A treasure hidden in Medellin

Patio del mundo

img_3068 There is another experience you cannot miss in Medellin. As you might know, Colombia is country well known for its boutique hotels, those are small hotels with few rooms, very cozy, usually with a touch of colonial architecture or elements that are unique.

You can find plenty of them in cities like: Cartagena, Barichara, Villa de leyva and Bogotá, however in Medellin this concept had not been explored until about a month ago when “Patio del mundo” opened its doors to the public.

From my perspective not even the photos are as beautiful as the hotel itself, each of the seven rooms were decorated with the best taste, inspired in a location of the world: Africa, Cartagena, Bali, Marruecos, Mexico, Provence and India. In all of them the designer incorporated fine details of Colombia´s handcraft and typical materials from different regions of the country.

Another aspect that makes this hotel a treasure in Medellín, is its concept of open garden, you cannot believe such a view is in the middle of the city, in the morning you can hear birds singing next to your window, simply you cannot ask for a better start in the city of the eternal spring.

The experience is marvelous, you take your morning Colombian coffee in the garden with a delicious breakfast all served by its owner Agnes, who is always there to check everything is perfect for you. Every detail is closely planned to make you experience one of its kind.

I truly recommend it.

http://www.patiodelmundo.com/

Paola R

Four seasons’ experience

Last week I had the chance to visit the Four Seasons located in the zona T of Bogota. The hotel is divided in towers, I visited all kind of rooms and my favorite is the Premier room- it is not the biggest one but the space is perfect for one or 2 people. Unfortunately I didn’t spend the night there and I won’t be able to confirm that beds make you feel like you are in a cloud but hopefully soon I will spend a night there and live this experience.

However I would like to focus this post about the restaurant of the Four seasons “Kuru”. After my visit to the rooms, I was accompanied to it through the reception (there is also a direct entry from the street) and first I thought I was going to be shown another part of the reception because I was getting close to a mirror wall but then, like in the movies the person who I was with opened it and there was hiding the restaurant.

It was opened a couple of months ago and it was very well designed; the day light illuminates the spacious room and on one side of the restaurant there is the bar, there is even a small terrace for those shiny days.

The food there is Asian, you can find sushis and even this delicious Korean dish of which I can never say correctly the name “Bimbimbap”. As I was told to try it and had no idea what it was I ordered it and it was an excellent choice! They actually bring you the dish in a ceramic plate to finish the cooking and they do it in front of you and I found it awesome.

About the taste I could not compare it as it was the very first time I ate such a dish but for me it was great. I also had as a starter, tempura shrimps which was also a good choice, perfectly spicy (and I am usually not a fan of spicy dishes). To accompany the meal I had a fruit juice and I can feel that it was very healthy it was also well presented.

And eventually to finish with another typical Asian touch I ordered a black tea which was served in those little tiny teapots.

My last word about that experience is: fantastic. I was not able to have a dessert but if you are still hungry after a bimbimbap you have plenty of choice among the desserts of the menu.

Olga

The Magic of Guatape

guatape-peñol (2).jpgColombia is a country full of charm, and for me, a passionate for this country´s culture and landscape, it is a please to take you to those magic places with my words, pictures and links you will find in our posts. This time I will talk about a magical place two hours away from Medellín, Guatapé.

My journey started in Medellín another place that by the way, you must visit in Colombia. The road was busy without much traffic but the view was lovely as it was the weather, in the road we had breakfast, I very lovely typical breakfast with hot chocolate and of course “Arepa” a sort of corn bread famous in the region that is accompanied by butter and cheese.

Afterwards we head to the rock of Guatapé, is a rock 220 meter high, at the entrance you can find shops with handcrafts, food and souvenirs. I highly recommend to buy a bottle of water to start climbing the 649 steps to head to the top. But believe me it is totally worthy, the panoramic view of El Peñol reservoir left me breathless, is an amazing mixt of land and water, little islands all around the lake full of nature.

After going down stairs, and about half an hour drive we got to Guatapé, a little town next to the lake´s bank. Guatapé is rich in color, its residents have decorated their houses in the front and wainscots with woodwork that resembles nature. This isn’t a quiet town, from lunch time until night the lake´s bank us full of tents with traditional products, food, games and music.

