I don’t particularly like Miraflores. It’s too sofisticato, busy and metropolitan. It’s one of the posher parts of Lima that seems to have lost its Peruvian roots apart from a few traditional detached houses amidst the high rise flats. The suburb has lots of swanky bars and restaurants, a huge shopping mall and beach promenade that reminds me of the one in Sliema and St Julian’s in Malta. This is where “Lima’s Finest” walk their designer dogs and nannies take out their employer’s kids to play. A really good spot to spend some time though is where the paragliders take off gliding over the cliffs and sea. Apart from that there isn’t really much else to do apart from visiting Parque del Amor, and observing some tennis practice sessions on one of the 12 courts along the promenade walk.
The most interesting, and probably only real sight in Miraflores are the Huaca Pucllana Temple Ruins. They date back to the Lima culture and are therefore centuries older than Machu Picchu. The entrance fee costs 12 soles and includes a tour in English or Spanish. We’ve spent a good 90 minutes walking around with the guide. A lot of the wall sections have been restored but there is still some original brickwork visible that the guide will point out during the tour.
For lunch we went to El Pan de la Chola, a really hip cafe on Av Mariscal La Mar. They home-bake their selection of artesanal breads, have a great selection of sandwich fillings (all fresh and really good quality ingredients), cakes and a few craft beers. Their coffee is supposed to be delicious as well, but we were more interested in the Barbarian brewery beer. The sandwiches we had were absolutely delicious, even though they were just sandwiches. They came with fresh dark ciabatta bread and really good, proper mozzarella. The décor is what I would call rustic, the clientèle pretentious (mostly full-time housewives and mothers catching up for a gossip, but also expats and business people).
Day 14 also marks my 30th birthday – so after our Miraflores tour I got treated to a 12 course (yes, 12 courses!) taster menu at the famous IK Ivan Kisic restaurant. The food, atmosphere and staff were truly amazing! It is such a special experience and unlike tasting menus in Europe’s top restaurants really affordable.Our medley of courses cost 300 soles per person, so at the current exchange rate it’s just over £60. I’ve never eaten such delicious food, full of flavour and an excellent mixture of texture and scents in my life. The scene is set in the restaurant’s quirky Amazon ambience which fits the menu excellently. The fresh plants draw you right into the jungle. If you’ve got the spare cash on your travels, treat yourself. You really won’t regret it. The experience made me feel extra special on my birthday without being too staged and overly posh. I definitely won’t forget this special dinner! It rounded up my birthday trip perfectly.