With the release of Baz Lurhmann’s latest film extravaganza the whole world has gone Gatsby crazy. The portrayal of the roaring twenties in particular has made people nostalgic for a time when life’s worries seemed to come second place to just having a good time. Whilst Fitzgerald set his tome in and around the exclusive neighbourhoods of New York, we think Argentina makes just as good a setting to live it up a la Jay Gatsby and co. and here’s how –
Frolic like a Flapper
The opulent Four Seasons Hotel in Recoleta has recently undergone a US$40 million renovation including of its adjoining original 1920s mansion. La Mansion evokes a times when Buenos Aires was known as the ‘Paris of South America’ and it is one of the grandest residences in Recoleta. Today you can emulate Fitzgerald’s penchant for the finer things in life and stay in one of its luxurious suites of which there are just seven ensuring exclusivity and escape from prying eyes. After dancing the night away there is no better remedy than the Four Seasons famous champagne brunch, known to cure even the hardiest hangover.
Sipping on the Sly
The twenties were perhaps best known for their overindulgence, and despite US Prohibition, alcohol was more readily available than ever. Speakeasies started popping up on every corner and despite their incognito appearance, never failed to attract customers. To experience this thrill of breaking the law but without any of the repercussions, head to Frank’s Bar in trendy Palermo Hollywood, Buenos Aires. This is strictly a bar for those in the know as the entrance is through a phone booth where the door will only swing open on receipt of the correct password. Inside bartenders take their job seriously and serve up cocktails so good they should be illegal.
Just as New York’s movers and shakers escaped the city each weekend to the gilded doors of Jay Gatsby’s mansion in Fitzgerald’s novel, so do the real life well-heeled citizens of Buenos Aires. For each weekend during the Summer months the city experiences an exodus as people rush to their country houses across the River Plate in Uruguay. Twenties glamour is represented nowhere better than in Jose Ignacio, once a forgotten fishing village, it has since undergone a transformation and if your Daisy Buchanan’s and Jordan Baker’s were to be around today you could guarantee this is where they’d be, sipping on a cool glass of clerico and watching the sun drop into the Atlantic from the porch of their sumptuous beach villa. For your weekend hideout let Dehouche find you the ultimate luxury villa, complete with private chef and staff who will cater to your every need, leaving you free to party until sunrise.
The ‘Lost Generation’ certainly knew how to have a good time and in an era before air travel getting to your destination was half the fun. The 1920s was the golden era of cruising and in some parts of the world, travel by boat still reigns supreme, and the fjords, channels and islands of Southern Patagonia lend themselves perfectly to this gentler mode of transport. Setting out from Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, you will navigate your way past majestic glaciers and icebergs whilst sipping on champagne. Ships and icebergs may not have got off to the best start in the 1900s, but don’t let images of a pallid Leonardo di Caprio sinking into the depths keep you from a cosy night’s sleep in your luxurious cabin– these specially reinforced expedition vessels are equipped for the harshest of conditions. Just remember to pack your tuxedo as even the penguins are in black tie…