With its cobblestone streets and numerous ornate buildings, Santiago’s Lastarria neighbourhood looks like a village lifted straight from Europe and redeposited in South America. Rather than reflecting just one style of European architecture, though, Lastarria is an amalgam of an entire continent’s sense of style, with everything from Tudor to Belle Époque to Brutalist all within the few blocks that make up this interesting little pocket of Santiago.
Museo de Artes Visuales.
With cultural attractions, a burgeoning food and wine scene, and a sleek boutique hotel, it’s no wonder visitors to the Chilean capital are in love with Lastarria. The latest addition to Santiago’s list of cultural attractions is the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral, a large complex of art galleries and performing arts spaces where concerts, recitals, dance performances, and theatre are on regular rotation. The cultural centre is only a block away from Lastarria Street, the hear of the neighbourhood now lined with a growing number of stylish bars and restaurants interspersed with residential and mansions converted into office buildings. The one covered in vines is a sight to be seen; appropriately, it is located adjacent to Santiago’s Museum of Visual Arts, a beehive of artistic activity showcasing avant-garde art.
On Lastarria Street is the excellent Bocanáriz, the only place in Chile to sample the vast variety of the country’s fine wines. There are many places to taste wines in Chile, but these bodegas only offer their own production. In contrast, Bocanáriz celebrates the wide variety of wines made in Chile; owner Katherine Hidalgo is as passionate about quality as she is about wine, and this young entrepreneur has created a very appealing bar/restaurant where delicious food accompanies the excellent wines rather than the other way around. If one or more of the seductive desserts at Bocanáriz is not satisfying enough, turn right at the top of Lastarria Street and make your way to Emporio La Rosa, Santiago’s best ice cream parlour often garnering international recognition for the high quality and unusual flavours available.
Bocanariz wine tasting.
One of the lovely bedrooms at Lastarria Boutique Hotel.
- A short stroll from Bocanáriz is Lastarria Boutique Hotel, a lovely mansion turned guesthouse that makes a superb pied-à-terre for the visitor looking to be surrounded by style and class in a home-like environment. The polished staff know no limit in pleasing guests and take every step to ensure their stays are maximally enjoyable. The hotel’s appealing rooms are decorated with in just the right mix of casual luxury and careful artfulness. The backyard is a tranquil place to relax and enjoy the complimentary afternoon tea after a day’s sightseeing.
Melbourne-based South America Travel Centre can make a visit to Chile handling all the logistics for a rewarding visit to Santiago, including flights on LAN.
Source = ETB News: Robert La Bua