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15 April 2007

It seems we're not the only ones on tour

Before I start, my appearance on the blog comes with a disclaimer (is there a lawyer in the house? - Ed.) I am a lawyer by trade (I knew it - Ed.). Every ounce of creativity was knocked out of me at Law School, if not before. I enjoy a good read, but my creative writing leaves a lot to be desired, so bear with me. (shuddup and get on with it - Ed.)

Sitting in the back of our cab, crawling through BA's early morning rush-hour traffic, Silverbrow and I were delighted to be back in Buenos Aires. We were particularly chuffed that we had got a decent deal at Faena. It was in Conde Nast Traveller's Hot List, natch. The security men on the door (think Men in Black) were less than chuffed as we arrived, dishevelled, jet lagged, rucksacks in tow.

Veronica (beautiful, blonde) checked us in at the bar because the reception area - 4 imposing desks manned by BA's coolest - was overflowing with other newly arrived guests. "Vero" told us that Keane, Aerosmith and Velvet Revolver (Guns n Roses without Axl) were all staying at the hotel at various points over the weekend. We did our best to act nonchalant in the face of such giddyingly exciting news.

We ummed and ahhed about our room. I like a bath, Silverbrow is more of a shower-man. Our room, oddly didn't have a bath. They offered us an apartment instead, but Silverbrow was less than impressed with the incy bed. Magnanimously I gave up my bathing fetish for a decent night's sleep.

The hotel is very boudoiry - low lighting, lots of candles and little attempt to venture too far beyond dark crimson. Unlike the rest of the guests - the bands' groupies and BA's beau monde - all I had to wear were two pairs of combats, a pair of linen trousers and various fleeces. My 'traveller' friends would be very proud of me, but I was mortified.

We spent the afternoon chilling in Palermo Viejo, wandering round, having lunch at Bar Uriarte. Although we had a great meal, much better than ones we'd previously had at Sucre, it's sister restaurant, it appeared that I was the one on the menu. I counted 11 separate mosquito bites from lunch alone. Despite this, we were able to spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the laid-back, carefree atmosphere that pervades BA.

The security guards on the door of Faena could do with getting out more in BA and soaking up some of that atmosphere. Again, on our return, they looked less than delighted to see us and were weighing up whether these two scraggie tourists getting out of the car were more screaming Keane fans or guests. We flashed our distinctive red room key and were let in.

After a long afternoon of doing not much, the hammam beckoned. The reception desk at the spa was very white (apart from the bottle of La Prairie Silver Rain), in total contrast to the dark, moody, candle lit hammam. Silverbrow was very excited at the prospect of using the steam room, sauna and jacuzzi - I just saw scary, thin Argentinean women wandering around and wasn't so sure I would be using it. Whilst we were being shown around the gym, Silverbrow thought he saw one of the members of Keane (we're not sure of his name, but he's the tall, blondish one.) Once we'd checked out the spa, we decided to have a drink by the pool, and (subtly) star spot, hoping to catch up with Keane (we are far more interesting than any Argentinean babe). A lot of other guests had the same idea, but sadly we were all disappointed when Keane did a no show.

Dinner was an interesting affair. We ate dinner in the hotel because it was Shabbat and we would rather not eat out if we don't have to. We had planned on going to the hotel's brasserie, El Mercado, but that was fully booked. So instead, we were forced into The Bistro. Where much of the rest of the hotel is dark and brooding, this room is entirely white, very ethereal, complete with white unicorn heads (with red eyes - scary) suspended from the walls. The waiters wore white, the carpet was white, the crockery was white - you get the picture. We only had a main course because we'd noshed throughout the day. I ate a lovely (but rather unexpected) sushi like shaped cooked salmon dish. Silverbrow can't recall what he ate, that good eh?, but was less than impressed. He kept mumbling something about substance over style.

After breakfast on Saturday morning, we went for a walk around Puerto Madero (the area we were staying in,) we intended to walk as far as the Casa Rosada, but who were we kidding? As it happens, it started to pour down with rain (I was in a linen skirt - forgot about that one), both of us got absolutely drenched which was excruciatingly embarrassing when we arrived back at the hotel and yet again were scrutinised by hotel security. We had lunch and then spent a couple of hours lounging round the hammam and spa. The low lighting hid a multitude of sins and it was surprisingly relaxing there. The steam room was particularly cleansing and liberating ( I was frizzy by this time anyway.) Luckily for me, I was treated to a massage as a birthday present from my in-laws. Although slightly painful at the time, I foolishly opted for deep-tissue, it was just what I needed to rid my body of all the legal knots in my shoulders and get the creative juices flowing.


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