Cappuccino: No longer just froth and espresso
Cappuccino is no longer just a coffee. The café chain which brands itself after the popular italian coffee has rewritten the meaning of this favoured frothy drink. For in Cappuccino Grand Café, the cappuccinos are just the tip of the iceberg. The café group, which is now a predominant restaurant brand across the island of Mallorca, with branches also in Marbella and Valencia, as well as a handful in Jeddah and Beirut, is the ultimate in café chic. It’s exudes sophistication from every bubble of its creamy coffee froth. Its waiters are dressed to impress – with bow ties and black armbands, they are like butlers from a bygone era. Everyone is beautiful, from the staff to the customers who almost become more glamorous upon entering as they allow a wash of Cappuccino couture to penetrate and tantalise all over, as almond latte replaces a standard coffee, and cocktails and wine bubbles aplenty become the new still or sparkling. In the background, a carefully selected soundtrack resonates, wafting the space with Buddah-barish chill and soulfulness, while earlier coffee stops are accompanied by the timeless polyphony of jazz. And to top it off, Cappuccino has managed, almost across the board, to secure itself the very best of restaurant locations, so that in Marbella and Mallorca, you can savour a tranquil seaside view, while in Palma de Mallorca, locations in luxurious former palaces have been made the norm (as opposed to the Norm – let us not confuse the two).
So why am I going on an all out campaign to promote this amazing café chain? Well it’s certainly not because they are paying me in free almond lattes (if only – although if the CEO of el Grupo Cappuccino happens to be reading this, please feel free to oblige). Rather, Cappuccino fully deserves its place in my search of all things indulgent and beautiful, because as a place to go for lunch, coffee, drinks or dinner, it is sophisticated, beautiful and ultimately satisfying.
Cappuccino first came to my attention last summer when a new branch opened in Marbella. Situated bang on the paseo maritimo next to the Mediterranean, in a quiet and very exclusive spot (Lord Sugar lives close by, as do those lucky few frequenting the opulent Marbella Club Hotel and other establishments on the Golden Mile), it benefits from superb views and is sheltered from any adverse weather conditions by a canopy of mushroomed pine trees and lush garden surrounds which lead up to the nearest luxury hotel stood behind it. When I went there for the first time, having stumbled upon it during a long walk out of Marbella’s centre, I fell in love. The music, the sunset, the staff and the food which, compared to many Marbella restaurants is very reasonably priced, were spellbinding. There I felt like a pop star, indulged, relaxed, contented.
By coincidence, I had a trip booked to Mallorca a few weeks later and there, since it is the island from where the chain originally springs, Cappuccino has marked its claim to various scenic spots all over the island. Such was the beauty of their location that we spent nearly every day indulging in at least one meal in a Cappuccino – for example on the port front of the stunning natural harbour of Port d’Andratx, or in a central square in the charming medieval town of Valldemossa, just round the corner from the Monastery which laid host to one Chopin and his lover. In Palma de Mallorca, there are four Cappuccinos and a number of take away branches and, mercifully, barely a Starbucks in sight (I say barely as there blatantly is a Starbucks somewhere but I have become conversant in the habit of shunning them in cultural locations). These are perhaps some of the most opulent Cappuccinos, set in former palaces with quaint patio gardens and candlelit tables set amongst vast baroque colonnades. On Palma’s vast paseo maritimo, you can sup on the luxurious almond latte in full view of the gothic cathedral, while on Palma’s answer to Bond Street – the Passeig Borne – you can people watch to your heart’s content.
And what to do to savour Cappuccino’s magic once you get home? Well the atmospheric soundtrack playing in every café is happily available to purchase – I have all five volumes of the Cappuccino CDs and play them on an almost continuous repeat. The first four make for marvellous coffee music – tinkling jazz and re-imaginings of popular melodies – while the fifth volume is the ultimate in Mediterranean chill.
I shall rapture no further, but leave you instead with a selection of snaps I have taken at the various Cappuccinos in Marbella and Mallorca. In the meantime, Cappuccinos website can be found here, including details of all the CDs.
Vive le Cappuccino!
© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2005-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
- 2011: My year in photos (normsonline.wordpress.com)
- Spanish Season 2012: Out of the frost, into the fire. (normsonline.wordpress.com)