District Edit – The Southern Beaches

The beaches south of Lima are the destination over the summer months, and although they have their year round residents, there is a huge influx of Peruvians and tourists from December through to Easter. Some go for the day, others the weekend, and for some children their entire summer holiday.

However, it’s not just the beaches that draw in the crowds, there are plenty of delicious places to eat that will grab your attention too, plus a location or two to dance away until the wee hours. There are obviously more venues than I am putting in this guide, but these are the spots that keep me coming back for more year after year. Plus, I used to live in Punta Hermosa, which means I’ve definitely had time to try a number of locations and really narrow them down to my absolute faves.

The southern beaches are actually made up of many districts, however due to the small number of places I’ve chosen, I decided to group them all together under one umbrella. As always, I’ve put together a handy Google map to help you find them all! Here is the link: https://www.google.com/maps/placelists/list/1K1RDNfbvI3vMlqEXTfI6iZyCIWQ

I’ve gone as far down the coast as Asia, as it is one of the main destinations for holidaymakers during the summer months. I’ve also placed the towns and locations in order as they appear on the map. Continue reading

The Lima Edit – Most Visited and Old Favourites

I was inspired by my last post to think of some favourite locations here in Lima that I find myself returning to again and again. Obviously there are so many amazing places to eat here, and some of those I’ve been to a few times, or wish I could visit more often, but these are the places that have remained a constant over the last few years. These are also the places that I continuously take people that come to visit me as I always know I can trust the quality.

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Bookmarked // September

I am getting very, very excited to head back to Europe for Christmas, and I’ve been researching all the places that I need to visit, all the new openings, all the events…..it’s been a fun few weeks!

In fact, all the research I’ve done on my home country has finally helped me to almost finish my recommendations for Cambridge, so that page should hopefully be up on the blog within the next month.

But before I head back home, I’ve got a visit from my parents and a trip to Arequipa to plan for, so I better hit the Internet again and decide on where in Lima I really want to show them. They’ve been a few times already so we’ve done a lot, but new favourites always pop up between visits!

But enough about what’s to come, here’s what has been going in during the month of September…

September

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Bookmarked // May

Even though this week has mainly been grey and cold, today has shown signs that a little summer is still here in Lima with its beautiful blue sky and fierce sunshine. I sit typing with a G&T in hand, just as any English citizen would be when the temperature passes 17 degrees! Our dogs are out on the terrace, basking in the rays and sleeping a lot, which is just what you want on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

This month I have been excitedly planning our winter holiday, which may be including a trip to the happiest place in the world (erm…thats Disney World), and therefore I have reverted to being a child at the prospect of this! I may have watched three Disney films already this week….

What else has been happening this month you ask? Well, let’s take a look at some of the awesomeness that Lima had to offer in May. may 2015

THIS MONTH I HAVE BEEN…….

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Pollo a la Leña in Matambrito

It takes a while to get settled into a new house, but I love it.

And in between all that moving and cleaning, a girl has gotta eat, right?

Where better than Matambrito…

This great little place in Punta Hermosa has already become a favourite.

 

They specialise in Pollo a la Leña, which is chicken cooked in a brick oven over a wood fire. There are other items on their menu but this is their number 1 dish.

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Peruvian Desserts – Pie de Limon

Lemon Meringue Pie closeAnd at last we arrive at the dessert namesake of this blog. Pie de Limon, or Lemon Meringue Pie, is a favourite in about a bazillion countries. (Bazillion = a lot x 1000….. approximately…..maybe).

Pie de Limon consists of 3 layers. A base made from crushed biscuits and butter, although pastry is used instead equally as much; a layer of a smooth, sweet, but tangy, lemon curd-y filling; and finally a fluffy meringue topping, usually toasted on top with a blowtorch perhaps or popped briefly in the oven.

I do have to point out briefly that in the UK, and other countries too, they make the pie with lemons (kind of obvious, no?), but here in Peru they make it with limon. Limon is a small citrus fruit with it’s closest comparison being a Key Lime. The taste is slightly different, but to be honest it’s not a giant leap away.

