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Brad who? Deià shrugsJune 10, 2016


One fine summer morning many years ago a friend of mine strolled into the cool dark of Sa Fonda to take a coffee. The bar was empty but for a short, tubby man with a receding hairline wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Seeing he was all alone, and being of a kindly nature, my friend started talking to him.

At first, the man seemed surprised and a little cagy. But, because she was so warm and open, he relaxed. They were soon chatting as if they’d known each other all their lives. Until, half an hour later, it dawned on my friend that the guy had the most extraordinarily mesmerising eyes and his presence was so powerful the air around him was vibrating.

‘He was just so incredibly sexy,’ she said later. ‘And I got all flustered and confused, and started to stammer. But I still couldn’t quite figure out why. And then I realised. It was Jack Nicholson.’

Only in Deià

I was reminded of my friend’s story when I heard that residents of Mallorca’s Port d’Andratx were giddy with excitement over rumours that Brad Pitt might be buying a bolthole in their midst.

I love her story for two reasons. It’s wonderful that she could talk to Jack Nicholson for all that time without having a clue who he was. But it’s also great Jack felt so relaxed he could stroll into Sa Fonda and take a drink without a hulking bodyguard or glamorous assistant or two in tow.

As readers of ‘The Deia Olive Press’ will know, stars have been visiting and spending time in the village ever since Ava Gardner, Peter Ustinov and Alec Guinness were among Robert Graves’s guests. Since then, countless actors, rock and rollers and people famous for just being famous have strolled the streets of the village, baked down at the Cala and, no doubt, hiked in the mountains. Today, some have homes in Deià and are part of the community.

One of the reasons for this, apart from Deià’s outstanding beauty and unique vibe, is the way they’re treated. The person before you in the queue at the panadaria buying an empanada may a supermodel or hellraising rocker. But even though you feel a delicious little frisson, you wouldn’t dream of acknowledging them.

The reason? As I’ve written before, minding one’s own business and suspending judgement (at least on the surface) is a Deià characteristic. Also, without sounding too precious, the village’s values are fundamentally artistic and spiritual rather than worldly and materialistic. This makes Deià far more of a genuine Boho enclave than a place like Mustique, where barefoot chic comes at an eye-wateringly high price.

So, if Brad is looking for somewhere he and Angelina can truly relax away from the glittering highlife, I’d suggest Deiá is a better bet and one, I must say, with a rather more stylish choice of properties. That is, if the Brangelina egos are strong enough to withstand being completely ignored.


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Patrick Hill is co-founder, and co-owner, of Charles Marlow with his brother Charlie. He was the first to come from the UK to Deia to start the company. Today, Patrick continues to help set the strategic direction and splits his time between the UK and Mallorca

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