Author Matt Chesterton
DAY THREE / Tegui is Buenos Aires at its most chic, and it will cost you a third of what you would pay for a comparable experience in New York, London or Paris.
Today, forget about history and heritage. Your final day in Buenos Aires will be a carefree blur of parks, shops and cocktails.
Have your driver drop you at Palermo’s 1Jumbo supermarket on Avenida Bullrich, where you’ll buy your picnic lunch. Fill your basket with whatever you fancy (a true porteño would go for crustless sandwiches de miga and cold empanadas from the deli counter).
Stow the provisions and continue along Bullrich until you reach Libertador; then turn right. You’re now in 2Parque Tres de Febrero (sometimes known as Palermo Woods), a leafy haven for joggers, Rollerbladers and trysting couples.
Breathe in the fresh air, then continue past the baroque Monumento de los Españoles, skirting the edge of the park until you hit Avenida Casares. Here you’ll find the entrance to Jardín Japonés, by far the most beautiful park in the city. The garden is arranged around ponds packed with thrashing, occasionally leaping koi carp. Linger awhile among the black pines and brightly lacquered bridges.
As you leave the garden, turn left, double back into the park and continue until you see El Rosedal (Rose garden) at the intersection of Iraola and Presidente Pedro Montt. Designed by French landscaper Carlos Thays in 1914, El Rosedal is the focal point of the Parque, and contains more than 12,000 rose bushes and hundreds of species. There’s also a poet’s garden, with busts of greats like Lorca, and a tiled Andalusian patio. Find a quiet spot to sprawl out and attack your lunch.
Your afternoon will be entirely devoted to wanton consumerism. Take a cab to 3Plazoleta Cortázar, the lively nucleus of Palermo Viejo. Trendy boutiques are everywhere, so be selective. We recommend Jazmín Chebar and Cora Groppo for women’s fashion; Spina for menswear; Qara for leather bags and accessories; Calma Chicha for cowhides and furniture; No Brand and Sabater Hermanos for design goods and homeware; Amor Latino for lingerie; and Mishka for shoes.
Your credit now well and truly extended, head back to Home for a final spa treatment (facial? foot rub?) and a refreshing mojito by the pool. Then concoct an outfit from the items you bought earlier and hit the cobblestones.
You will have already made reservations at 4Tegui, Palermo Viejo’s hottest restaurant.
The menu showcases the inventiveness of Chef-Owner Germán Martitegui, one of the city’s top chefs. Try a poached oyster with prosciutto, a confit of guinea fowl with caramelized apple, and the langoustine ravioli. This is BA at its best, and it will cost you a third of what you’d pay for a comparable experience in New York.
It’s too late now to worry about sleeping, so head for 5Congo, the barrio’s most popular late-night club. You’ll inevitably start chatting with a gang of friendly locals. They’ll tell you about a party they’re going to and insist that you join them. You’ll say you have a plane to catch, but they’ll tell you not to worry about it, so you don’t. You still want to tango. It’s 3am, and the end of the night is only just beginning.