San Miguel De Allende

San Miguel De Allende

the arid Mexican sun began to sink below the valley’s edge,
pinpricks of light illuminated the town from below and I took
another satisfied sip from my tamarind margarita. After a
three-hour drive from Mexico City and a stumbling walk up uneven
cobblestones, I had made it to the Rosewood Hotel in San Miguel de
Allende just in time for sunset.

San Miguel de Allende is one of those towns which you struggle
to prefer by night or by day; by night, an evening stroll leads you
past its numerous boutique hotels, sumptuous restaurants and host
of chic stores along brightly lit streets. By day, sunlight
illuminates the vermillion reds, ochres and cobalts of colonial
homes, and the tranquility of leafy courtyards can be felt by
peeking through cracks in old wooden gates. The architecture is an
intricate blend of Spanish tradition, Neo-Gothic pink limestone,
and ornate baroque.

A city like this invites you walk a pace slower. Its sleepy
backstreets don’t do much to betray the fact that San Miguel de
Allende was once a hotbed of dissent for Mexican revolutionaries.
It was here that crouched over splintery tables covered in glasses
of pulque liquor, General Ignacio Allende began conspiring against
Spanish rule. Founded in 1542, the village originally sprung up as
a commerce and trade route during Mexico’s silver boom. Today the
city has been carefully manicured (some may say perhaps a little
too carefully) into a cosmopolitan and charming UNESCO world
heritage site.

San Miguel has a strong art scene (the first art school in Latin
America was founded here): take Fabrica la Aurora, an art and
design centre set inside a converted textile factory a 10 minute
walk south of the city. Here, many high-end galleries fill spaces
with Mexican and international talent alongside stores selling
artesanías, antiques, artwork, furniture and clothing. I found
myself promising that once I had settled into a home in Mexico City
I would be back, manning the wheel of a pickup truck and filling my
small apartment downtown with Mexican textiles and furniture. For
now though, I am content with my margarita and the setting sun.


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