This past December I escaped the cold to one of my favourite places, Mexico. The plan: two weeks in Puerto Escondido preferably doing nothing more than relaxing in a hammock sipping cerveza, followed by a stint in Mexico City, grazing the incredible culinary scene and soaking up culture. Here, a few of my highlights.
Puerto is what Tulum was twenty years ago (shhh, don’t tell anyone.) You’ll find secret surf breaks, empty beaches, spiky agaves plantations and some of the best ceviche I’ve ever tried…and Casa Wabi — a love letter to concrete and light, designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando.
Casa Tiny is a dream home inspired by Henry David Thoreau ́s Walden and brought to life by architect Aranza de Ariño and director Claudio Sodi. Thoreau’s maxim of “Simplify, simplify, simplify” is underscored throughout the casita’s understated lines and two main materials of poured concrete and hardwood.
The Mexican/Italian owner duo at Alivo Kuauitl in La Punta serve up the most incredible fish tacos, salads and pastas. The ceviche and black fish at Chicama is incredible, possibly the best I’ve tried. The chilaquiles at El Cafecito at Rinconada are famous.
Take a tour of Tadao Ando designed Casa Wabi and after visit the new mezcal bar, hidden in dense cactus scrub a ten minute walk away. Shop for woven straw baskets, local ceramics and rare chihuacle chilis at Mercado Benito Juarez and find a slice of the Med at Playa Carrizalillo. White sand, lapis waters and colourful beach umbrellas make for a beautiful shot. The best vantage point is from the terrace at Villas Carrizalillo Hotel, so be sure to stay and watch sunset with a mezcal cocktail.
Imagine Paris and New York had a love child which inherited the best and most beautiful genes of both, and you have Mexico City. Leafy streets, incredible architecture and some of the best food in the world.
Gorgeous apartments abound on Airbnb, otherwise Nima Local House Hotel in Roma Norte is lovely.
Where to even begin! El Parnita for lunch tacos, washed down with chiladas (beer, lime & salt) Jenni’s Street Quesadillas for incredible (you guessed it) quesadillas, Cicatriz for salads and great natural wines (run by sister brother duo formerly of Andrew Tarlow’s Brooklyn restaurants), Rosetta for delicious Italian in a beautiful setting, Lalo for breakfast (the chilaquiles, omg!) Lardo for lunch—incredible, Pizza Felix for seriously good pizza, Broka for tapas and gorgeous courtyard fining, Meroma’s beautiful interior design and amazing food. Paramo, try the duck tacos with a mezcal margarita. Niddo for breakfast. Café Nin for coffee in a lovely leafy courtyard and a trip to CDMX without trying the pastries at Panaderia Rosetta would be criminal. Casa Franca is a super fun late night spot for mezcals and live jazz.
See as many of Mexican architect Luis Barragán houses as possible, my favourites include Casa Luis Barragán, Casa Gilardi and Cuadra San Cristobal. All require booking ahead of time. Visit La Casa Azul, former home and now museum dedicated to the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Museo Jumex and Soumaya Museum are both incredible art galleries. Biblioteca Jose Vasconcelos for absolutely soaring architecture—the book shelves form part of the building structure and the space is incredible.
The shopping in Mexico City is very good. Head to La Ciudadela markets for ceramics and textiles. Zii Ropa for pared back basics. M.A Gallery for gorgeous and very unique ceramics and textiles. Studio Conchita for their adorable glass jewellery. For most smaller designers, it’s best to message DM through Instagram to visit the showrooms. Void Condesa and Goodbye Folk in Roma Norte both have great selections of vintage. Check out Mercado Lagunilla on a Sunday for antiques.