Biking to the Border (Part 2) // MAC & David LaChapelle

Filled with food after a delicious lunch at Perupa’ti, we set off for a bit of culture.

Our next stop was a hop, skip and a jump over the border into Barranco (literally a 5 minute walk) to visit the MAC; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Modern Art Museum).

sculpture and sign

We were here to see a photography exhibition by David LaChapelle, a photographer with a career spanning the decades from the 80’s until now. He is well known for his photography of celebrities and his work in numerous magazines, such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ and Rolling Stone.

andy warhol

In the 1980’s he started showing his work in New York. Andy Warhol (pictured above) discovered him, liked his work and gave him a job at Interview magazine. The rest, as they say, is history. However, celebrities and fashion were not his only focus, because more recently he turned away from the commercial pieces and decided to only concentrate on the modern photographic art he had been producing.

This exhibition covers a wide range of his work through the years from 1984-2013.

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Food & Fashion in Lima

During March, Lima has weeks dedicated to food and fashion.

Lima Food Week (well actually 2 weeks!) starts on the 16th March and ends on the 29th. During these 2 weeks around 25 well known restaurants will offer 3 course set menus for lunch and/or dinner. Lunch will set you back S/59 and dinner comes in at S/79.

Picture from http://www.limafoodweek.com

The list of restaurants include Malabar (one of the top 100 restaurants in the world and 11th in Latin America), Maras, La Nacional, Osaka and Amaz but you can browse the whole list including the menus on the website here. It also gives you an option to reserve a table, which they highly recommend doing due to the expected high popularity.

Personally I’d like to go to all of them, but I’ve been wanting to try Malabar for ages so this gives me a great excuse to go!

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Choco Museo

I was an honorary Oompa Loompa for the day, and it was brilliant.

OK, so I didn’t get to make a chocolate river or see geese that lay golden eggs, but I did learn how to make chocolate from ‘bean to bar’ at the Choco Museo.

 

Through the workshop at the Choco Museo in Miraflores, and other locations, you learn about the production of chocolate and what you can do with the final product. You start with the cocoa pod and follow the process all the way through to making your own chocolates to take home.

Plus, you eat & drink an awful lot of chocolate products throughout, which is always a bonus!

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24 hours in Asia

bougainvillea When I say Asia I’m referring to the beach, not the continent. That would be a lot of travel for only 24 hours! Seeing as it’s getting towards the end of the hottest part of summer, we decided to whisk ourselves off for 24 hours to enjoy some sun, sea, sand, food and drink in the vibrant coastal area of Asia. Driving down the Panamericana Sur on a Saturday lunchtime meant I had to make a couple of stops on the way to our destination. Food is necessary for a good road trip! Continue reading

Día Nacional del Pisco Sour 2015

How can I celebrate the national drink of Peru I hear you cry? Fear not, I am here to help you in your quest to find an event to celebrate the ‘Pisco Sour’.

The pisco sour is a drink made from the country’s national spirit pisco, mixed or shaken with egg white, limón juice (sometimes different fruits or herbs), and sugar syrup. It is then either blended with ice or just shaken with it.pisco sour recipe

(This recipe is taken from experience and recommendations, however notes were taken from here, here and here.)

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Bookmarked // January

 

january w:tapeTHIS MONTH I HAVE BEEN………

Nuevo Mundo Facebook // The Complete Sherlock Holmes on Amazon UK

watching

Dexter // Merlin // Elementary

eating / jan(from the left going clockwise)

1// Mint Choc Chip and Amaretto sundae at Laritza D’. Summer = ice cream!!

2// Salchipapas (sausage & chips) w/ egg at Tanta. I love salchipapas. Great for soaking up those pisco sours!

3// Amazing queso mantecoso (creamy, mild, salty cheese) from the area of Cajamarca in the north-east of Peru. I am afraid I have no location of where to buy this cheese, because it was a gift, but check out the label and have a search for it if you are travelling up that way!

