If good food, good wine and a party are your thing then a visit to Andreas Carne de Res in Chia should most definitely be on your to-do list. As soon as you arrive, a guy in a sombrero and poncho hands you a hollowed out lemon filed with a tequila shot…… before you get in the door. When you get in the massive restaurant you can’t help but smile. It feels like a party. Whilst it is huge, it is broken down into different areas so it doesn’t feel overwhelming, and all the staff are wired up so the place runs efficiently.
The food, funnily enough is meat based (the clue is in the name), and the steak is about as good as you can get outside Argentina. J even ate reasonably well.
People don’t go there just for a meal; they are there to celebrate something, even if it’s just being in Bogotá, so the party just starts. There is dancing, music, acrobatics and lots and lots of happy, friendly people. We loved it, and even managed to stay out until after 1am!
Andres Carne de Res
The next part of our adventure was taking us to Boyaca and Santander states, north of Bogotá and the three of us decided the best way to do it was to fly in to Bogotá, pick up a hire car, have a night in Chia, then head to Villa De Leyva, about three hours north, where Liz would leave us and head home.
The picking up the car bit was a little shit, with Budget insisting that a Kia Picanto was the same size as the Rio we had ordered and no amount of arguing in bad Spanish was going to change that. The trip north was a little difficult too as all of us were feeling a little dusty after the night out.
We stopped off briefly in the town of Tunja and recommend that if you wish to visit Tunja, brief is good. We had a reasonable coffee, were stared at a lot and one of us blocked a loo.
Villa De Leyva is lovely. It is a white walled, red roofed colonial masterpiece, sitting in a bowl of hills that was once a prehistoric lake and now home to some amazing fossils (the fossil museum is worth a visit). There are more good restaurants than we could get through, a great French and Australian bakery, and it’s reasonably flat.
On the way back from the fossil museum we stopped off at the Gaudi-esq terracotta house, an odd looking thing that is the work of a local artist and has only been completed reasonably recently. I hadn’t expected much but we all loved the place. It is not just a work of art but a very liveable place too, full of great spaces and general coolness. If it were for sale……….
Liz left us on day three and it was sad to see her go. We had enjoyed her company and I had really enjoyed having English speaking company on the walk. She is now back at work. Work…….. hmmmm…..
After waving her off at the bus station, the FT’s headed to a vineyard. There are not many in Colombia and the wine here is rather….well it is rather shit. We went for the experience but found perfectly good wine, great ice cream and met a lovely couple from Bogotá who shared the tour with us. If you like wine, it is worth a trip.
Villa De Leyva