ARGENTINA

Celebrating Christmas In Buenos Aires

Christmas in Buenos Aires Pool Side Inca to Inuit

Being away for Christmas was never going to be easy no matter where we decided to spend it. In order to remedy the home-sickness and lust for an open fire, long dog walks and a turkey dinner we decided to turn Christmas on its head, replacing the fireside for the poolside, long dog walks for walks to get our daily ice cream fix and a turkey dinner for steak and red wine. Naturally we chose to spend Christmas in Buenos Aires.

Spending Christmas in Buenos Aires Inca to Inuit

Christmas in Buenos Aires was never going to translate all that well back to the Christmas’ that we were used to home in England. As Christmas falls in summer in the southern hemisphere, snow, St Nic and roasting chestnuts on an open fire seem somewhat out of place when it’s 35 degrees outside. Instead, Christmas in Buenos Aires is somewhat of a mashup of European Christmas traditions and summertime partying.

Spending Christmas in Buenos Aires

Unlike in England, the main day of celebration in Buenos Aires is Christmas Eve. The streets and restaurants are at bursting point with families and friends dining, drinking and dancing, enjoying the summer sun.  Look up and the roofs of apartment buildings have been transformed into pop-up restaurants with the best views in the city as residents transform their balconies and terraces into dinner parties. The cities many dogs prance through the streets dressed for Christmas adorning Rudolph’s antlers and Santa’s red and white coat.

Roof Top Party Buenos Aires Inca to Inuit

Having briefly spent some time in Buenos Aires a few weeks prior to Christmas we had decided to make the artsy, bohemium barrio of Palermo our Christmas residence. Staying in the Aspen Square hotel, we relished the opportunity to fully unpack our backpacks, hang up our clothes and spend as many hours possible in the bath. Simple pleasures.

Streets of Palermo Buenos Aires

One of the main reasons we chose to spend Christmas in Buenos Aires is for the gastronomy. Palermo is bursting with world-class cafes, bars and restaurants, all of which we tried to cram into our 4-day stay. We started with lunch on Christmas Eve at La Panera Rosa a bright pink bakery of deliciousness situated two blocks from Plaza Serrano, one of Buenos Aires’ best art and craft fairs.

Inca to Inuit Christmas In Buenos Aires

After an afternoon of mooching around the shops and eating ice cream, we headed for a late night set dinner at Garzon.  It’s normal practice for people in Argentina to sit down to dinner from 10 pm onwards. I don’t think either of us has ever tried to eat a three-course meal that late in the evening. Three courses, one bottle of wine and four cocktails later we saw in Christmas with a glass of champagne in hand, waltzing our way back through the streets of Buenos Aires to the deafening sound of fireworks.

As soon as midnight strikes the skies are alight with brightly coloured fireworks from organised displays at the Oblesico to people setting off firecrackers in streets and fireworks off their balconies. Paper lanterns light up the sky’s as people stand from their apartment rooftops seeing in Christmas as if it were New Years Eve.

Having opened our stockings on Christmas morning (made from our walking socks, they were clean!) and skyped our families, we curled up in bed put the air con up to max, with a Toblerone, glass of champagne and a Christmas movie followed by a Christmas day picnic, a Mason family tradition.

Spending Christmas In Buenos Aires

Christmas day mirrors that of New Years day back home in England with people walking through the post party littered streets to visit each other nursing hangovers from the night before. We ventured out around 8 pm in a balmy 35-degree heat to our Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner was very different this year. We opted for something a bit different, a dining experience we knew we wouldn’t forget. We dined with Chef Luis who put on a 5-course private parrilla in a cosy loft in Buenos Aires. As one of the most famous things about Argentina is the meat and the famous ritual of “Asado” we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to taste an amazing Asado whilst at the same time learning about the ritual and how the Argentinians cook up such good steak!

Steaks By Luis, Inca to Inuit

Steaks by luis, Christmas in Buenos Aires

Located in a beautiful terrace on the corner of Palermo Soho, this closed door restaurant seats its 20 guests at a communal table where guests are served a five-course meal with wine pairing. Steaks by Luis starts with a classic “Picada” of cold cuts, cheese and wine, followed by Asado appetizers like chinchulines, chorizo and blood sausage, a large steak and to close a phenomenal dessert. An unforgettable experience and chance to meet some fantastic people and eat some superb World class food.

Inca to Inuit How To Spend Christmas In Buenos Aires

Boxing day isn’t a holiday as we’re used to it back home in England. Shops and restaurants return back to business and it’s a normal day once again. With slightly fuzzy heads we trundled to the only place to go on a hangover in Buenos Aires. he Burger Joint. Named as one of the 29 best international burger bars in 2013 by the Huffington Post. With graffiti scrawled walls, Kardashian hating signage and eclectic music, this is the place to be and be seen. People spill out of this small joint, nursing their bargain combo of a burger, fries and a paired beer (to match your burger) for the steal of £5. Our favourites were the Mexican (Guacamole and Jalapenos) and Le Blue (blue cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and caramelised onions). Be warned, if you try the Mexican you’re unlikely to be able to use your mouth for half an hour or so after eating… it is hotter than the sun!

Burger Joint food

Boxing day wouldn’t be complete without a highly competitive game of Monopoly and luckily thanks to modern technology we didn’t have to cart the board game around with us, the app is amazing!

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