Pie de Limon is super tasty if you make it correctly and that means all 3 layers of equal tastiness. In my pie vision, for example, I hate a crispy meringue or a lemon layer that tastes too much of condensed milk. I’m not sure why condensed milk is often used as an ingredient here in Peru for this part of the pie, I’m pretty sure lemon curd does not include condensed milk. Actually I’m convinced it does not include condensed milk. Please stop this madness.

Also, I would always recommend having a slice cut from a larger pie as opposed to individual tartlets. The filling to base ratio is much better in a slice and you usually get a whole heap more of meringue. I’ve tried a few individual ones here in Lima and none have been as satisfying as a giant slice.

A good Pie de Limon is a happy thing.

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Peruvian Desserts – Tres Leches

tres leches

Tres Leches literally translates as three milks, and the milks that it refers to is condensed milk, evaporated milk and crema de leche. Don’t worry it’s not some kind of milky, flan-type panacotta monstrosity, the dessert is actually a light sponge cake soaked in the three milks and sometimes topped partly or completely with soft meringue. Now that sounds so much better, don’t you think?! Also, it normally comes served with all the excess sweet milky mixture, so no mouthful should ever be dry at all. This dessert is heavenly and very rich, especially if you like big fat slices like I do. Coming from the person least likely to drink/eat anything milk related, you know this cake must be awesome.

I LOVE LIMAWhere would I recommend in Lima to try it?

1. Maga…mis suspiros. It costs s/8.50 a slice and it’s so worth it (did I just sound like a shampoo advert?). It’s a good hearty slice, with an amazing flavour and comes topped with little dots of soft meringue (this is the one pictured above). Happy days! It’s probably good to share a slice like this but to be honest you could be selfish and polish this off all by yourself. This is a very popular place to come for tres leches, along with all of her other desserts on sale. It is a small shop but there are a few tables to sit in and eat, otherwise you can take away and enjoy in the comfort of your living room in your pyjamas.

Av. Benavides 1113, Miraflores (Between Paseo de la República and Republica de Panamá)

2. La Bodega de la Trattoría (started by Sandra Plevisani). I tried her Cinco Leches (Five Leches) at Mistura 2013 (Peru’s main food festival) for less than s/7 and I was incredibly lucky. Topped with a soft meringue and served with strawberries, this is some of the best ‘Tres’ Leches I have ever eaten, and don’t just take my word for it. According to El Comercio she sold 10,600 portions of this in just one day at Mistura last year! You can try it too but you will have to pay s/22 in her restaurant for the pleasure. (I have not tried it here but I can only assume it’s just as good!) Honestly, you will not regret paying the money for it once you eat it, but you will regret it if you leave without trying it!!

P.S. Do you want to know what the other ‘leches’ were that made this particular dessert up to a Cinco Leches? They were leche de coco (coconut milk) and manjar blanco (basically condensed milk boiled in the can).

The Cinco Leches is also available at her other restaurant La Trattoría di Mambrino.

Av. Primavera 712, Santiago de Surco. (there are 4 other locations for La Bodega de la Trattoría, so check the website for more details)

****ADDITION TO THE LIST (5/10/2014)!****

Tres Leches La Heladeria3. La Heladeria. Technically you do have to travel outside of Lima city to find this, but the beach town of Punta Hermosa is only about 25-30 minutes away and seeing as summer is approaching, you will be much more likely to find yourself heading out in this direction. This small cafe sells artesanal ice cream, desserts, juices and more, and obviously I have tried more than a couple of the desserts here. The Tres Leches at La Heladeria is sublime. Smooth, creamy and sweet. There is barely a taste of milk, which suits me perfectly, and it is finished with shavings of chocolate. This is absolutely one of the best Tres Leches I have eaten in Peru.

(The map on the Facebook page is not in the correct location and I cannot find the name of the street. Ask anyone in Playa Caballeros and they will be able to direct you to the location! Security guards are really helpful.)

Coming from ‘Playa Caballeros’ you take the road out from the beach called Av. Las Tres Bahias, go through the security gate and just to the left in front of you is La Heladeria, on the other side of the small roundabout.)