From Australia to Mallorca … Meet Kate Brittan

Kate and her husband Alex

A week or two ago I had the great pleasure of meeting Kate Brittan, a delightful Australian who’s settled in Mallorca with her husband and young son. Kate has an interesting story to tell, because her family left their home and her husband’s veterinary hospital in Sydney to take a sabbatical in Europe – little imagining it would lead to living in Mallorca on a twenty-acre mountain farm.

I visited their Mallorcan home, where we had an interesting socially distanced conversation, courtesy of my lapel mics with extra-long cables. The Brittan family live in an extraordinary setting with breathtaking views. I’d go as far as to say the views from their lovely home are the best I’ve seen in any private house I’ve visited over the course of my time living in Mallorca (and I’ve been to quite a lot). On a clear day it’s possible to see the length of Mallorca’s sister island, Menorca, although the day was too hazy when I visited. I could certainly see the Bay of Alcúdia in the north of Mallorca.

Foodies on Facebook

Kate Brittan originally trained as a chef but her career took her in another direction. Her passion for food – and the challenge of finding favourite Asian ingredients in an unfamiliar country – led her to start the popular Facebook group ‘The Mallorca Foodies’.

Kate tells how Covid and the Australian wildfires impacted on their family life, and talks about their impressive plans for the farm, how she’s integrated with her Mallorcan neighbours, and why she loves her nearest town, Inca. And, of course, she shares her top tips for anyone wanting to move to Mallorca.

Kate Brittan – Australian Expat, Foodie, and Fledgling Farmer Living in Rural Mallorca

This episode’s guest, with her veterinarian husband, and their young son took a sabbatical from their life in Sydney to discover Europe. They planned to experience living in a city, the countryside, and Provence (France). After some months in Aix-en-Provence, they headed to the south of Spain for some warmth, basing themselves in Seville. Next stop on the Brittan family’s European sabbatical was Mallorca – an island they’d never visited before.After renting a rural property for a while, they realised they’d fallen in love with the largest of the Balearic Islands. In September 2019 they bought a beautiful mountain finca with twenty acres of land where they’ve created a family lifestyle that’s very different from their former lifestyle Down Under.Kate Brittan is a passionate foodie who originally trained in Australia as a chef before entering the corporate tech world. Since moving to the largest of the Balearic Islands, she’s started the popular Facebook group ‘The Mallorca Foodies’. Kate talks about the impact of Covid and the Australian wildfires on their family life, their impressive plans for the farm, solving the problem of sourcing favourite ingredients for cooking, the surprising way she integrated with her Mallorcan neighbours, and why she loves her nearest town, Inca. And, of course, she shares her top tips for anyone wanting to move to Mallorca.Follow Kate on Instagram: @fincalicious & @themallorcafoodiesFacebook group: The Mallorca FoodiesWatch Kate’s interview on the Our Tribe Travels community:https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fm.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dn9SQ7o-fPeI PODCAST THEME TITLE: “Lifestyles”COMPOSER: Jack WaldenmaierPUBLISHER: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI)
  1. Kate Brittan – Australian Expat, Foodie, and Fledgling Farmer
  2. Annie Verrinder – Wedding Planner, Celebrant … and More
  3. Marc Rieke – Wigmaker, Equestrian, Saddle Fitter
  4. Caroline Fuller – Gardening in Mallorca
  5. Ep 4 Karl & Vikki Grant – Creative Photographers

PODCAST THEME TITLE: “Lifestyles”
COMPOSER: Jack Waldenmaier
PUBLISHER: Music Bakery Publishing (BMI)

Jan Edwards Copyright 2021

It’s a Dog’s Life on Mallorca

"All I want is a forever home . . . "

“All I want is a forever home . . . “

If you live in rural Mallorca, as we do, chances are you’ll end up owning a dog. The Boss grew up with dogs and, although he’d never owned one as an adult, I fully expected that we’d soon have a dog after we moved to the island from the UK.

