After living in Buenos Aires for over a year, I’ve come to know the day of rest in this country quite well. It’s a day of recreation, relaxation and whatever you damn well please. It’s living the brunch life and ODing on bottomless mimosas, even though the locals have no idea what the term ‘bottomless mimosas’ means, but you sure do. It’s sleeping the day away, saying whats up to Jesus, eating yourself into oblivion, what have you. Sunday Funday is nothing more than the ideology that Sunday should not be spent dreading the impending work week, but living it up instead. By trial and error, I’ve compiled mere suggestions that will put you in the right state of mind to bid adieu to the last week and cheers to the following.
| Brunch Life |
I was living the dream at Four Seasons Buenos Aires in the well-to-do neighborhood of Recoleta last week and knew I had to get in on their Sunday brunch at Nuestro Secreto (translation: “Our Secret” in Español). The best part about the whole experience was the actual venue. Or maybe it was the chorizo. Or maybe it was Max, my friendly waiter. Hmm. Come to think of it, the best part about it was everything. Todo. Whatever the case, I’m about to let the world in on Four Seasons’ little secret.
Nuestro Secreto is the only venue in the city where the roof and walls are entirely made of glass. Can you imagine a giant thunderstorm in here? It’s like, sorry, rain. You almost got me. Better luck next time. On days when it’s not vigorously raining, the glass can retract, creating a lovely al fresco dining experience. The idea comes to life with casual, eclectic outdoor furniture to create a backyard aesthetic. The design aims to transport the guest to a “secret garden,” and you literally walk through a beautiful courtyard to arrive at this peaceful retreat in the center of busting Buenos Aires. One of the five best parts? The flame-grilled asado menu is printed newspaper-style to emulate the tradition of reading the Sunday paper. What didn’t these people think of?!
Max, my waiter, arrived at my party for 1 with a huge smile on his face and said, “Ingles o Español?” to which I responded “Español.” If there’s anything I excel at in the Spanish language, it’s food. I researched the menu. Should I order the chorizo or empanadas to start? Would those pair well with the braised pork ravioli? Do I really want braised pork ravioli for brunch? Okay, what about a build-your-own-salad? That would probably look better on my thighs. Yeah, lettuce it is. I would accompany my mound of greens with carnivorous pleasures and Torrontes wine from the northern Argentina region of Salta and, just like everywhere else in the city, there was always the tempting carbohydrate basket in front of me. I ate my Argentine feast like a champ and was ready for the next activity on my Sunday Funday schedule.
| Spa Life |
What’s the perfect component to eating and drinking yourself into oblivion? A Sunday snooze, or, glorified nap at Four Seasons, which translates to a massage. I entered the enchanting Cielo Spa surrounded by calming blue and cream hues and was met by Spa Manager Lisa Dietzel, who told me she adored the name of my blog while leading me into the dream-like changing room. Cool. At least I’m doing something right. Upon seeing the facilities, I cursed myself for not arriving earlier to sweat my face off in the sauna or snack on the dried fruits in the beautiful lounge, as if I needed more calories after my gluttonous brunch. I was scheduled for a deep tissue with Augustina, and raisins weren’t going to take those precious minutes away from me.
Augustina was a saint in so many different ways. She allowed me to practice my sub par Spanish while choosing between various scents of lotions and potions to use throughout the massage. I de-robed, laid facedown on the cloud-like massage table, and then, the strangest most awesome thing happened. Augustina began to massage my back in such a rhythmic melody as if she’d choreographed it to music. Starting with light pitter patters and moving to sweeping motions and pressured movements with the background music had me inside the pit of a symphony orchestra. It was part yoga session, part chiropractor appointment and part orchestra practice for a whole 50 minutes. Just as I thought the massage was ending, Augustina wrapped my feet in hot towelettes. Oh. I didn’t even know my feet were cold. Yeah, yeah I guess they were. How did she know?!
Because the hotel prides itself on being incredibly creative and innovative, I have to give a nod to a few of their signature treatments and exclusive collections. The Discovering Argentina massage takes you on a tour through Argentine geography, starting with the lower body and incorporating the cold of the Patagonian plateau and moving to the hot stones of the north country as the massage ventures to the upper body. A new exclusive collection of Extraordinary Experiences only available through the hotel offers bespoke luxury adventures, as unique and individual as the destinations where they take place around the world. Create your own scent at Four Seasons Buenos Aires with legendary Argentine perfumer Julian Bedel, co-founder of Fueguia 1833.
After thanking Augustina for the massage turned acrobatic class, it was time to tell Four Seasons Buenos Aires “hasta luego” and set out for a new neighborhood.
| Fair Life |
Neighborhoods in Buenos Aires are as different and bizarre and quirky and beautiful and eccentric as they come. The old world barrio of San Telmo is no different with cobble-stone streets, decaying architecture and impromptu tango lessons. This little slice of Buenos Aires is magnificently weird while putting on a weekly feria, or fair, each Sunday with varying antiques, leathers, knickknacks, old books, jewelry, art and crafts, just to name a few options. I’ve been relic hunting many Sundays here and have never come home empty handed. It’s gotten so bad that my boyfriend gives me the 20 questions game every time now. “Where are you going to put that?” “Are you sure you really need it?” Ok, no. I don’t need the 800 peso copper bowl, but I really want the 800 peso copper bowl. I raised my voice with urgency. “THIS IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME PURCHASE!” So, I bought the copper bowl. The main street, Calle Defensa, is closed to traffic, making treasure searching in over hundreds of booths easier. If you don’t fee like buying anything (antique aficionados be warned), people watching won’t disappoint.
There you have it – a perfect day that’s pleasing to all the senses. As subjective as the term is, this is my definition and Argentine take on the most glorious Sunday Funday in Buenos Aires.