Tag Archives: Recoletas

Day 2 – Buenos Días

Sunday 18 February 2024 – Jane had, inevitably, done enough planning to equip us with at least one place in Buenos Aires that we wanted to check out; and Mariana, who met us at the airport and who will be our guide on our return here in mid-March, had some useful suggestions among all the other ones she had for us. After an hour or so of relaxing at our hotel – the very charming and somewhat boutique-y Casasur Recoletas, we went out for a walk (obviously) mainly in search of sustenance, but also to start getting to grips with Buenos Aires.

Recoletas is a classy part of the city (do you think we’d stay anywhere else?), and within a few blocks of the hotel we very quickly got to understand a couple of significant architectural vibes – colonial

and classic European, with a strong French strain.

We also came across the national tree of Argentina,

the Ceiba, or Silk Floss Tree, which is obligingly in flower to celebrate our arrival.

Our objective for somewhere to eat, as recommended by Mariana, was the restaurant at the Museo Fernández Blanco, a Spanish-American art Museum. Very nice it looked, too, with an impressive portal

and an attractive little restaurant in the gardens.

Sadly, the restaurant was all full of people. They suggested that they might have a table for us in 30 minutes or so, which gave us the opportunity to explore the gardens and some of the (attractive but somewhat faded) decorative work in it.

The museum building itself is a fine thing

albeit somewhat dwarfed by the high rise buildings around it.

To while away some more time, we headed out towards a nearby park, largely dedicated to a local hero, General San Martin, who distinguished himself in battle against the British in 1807 and subsequently used this area to house his mounted grenadiers.

There’s a bit of cultural dissonance here, as the park apparently also features a monument to the fallen of the Falklands Malvinas war.  However, it also features something that  was once called the Torre de los Ingleses, as it was a gift from the city’s British community in 1916, to celebrate the centennial of the 1810 May Revolution, which was a bit of local bother in deciding who ran the country.

These days (might be something to do with the Falklands War, who’s asking?) it’s called the Torre Monumental (although apparently all the locals still call it the Tower of the English).

The stroll took us past some more classic European-influenced architecture

and a rather cute Police Box on a roundabout.

It was by this stage time to head back to the restaurant, where we found that the 30 minutes estimate was somewhat optimistic.  However, the gardens are a pleasant place to wait whilst slow eaters refuse to get on with it, clear off and vacate a table for us.  Many people wander through the gardens, which may be something to do with a building in the corner with a rather nice façade behind which we think was a loo. There were some striking fashion statements by some of the Young Things wandering through

which we wondered might be to reduce the number of mosquito bites to the lower legs. Or maybe they’re just Being Young.

We eventually got a table and had a very pleasant meal, more of a snackish persuasion than a Nice Lunch, but nonetheless very welcome. Afterwards, we headed towards one of those places that Jane had earmarked for us to check out.  It’s called Floreria Atlantico, and at first blush appears indeed to be a flower shop

although the shelves of bottles might begin to hint at a deeper purpose.  In the corner is  fridge door

which, when opened, leads down some steps

to a simply splendid cocktail bar.

with some great artwork on the walls

and bar staff who know their cocktails.  This chap not only knew what a Boulevardier was,

but also asked whether the brand of Bourbon they had was acceptable and then mixed it to perfection, as judged by Jane, who Has Standards In This Sort Of Thing.

All in all, this was an excellent finale to a short, but very engaging, expedition round the Recoletas area of Buenos Aires.  Given that we are due back to the same hotel in just over three weeks’ time, I think we’re going to have more fun exploring around here.

We have an earlyish start tomorrow to get us down to Ushuaia, whence our Antarctic adventure sails. We had a very swift walk around Ushuaia when we were last in Patagonia, some six years ago, and didn’t really get to know the place at all.  I hope tomorrow gives us a chance to put that right. Watch this space to find out!