Tag Archives: cafe

Wine Cafe

Ivan and I went out at 10:30 am on December 19, 2012 to the Brazilian Embassy.  There was a long line, but it turned out that a few of the people were picking up their passports.  I’m glad the lady remembered me from yesterday.  I showed her the new statement with December transactions.  She crossed out Doesn’t Have In on my form.  She charged me 883.25 pesos which Ivan says is 200 more than it should be.  I guess she charged me more since I didn’t have my entry ticket and for not having my bank statement the first time.  I still think the lady is really mean.  The lady said that my passport would be ready tomorrow.  I asked her what time I could come and she said from 11 am to 1 pm.

I had to go to the Itaú bank nearby to pay the money for my Brazilian visa.

We went to the vegan restaurant Picnic for lunch.  Ivan got a wok while I got a falafel sandwich.  My sandwich was tasteless and needed hummus or something.  Ivan’s wok was okay.  I ate some of his since mine was so bad.  There were only two falafels in the sandwich which wasn’t even real falafel.  The restaurant has 8 things on the menu and Ivan thinks that they should make sure every dish is delicious since they ONLY have 8 items on the menu.  I would definitely avoid this restaurant unless you’re into bland food.

Ivan wanted to do a self guided walking café tour in Buenos Aires.  He picked a few cafes from the café crawl that’s listed in the Lonely Planet’s Best of Buenos Aries guidebook.  Ivan thought it would be good to get one or two things at each of the cafes we went to.  I thought it was a great idea especially since I was still a bit hungry after the light lunch I had.

Our first stop was Café Tortoni which is the oldest café in Buenos Aires opening in 1858.  The décor is great with the colorful stained glass ceilings. 

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Ivan and I each had an espresso.

We walked to the next café City London.  Ivan ordered a gancia batido for us to share.  This Italian apertif made with soda and lemon is tasty. 

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The café is known for its pastries – tried to order a flan, but they didn’t have any available.

Next stop was Café La Puerto Rico.  Ivan and I had a tasty slice of strawberry pie and a sparkling water. 

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I noticed a Malfada statue and thought it was really cute.  Malfada is an Argentine cartoon character.

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We walked to Bar El Federal which has a cool wooden arch over the bar.  The bar is lowered so that the barmen are eye to eye with the seated customers.  At first, Ivan thought the barman was a midget but then he remembered the description he read in the guidebook.  Here, we shared a tasty apple strudel.

Our last café stop was Plaza Dorrego Bar which has been visited by Robert DeNiro and Eric Clapton. 

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The wooden walls have lots of writing carved into it.  Ivan and I each had an espresso.

We walked around San Telmo where we browsed the unique shops.  There’s also lots of antique markets, but we didn’t check out the markets.

Later, we went to the Anuva Wines wine tasting.  Ivan and I were in a group with 5 other people for the wine tasting.  I was into writing down notes about each wine such as the color, aroma and taste of the wine that I forgot to take pictures.  We had 5 wine tastings which were paired with 5 Argentine tapas. 

Daniella told us about the wine which were limited edition wines.  The first wine was a sparkling wine called Hom which was very light and airy.  It was paired with a bruschetta with cheese, apple, arugula and walnut. 

The next was a white wine made from the Torrontes grape.  This Las Perdices wine was floral and bitter.  I have really liked Torrontes wine in the past at the Etchart winery, but this one didn’t have the best flavor.  Two lovely sorbets were paired with the wine: strawberry and banana and peach and orange juice.

The third wine was a Bonarda red called Mairena.  It was a smooth tasting wine that was paired with salami, grueyere and fontina cheese. 

It was nice that it was unlimited wine pourings if we liked a wine. 

The next two wines were presented by an English girl named Poppy who’s training.  The fourth wine was a red Malbec called Carinae Gran Reserva.  This was our favorite wine of the night which was oaky and plum in color.  This wine was paired with a beef and potato empanada. 

Our last wine was a red called Caluna.  This was a another tasty wine that looked like dark red paint.  It was paired with 2 types of delicious chocolate, one from Ecuador and the other from Venezuela. 

Here’s Ivan and me with Poppy and Daniella for one of our project pictures.

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The wine tasting was great.  At the end, we got a price list of the wines which were expensive wines.  Ivan thinks the wine tasting is worth the $52 USD per person since the wines are pricey and you can drink as much as you want.

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Improv Dancing

Ivan, Lil Dave and I got the bus into the centre on August 16, 2012. 

Ivan wanted to check out a cool pop up café called Hunt and Darton Cafe

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When you walk in, there’s a table filled with goodies like sweets like cakes and Ribbon wafers.

Ivan ordered regular tea while I got the mint tea in two big teapots.  I got one with the Queen on it and Ivan got a teapot that looked like a building. 

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We both got the roughage plate which is a wonderful salad with beet, pumpkin, goats cheese and sunflower seeds. 

On the table, there’s a triangle plastic paper which had different things on it like games that you could play with your food and how to drink tea properly.  This is not your run-of-the mill café.  There’s music playing on an old record player.  The table has a real pineapple on it and salt & pepper holders that are Ken’s head on a Barbie doll with clothes on.  The owners Jenny Hunt & Holly Darton wear pineapples on their head.  This is my kind of place.

They have guest spots who do something different everyday.  Unfortunately, we missed the fortune teller who reads your fortune with asparagus. 

I love this café.. why can’t we have a cool cafe like this in Las Vegas?!  We will definitely be back here again for lunch, tea or maybe both. Apparently this café just spends a few weeks in each town, then packs up shop, and moves to somewhere else to open for a few weeks! Such a cool concept!

