THE INSIDERS I BUENOS AIRES
Arandu At this talabarteria (leather and crafts shop) in Recoleta, I buy gaucho belts and espadrilles. There’s also polo gear (the nation’s favourite sport), from saddles and breeches to boots and bags; arandu.com.ar.
Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau On the most beautiful block in the Argentine capital’s Recoleta district, the hotel has rooms in a grand 1930s French-style palace and a separate contemporary tower, linked by a beautiful terrace garden; buenosaires.parkhyatt.com.
Fueguia 1833 A wonderful ‘‘scent boutique’’ near the Park Hyatt where customers can develop fragrances with owner Julian Bedel, who says scent can transport you to a different world — perhaps the Argentinian countryside or glacial Patagonia. The store also sells candles and room sprays; fueguia.com. Fabry Venta At this excellent store at Guido 1667 in Palermo, owner Julio makes the most incredible men’s dress shoes at incredibly good prices.
Patagonia Sur Chef Francis Mallmann’s temple to Argentinian cuisine is located in a 1920s Italianate house on a graffiti-covered corner in edgy La Boca district. Its collections of cookbooks and Astier de Villatte tableware would make any restaurateur jealous. Try the veal Milanese; en.restaurantepatagoniasur.com.
With a guide The best way to get to know Buenos Aires’s neighbourhoods — from the European-style architecture in Recoleta to the graffiti movement in Palermo — is on foot. If time is short, the best guide in the city, Diego Curutchet, will treat you to a wonderful, anecdotal history of the city as you zip around in a private car; firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Antonio de Areco This gaucho town in the countryside 120km north of the city has been declared an area of historic national interest. Have a coffee in the central plaza and visit the gaucho museum, with its wonderful collection of silver horse tack. The charming Estancia La Bamba de Areco is a lovely place to spend a night; labambadeareco.com. Lindblad Expeditions’ Antarctica voyages aboard National Geographic Explorer depart Buenos Aires until March; expeditions on National Geographic Orion run from December to February. More: expeditions.com.