4// The buffet at Mangos at Larcomar in Miraflores. Super tasty food and a great place to eat in the summer, because their location is right on the clifftop overlooking the sea. Amazeballs. (S/.55 for the lunch buffet)

5// Papa rellena (mashed potato shaped around a filling, normally beef, and fried) at Panchita one of Gaston Acurio’s restaurants specialising in traditional Peruvian food. It was by far the best papa rellena I have ever eaten. Continue reading

Expo Vino 2014 – Wine, wine and more wine

This event is but one of a million reasons why I love Wong.

Wong is one of the supermarkets here in Lima and to be honest it is by far the best. The staff, the food, their customer service, and the fact that I can buy and consume an ice cream while I shop, is what gives me such a high opinion of them.

Every year they put on an event to showcase the best wines in Latin America and also wines from the rest of the world that are available in Peru. This year it was from the 16th-18th October (last weekend) and there were over 800 wines and 200 kinds of pisco to try. Each vineyard or label has a stand showcasing the best of their wines and you are invited to taste a sample from whichever bottles tempt you in. Having lived in Lima for almost 2 years now I have tried a fair amount of South American wine and I was also lucky enough to attend the event last year too. Both of these things meant that this year I could really focus in on the wines I had yet to try, or wines that are perhaps not as widely available or normally too expensive to purchase by the bottle.

The selection of wines is enormous and it is absolutely impossible to be able to try everything, so it’s best to try and narrow them down. You would think that perhaps reducing your choices to some of the wines that had won medals would be a good place to start. However, we found that some of the bottles that had won the higher prizes were not for tasting (including one bottle that cost S/1000). Also, some of the popular wines only had display bottles, and none for us to actually taste, although they had been available in the previous days, perhaps suggesting that the vineyard had only provided a small selection of bottles for tasting.

We tasted a lot of wines (red, white, rose and sparkling), so in this article I am just going to talk about some of the wines that really stood out for us as being some of the best, and a sparkling wine that we thought would be perfect for summer. I will also mention some great options that have been tried and tested during my stay here and are also readily available in Wong.

I’d like to point out that these are my opinions and therefore just an idea of what to expect. After all, I am not a sommelier!

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Fiestas Patrias 2014!

Fiestas Patrias is here again and the long weekend celebrating Peruvian independence is upon us! I love a long weekend.

But how to celebrate and spend this long weekend I hear you ask? You have but 2 options.

Leave Lima for fun and frolics elsewhere in the country (Cusco, Arequipa, Mancora…) OR like myself, stay in Lima and enjoy the city when it is much emptier and quieter.

So, if you have decided to head off on holiday and take advantage of the time away from work, or the fact that it is school holidays as well, then enjoy your trip away and relax!

If, on the other hand, you are in Lima, then what is there to do?

Museum of A,A&H1. Well, you could enjoy the space and freedom of the parks in various districts, and enjoy them with less traffic around. Perhaps you have wanted to hang out in the Bosque El Olivar in San Isidro, but normally the traffic to get there would make you rather stay in bed than fight through the hoards of cars, then now is the time to take advantage. Take your kids, your dogs, or if you’re really brave take a picnic (the weather really isn’t making this one a great idea though).

2. Check out the museums, archaeological sites, or galleries with less crowds to contend with. It makes for a much more pleasant experience. Perhaps check out Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores, MATE in Barranco or The Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History in Pueblo Libre.

3. Buy a ticket for the Feria del Hogar in Chorrillos. It runs from July 24th-10th August and tickets cost S/40. It is a huge fair or exhibition of products in Peru, from home and beauty to food and technology. There are also fairground style rides and bands playing too. There is a different big act playing every day, most of which you will have to pay extra to see. However, Juan Diego Florez (a great Peruvian tenor) is playing on 2nd of August and his performance is included in your ticket price, but space is obviously limited, so not all ticket holders will get in.

