A romantic 48-hour getaway in St Ives, Cornwall

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going on a quick getaway to Cornwall, England. We rented a car and drove four and a half hours west of London.

Here are some tips for a quaint English trip.

For accommodation, we booked a room at the Boskerris boutique hotel in Carbis Bay. It was perfect: Large living room area, an outdoor terrace facing the ocean, a cute bar and excellent service from its personnel. It was also voted as one of the top romantic hotels in St Ives.

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Food recommendations

– The Shack: A stand where you can get burgers next to the beach in Carbis Bay. An informal place with good atmosphere.

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– Porthminster Cafe: An award winning restaurant ideal for lunch or dinner in St Ives. Try their fish and chips as well as their oven baked hake. Their outdoor deck overseeing the ocean makes its views incomparable and unmissable.

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– Caffe Pasta: A nice restaurant next to the harbor, offering a variety of pizza and pasta – from the traditional ones to those with seafood. Try the crab linguini for a warm summer day’s lunch.

To get around, we used the train for one stop as well as the car to get around St Ives. There are also 1-mile treks you can follow for great views of the beach and access to different bays. Lelant, Carbis Bay and St Ives are highly recommended.

Other activities include going on a boat trip to Seal Island, where you have the opportunity to see some seals and if you’re lucky, dolphins!

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Strolling around the cobbled streets of St Ives and its harbor is also a must.

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St Ives is a great destination for a quiet and quaint retreat. Enjoy!

A glimpse of El Salvador, Part I

I will be featuring my country, El Salvador, in a few of my next posts. When travelers go to the region, they tend to skip El Salvador. Known as the “pinkie” of Central America, my country is full of natural beauty and culture.

This post features the popular “Ruta de las Flores”, a collection of five scenic towns known for its mountains, flowering coffee plants and unique arts and crafts. The towns are located a few kilometres from each other and can be easily accessed from the main highway.

1. Nahuizalco

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An indigenous town, Nahuizalco is known for its unique handicrafts. Explore the night market, where stalls are lit by candle only.

2. Salcoatitan

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This village housed El Salvador’s first coffee plantations back in 1860. If you enjoy outdoor activities, Salcoatitan is a great town offering mountain biking trails. Click here for trail recommendations between the Ruta de las Flores towns.

Park and Restaurant La Colina

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La Colina was founded in 1996, offering its guests food, recreation and cabins for accommodation.  You will find some of the most typical Salvadoran dishes in a cozy atmosphere and natural surroundings.

3. Juayua

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Also known as the City of the Red Orchids due to the abundant number of this flower in the mountains, Juayua has a rich historical background.

One of the tours which is impossible to miss is the route of the 7 waterfalls, which takes approximately 5 hours to complete. The tourist office can offer you further information and can lend you rappel equipment for the waterfalls.

4. Apaneca

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If you want a picturesque view of the coffee plantations, take the Apaneca Canopy tour.  Don’t miss out on the beautiful lagoons, particularly Laguna Verde and Laguna de Ninfas.

5. Concepcion de Ataco

Known for the peacefulness of its mountains and vivid colors, a couple of days are ideal to wander through the market and walk the pebbled roads. Ataco houses some of El Salvador’s most unique art.

Casa San Antonio

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This beautiful two-floored house in the heart of Ataco is a good accommodation option for 12 guests.

Attack Oh Burgers!

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This new burger joint was opened in 2013 and is already the talk of town. Offering artisanal burgers, chef Oscar Pena has applied his knowledge gained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris to bring to El Salvador an exquisite food venture.

 

Best closed door restaurants in Argentina

Having lived two years in Argentina, dining out was definitely at the top of my list of guilty pleasures. Buenos Aires was the first city where I encountered the ever growing phenomenon of closed door restaurants. The concept typically consists of a dinner party with strangers and a fixed course menu. The setting is usually at the chef’s home, which makes the experience an intimate one. Here are my top recommendations for closed door restaurants in Argentina:

1. Casa Mun, Mendoza

http://www.chefmun.com

One of my favorites, Casa Mun offers it’s guests Asian and Argentine fusion cuisine. Located in the popular wine region of Mendoza, the restaurant offers 40 seats with a splendid view of the vineyards in Bodega Casarena.

I initially went to this closed door restaurant when it recently opened in Buenos Aires, and have enjoyed seeing it grow in popularity over the last years. Chef Mun is a delight to dine with and the quality of ingredients and wine pairings he chooses are exquisite.

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2. Casa Coupage, Buenos Aires

http://www.casacoupage.com

Located in the buzzling streets of the Palermo neighborhood in Buenos Aires, this small restaurant is easy to miss due to the lack of a visible sign in the entrance. Ran by it’s two owners Santiago and Ines, this small installment is cozy and provides high quality food.

I recommend getting the fixed menu with the wine pairings to make the best of this visit. The sommelier is highly knowledgeable and the service is spectacular.

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3. Aramburu, Buenos Aires

http://www.arambururesto.com.ar

This tiny jewel in San Telmo is the only restaurant in Argentina that offers molecular cuisine. Recently, it was featured as one of the top 50 restaurants in Latin America and isn’t short of awards won.

Aramburu is a great restaurant to experience something new in dining. The small individual tables make this the perfect warm and exclusive setting for a date. I thoroughly enjoyed trying something new – Aramburu was the perfect place for that!

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4. Cocina Sunae, Buenos Aires

http://www.cocinasunae.com

Chef Christina Sunae combines her experience from the Philippines and New York to bring to the table an authentic flavor from Southeast Asia. She serves this food from the comfort of her home in Colegiales, which is open from Wednesday to Saturday every week.

I loved dining at Cocina Sunae, especially when I craved spicy Asian food, which is sometimes difficult to find in Argentina. Her cozy environment makes it perfect to dine with a small group of friends.

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5. Casa Felix, Buenos Aires

http://www.colectivofelix.com/casa-felix

This Chacarita neighborhood restaurant in Buenos Aires opens up it’s doors a few months a year to offer it’s guests a pescetarian menu to a maximum of 15 diners at a time. The fixed menu offers the best of Latin American spices and ingredients in a 5 course meal that can include wine pairings.

Casa Felix was my first closed door restaurant dining experience. I found the ambience is ideal to get to know other people who have a passion for great food.

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So there you go! My top 5 closed door restaurants in Argentina. What is yours?