So once again I am back in, my home town, gay Buenos Aires – Argentina. These chronicles, as a matter of fact, are the result of my last two trips, with a very small time lapse in between. The main reasons of my trips were, ( first trip ) surprise and celebrate my mother for her Birthday and ( second trip ) connecting from New York to Rio de Janeiro, were I will be during August, attending the RIO 2016 Summer Olympics, as the official travel agent for NBCUniversal’s VIP Guests and Executives. Let’s begin and hope you enjoy my insider tips of my city , chronicles of my recent visits to Buenos Aires.
I departed as usual, non-stop from JFK New York ( where I have been living for the last 10 years ) to Buenos Aires, onboard American Airlines Business Class. A 10-hour flight door-to-door.
This time dinner had a very special reason, and the main purpose of my trip… To celebrate my Mom’s Birthday, celebration which lasted a full week, spoiling her with some of the best Buenos Aires has to offer. Lovely dinner in Puerto Madero district, with my entire family.
The following morning I woke up very early, in the neighborhood of Belgrano – where my parents live, facing the Palermo Parks – aka. The Central Park of Buenos Aires, I love going there for a run.
After breakfast, I was ready to spend my morning and part of my afternoon, exploring the new Art District of Villa Crespo, on a 4 hours Private Art Tour of this new and alternative artistic destination, showcasing local Contemporary artists. A hopping tour of Galleries which are literally changing the paradigm of art in Buenos Aires. Some of the artists and galleries I truly enjoyed, whic I did not know from before were: Vicente Grondona at SLYZMUD Gallery. Marcelo Grosman at Galeria Nora Fisch and Liliana Porter at Ruth Benzacar Gallery. I very much recommend this tour.
The Birthday celebrations continued… for tonight I had planned an evening at the FAENA Hotel & Universe – yes the same one that has recently opened its doirs in Miami. Read my review and recent stay at FAENA Miami. To include, dinner at Bistro Sur Restaurant followed by my favorite Tango Show in Buenos Aires, the ROJO Tango Show at their decadent-chic Cabaret.
At Bistro Sur Restaurant, savor a meal worth remembering in one of Argentina’s most spectacular settings. Bistro Sur’s whimsical Philippe Starck decor will fascinate guests just as much as the delicate menu prepared by Faena’s local chef, Rodrigo Vazquez. Modern techniques combined with Argentina’s bests seasonal products, give birth to dishes like Beef Carpaccio with Bacon Milk, Mint and Potato Chips or Sweetbreads with Lemon Puree, Grilled Grapes and Pine Nuts.
Right after dinner, we walk down the striking corridors of the FAENA Hotel & Universe, to our next destination, ROJO Tango Show. I have been to this show countless times, but recently they have premiere a brand new repertoire, and I was invited to see it. I must say I was very much pleased with the new show, the flow through the many faces of the developing of Tango in Argentina. Buenos Aires is the world capital of Tango, and Faena Hotel experiences the nostalgic mood with intensity through music, dance, clothing and poetry. Lively and ethereal, El Cabaret is the vibrant dance of the award-winning show Rojo Tango. A dazzling live orchestra, great dancers, traditional Argentine cuisine, and a fine selection of local wines and cocktails; makes it a must see production.
The next day, I spent my late morning exploring the Teatro Colon, the Opera House of Buenos Aires. Been here many times for live performances, Opera, Ballet and so. But this was my first time taking a tour, to learn more about the history, facts and myth of the Grande Dame of South America. Teatro Colon, located off Avenida 9 de Julio, steps away from the iconic Obelisco, is ranked the third best opera house in the world by National Geographic, and is acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world. The present Colon replaced an original theatre which opened in 1857. After this period of huge international success, the theatre’s decline became clear and plans were made for massive renovations. After an initial start of works to restore the landmark in 2005, the theatre was closed for refurbishment from October 2006 to May 2010. It re-opened on 24 May 2010, with a programme for the 2010 season. Learn these and more during the tour. Visit the auditorium, in a horseshoe-shaped, with 2,487 seats. Luciano Pavarotti, said the Colon’s acoustics were are so good as to place it in the top five performance venues in the world. I strongly recommend booking your tickets online at www.teatrocolon.org.ar
It was time to eat again, so on this rainy Winter afternoon in Buenos Aires, I took a 30 minutes was from Retiro to Recoleta, to meet my parents at the iconic Alvear Palace Hotel, to do one of my favorite things, Afternoon Tea in style. Yes, the Birthday celebration continued, this time over Tea at L’Orangerie restaurant at the Indoor Gardens of the ground floor.
