The day started with rather a mundane bus tour from our hostel around Buenos Aires. All the tour companies start at the same time and go the same route, so at each stop you are in a zoo of tourists. Becoming bored of this, we decide to abandon the tour and walk back to our hostel from the football stadium in La Boca. The tour leader was horrified at our proposal to make our way independently, and implied that we’d either get lost or mugged. We planned to visit a restaurant and a teahouse recommended by Hernan, whom we’d met on the bus to Bariloche.
Initially the area of La Boca we walked through was a little sketchy. A lady warned us to watch out because it was feo –ugly– but the neighbourhood soon improved and we arrived at the recommended restaurant. It truly was an excellent restaurant, Don Ernesto, and we had good company of two men from Paris, who were clearly into enjoying good food and wine. I had a steak to die for and Margo had a pasta dish. The lady at the table next to us recommended my dish to me and told Margo pasta was not really a local dish… eating in Buenos Aires is quite communal, and conversations with diners at adjacent tables start easily.
Skipping dessert, we took the subway to get to the teahouse. The A-line of the subway was built in 1912 and uses the original rolling stock, so you sit on wooden benches and the doors, while nominally opening automatically, require some assistance. The teahouse, Las Violetas, complete with curved glass doors, French stained-glass windows, and Italian marble floors was built in the 1920´s but a coffee house has been on the site since 1884. The sandwich/pastry platters for afternoon tea have to be seen to be believed. We ordered a single pastry each, having just eaten, but the portion size rivaled any I have ever seen.
Well filled, we took the A-line again and walked back to our hostel.