Part of the trip included a tour to the lake, a very nice and warm breeze was the perfect complement to this tour, where you lost yourself in the view and the astonishing sunset.

This trip totally recommended.

 

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Coffee Experience

Last Wednesday I headed to Usaquen, famous for all its restaurants and market “de las pulgas” (on Sunday). I have always tended to go to the places that are in the main street that surround the main place because this is where the most famous coffee shops are and then I have got used to go to those same places. However on last Wednesday I went to a different coffee shop “Café Usaquen”- which I had never heard of before, it is located in a small street on the right of the big church.

I felt somewhere between France, Colombia and Argentina, first of all because of the decoration of the place: small tables, old typewriters on the second floor and some other pieces of art. All these elements create a relaxed atmosphere and made me feel that I could spend the whole afternoon there (well I couldn’t as when I got there because it was already 7 pm).

Now about the food, I ate an Argentinian empanada with meat which are to me one of the best empanadas (they are cooked in the oven and the pastry is different from the Colombian ones), I didn’t have the chance to taste their cakes that look delicious, however they have different choices from the classic chocolate cake to the most particular with Colombian tastes.

I drank a cappuccino and it was exquisite, on the top of it cinnamon and caramel to give a mild flavor.

The specialty of this coffee shop is not only coffee but also wine. One of the owners is a sommelier so you can be sure that you will taste the best wines of South America, you can also do wine tasting there!

I recommend you to go to that place after your visit to the market or during a rainy day to enjoy it from a comfortable sofa.

 

by Olga

 

Trip to Medellín

On the past weekend I went with a friend to Medellín over the weekend. Because we were a bit early at the airport (probably my german culture😉 ) we had some time to visit “Crepes & Waffles”. “Crepes & Waffles” is a really famous restaurant chain here in Colombia. People are crazy about it. The prices aren´t high and the taste is really delicious. It doesn´t matter if you go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You definitly will have a great time.

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But back to our trip. After arriving in Medellín we took a public taxi to get to the city. The airport of Medellín is about 45 minutes located outside of the city. With a public taxi (8 persones) it costs 15.000 Pesos to get there.

We didn´t make a lot of plans, so on Saturday we made a spontaneous bustour through the city. There was the beautiful Botero plaza, the fantastic botanical gardens, the metro and so much more. We really enjoyed our day there. And the weather was just perfect. You can leave your jackets in your hotel – without any second guessing . Just take an umbrella with you. Thats all. In the end we went to a little café to talk about the day.

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Well on Sunday the time was already passed. We had a great time and came back to Bogotá with a small delay but more important healthy and happy!

Lukas

Colombian Fruits – Part 3: El Mangostán

When i went to the market last week i bought some mangostans to try them for you. And trust me – you really should try them as well.MANGOSTAN FRUTO

The fruit is roughly as big as a small tomato. The leatherly, purple shell is a bit thick and should be opened with a knife or both of your tumbs. I guess the more common way is using your tumbs. Once you opened the fruit you find the white, juicy pulp. The tast is just great. It reminds you of  lychee, apricot, peach…and I don´t know what else. But trust me – it is really delicious.

You can eat the mangostan just fresh or also with some ice cream or other deserts. By the way, if the shell of the fruit is smooth and shiny, it is an indicator that the Mangostan is fresh. If the fruit is in contrary matt and woody it is an indicator for an older fruit.

Lukas

Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao – Bogotá

The “Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao” is one of the biggest markets in Bogotá. The idea was 43 years ago to combine all markets in one place. Today it is not the only one, but really typical and offers a great diversity of different products. Fish, meat, flowers, handicrafts, all kind of fruits are just some of the products. (Later this week i will write about what I bought). The fish is prepared fresh in front of your eyes. All different kinds of meat are available and are presented in the small corridors. The smell and the noise are from part to part very different on the market. Sometimes it is really loud and sticky, few steps further it is calm and smells like fresh flowers and spicery.

 

Paps  Fruits Fish carne

The market is opened every day from 3 am in the morning till midday. It is recommended to go in the morning about 7 am to experience the living market. Enjoy the negotiations between costumers and retailers and the screaming of the dealers leading attention to their products.

It is disadvised to visit the market on mondays, because there are the least retailers and products. So there are also not many people to enjoy the spectacle.

Lukas