Back to Bohemian Roots: Barranco
I had such an adventure in Peru. The flight to Lima and the invite to Peru Gift Show were a complete surprise, and I wanted to make the most of a super cool opportunity.
I stayed in Miraflores at the top of Parque Kennedy, a large square lined with art vendors and cafes. This is a bustling, urban upper-class section of the city. The neighborhood also struck me as party central with music, fireworks and voices being heard throughout the night.
With only four days, I wanted to focus on exploring one of Lima’s forty-three districts. After a Pisco Sour-infused ceviche lunch at La Mar, followed by a taxi, a wrong turn, a run-in with old friends and a cocktail party, I found Lima’s artsy enclave, Barranco.
Barranco is a tiny, bohemian district just south of Miraflores and built right up to the rocky cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Early in the 20th century, Barranco emerged as the fashionable resort for Peruvian high society, and beautiful colonial residences line the avenues.
Walkways down to the ocean glow with milk-glass streetlights. Bars with second story porches overlooking squares set a romantic and laidback mood. Wander down small streets and find rows of colorful houses, graffiti and one vintage VW Bug after another. One might call Barranco quaint.
Heaven may be to stay in the pristine Belle Époque mansion that today is Hotel B. The stunning building, originally built as a seaside retreat, sits on the corner of an old square that leads down to an ocean overlook. The renovated boutique-art hotel is crisp, layered, curated and extremely elegant, yet with a distinct gypsy vibe – walking in you feel like a character in a vintage film.
Hotel B makes Condé Nast Traveler‘s 2014 Hot List.
There’s a chance photography was frowned upon…
Dedalo – just opposite Hotel B – is considered Lima’s premier artisan and home goods retailer. I sat in their garden café with owner Eduardo Lores and his business partner Fernando Perez-Egana; two elegant, open and gracious men. We discussed artisan production, on-line marketing and the power of Pinterest, which is just emerging in Peru! Collaboration is surely in our future.
I returned to Barranco the next day to meet Mari Solari and explore her fabled shop, Las Pallas. At once both a bit standoffish yet chatty and gracious, she started her career as a folk art and handicraft dealer 45 years prior to my visit. Her strict no-shipping policy reflects a well-earned luxury; she doesn’t need the headache!
Here is a glimpse of her private collection displayed throughout her home.
Four days in Lima and I didn’t begin to scratch the surface. My wheels are turning on how to get back, which new neighborhoods to explore, how to travel into the countryside and film and buy from artisans; to get to know new friends better and bring you along with me so we can discover together all that Lima has to offer.