It so nearly happened. During our early time living here, we went out one Sunday morning for a coffee and returned later to find an enormous black dog stretched out in the shade under our bank of solar panels in the back field. And I mean enormous. It looked like a small black horse. But where had it come from?

It had been abandoned. Someone who can’t or doesn’t want to look after an animal any longer takes said dog or cat for a one-way car trip into the country. It’s so cruel, but it happens. Some English neighbours acquired their own little Mallorcan terrier that way.

But we weren’t in a position to adopt this large dog, as we owned two cats we’d brought from England. And this fierce pooch didn’t seem like a potential pussycat pal or pet. When a neighbour strolled down the lane past the field, the creature went ballistic, as though it had been instructed to guard the field.

Seeking Refuge

It was a hot day and we were concerned the dog would dehydrate, so we gingerly walked down the field with some water for it. Luckily we also had a few dog biscuits, as we’d taken to supplementing the diet of a dog in the valley that spent its life chained up on a farm and seemed to survive on leftovers from the owners’ meals.

At that early time of living here we had no idea who to call about this, so we started with the local police – who referred us to an animal refuge. Quite a few phone calls later we finally found a refuge that was prepared to take this big boy (yes, his gender became obvious when he stood up). The refuge van eventually turned up, we gave the man from the refuge a cash donation (feeling a tad guilty that we weren’t able to keep the animal), and the large black dog hopped into the back of the van to begin the next chapter of his life story. Heartbreaking.

Dogs For U

I remembered this occasion recently when I visited Dogs For U – a charity based in the countryside near the Mallorcan town of Inca, and founded by a caring and hardworking German woman called Cornelia Kudszus. Cornelia and her small band of volunteers rescue German Shepherds and other large hard-to-home breeds and look after them until they can rehome them.

I visited Dogs For U last month in connection with an article I’d been invited to write for an off-island magazine. I’ll post the weblink here when it’s published.

In the meantime, if you live on Mallorca – or are moving to the island – and you’d like a dog to share your life, please consider visiting Dogs For U to see if they have a dog that would suit you. Or, if you have spare time and live in the area, perhaps give them a little of your time as a volunteer helper. They always welcome people who are happy to walk dogs, or able to foster a dog for a short period to help ease the workload at the refuge.

There were 18 beautiful dogs there on the day I visited and I’d love to have brought a few home with me, but I don’t think our colony of finca cats would have approved . . .

If you don’t live on the island but love dogs and would like to help Dogs For U financially – feeding and vet’s bills are just some of the ongoing costs – please consider donating just one euro a month (less than the cost of a cup of coffee) to the charity through their microfunding teaming.net page https://www.teaming.net/dogsforumallorca

Jan Edwards Copyright 2015 

New Year, new oak trees, on rural Mallorca

In November, we came home clutching two very young oak trees from our day at Dijous Bo (which means ‘good Thursday’ in mallorquín). A stall at the annual fair – Mallorca’s largest traditional event of its kind – was handing out small tree plants to anyone who wanted them. Although our rural Mallorcan finca has plenty of land, it doesn’t have a lot of soil, but we figured it had to be worth at least giving these young trees a shot at growing into something for future generations to enjoy.

Because I had a large amount of writing work to do, we stuck the well-rooted plants into a bucket of water and put them aside. Planting things here is a bit of a logistical operation that we didn’t have time or the energy for then.

The New Year on Mallorca started with glorious sunshine and blue skies. We’re in a period known as ‘la calma’, when we enjoy clear skies and warm sunshine, and usually kid ourselves that winter is going to be mild this time. Reality is sure to hit soon, but the conditions were perfect for a spot of gardening. And what could be better than planting two young trees on the first day of a new year?

A pickaxe (an essential piece of kit for planting anything on our land), shovel, gardening fork, and watering can were deployed and we now have two baby oak trees at the end of our field.

We’re never likely to be able to shelter from the sun beneath them but, one day in the distant future, somebody will be able to enjoy these trees. And that’s a good feeling at the start of a New Year.

Great oaks from little acorns . . .

Great oaks from little acorns . . .