Take a weekend in . . . Buenos Aires
From a fashionable supper club to a visit to Evita’s tomb, there’s more to the Argentinian city than steak and tango
The fanciful preparations and bright flavours of the meal that follow in the couple’s courtyard – from creamy homemade burrata to a filet of Patagonian anchovy to a sinfully rich chocolate and Aguaribay marquise – deserve the fanfare they elicit. The prix fixe meal is 245 pesos (per person, wine not included.
4 Sweet fuel
Outside the stunning National Museum of Decorative Arts is a quaint two-storey gatehouse. Once part of the ambassadorial residence, it is now home to Croque Madame, a peaceful spot for a morning café con leche (24 pesos, €3). Find a table in the manicured garden where you’ll be shaded beneath towering trees and soothed by the sound of trickling fountains. Since it’s too early to order one of the gut-busting signature croques, order scones made each morning and served warm (30 pesos, €3.70), to accompany your sweet coffee.
5 Art crawl
Since you’re right there, pop inside the neo-Classical National Museum of Decorative Arts (entrance 15 pesos, €1.90), which was built by the French architect René Sergent for Matías Errazúriz and Josefina de Alvear. The couple, he was an ambassador to France, commissioned the mansion in the early 20th century and furnished it with French and Flemish furniture and tapestries, Oriental porcelain and paintings by the likes of El Greco and Manet. When Josefina died in 1935, her husband turned it over to the Argentine government on one condition: that it become a museum. More than seven decades later, you can stroll through the family’s virtually unchanged rooms. From there, venture past the grand ambassadorial homes to Avenida Figueroa Alcorta and compare the “new Buenos Aires” at the Malba, the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (40 pesos, €5). Though small, the sleek modern cultural centre makes a big statement with its 20th-century works from notable Latin artists like Fernando Botero and Diego Rivera, along with international exhibitions from the likes of Tracey Emin and Yayoi Kusama.
6 Gourmet Scandinavian
The neighbourhood known as Palermo Hollywood, owing to the number of film and commercial production companies populating its warehouses, used to be a no-man’s land. But when the restaurant Olsen opened in 2001, it changed everything. An instant hit with the fashion set, it still buzzes morning, noon and night – and at no other time more than brunch. Whether seated in the minimalist interior beneath soaring ceilings or outdoors along the ivy-covered wall, you can enjoy such Scandinavian dishes as whitefish, smoked salmon, potato pancakes. Brunch for two, 250 pesos (€31).
7 Style central
Street style in Buenos Aires remains classically sophisticated, but in Palermo Soho, the colours are bright, the designs are funky and the energy is infectious. A hotbed of indie fashion designers along with Argentina’s established brands, the neighbourhood, which came into its own after the 2001 financial crisis, is the perfect place to find souvenirs, from high-quality leather shoes to artisan paper. Graffiti art and leafy trees create colourful canopies along the cobblestone streets, which, along with in-store DJs, outdoor cafes and youthful crowds, make shopping feel like a party.