This blog post is sponsored by Farfetch x Haney.
This was one of the trips that I was looking forward to most this year- an invitation to spend a blissful long Mexican weekend with my dear friend, the designer Mary Alice Haney, and Farfetch. What better place to catch up with friends old and new than in the beautiful Mexican town of San Miguel. I had heard a lot about this place from various friends, and here are my favorite bits for #FrontRoeTravelGuides!
San Miguel de Allende is by far one of the most charming and vibrant places I’ve ever visited. Without a modern building in sight, the town sits in the mountains north of Mexico City and is made up of cobbled streets lined with brightly colored houses- sunflower yellow and rich burgundy-interspersed with the most enormous and elegant churches. Its founder (and namesake) was a Franciscan monk named Juan de San Miguel whose thirsty dogs discovered the El Chorro spring in 1542 and ever since, the town has been a honeypot for artists who are drawn to the city for its charm, artisan culture and rich creativity. Several Americans have made San Miguel their home and integrated themselves into local life- it’s a place that has a real sense of harmony and community.
Where To Stay
My trip was a mix of visits to some stunning private homes, guided walking tours of the town, delicious margaritas and fabulous Mexican food. As if that wasn’t spoiling enough, my home for the weekend was the wonderful Hotel Amparo, which opened to rave reviews earlier this year. With just five rooms set around a quiet courtyard, this hotel is the real jewel in San Miguel’s crown. Owners Taylor Goodall and Mariana Barran de Goodall developed the hotel in a former mayor’s residence and have added their own well-travelled spin on the colonial Spanish style architecture with splashes of bright color and furnishings from France, India and Mexico itself. Every corner has been lovingly transformed into a comfortable haven. They could not have been lovelier people and the hotel’s hot chocolate (a traditional Mexican one with a concoction of spices stirred in) was honestly the best one I’ve eve had in my life. Ever.
Where To Eat & Drink
Hotel Amparo: I may be biased given that I was so comfortable there, but the breakfasts at Amparo have become a must for visitors. Delicious local eggs (bright orange in color) make for some amazing huevos rancheros and their coffee is 5-star. Not only is it the only place you can get it before 9am but theirs was the first espresso machine in San Miguel!
Salon Oaxaca: One of the best places for an evening out, you really can’t beat sitting on their roof terrace with a mezcal and a selection of tlayudas (sort of like a crispy tortilla).
Where To Explore
Siquerios Mural: Found inside one of the caves at the Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez El Nigromante, a beautiful courtyard surrounded by pink arches.
Artisans Market: One of my highlights was this Saturday market- flowers, fruits, peppers, cowboy hats and belts, beaded necklaces, hand embroidered linen, local pottery- my idea of absolute heaven. Full of sounds and smells and amazing colors, I really could have wandered around for hours.
Guided Tour: The centro histórico is well worth exploring and there are some amazing churches and Baroque architecture. I loved the Templo de Santa Ana with its incredible façade.
El Charco del Ingenio: Open 9am to 6pm daily and just $2 entry, this botanical garden and nature reserve provides a wonderful view of downtown San Miguel and surrounding valleys. Keep an eye out for special events like traditional temazcal (steam baths) and yoga.
Rancho Xotolar: Ideal if you have time to spend, a guided horse riding excursion ($95 for a half day) through the desert is a great way to see the countryside. Just don’t forget your hat as it gets very hot in the late morning!
Where To Shop
Casa Maxwell: for the most beautiful ceramics and glassware
La Alfonsina: for homemade children’s clothing
Mixta: beach perfect kaftans
Hibiscus Linens (available at Hotel Amparo): bespoke monogrammed napkins, baby dresses and hand towels. They’re all stunning and I’m addicted!
What To Wear
Haney x Farfetch: A one shoulder white dress for market shopping, embellished trousers for cocktails and a silk jumpsuit for dinner, Haney’s collection with Farfetch really is the perfect go-to for elegant dresses. Dressing up in the heat isn’t always easy but silk cami dresses, chic co-ords and draped dresses make it so much easier to be well-dressed and comfortable.