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Archive for December, 2015

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Gorgeous sunset  by photographer Marshall Postnikoff

Leading into Christmas, it has become apparent that we won’t be able to return to our lovely home in SMA, certainly not for New Year’s Eve, which was the plan. And maybe for all of January. Or possibly the whole winter!

We console ourselves with the prospect of a mild winter and plenty of warm mulled red wine.

But we do miss SMA terribly, so I thought it be a fun, if wistful idea, to post a photo heavy piece about all the things we love about our second city.

First and foremost, our beautiful home:  located only 6 minutes from the Jardin (more about that later) and 2 minutes from our favourite coffee shop.  La Mesa Grande (means large table) is owned by a beautiful young Canadian woman and her Mexican husband, and is a popular hangout for ex-pats who salivate at the sight of their baguettes and sticky cinnamon  buns.  Some Canadian icons do travel well.

Our home has plenty of comfortable places to relax, and enjoy a fire, a glass of wine, and watch the sunset, with birds darting in and out of the flowering vines.

 

Our amigos are another reason that we  want to return.    Back in Canada, we are geographically dispersed, but in SMA, our Canadian friends are just a short walk or an inexpensive cab ride away from each other.   And when you throw in the Texans and a few Mexicans, it can make for really interesting conversation over yet another round of drinks or a fabulous dinner. They are an excellent group of like minded folks, that just love to dine and enjoy:  everything seems lighter and more lovely under the Mexican sun

 

Good food in & out.  San Miguel is rapidly becoming one of the best places to dine in Mexico. There has been a flurry of high end restaurant openings, like Zumo. http://www.zumosma.com  It opened in 2015, with a brilliant European chef who creates inventive and delicious 5 or 7 course menus, all served with a stunning city view.  And their sommelier has a wicked way with cocktails.

High end restaurants like Zumo, Aperi and our perennial favourite, The Restaurant, are definitely more expensive than  the average place in SMA.   But our food expert friends, “Don Day” and his lovely wife (an excellent cook herself) are convinced that these “blow out” meals can be enjoyed for 50% -75% less than a comparable 4-5 star meal in Toronto. And, in San Miguel, a really good meal for 2, inclusive of 2 glasses of wine and tip can be had for less than the cost of  a couple of cheese burgers and beers in a Toronto pub.

It is almost easier and less expensive to eat out than eat in. And we know some folks that do just that.

But then you would miss the other good reason to be in SMA at any time of the year, and that is the markets.  You really think more about cooking in the season when the markets are full of figs, or morels, or sweet strawberries, all depending upon the month of the year.  And the roses  from the fields south of Mexico City, the fresh seafood from Ensenada, and the mounds of local dried chilies & beans which  beckon you to experiment if only you knew what they were!  Our favourite is the Tiangus Market, up the hill, which I describe as a football field of fun.  Fruit, veggies, flowers and some really strange smells.  Nothing like boiled goat head to clear out the sinuses.

 

There are many more reasons why love our SMA home and want to return this winter, regardless of the weather here:  being at the centre of a very walkable city that is rich in Baroque Architecture and glorious warm colours,  browsing through Candelaria, the annual spring sale of gorgeous live flowers and plants,  and all of the fiestas that make the Jardin, the principal garden, such a lively and fun destination.  The focus of the Jardin is the Parroquia, a late 19th century marvel of Neo-Gothic interpretation in pink sandstone and the symbol of San Miguel.

 

Eventually, everyone walks up or down to the Jardin, some to meet friends, to listen a concert or  just to sit & relax on the wrought iron benches.   And you can’t help but smile at the besotted newcomers, who wander around, as Ben & I continue to do, just gobsmacked by the beauty of San Miguel.

 

 

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