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Bar Bosch, Palma

Emblematic from wall to wall

If you've ever taken a stroll through Palma city centre you'll probably have noticed one of Mallorca's most emblematic bars, Bar Bosch. It sits at the top of the Paseo del Borne by the side of the 'tortugas' fountain, a prime location on the city's busiest shopping streets and is almost always full from its busy terrace, through the cafe and now upstairs to its recently opened restaurant Mas Bosch.

It's occupied this same location since it opened in 1936 and still maintains an air – with its service, decoration and cuisine – of a style that owes nothing to the whims of fashion. A favourite with all ages and nationalities, it still has a core of elegantly clad and coiffeured ladies of a certain age who dress to enjoy a morning coffee, afternoon snack or late night (don't ask me why) icecream.

Its style has made it one of Palma's icons of cafe life and it has recently been declared officially by the council as one of the city's truly emblematic establishments. Not only this but it also features in a well researched book by journalist Fernando Franjo called 50 Historic Cafes in Spain and Portugal.

In the book, which contains over 330 illustrations Franjo describes emblematic cafes which retain all their authenticity and identity, he says, “It’s hard to draw a line between historic and popular cafés, but Bar Bosch is undoubtedly one of the greatest examples in which both concepts overlap.”

Over its 82 year history the bar has entertained many famous visitors and has decided to decorate its walls with the messages of its many rich and famous customers from its visitors book. Adorning the walls you can see messages extolling the virtues of the bar's most famous culinary offering, the langosta, drawings and other notes which illustrate its position at the heart of Palma's social and cultural life and a few of the names to be seen are Joan Miró, Miquel Barceló, Niki Lauda and the astronaut Pedro Duque, who presumably ate his langosta through a tube whilst floating about in zero gravity in the back room.

So what's a langosta? It's a crusty sandwich made from llonguet softened on the inside with ramallet tomatoes, drizzled with oil and filled with delicious fresh ingredients like cured ham, anchovies, cheese, sobrassada, camaiot sausage, squid or tuna, and all available with a cold frosty beer or a big glass of red! For some reason this concoction is called langosta or lobster in English and nobody seems to know why.

Fancy one? Well, for this and other typical Mallorcan fayre, the Bar Bosch is open every day of the year (as always) from 07:00 to 01:00. Mas Bosch, upstairs, is open Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. / 7 p.m. – 12 midnight.