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Insider Guides

An Insider Guide To Buenos Aires With Casa Raki Founder, Josefina Alazraki

Known for their recycled fabric and flattering fit, Casa Raki is heralded from the shores of Anguilla to Zanzibar and back again for their smart edit of vacation wear.

The brainchild of Argentinian fashion photographer Josefina Alazraki, Alazraki was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and spent most summers in Uruguay. Holidays in Punta del Este cultivated her love for the beach and, surrounded by every type of bikini, swimsuit, and wetsuit you could imagine, ultimately provided the spark of inspiration which resulted in Casa Raki.

Alazraki’s sustainable swimwear line uses Econyl, a regenerated nylon yarn made from recycled fishing nets and ocean waste, as well as plenty of organic linen. Designed in London and made in Portugal, from swimwear to linen coveralls, Casa Raki is a holiday suitcase staple. When tropical holidays are back on the agenda, you can be sure we’ll be slipping into our favourite Casa Raki two piece in readiment for an afternoon of lounging by some marvellous hotel pool in Buenos Aires.

Here the designers shares her to-do list for those sojourning in BA.


Essential items to pack?

Sandals, a sun hat and linen pieces. Nothing too structured. Easy to wear pieces are key for the relaxed vibes.

The best time to visit Argentina is…

November or March, my two favourite months as the weather is spot on.

Our first pitstop should be…

Any ice-cream shop, we are known for doing the most amazing ice cream in the world. It is the first thing I do when I arrive. I haven’t been able to find a decent replica in the UK.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

Jardin Escondido by Coppola. The best hotel for film fans, this is where the iconic filmmaker Coppola lived during his stay in Argentina.  A little oasis in the city with only seven bedrooms.

 

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For an early morning workout head to…

Rosedal de Palermo, a beautiful circuit with a rose garden.

Where should we go for breakfast?

Cuervo Café. The outdoor-seating area is prime real estate for people watching in Buenos Aires. The coffee is insane and they have a wall dedicated to all sorts of brewing methods.

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

Don Julio is a mecca for the tastiest steak in the country, and makes the perfect place for a great, lengthy asado.

And for dinner with friends?

Proper is a new restaurant that is hidden behind an unmarked door, in a former mechanic’s shop. The dining room and kitchen are in the same big space and it’s the new spot for young chefs and people in town to have a great dinner. It’s a great scene.

A must-try spot for date night?

El Baqueano. The chef, along with his wife and sommelier Gabriela Lafuente, organize a pop-up series called Cocinas Sin Fronteras (Cooking Without Borders) and invite notable chefs from around the world to cook in Buenos Aires. The lighting design is beautiful and it makes a great date spot.

Your favourite restaurant in town?

Budget: Guerrin, the best pizza spot in BA. It’s an institution for Porteños (Buenos Aires locals).

Blow Out: I love Osaka. If you’re done and dusted with steak this Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant is a must.

Where should we head post-dinner?

Bar 878, Isabel, or Casa Cruz. All great spots to have good drinks – but mostly to party.

The drink to order at the bar…

I’m a huge fan of pisco sour. Any of the places above do superb ones.

The best place for people watching…

Café Cuervo or Bar Los Galgos, both in great locations.

The culture spot to rave about…

Casa FOA for a great design space or Malba Museum, the Latin American Museum for Art. An amazing mix of new and exciting exhibitions that I love visiting for inspiration.

The best place to treat yourself is… 

The spa at Faena Hotel – amazing treatments and definitely the chicest spa in town.

For great shopping head to…

Facon – this is the shop of a great friend Martin Bustamente. He sources the most amazing memorabilia from all around the country. You are up for some really unique objects and the most amazing clothing pieces as well.

Your favourite neighbourhood in Buenos Aires…

Barrio Norte, where I grew up. It is in Palermo and is a bit less trendy than Palermo Soho and more residential. It’s a bit quieter and has a lot of restaurants that only locals go to.

The one place only locals know about… 

Naranjo Bar is a new bar that everyone is raving about. It’s the new hot spot. Low key and informal but with great drinks and food. I love sitting outside here.

For the best views head to…

Casa FOA has an incredible terrace where you can have a coffee with a view of San Telmo.

For a change of pace try…

The countryside and a hotel in Pilar, like Casa Sur, is great if you don’t want to drive too far away from the city but still feel like you’ve gone miles away.

Great day trips include…

San Telmo or an architectural tour of the city.

Places worth a visit (beyond Buenos Aires…)

Mendoza is insane if you are a wine lover, the most iconic vineyards of the country. Going south, all of the Patagonia area is beautiful. The landscape and colours inspired our whole collection this season.

If venturing to Patagonia, where should we eat, stay and play?

Stay in Awasi, in Torres del Paine. Eat in local restaurants in the area, those are the best and most authentic. To be honest there are no pretentious options around there, everything is just perfect and understated. I’d also recommend going on a horse riding adventure – sign up with Jakotango, they do great tours in English and they are outstanding.

A book to read before we go (or while were there)?  

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin. Published in 1977 it is still so relevant and full of intriguing tales that get me thinking.

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

Down by the lake or up in the mountains on a hike, taking pictures for a memory of a place you will remember forever.

What’s your Argentine secret?

Our survival instinct and grit in every possible scenario.

In a word, Argentina is…

Humble… and ‘wild’ if I am allowed just one more word!

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