Sunday, August 15, 2010

I ♥ Lima

I just got back from a few days escape to Lima. I love that city. So I try to go there every year. But if you don't really know much about it, let me start from the beginning- Most tourists pass by Lima on their way to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. But if you stay in Peru's capital, you might have 3 good reasons to do so:

1. The food: If you like seafood, then Lima is your personal paradise. There is a great Fusion Cusine culture down there, mixing typical Peruvian dishes/ingredients with Asian ones and so on. If you are there, you HAVE to try the Cebiche, the Causas and the Tiradito!

Lima was named the Culinary Capital of Latin America in the Cuarta Cumbre Internacional de Gastronomía Madrid Fusión back in 2006. So, ever since word got out, entire tours are created and trips are planned around the idea of food. Which pretty much means that you get there with restaurant reservations ready for both lunch and dinner. And trust me, by the 2nd day you might realize that it's impossible to eat that much! But the food is so good you just keep on going! Word of advise, plan on packing loose clothes :)

For lunch you might want to go to a Cebicheria: Pescados Capitales, La Mar and El Mercado are 3 great ones! My favorite restaurant is Rafael (just amazing food!), Astrid & Gastón is the most famous and Central is a new great one!

Cup mat from El Mercado. This is the new cebicheria owned by Rafael Osterling:
Office of Virgilio Martinez, chef and owner of Central:
Dessert time at Central:
2. Silver: Peru is a country rich in silver so there is a large industry of that- Platería. Think silver tea sets, flower vases, portraits and jewelry. Home-wise, I'm more on the Alessi side of things. But your mom, like mine, might be interested. Camusso is the most expensive manufacturer/brand, but Ilaria is the most modern one. The brand has been expanding throughout Peru and Latin America with a nice retail identity. Which is precisely what a jewelry brand should do. [My mom is a big fan by the way...]

3. Textiles: I heard the quality of cotton is great down there, but what interests me the most is Alpaca Wool. American designer Jonathan Adler produces his textile lines (rugs, cushions, throws) in Peru for example. So from the Mercado Indio to higher-end brands, you are sure to be surprised by color and quality!

Here are some pics from the Mercado Indio:
Little indian girls:
Flower power:
Picnic or beach anyone? Peru could be a really good place to produce this sort of thing. You just need a few good ideas and be ready to export!

Call me kitsch-crazy but I find this cushion cover so cute! There were tons of them with different Andes-inspired scenes:
I also found these little post cards.... I photographed them and only added the center, which is created with leftover fabric. I also think they are the cutest! And it is always nice to see things being created out of almost nothing. They make nice presents or souvenirs, don't they?

Kuna is my favorite brand in Peru. It specializes in creating Alpaca Wool products such as sweaters and scarves. In fact, most of my scarves come from there! They are produced in the region of Arequipa and the quality is really impressive. I also like their branding. Here is a little booklet that comes with every purchase: [It makes me want to hug and stroke an alpaca all day long!]
I also wanted to show how Kuna is using Bamboo now. The fabric is super soft. Sometimes they use it 100% (like in this picture), and other times they mix it with wool. A friend of mine who is obsessed with fabrics told me once that Bamboo isn't a very resistant material, so I'm wondering how is Kuna managing to do 100% Bamboo products. Maybe those scarves don't last that long...
...and recycling. I saw this all over Lima so I'm calling it a trend. That is, products created from leftover/excess fabric. Which is re-dyed and used again. Interesting right? [ ...and of course these products are also cheaper]
Finally, if you are in Lima and only have time to visit one store, make sure you go to Dédalo. It is close to what an American or European Concept Store would be. Except that it focuses on local brands and artisans. The outcome: A mix of unique products that you wouldn't find anywhere else!

Dédalo is located in an old mansion, so every room holds different types of objects from jewelry to home textiles, ceramics toys, etc. It also has a small Café on the backyard. Charming!

Here are some pics of things I found there (I wasn't really allowed to take pics inside):

Super Piggy!
Puro Corazón. A local brand of handbags and other textile accessories I found there. Created by Lima-based Colombian designer Carolina Restrepo. Check out the website:
[Pics taken from the brand's website]
Things I Bought:
Brooch by Vaçide Erda Zimic. Hand made fashion accessories created by Peruvian designer of the same name. Here again the designer uses recycled and reclaimed scrap fabrics like felt, cotton, alpaca, etc... to create her textile based products.

Recycled textiles: A trend I tell you!
Colorful Keychains with silver charms. Again, nice little presents right?! It is also typical of Peru to make huayruro keychains. The red seeds are said to bring money and good luck. These aren't exactly it, but I hope they bring good luck as well :)
Ups, I almost forgot!.... Last but not least: If you are in Lima don't forget to try a Pisco Sour. Pisco is the national drink and the cocktails made with it can be so good!


1 comment:

  1. i'm from Lima and i live in Madrid are right about everything that you have written about Lima.