Been to Saint Tropez? To Monaco perhaps? And you thought that was pretty majestic, didn’t you? Well here’s a place more royal than the Queen of Queens. Pretty as a peach. Boho meets Bourgeois. And they get married. It’s heaven on sand. It’s dry, gorgeous, lake, ocean, fire.
You know by now I’m talking about José Ignacio. The most happening spot in Uruguay. And Latin America. You’ll excuse the haughtiness taking over me. But it’s true. Oh, but it’ll cost ya. An eye and a half. And your soul, perhaps.

Here are some of the places we’ve been to during our little escapade east. Expect royal prices, royal treatment, royal food.
Everything conjugated in a low-key tense. Unpretentious. Overwhelming with beauty.


Right on José Ignacio’s main square, stands Mutate. It’s a café and a shop. The furniture, the deck and the garden make me want to sigh back to José Ignacio. It’s without a doubt one of the most beautiful garden cafés I’ve ever been to. It inspires you into wanting your own Mutate. Oh, see for yourself.

The combination of wood, vintage disparate furniture, white cloths and bamboo just strikes me as the perfect equation. Infatuation is an understatement.

view from the garden

They have a little bar at the end of the garden. Don’t you just adore the old fridge and the trunk benches?
I renewed my devotion for homemade lemonades and frappés. Just what we needed to cool down from the 36 degrees.

The shop is dreamy too. Full of vintage treasures, wooden or leather, silk or cotton. Given the feverish prices, it was a relief that my suitcase was already overweight.

Almacén El Palmar

Right next door, you’ll find the Almacén El Palmar. The joint is French slash Peruvian slash Uruguyan. As I understood. The cuisine is as simple as it’s delicious. And the bread is homemade and absolutely breadtaking. Their pâtisseries look stunning and I heard the falafel is worth a bite.


Do try their empanadas, puff patries filled with different preparations. They are yummy! The fish of the day was also finger-licking awesome.

green garden salad, to make your conscience feel better
ceviche, good but not the best I’ve had.
Catch of the day: Forkbeard with orange sauce and veggies.

Beach stand of La Posada del Faro

It was seriously hot and although we were drawn by the ocean, we needed to find cover under a shade. The beach stand of La Posada del Faro appeared as a true oasis.

Santas Negras

My cousin Valentina suggested we meet there for a morning drink and I’m glad she did. The place stands a bit farther from José Ignacio’s center and is less crowded. At least AM.

The ocre shade is gorgeous and casts an oriental shadow on the floor. Too bad there isn’t enough sun on my patio! On the contrary, I need a light amplifier, not shades! :/

This sort of chandelier made of bamboo and colorful cloths has cast a spell over me. Somehow, I’m going to have to invent one at home.

I will admit I wasn’t all too pleased with the service… I asked for the menu. The waitress said they didn’t have one but that she could show me a list of prices, if that was my concern. Err…way to go lady, there goes your tip.
I said I’d like a coffee with milk and a lemonade. She said they had espressos. To which I replied “great, then just add some more hot water and some milk”. She disappeared for 5′ and came back saying she couldn’t do a coffee with milk. Only an espresso with some milk foam.
You got coffee. Water. Milk. And mixin’em in a flexible proportion is off boundaries?

All the same, she wasn’t great but I guess they must have to bear with even worse clients.

As for the camo shade, I’m thinking of moving just to be able to instal one. I’m letting the idea simmer for now. All my savings just dried out in José Ignacio ;)