4. Eat.

This is a serious suggestion. Around Fiestas Patrias restaurants make special dishes, menus, or items to celebrate the holiday, and sometimes restaurants, vendors and shops can give really good deals. Also, less people means less traffic (yes, again) and therefore everywhere is much easier to get to, and much less stress. This weekend, you could probably drive through about 3 districts in the space of time it might have taken you to drive to the end of your street on a normal day*.

*This is a humungous exaggeration, but I feel it makes my point.

Places are also a little emptier, so it can be easier to get a table or you might spend less time queuing. Enjoy this while it lasts.

barranco beer company tankardSo here are a few deals or specials to sink your teeth into this weekend.

  • Befriend Barranco Beer Company on Facebook, apply for a code, and then you can drink 500ml chopps for just S/10 on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday (stock permitting obi). They brew their beer onsite so you would be drinking proper Peruvian beer.
  • Check out Miss Cupcakes and her special for Fiestas Patrias: Charada cupcakes. Charadas are the Peruvian version of Oreo’s but with a slightly darker (less sweet) taste. These cupcakes should be super tasty so get one while you can. The last day to purchase them is today. She also sells big badges to wear to show your Peruvian pride, I believe designed by Edward Venero and his label VNRO.
  • La Casa del Alfajor has large alfajores with added patriotic designs to celebrate Fiestas Patrias.

 

Tacu TacuEven without a deal, discount or special, you absolutely should eat proper Peruvian food and celebrate Peru. Go all out and eat in Astrid & Gaston or head to your local cevicheria or criollo restaurant, just make sure you eat Peruvian.

One of my favourite places to eat good hearty Peruvian food, aside from my house, is Rincon Chami, on Calle Esperanza in Miraflores. It serves big helpings of traditional dishes like Aji de Gallina, Tacu Tacu a lo Pobre (my personal favourite), and Arroz con Pollo. It also does a great Pastel de Choclo and has a big list of desserts. If you want to eat traditional Peruvian food without breaking the bank, this would be my pick. Gaston Arcurio’s Tanta makes some great Peruvian food including Lomo Saltado, Ceviche and Suspiro de Limeña. Maybe you would prefer something smaller, so head to El Chinito for their Sandwich de Chicharron or grab some Salchipapas from the Barranco Beer Company whilst drinking your S/10 chopp I mentioned above (brewed onsite)! To finish up with, grab a slice of Turron from Pasteleria San Martin and have yourself a pisco sour or two.

 

If you are in the UK, do not fret, celebrate with us! There are a few Peruvian restaurants on your doorstep. Well, if you live in London anyway!

Ceviche (check out their website for activities over the holiday) and CevicheAndina were opened by the same person (Martin Morales), and also Lima restaurant (opened by the owner of Central right here in Lima) now has an offshoot called Lima Floral. Also I believe a new Nikkei (a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese food which is extremely popular here in Lima) restaurant has opened in London too called Chotto Matte. I can only recommend Ceviche, as I haven’t been to any of the others, but why not try one out. It’s the perfect weekend to do it, and with the weather as hot as it is in the UK, a ceviche is just what the doctor ordered!

Whatever you do, Happy Fiestas Patrias!!

E

 

Catch of the Day // Terminal Pesquero

Every couple of weeks since our holiday to Punta Sal (in the North of Peru), where we pretty much lived on fresh fish straight from the sea outside our bungalow, we have been going to the Terminal Pesquero in Villa Maria del Triunfo in Lima. It’s a big fish market where anyone can go and buy seafood by the kilo. From chefs buying for their restaurants to home cooks buying for their family, it is most definitely one of the cheapest ways to buy your seafood in Lima. You need to get there early. I believe it is open from about 4am, and normally we arrive around 6am.

You can buy all kinds of goods from the sea, from tuna to scallops. There are tables and boxes full of things like fresh shrimps, small dark fish, huge swordfish, shark, crab or squid. It’s a good idea to get a look around the whole market first, checking out the quality and the prices as you go, and then make a decision at the end.

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