Next, we went to The Greatest Walking Tour in Edinburgh.  Ivan likes to surprise me and only told me that we were going on a walking tour.  Our tour guide was a man named Cuth and his assistant a girl who wasn’t very bright.  The man told us that there would be a tour guide inspector on the tour.

We were given red balloons with The Greatest Walking Tour in Edinburgh on it. 

 

Cuth had a long, closed umbrella that he used so the tour wouldn’t lose him.  It kept getting caught on things like a lamppost or construction railing.

The group was listening to a story about Bobby the Skye Terrier in front of Greyfriars Bobby pub.  John Gray was a man who worked as a night watchman who died in 1858.  His dog Bobby spent the rest of his life (14 years!) at his master’s grave at Greyfriars Kirk graveyard.  What a loyal dog!  Anyway, the tour guide was asked the name of John Gray which he didn’t know (I just wikipedia’d the information to give you information on the great story).  He realized that the man might be the ‘tour guide inspector’ that he was trying to impress in order to get into the tour guide’s union.  At this point, I realized this wasn’t a REAL tour, but a spoof of one.  I should have known since we were at the Edinburgh Festival which is filled with all types of theatre.

At one point, I noticed somebody was following us who looked like a detective.

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Ivan didn’t see her.

The guy who Cuth thought was the ‘tour guide inspector’ actually turned out to be another tour guide who didn’t want Cuth trying to move in on his tour guide territory. 

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They fight which was funny since it was like watching a video game.  Cuth tells us that he recently broke up with his girlfriend who he still seems to love.

We actually see the real ‘tour guide inspector’ (which was the lady I saw earlier)  later on and she tells us to act normal, so that she can judge him fairly.

This tour spoof was funny with misunderstandings.. but the story at the end was a bit daft (silly).  Ivan and I think they could have written a better plot.. it was entertaining though.

It was time to see some improv at the show Paul Merton’s Impro Chums

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We got seats off to the side in the front row, but we were sat too far.  Ivan and I are used to seeing Paul Merton with The Comedy Store Players in the first or second row (oh, so close!) at The Comedy Store in London.  The Impro Chums consisted of Paul Merton, Suki Webster (Paul’s wife), Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson and Mike McShane.  Almost the group of The Comedy Store Players.  It was funny, but not as funny as The Comedy Store Players.  Funny improv and some singing.  It was my first time seeing Suki Webster live and Ivan’s right.. she’s not very funny at all.  Paul Merton was, as always, very funny… The bit where he has to translate for the foreign language is always funny.  Lee Simpson was doing the language (which he’s always very good at) and he’ll say something very long winded and Paul will say something very short and funny. 

We had to leave the Improv show early to get to our next show.

We hurried to go see the free show The Dark Room which is based on a text computer game.  Do you remember those?  I remember the game Zork.  The host John Robertson would say in a dark, spooky voice ‘You find yourself in a dark room. What do you do?’  There would be a few different options to do like Go North, Sleep or Find a Light Switch.  Each option would lead to more options and sometimes it was a dead end and you die.  Ivan said that it was poking fun at old text-based computer games.  It was a bit weird.  An annoying part was a guy named Brendon Burns an Australian comedian, who thought he knew the right way to go because he’s played before.  He didn’t seem to know anything though.  The show was okay, a bit odd and unfortunately nobody won which according to the host Is a rare thing indeed.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked around Edinburgh.  Ivan went to Top Man and I bought a few things for Ivan’s birthday that’s coming up in September.

Later, we went to the Festival Fun Ceilidh Dinner which includes a 3 course meal with a band playing and line dancing. 

Ivan got the vegetarian meal while I got to try haggis for the first time, Lil Dave got the banana option.  Our starters were the same being organic leek and potato soup which was actually quite big and tasted good.

Ivan got a vegetable tart which looked alright.  I got the Findlay’s Portobello haggis fritter with mashed potatoes.

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It was fried and looked like black rice inside.  Ivan and I both had no clue what was in haggis… I knew it was something gross similar to a hot dog in America.  It tasted alright, but it was really heavy dish especially with the mashed potatoes it came with.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.. but I don’t think I’ll have another go.  We enjoyed our meal with a lovely red wine.

Dessert was traditional Scottish Cranachan with fresh local raspberries.  It reminded me of a parfait and it was tasty.

Everybody seemed older than us.  We didn’t think anybody would know any of the cielidh dances, but we were wrong.  Everybody knew ALL of the moves – in fact I think we were the only ones there who didn’t! We were amongst all the pros!  I had no idea, but Ivan knew a few of the dances.  It didn’t matter though since the band named the The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience would teach us the dances. 

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There was a big birthday party group, all Canadian, that was most of the dinner guests.  It was a good thing they were there since they loved to dance. 

It was fun learning the moves although I don’t think I was really that good at some of the dances…plus it would have been nice to have let the food go down a bit, before we started going crazy on the dance floor and spinning our stomachs around like a washing machine on fast cycle.  Ivan wanted to keep going, but it was getting tiring dancing so much.  Line dancing is fun, but it requires a lot of movement which makes you knackered (tired).  I took a break between songs and then we were off to dance again.  One song was super fast and we were going round and round in a circle.  I couldn’t believe how fast the dance was.  The band was right that it would be like running a marathon afterwards.

I had fun at the Festival Fun Ceilidhl Dinner.  I really enjoyed the line dancing and the food was good.  I’m glad I got to try the haggis since I like to try the local food.

Credits: Paul Merton’s Impro Chums photo

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