When it´s Grey in Buenos Aires

(Photo by Andres_314)

Grey weather and rain are forecasted for the days to come.  Thankfully, the city is full of indoor activities and places to discover.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid: Reading a good book has got to be one of the top rainy day activities around the globe, and the Ateneo Grand Splendid is just the place to do it. This impressive bookstore, set in what was once the Grand Splendid Theatre, is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world and conserves the balconies, the original velvet curtains, and the cupola, on which an allegoric representation of peace was painted after world war one. A great place for book browsing, sightseeing, reading and coffee drinking all in one.

Teatro Colón Tour: This impressive opera house is internationally known for its architectural beauty and its wonderful acoustics. The stately theatre can be toured every day from 9am-5.30pm and tours last approximately 1 hour. You can also go to experience an opera, a ballet, or a concert.

Buenos Aires Traditional Cafés: Another great option for BA rainy days is to seek refuge in one of the many traditional cafes to read, write, chat over coffee, or why not play some pool or a game of chess.  It is also a good chance to snack on some of the typical local comfort foods: medialunas de grasa o de manteca (2 different types of croissants made either from lard or butter), tostados de jamón y queso (very thin grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with a special bread-Argentina style), Submarinos (A glass of hot milk with a chocolate bar to melt in it), churros, alfajores, and licuados de banana (banana-milk smoothies).

5 O clock Tea: Along the lines of the traditional cafe is the casa de té, a place to go for a special 5 o clock tea where a larger variety of sweet cakes and sandwiches are served on silver platters.

Art Museums: One of the classic rainy day attractions in the city are the art museums, and Buenos Aires has plenty of those! From classic art, to decorative art, to Latin American art, to Modern Art, you’re sure to find one that suits your tastes.

Classic and Indy films: Buenos Aires has a lot of cinematographic activity and there are many places that screen classic movies, auteur and foreign films, independent features and more. The best places to go if you’re looking for something different are the MALBA, the San Martin theatre, which screens retrospectives of different directors, and cultural centers such as Centro Cultural Rojas (currently screening Cuban independent films) and Centro Cultural Konex.

For nightlife,  head to one of the city’s tango or jazz venues, two rainy day classics. Otherwise stop by AcaBar in Palermo where you can have some great drinks and play board games in a cozy setting.

 

 

5 O´Clock Tea in Buenos Aires

(Photo by ulterior epicure)

 

L’Orangerie: The lavish Hotel Alvear restaurant is a Buenos Aires classic for fancy tartlets and tea served in china cups. Open in the afternoon from 4.30pm-7pm. Alvear, Av. 1891, Recoleta. 4808-2100

 

Las Violetas: An assortment of cakes, sweets and sandwiches are served in this stunning traditional teahouse in the Almagro neighborhood. Golden chandeliers, Italian marble floors, and stained glass windows decorate Las Violetas, a unique place to indulge your sweet tooth. Av. Rivadavia 3899, Abasto. 4958-7387

 

Chez Pauline: This French style teahouse has a unique variety of tea blends and French pastries. They also offer mate tastings with information about the history and legends related to this typical Argentine beverage, and tea tastings. Juncal 1695, Recoleta. 4816 9988

 

Nucha: Nucha’s enterprise began many years ago, when she decided to commercialize her cakes, first offering them door to door to cafe’s, then selling them from her garage to her neighbors and now, experimenting with baking techniques to satisfy the demands of their 8 tea houses around the city.

 

Croque Madame: Set in the stunning Museum of Decorative Art, this cafe and restaurant is a great place to stop for some baked goods and quality tea and coffee. The garden setting and the impressive architecture make for more than just a culinary experience.  Avenida del Libertador 1902 I T: (011) 4806-8639

Local Specialties to Indulge your Sweet Tooth.

Grey cold days like the ones we’ve been having lately are great for comforting afternoon snacks in traditional teahouses such as Las Violetas in Almagro or Confiteria La Ideal downtown. Here are some local specialties to sweeten the afternoon.

Dulce de leche: Probably the most famous of Argentine sweets, this caramel cream is used in pastries, spread on toast, eaten by the spoonful and included in all kinds of desserts.

Alfajores:  A typical sandwich like snack made up of two “cookies” usually filled by, you guessed it, dulce de leche, (although there are variety’s filled with fruit jams and chocolate  as well) and covered in chocolate, confectionary, sugar or coconut. More information about alfajores is available here.

Rogel Cake: A very sweet cake made with alternating layers of puff pastry and dulce de leche and topped with meringue.

Pasta Frola Quince pie: Another typical sweet used in pastry’s and deserts is Quince paste (dulce de membrillo) and candied yam jam (dulce de batata), which are often combined with cheese for dessert. Quince paste also the main ingredient of Pasta Frola, a fruity pie that goes well with coffee.

Medialunas and Facturas: The local croissants and pastry’s come in many varieties. There are two types of medialunas (croissants), de grasa (made with lard) or de manteca (made with butter). The first is crunchier and thin, the second puffy and moist. Amongst the pastries you will find varieties with dulce de leche, with quince and yam jam, and with custard (crema pastelera).

Vainillas: These very lightweight  airy “cookies”  made from egg, vanilla and sugar are the favorite of many local children (and adults who wont admit it) who dunk them in milk as an afternoon snack.

Submarino: Another thing Argies like to dunk is a bar of chocolate in a cup of hot milk for a local take on a typical winter comforter.

5 Best Hotels for Food and Drinks

For Breakfast

Hernan Gipponi at Fierro Hotel

The best 4-step gourmet breakfast in town, including fresh fruit juices, perfect pastries, Spanish hams and unique hot and cold breakfast dishes created by Chef Hernan Gipponi. This posh Palermo restaurant also serves a great Spanish inspired tasting menu for lunch and dinner with special wine selections by the Argentine wine association president, Andres Rosberg and resident sommelier Martin Bruno.

Soler 5862, Palermo

3220 6800

For Lunch

Chez Nous at Algodon Mansion

This bright and elegant restaurant in Recoleta offers a great menu of French-Argentine fusion cuisine. Plus they have an annex cognac bar and a glass-covered patio with a fireplace that is great for winter!

Montevideo 1647 – Recoleta

3530-7777

For 5 O’clock Tea

(by Suzienewshoes)

L’Orangerie at the Alvear Palace

Tartlets, scones, and perfect cakes and all on delicate china plates make for the best teatime experience in the city. To accompany their afternoon treats they also offer a wide selection of special tea blends. Also in the Alvear Palace is La Bourgogne, one of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires.

Alvear, Av. 1891, Recoleta

4808-2100 int.1643

 

For Dinner, Wine and Cheese

Duhau Restaurant and Vinoteca at the Hyatt Hotel

This classy restaurant offering international cuisine specializes in wok and wooden grill preparations. The other thing they’re known for is their Vinoteca with a unique cheese room here you can taste an exclusive selection of Argentine wines and savory cheeses accompanied by chutneys and freshly baked breads.

Av. Alvear 1661, Recoleta

5171 1234

For Late Night Drinks

(by Sterin)

Faena Hotel

This flamboyant hotel designed by Phillippe Starck offers top quality cocktails in the Library Lounge and in the Cabaret where they put on a fantastic tango show. A fashionable place full of character, well worth visiting on your night prowls in BA.

445 Martha Salotti, Puerto Madero

4010 9000