Peter Nichols’ The Rocks takes readers on a Majorcan voyage they’ll never forget. Vividly painted characters travel in and out of Villa Los Roques, a hotel at the eastern side of Mallorca, each with a fascinating story to tell.
Nichols spent his own summers on the Spanish island at his parents’ home and later lived for many years on a boat he describes as “the size of a small RV,” eventually sailing it across the Atlantic. The self-proclaimed “boat-bum” traveled the waters without any electricity or refrigeration. “The upside of that was no bills,” he says happily, “and I could go where I wanted.”
Here, the well-traveled author shares his must-visit places for a summer escape and the foods he enjoys during his time in each one.
“I think it’s the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean. It’s not talked about like the south of France or the Greek Islands, but it has this wonderful mix of cultures—Catalan, Spanish, Moorish. Sopes mallorquines is this soup made out of tomatoes and bread that they do well. And the gazpacho! I just love those local foods.”
“It’s very old-fashioned, like America 50 years ago. It’s simple, and there are no billboards. From about June to October it has the most beautiful climate. There are lots of boys and girls camps where they go out on boats for fishing, canoeing, kayaking. They have lobster, mussels and all that shellfish, which I also love.”
“I was eight years old and I went to France for the summer by myself. It was a formative, defining experience. They’re not as consumed by work, they’re more interested in the quality of life. When I’m in France, I eat cheese and meat. The actual composition of French steak, for instance, has about half the calories of American makers. It’s marbled with fat.”
“Ireland does not charge writers and artists taxes on the money they make, I think that’s an incredibly enlightened philosophy. When I go to Ireland, I eat black pudding; it’s made out of blood and oatmeal—just pure gore in a delicious sausage and they fry it up for breakfast.”