Fonda Platé, the soul of Formentera

Fonda Platé, the soul of Formentera

Joan Antoni Ferrer Ferrer © ffmag

An economical place to eat, the village bar, concert hall, meeting place... Fonda Platé is all of these things and more. Opened in 1922, it is almost certainly one of the oldest catering establishments in the whole of Formentera.

Its founder, Joan Ferrer Castelló Platé, an adventurer whose life story reads like a film script, built the inn with the savings he brought back from a sojourn in Argentina. During the Civil War, he worked on the boat belonging to the Icelandic consul, and during the 50s he settled in Monaco, where he became cook to Prince Rainier. It was during that decade that he returned to Formentera, built an extension to the inn (installing 8 guest rooms where the bar once stood), and opened the Hotel Cala Saona. Thus, he became one of the pioneers of tourism in the smaller of the Pitiusas Islands. Almost a hundred years after the inn was founded, Joan Antoni Ferrer Ferrer, grandson of Joan Platé, has taken over the reins of the business, endeavouring to remain faithful to the essence of the village bar and meeting-place originally opened by his grandfather.

Joan Antoni Ferrer Ferrer, grandson of Joan Platé, has taken over the reins of the business, endeavouring to remain faithful to the essence of the village bar and meeting-place originally opened by his grandfather

Nowadays, Fonda Platé still looks very much as it did after the extension was added in the 1950s. It stands opposite the Casa Consistorial de Sant Francesc in the central square, the Plaça de la Constitució. Its magnificent terrace, clothed in luxuriant ivy which spreads over the pergola, is an exquisite spot to have breakfast, lunch or dinner in the open air, while protected from the scorching Mediterranean sun or the damp evening air.

Fonda Platé terrace. Formentera

Fonda Platé © ffmag

The Fonda Platé is open continuously from 10.00 in the morning until 2.00 am, making it the perfect place for lunch or an informal dinner where you can snack and share your tapas, lingering afterwards at the table for a long, lively chat. In addition, salads, cold meats, cheeses, sandwiches and burgers are brought together in a menu with a strong Mediterranean twist where the emphasis is on local ingredients.

We should make special mention of the breakfasts on Fonda Platé’s shady terrace. From this favoured vantage point, guests can watch the village gradually awaken and the square becoming more and more bustling as the morning wears on. The breakfast menu, as one might expect, is comprehensive and offers a huge variety of fresh juices, toast and healthy breakfasts to provide a good start to the day.

 

Live music

Music, an essential aspect of Fonda Platé, livens up the summer nights, and goes on until 2.00 am. Here, the drinks and cocktails and the summery, party atmosphere are all bound up with rock music, jazz or flamenco rhythms, courtesy of a DJ or a local band. As they perform from an improvised stage in a corner of the room, the scene is reminiscent of those beer adverts in which a group of friends have a blast with the Mediterranean there in the background. Only here, the advert has become reality.

Low temperature octopus and parmentier with a touch of pimentón (paprika). Fonda Platé, Formentera

Low temperature octopus © ffmag

Furthermore, starting at 10.00 pm on Saturdays from 19 June to 25 September, just like last year (and thanks to an initiative by the Formentera Island Council, known as “Música a les places”), Plaza de Sant Francesc will be the venue for a series of concerts by Jazz&Co, one of the island’s best-loved bands - which makes the Fonda Platé’s terrace a privileged spot to have dinner with live music.

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