Culture / Travel

Jet-Set Dispatch

San Miguel de Allende with Amelia Tomjanovich

BY // 04.14.15

On a recent trip to San Miguel de Allende in Central Mexico, Ringside Design co-owner Amelia Tomjanovich was surprised to find that Mexico isn’t just all beaches and blue water. Tomjanovich and her husband/business partner, Trey, made the trek for a wedding and were amazed to rediscover a city packed with history, incredible architecture, shopping and, of course, great food. Take a stroll with us through their four-day adventure.

For nights, I packed a black draped Alexander McQueen dress with leopard Prada peep-toe pumps, a black lace Rag & Bone skirt with an Alexander Wang top and, my favorite, a whimsical David Longshaw silk dress with a big blue illustrated English bulldog on it as a nod to my beloved four-legged British bully, Mila. It seemed fitting for a city filled with art everywhere you turn. The days were warm in the sun, cool in the shade and full of hiking (the climate is very similar to that of Los Angeles), so I packed my Lululemon, Teeki yoga pants and retro Nikes. I always kept a pair of backup flats on hand, because 5-inch heels on cobblestone streets can be hazardous to the ankles.

I never fly without my Kindle, laptop and a bottle of water. Also my Nars Roman Holiday lipstick, since it’s the perfect touch of light pink and also creamy enough to keep lips moisturized in the dry atmosphere of a plane.

We stayed at the lavish and magical Casa Hyder, just a few blocks from the town square. Casa Hyder is a living museum of sorts —antiques, Mexican folk art, 17th-century trinkets and tapestries from around the world at every turn. The grounds are immaculately kept and visually stunning: orange trees, bright bougainvillea, jacaranda trees, Italian cypress and lush ivy. The pool is crisp and surrounded by flowers, sculptured fountains and a loggia that can only be described as visual eye candy.

We had two memorable meals on the trip, one at The Restaurant and the other at Áperi. At Áperi (Latin for open), we sat in a beautiful courtyard beneath a jacaranda tree not yet in bloom. Highlights from the menu were roasted sweet potatoes, burrata and pecan salad, and braised short ribs. The Restaurant was an ultra-chic al fresco dining spot softly lit by hundreds of bistro lights. The ceviche was out-of-control tasty, the lamb pops were braised to perfection, and the fresh goat cheese-spinach-mole raviolis were the best thing I’ve tasted.

The city is filled with spectacular artisan and furniture shops. San Miguel is a fantastic place to go if you’re in the market for beautiful colonial doors. The artisan market [in the city center] is stocked with incredible handmade brass fixtures, delicate jewelry, industrial lighting and colorful handmade rugs and tapestries.

On the weekend, there was a citywide festival celebrating the union of pagan beliefs and Catholicism. We spent a lot of time in the main plaza watching performances of local people as they expressed traditions via choreographed dancing, music and elaborate costumes and headdresses.

Absolutely. The only thing I would do differently would be to fly into Querétaro (QRO) rather than Del Bajío (BJX). QRO is only a 45- to 60-minute drive to San Miguel, while BJX is a solid hour and a half.

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