It's funny how many people think that I have grown up double dropping pills and sleeping with glow sticks under my pillow. I have to admit that, apart from the one-off occasion, it's been quite the opposite. Yes, I have been coming to Ibiza since I was seven years old and I do remember house records being pumped in the car on the way to school - but if anything it's made me more of a stay at home, health nerd.
When I was 13 I had my first clubbing experience in Ibiza, if you can call it that. I was with my two best friends and we'd begged and pleaded for an entire 36 hours to be able to go to my Dad's night at Pacha. My dad insisted no but - like any daughter - that doesn't really fly, does it? I wasn't going to return back to the UK without completing my mission. We decided that if we got ready for a night out that at the very last minute he would have to give in (this worked FYI). We piled out the car in our extremely tight and short dresses from American Apparel, which would ride up after taking two steps (yes, I shopped there regularly from the ages of 13-15, awkward I know).
After entering the club we 'accidentally' lost my dad and his crew straight away and made a beeline for the bar and 3 vodka lemons later = 50 euros, we'd already run out of money. We then realised the amount of wide-eyed, sweaty ravers that wanted to put their hands up and around our non-existent skirts. One hour later, we were ready to leave. I wasn't quite ready for it all but I do think from seeing the jaw swingers and topless bodies inside an Ibiza nightclub at such an early age, I had some kind of knowledge and understanding of what the rest of the night would look like.
Still from 16 to 18 I was eager to come back from my summer holidays with a suitcase full of casual clubbing chronicles for my Wimbledon friends. What boys I had kissed, what songs I'd heard before anyone else, what celebrity I'd coincidently ended up at an after party with at 5AM. I don't think any of my friends really cared, so why did I?
Now all my friends have grown up - some in serious relationships, some working serious jobs, and some just doing nothing but pretend to be seriously busy - it all feels very serious. I too have maybe become a little old fashioned and picked up on a new cool concept that comes with adulthood; being able to go out whenever, but choosing to stay in. I feel empowered and selective as I tell myself I'm spending my free time very carefully.
I've seen Ibiza transform, it was once a niche small island, which had big global names come in for sure, but it still felt TOP secret to us island goers. Now, the insides of Cuckoo, Cirque, Project, Annabel's & more have filled out all the beaches and VIPs. For me it's become a little pretentious, and we now jump through loops to find the low-key places to hang out where there are no sparklers on show and it's all about listening to good tunes.
After finally making absolutely gigantic jump from the kids' table to the adults' table, I realise I am probably more well behaved than most of the adults I grew up in awe of. I am the vegan who doesn't really drink or smoke (I sound so boring, I know) - how things have changed. London's fast pace has exhausted me and now when I land on the island all I want to do is get a banging tan, have natural sea-salt waves in my hair and come back refreshed so I can rock my 20s.
Here's where to chill in Ibiza...
This is perfect for a late lunch spot - get a juice and the raw cakes are amazing! Passion's philosophy is inspired by vegan, macrobiotic and raw cuisine but you can also find fresh fish and chicken on their menu. Clearly bang on trend, Lana Love's cafes have been hugely popular with the Ibiza crowd and since opening in 2002 she has spread her influence with six cafes, and new bio shop (aptly called Passion Pantry) dotted about the island.
This is such a pretty place to have dinner under the stars! Learning from her mother in Tuscany, chef Prasuna Coppini's menu is small but delicious with a focus on all fresh and organic produce.
This agro-tourism hotel has been here for years and has a chic, loyal following . Whitewashed, rustic, and nestled into the orange groves, it's the perfect place to relax with a good book. But while this is on the quieter side of the island, the restaurant and spa are popular with non-guests and there is pretty much always something going on.
Everyone bangs on about Ibiza sunsets but what you've imagined is nothing compared to the real thing. Offering a 270-degree view into the beautiful Cala Conto coves, this bohemian beach bar and restaurant is the best spot to watch the light fade into the night. Feast on organic salads and curries from their Asian-inspired menu, grab one of their delicious cocktails.
One of the beaches where you are more likely to find locals than tourists, and as it is fairly difficult to access it remains uncrowded even in the peak of August. Officially a nudist beach but many bathers keep their swimsuits on while others cover themselves in a reddish paste (rumour has it a little dirt from the cliff mixed with Blancas sparkling water will make your skin glow). The water is an insane colour of blue!