Deià Unpacked is a unique podcast featuring interviews with village characters conducted at La Residencia, a Belmond hotel, in the village. The podcast was conceived and is produced and presented by Tara Huber and Joseph Velosa. It was born out of a friendship that grew up in the Tramuntana mountains in which the village sits.
Much has been written about Deià, including this blog. But, until now, there’s never been a podcast that does justice to this remarkable village and the people who have chosen to call it home.
When most of us encounter the village, our curiosity is piqued. Tara, whose husband Laurent has roots in Deià dating back to the international artistic community of the 1960s, and Joseph, who arrived around five years ago and stayed, are no different.
Tara is a native New Yorker who was living in Washington DC running a meditation and yoga studio until, in 2020, she and her husband decided to call Deià home. Joseph has roots in Madeira, Portugal but grew up in London. He too now calls Deià home and is bringing up his daughter here.
“My partner and I bought our home in the village as a second home, as a bolthole from London, where we lived, and relieve some of the pressure of parenting.” Joseph says. “We quickly realised Deià is the perfect place to bring up a child, especially when we discovered the nursery and school. I’ve pretty much been a full-time dad since then, although I also keep up with managing my partner Matthew’s fashion business and look after the business side of the interior design business he’s pivoted into. For us, it’s been a real pleasure to be here for the past five years, to soak in the atmosphere of this tranquil, creative place and get to know people slowly and organically.”
Joseph and Tara’s friendship, along with the idea for the blog, arose out of the enforced isolation from the outside world caused by the pandemic, long hikes in the Tramuntanas with their dogs and a love of conversation.
“We met through a neighbour who has the house between ours,” Tara says, “it was almost like a blind date. Joseph and I can talk and we’ve been chatting ever since.”
As they say on the Deià Unpacked website, “Their natural curiosity about the history, the beauty, and the people of Deià seemed to lead organically towards a low-key interview style where interviews could feel real and compelling.”
Enter La Residencia
Once they’d come up with the idea, Tara and Joseph approached Hanna Bornebusch, PR Manager of La Residencia, a Belmond Hotel, to see whether the much-loved Deià hotel could help them make Deià Unpacked a reality.
“We know Hanna from various other projects and just seeing her at the hotel,” Joseph tells me. “We put together a three-pager of what we were aiming to do. Hanna jumped on board straight away and gave us free reign in terms of which guests to ask to join us. The hotel was very happy for us to look after all aspects of Deià Unpacked, from visuals to platforms.”
For Hanna, supporting Deiá Unpacked made practical sense. “We found the idea Tara and Joseph presented interesting, appealing and very well thought through. We also saw the podcast series as added value for our guests to be able to listen to stories about Deià, before, during or after their stay. It’s a fun project. At first, I felt obliged to have to listen to all the episodes before they went live. Then I got really hooked and drawn right into the stories, which are pretty fascinating.”
Currently, there are eight episodes of Deià Unpacked, recorded at the hotel because Tara and Joseph feel “that’s a key ingredient in terms of authenticity, setting up the right atmosphere and enabling conversation to really flow.”
Podcasts so far include interviews with Isabelle of Finca Son Mico, the wonderful café on the Old Postman’s Trail between Deià and Soller, scientist Daniel Christian Wahl, author of the book Designing Regenerative Cultures and Didac, owner of “the world famous Sa Fonda bar and restaurant” in the village.
An astounding response worldwide
The response to Deià Unpacked from La Residencia guests has been highly positive and Joseph and Tara are having an active conversation with the hotel about doing more interviews. Tara and Joseph are also delighted by feedback they’ve received from other listeners.
“We’re already getting requests for more episodes,” Tara says. “We’ve had enormous engagement from social media platforms and via our website. This hasn’t just come from guests and the local community, it’s been worldwide. I’m astounded how global our audience is. It’s a uniquely international podcast. But I always say about Deià that, for a tiny mountain village, it’s as intellectually relevant as any capital city you care to mention – New York, Paris, London, Berlin. It’s a global community where people come together and I love that. And its history is phenomenally interesting. Most of all, it’s a compelling place filled with compelling stories. I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface.”
Now Tara and Joseph are keen to hear back from podcast listeners as well anyone who lives here or has a connection to the village and feels they have a story to tell.
As Joseph says, “We want to know if these stories move people and whether we’re being good enough conduits to enable people to tell the stories in a way that allows their true voice to come through and lets the stories breathe.”