Dulce de Leche and Early Morning Dips: An Insider Guide to Punta del Este with Beachwear Brand Casa Raki

Dulce de Leche and Early Morning Dips: An Insider Guide to Punta del Este with Beachwear Brand Casa Raki

Beachwear brand Casa Raki is inspired by the Uruguayan coast and a long-lasting relationship with the sea.



Running
along a rural stretch of coastline, Punta del Este oozes
with understated glamour. Hippy enclaves and remote beaches draw
people to this Uruguayan beachtown – among them, Josefina Alazraki
Theo, founder of beachwear brand Casa Raki.

Josefina spent most of her childhood on the Uruguayan coast in
Punta del Este. Though now based in London,
she has maintained her long-lasting relationship with the sea.

Over a late-morning coffee, Josefina elucidates on Punta del
Este’s beach culture, sustainable swimwear (her’s is crafted from
Econyl, a regenerated nylon yarn made from recycled fishing nets
and ocean waste), family holiday rituals and where to find the best
dulce de leche in the city.



The best day to arrive in town is…

Around 27 December, enough time to enjoy the beach before

New Year
‘s madness.

Which is the best hotel to stay at?

Casa Suaya Hotel Boutique if you
want to be in the country or Posada Paraiso if you’re after
something more bohemian and chilled.

Where are the best spots for shopping in Punta del Este?

José Ignacio has some amazing boutiques. My favourite is
Panorama, a great sustainably minded store that stocks products by
South American designers. In La Barra there are some amazing
homeware shops too.

Must-visit markets…

Once a month, those who live in the neighbourhood organise a
market in Manantiales where you can find antiques and some great
gems. The artisanal market in Gorlero is great for those with
kids.


One place only locals know about…

Newly opened restaurant La Oveja Negra owned by chef Juan
Peralta Ramos. He’s been doing some amazing stuff in the area in
the past few years, but finally he has opened this restaurant where
you can eat his delicious earth-cooked food. You will find only
local’s here; this is the type of place you would only hear about
from friends of friends.

Where should we explore beyond the city?

Don’t leave without going on a horse ride through the
countryside, and visit Lapataia if, like me, you’re a fan of dulce
de leche. Garzón town is totally worth the trip.

What’s the city’s dress code?

Very bohemian and very relaxed. We all enjoy getting dressed to
go out, but in the most effortless way. There’s lots of cotton
dresses, linen and fresh fabrics during the day, and soft wool
ponchos at night if you are going to be close to the seaside. It’s
not really a heels place, and that is what I love the most.



Favourite city districts worth exploring…

José Ignacio; Garzón for a day tour to the vineyard and the
local town; La Pedrera for its natural beauty.

Where’s good for lunch?

Parador La Huella is the most amazing place for lunch,
there is great music and it’s usually packed. The food is
outstanding; don’t leave without trying the volcán de dulce de
leche.

How about a romantic dinner?

Marismo serves great food, plus the setting is very
rustic and cool – the owner hand-built all the furniture in the
restaurant using wood from the surrounding property. I also love
La
Susana
– a great option with a little adventure involved, as
it’s only accessible by boat. Your journey finishes in this
beautiful candle-lit beach shack; the food is wonderful too.

Other food spots to try…

Mostrador Santa Teresita is a
great buffet-style restaurant owned by Fernando Trocca who is
regarded as one of the best Argentinian chefs. I love every single
thing on its menu.



For after-dinner drinks head to…

No Me Olvides, a local pizzeria in Manantiales owned by Nico
Palacios. There is nothing not to love about this place. It’s run
by the coolest surfers in town, you get amazing drinks and the
music never stops. In January
it gets so busy that tables end up blocking all the street and
people stay dancing there all night.

Where should we head post-party?

Where else but the beach when it is right in front of you?! Head
there with friends and find a spot. This is the best part of
Uruguay, the coasts are just immense.

How do you spend your Sundays here?

With my family – the tradition extends from Argentina to the
Uruguayan coasts. We always have lunch in our house and we just
stay chatting and drinking coffee until the sun starts setting.
We’ll then head to the beach around 5pm to drink maté and see the
sunset.

For Sunday brunch book a table at…

Brunch is not really a tradition here (bare in mind you party
till very late and only wake up around midday), but if you do wake
up early and want an early breakfast/ lunch I would head to
La Linda bakery in Manantiales – it’s a beautiful
space with some great light-lunch options.

One place only locals know about…

Newly opened restaurant La Oveja Negra owned by chef Juan
Peralta Ramos. He’s been doing some amazing stuff in the area in
the past few years, but finally he has opened this restaurant where
you can eat his delicious earth-cooked food. You will find only
local’s here; this is the type of place you would only hear about
from friends of friends.

Where should we explore beyond the city?

Don’t leave without going on a horse ride through the
countryside, and visit Lapataia if, like me, you’re a fan of dulce
de leche. Garzón town is totally worth the trip.

What’s the city’s dress code?

Very bohemian and very relaxed. We all enjoy getting dressed to
go out, but in the most effortless way. There’s lots of cotton
dresses, linen and fresh fabrics during the day, and soft wool
ponchos at night if you are going to be close to the seaside. It’s
not really a heels place, and that is what I love the most.



One book to read before we go…

Any of the South American masters. One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Marquez is the most beautiful book ever written
in my opinion. It says a lot about the spirit of the country.

What key pieces do you always pack when travelling?

All my Casa Raki bikinis and swimsuits, of course, as I spend
most of the time on the beach. Also sliders – I have at least two
or three pairs that I wear a lot in Uruguay. I think it’s vital to
have comfortable shoes so you can walk around town and keep up with
the long hours of partying at night. I have designed a small
ready-to-wear capsule, available in October, full of soft, easy,
linen pieces that are comfortable enough for daytime but sexy
enough to transition to night – perfect for Punta del Este.

A souvenir to bring home…

Dulce de leche – nothing beats the Uruguayan one. If you have a
little extra space left in your case, I highly recommend bringing
back Tannat wine by Bodega Garzón.

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