The Alvear Palace Hotel is a unique place to spend a special afternoon tasting delicious cakes, mini patisserie, fresh fruit tarts, warm scones and other delicacies especially prepared by their Chef Patissier. Fine selection of teas, including a variety from limited harvests and the most precious aromas of green, black and blended teas, as well as the traditional flavoured tea of the L’Orangerie selection. A tea specialist created their exclusive “Alvear Blend” which recreates the essence of the Alvear Palace Hotel in aromas and flavours; with the most noble of black tea leaves, almonds, and Mediterranean citrus and rose petals. Open Monday through Saturday: 4:30 to 7 pm. Sundays from 5 to 7 pm. The L’Orangerie restaurant at the hotel is a traditional meeting place in Buenos Aires. A splendid breakfast and international buffet lunch, which includes a great variety of exquisite local products, can be enjoyed daily in a delicate environment with natural lighting and meticulous decor, presented with the mastery of international culinary techniques.
Right after our Afternoon Tea, were were invited for une Coupe de Champagne, at their recentlyinaugurated CHAMPAGNE BAR. The Alvear Palace Hotel opened the new Champagne Bar, the only one in Buenos Aires. Renowned bartender Ines De Los Santos has created the Champagne Bar’s menu featuring fine and classic combinations using Moet Hennessy champagne and sparkling wines. Delicate food choices are available for pairings. The Art Deco style of the Champagne Bar creates a splendid atmosphere for the enjoyment of clients and guests. Everyday from 6PM to 02AM. After our glass of Champagne, my parents decided to head back home. Since I was meeting a friend for dinner later nearby the hotel, I had the perfect excuse to linger by my favorite bar in Buenos Aires.
As many of you know, my absolute favorite spot within the Alvear Palace Hotel, a classic and my water hole when in Buenos Aires, is the Lobby Bar. I love just seating there, watching people pass, while zipping through my Vodka Dirty Martini. From 1932, this has been a meeting place for businessmen and celebrities of Buenos Aires’ society. The heart of Recoleta beats in this exclusive place in the hotel, decorated with original French style wood panelling. The Lobby Bar of the Alvear offers delicious appetizers and the best international drinks, paying homage to the great cocktail masters.
The next morning, it was time to pay a visit to the very lovely Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires. If you have never been, you should keep in mind their gastronomic scene, which is very good. Been to their main restaurant ELENA before, and this time we were visiting to try their autochthonous Sunday Brunch at a very unique setting.
Nuestro Secreto Restaurant offer the traditional Sunday Brunch reinterpreted by an Argentinean classic. A major social event in Argentina, the asado (an open-fire barbecue) marks a time when friends and family gather around a traditional outdoor fire pit and spend an afternoon catching up. It is as much about tradition and being together as it is about food. It all begins with the coal; made from hand-picked woods of local tree varietals, each one providing a unique flavour. Cooking whole animals is quite common at the asado, but there is always plenty of variety to choose from – embutidos, meats, red wine and salads. With a casual eclectic backyard esthetic, Nuestro Secreto transports guests to a “secret garden” urban retreat within a bustling cityscape.
Typical courtyard decorations abound, with porous stone floors, the grill and clay oven, even a cross on the wall. Outdoor-style furniture made of wood, glass and iron lends an antique but fresh look. All of the tableware is made locally in Mendoza, with exclusive designs by Aji Diseno available for special occasions. What is most unique about this space, however, is that the roof and walls are made of glass and can be opened to create an entirely al fresco space, perfect for stargazing on clear nights.Sunday menu features a variety of dishes typically served among families on the weekend. And since the menu is designed to resemble the most-read newspaper in Buenos Aires, it will look to passersby like restaurant patrons are all relaxing with the Sunday paper.
The rest of my stay… I’ve decided to chill and be under the radar, being a local and wnjoying spending time with my parents at home. Eating as much home-made food by my mother, BTW the best Chef in town. Very busy week ahead of me in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the official travel agent for NBCUniversal’s VIP Guests and Executives, during the RIO Summer Olympics 2016. So the plan was relax, recharge, EAT and DRINK. How does that sound. Getting ready for my next adventure…
Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at The Carlos Melia Blog
Click here for gay travel resources in Argentina.