8. March 2013 15:35
In the second of a three-part series on Montevideo, Rachel Ricks takes a closer look at the Uruguayan capital's café culture.
I've been in 2013's Ibero-American Capital of Culture, Montevideo, for five weeks now and one of my favourite things about the city is its café culture. On the corner of almost every block in the centre is a fantastic café serving delicious food that's always bustling with locals. What is astounding is that these cafés are often very large and the menus extensive, which normally I would veer away from for fear the quality of the food suffered.
This is not the case here though, where cooking and waiting staff alike are experts in their fields. Cafés in Montevideo also double up as bars - there are no pubs as such in the city - so the cafés stay open late and always have a great atmosphere as people gather over the big bottles of the local cerveza (beer) - Pilsen or Patricia.
Here are some of my favourite cafés in Montevideo. All of them are alike in that they serve hundreds of different dishes ranging from pastas, pizza and hamburgers to Milanesas (breadcrumbed chicken or beef), those infamous chivitos (massive sandwiches filled with steak, ham, egg and salad, with fries on the side) and, of course, this wouldn't be Uruguay if beef wasn't served in every imaginable shape and form. They are also all staffed by stoical middle-aged waiters who can take all the orders of these complex menus without writing a jot down, and work 12-hour shifts in the sometimes unbearably sticky temperatures this city musters up.
5. March 2013 12:29
In the third and final instalment of her series on Montevideo, Rachel Ricks looks at the quirkier side of the Uruguayan capital.
The capital of Uruguay tends to get overshadowed by its Argentine neighbour Buenos Aires. But if you're looking for something a little bit different, head to this compact and friendly city just across the River Plate - it's got a weird and wonderful array of sights and things to do...
1. Gaze at the Palacio Salvo
Stare up at the eccentric design of the former Palacio Salvo Hotel in Plaza Independencia. Now converted into apartments, it seems a shame this Baroque building - the icon of Montevideo - can't still be a hotel. It would've been a remarkable place to stay.
2. Downton Abbey, Montevideo style
Get the Downton Abbey experience at the Palacio Taranco and Museo de Artes Decorativas (25 de Mayo 376; free entry) - the former home of a wealthy early 20th century family, where you can roam grand rooms decorated with French and Spanish art and furnishings. And, unlike many stately homes, you can also peek behind the servants' doors - the kitchen has the biggest cooking range I've ever seen.More...
22. July 2011 11:52
The Uruguayan ambassador hosted a prestigious event at Stanfords last week for the launch of the first English-language guidebook to Uruguay.
The guidebook’s author, Tim Burford, spoke to the crowd of exclusive guests about writing the first guidebook dedicated solely to this often overlooked country. The book is published by Bradt, a company renowned for covering parts of the world other travel publishers don’t reach. Mr Burford has written nine books for Bradt, specialising in backpacking and ecotourism in Latin America.
The evening continued with national delicacies and wine served to the sound of Uruguayan tangos, and the country’s ambassador, H.E. Sr. Julio Moreira-Morán, gave a speech. More...
1. March 2001 17:33
Uruguay gets few international visitors compared to its neighbours, which is an added bonus for those lucky travellers who do discover its subtle charm.
Montevideo is a wonderful city, full of tree-lined avenues, cafes, interesting architecture and great places to eat steak - the Mercado del Puerto is an absolute lunch-time must - unless you're vegetarian! Inland, the city of Salto is worth a visit, if only for sunset over the River Uruguay and the nearby thermal springs - especially good on a cool winter evening.