peppers in a creamy sauce.
Chorizo Sausages…So good that Cat requested a doggy-bag!
Grilled Vegetables…Mushroom, onion, asparagus, artichoke, courgette and tomatoes, all beautifully presented.
Chicken Croquettes…Light and perfectly cooked.

The accompanying wine was of a high quality and made by the same Catalan company who produce Freixenet Cava.

To finish our lunch, we decided to share a dessert, at which point Eva apologised for today's lack of choice. All the sweets are displayed in the restaurant and when we went to make our selection, we counted twelve in total which had us wondering how many were available on a "good" day. For the record, the cheesecake was delicious, and surprisingly fluffy and light.

In Summary

Were we happy by the end of our meal? You bet. The Royalty has a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere but attentive and efficient staff, top quality food and the best view, on this sunny winter day, of Santa Eulalia's Christmas Tree. What more could we possibly want?

Quick Facts

What? The Royalty

Where? Santa Eulalia

When? Open every day from 08.00 to 23.30. Menu is available from 13.00 - 16.00 and 19.00 - 23.30 but tapas, sandwiches, burgers and cakes are served all day. The Royalty will close at 18.00 on Christmas Eve and is closed Christmas Day.

Why? Great service, wide selection of good, reasonably priced food in one of Santa Eulalia's oldest restaurants.

Average spend per head? For set menu, menu del dia or tapas, around €15 per head.

Veggie Options? Yes

Disabled Access? Yes (there is just a very small one-inch step up into the restaurant).

Room for Improvement? Believe us, we tried to find something. We even enlisted the help of local celebrity cafe owner, Kate from Mel's (who just happened to be sitting at the next table) and between us, we could still come up with nothing. 'Nuff said.

Top Tips? From the Royalty's prime position, enjoy Santa Eulalia's new water feature in the square, and indulge in a spot of people-watching while you are waiting for your food to arrive...the perfect way to spend a winter afternoon in Ibiza.

Accommodation in the Santa Eulalia area.

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