Monday, August 31, 2009

Punta del Este, on the rocks

The JHSF group from Brazil (think Fasano hotels in Sao Paulo an Rio plus the some of the biggest Real Estate developments in Brazil) bought an astounding 480 hectares (around 1,200 acres) five miles from La Barra.

They commissioned very well known Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld to design the Las Piedras Villas & Hotel Fasano, their first beach-and-country development in Uruguay. The property will have 205 one-to-five bedrooms villas, spa, Boat house, tennis and polo fields and a private beach, plus the Fasano hotel gastronomy and services, such as housekeeping and concierge.

All the Hotel amenities (20 bungalows, bar, restaurant, spa and pool bar) will be ready for the summer 2009/2010 (summer in Uruguay means December through March).

We cannot wait!

More information? Contact for details

Friday, August 28, 2009

A house like me

Villa Malaparte, in Capri, must be one of the most amazing houses on this planet.

South Street Seaport, getting there.

How to make the perfect pied-à-terre for a couple working in finance?
We thought it might be interesting to show you a renovation which is almost finished. The apartment was built in 1984 and everything was still original (bathroom fixtures and cheap parquet floors included).

We upgraded the look with custom cabinetry and paneling in the hallway to add drama. Also the kitchen cabinets were replaced with fine Italian cabinetry from Canova .

So, we wanted to show a project before it is photographed professionally, so you can get a behind the scenes look.

The apartment is almost there, but not yet.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rogelio Polesello, Master of Color

We visited Rogelio Polesello in his atelier in Buenos Aires a few months ago. The impressive space (over 5,000 square feet) is split into different levels overlooking two quiet streets in Belgrano, a residential neighbourhood not far from Palermo Viejo.

It is an overwhelming experience not only for the quantity and quality of the objects displayed, but also for the amount of Art present in every single room. His own paintings and sculptures as well as work from other artists, lots of furniture and lamps (Frank Gehry, Gae Aulenti, Eames, Corbusier, Magistretti...they are all here) plus a collection of pre-columbian artifacts and two million magazines on a staircase, along with a statue of Carlos Gardel (yes, the tango singer).

Polesello is indeed a versatile and extremely talented artist, mastering the work in Plexiglas sculptures (mainly from the 70's) as well as painting and murals (pioneering Op Art in Latin America).
He is a fascinating and complex person, and his private space is as individual and unique as he is. A true Maestro!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kitchen Symphony

There is nothing more hypnotic than staring at a chef when he is working in his kitchen while his restaurant is packed.

Lots of people moving fast. Heat, speed, knives, flames...with one person in charge, the director of the orchestra. The director of this culinary symphony is George Mendes. And Aldea is his restaurant.
And it is playing an ode to Portugal, in a very New York kind of way. We loved this restaurant with its open kitchen. People can see everything that happens as the staff prepares meals—especially our meal!
As if there wasn’t enough stress in a restaurant kitchen!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Buenos Aires restaurants: our picks

We are always asked, when people go to Buenos Aires, where to eat. That is a tricky question, because it is always a personal point of view.
But there are some general guidelines. First, and most important, avoid touristy places. It sounds easy but it is not. Thanks to some publications and a lot of international tourists, apparently there are some places not to miss (places where locals go, generally for good meat).

So, more and more tourists start going to this restaurants. Therefore prices raise. Therefore locals don't go there anymore. Then these places for locals become places for tourists!

Our choices for locals are:
Miranda Meat and pastas in Palermo Viejo.

Oui Oui Excelent! Informal brunches are the best.

Olsen - Gorriti 5870 Phone 4776-7677 Scandinavia meets South America

Bar Uriarte Mediterranean cuisine - Brick oven great for meats and fish.

Grappa - El Salvador 5802 Phone 4899-2577 Ultra-thin crust pizzas

Bereber - Armenia 1880 Phone 4833-5662 Moroccan cuisine. Great terrace.

Almacen Secreto The real deal with authentic argentine dishes. Fantastic!

Dominga - Honduras 5618 Phone 4771-4443 Mediterranean plus sushi.

Museo Evita - J.M. Gutierrez 3926 Phone 4800-1599

Croque Madame - Av Libertador 1902 Phone 4806-8639 - Great for outdoor meals in a chic Museum

Fervor Great seafood barbecue and meats. The best choice in Recoleta.

We think this is a good start! Have fun and remember to go for dinner after 9 PM or you will dine alone.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Downtown locals

The Financial District is one of our favourite neighbourhoods in the city. Walking down the narrow streets we can still see the fantastic buildings from the 20's and 30's and even before, like the Delmonico's restaurant or some other examples of the 1900's still around.

The city is always changing though, and some newcomers are joining the area. William Beaver House (the most ambitious project of Andre Balazs in New York) is one of them. We walked by today, and it seems is almost finished.

There are many apartment conversions in the area, so we are happy to see that the neighbourhood is becoming residential once again. Like it was a long time ago, at the very beginning.

Jungle fever

We discovered Don Enrique lodge through friends. It is a small, family-run place with only three rooms in the middle of the Argentine rain forest, in a place where roads do not exist and where TV or telephones are nowhere to be found. To get there you go to Iguazu from Buenos Aires, and then a three hour drive through the Province of Misiones.

Don Enrique sits over a small river near the Mocona Falls, and it really is in the middle of the Monte, as they call the rain forest here.

You can wander through the trails they opened through the jungle (this means, for instance,
crossing streams of water ankle deep) so you can get in touch with the environment and learn about plants and animals that live there. There is also the option of a two hour boat excursion
visiting the Mocona Falls. The falls are longitudinal to the river rather than transversal like the rest of the waterfalls...totally unusual.

If you get tired with all these activities, there is always the possibility of doing absolutely nothing but sitting on a porch and enjoy the silence.