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City Secrets: Lima, Peru

Almost a decade ago, my good friend fashion photographer Ruven Afanador and I went on a vacation to Peru. We loved everything about this magical country-especially the shopping and the food. Although Ruven had returned many times to Peru to shoot stories for magazines, I had never made my way back to this delightful land of alpaca, ceviche and markets until now.

I found myself traveling to Lima at the suggestion of By Hand Consulting's Annie Waterman. Upon arrival, I attended an event called the Peru Gift show which managed to bring together a selection of artisan groups, Alpaca fiber experts and local fashion designers at one venue (think a mini New York fashion week but in Lima). After checking out hand woven bags from Eto-Tsireri, Alpaca fiber from La Republica and what seemed like endless strings of pom-poms, it was time to explore the city.

Luckily I was traveling with Laura Aviva, who is not only the design mastermind behind L'aviva home but also a major foodie! We happily fell into a rhythm of morning markets followed by the best lunches I have ever eaten, afternoon shopping and Pisco sour induced dinners.

This is definitely the way to sample the best of Lima; especially if you are only planning to be there for a short period time. Below is my must -visit guide. Read and enjoy!

 

 

STAY
Hotel B: This is the hot boutique hotel in Barranco (Lima’s hippest district). From here you can easily walk to shops, the MATE Museo Mario Testino and the famous Bridge of Sighs: Puente de los Suspiros. The decor is chic and the service amazing.
enz Peña 204
Barranco, Lima
Tel +51 1 2060800
SHOP
Dedalo: A delightful concept shop set in an old house in Barranco. Each room showcases a different designer with the highlight being the delightful accessories from Peruvian design star Meche Correa.
Paseo Saenz Pena 295
Barranco, Lima
Tel+5181847780562
Las Pallas: This shop is one of my favorites, it houses the folk art collection of long time Peruvian resident (44 years) Mary Solari. If you are lucky enough to visit when Mary is there, she will tell you stories about the artisan produced wares she sells from all over Peru.  Lady Mary is feisty, knowledgeable opinionated and has great taste-what could be better!
Cajamarca 212
Barranco, Lima

Tel +5181847784629
Jallpa Nina: Here you will find the most incredible collection of pottery techniques from all over Peru, everything form dinner sets to the gigantic lamps that decorate Hotel B. This company can custom make anything, with an overall look that is more modern than traditional. This is actually the company that produces all of Jonathan Alder’s designs.
Calle Federico Villareal 290
Miraflores, Peru
Feire Artesanal: This Indian market is the place to go for inexpensive souvenirs, horn jewelry, alpaca hats, and ponchos. All of which can be had for a reasonable price. It’s ok to bargain but the standard prices are pretty fair. Since I have returned home to NYC, I have been filled with regret for not buying an alpaca knit hat I found there for $30.
Av Petit Thouars
Miraflores,Lima
Tel +661 300 0223
EAT
El Mercado: This restaurant has a great vibe and equally delicious food, it reminded me of Contra Mar in Mexico City.   This is definitely the place to go for a relaxing long lunch in a hip environment. Order the grilled octopus followed by ceviche.
Av Hipólito Unanue 203
Miraflores 15074, Perú
Tel +51 1 2211322
La Picantaria: This seemingly simple restaurant was also our favorite, here you will take a seat family style and enjoy traditional Peruvian fare with gusto. Our waiter suggested the “La Piantaria experience” and was it ever fun. This “experience” comes with five mini courses each with a complimentary cocktail, glass of wine or interesting concoction of ginger beer.
Surquillo, Sta Rosa 388,
Lima, Peru
Tel +51 2416676
Central: This is the restaurant of the moment in Lima. Handsome chef Virgilio Martinez uses his understanding of geography and local flaura and fauna to create unique versions of local cuisine. Try and book a reservation before you leave home. It?s definitely worth it. lmost everything we ordered came artfully arranged on what looked like a precious stone.
Calle Santa Isabel 376
Miraflores, Lima
Tel +5181824288515