|Alex rocking on La Margarita|
This is a question I have asked myself many times as the owner of La Margarita. I have often asked our guest the same question. After all if you are on the other side of the world and you book somewhere you have never been to before you and have no idea of what its going to be like I think that is a brave decision so I want to try and make sure we get it right for you – that have a good idea what you will find when you get to us.
|Me drinking a toast with Marion|
A couple of months ago we had the Milne family Mum, Dad and two grown up children on La Margarita. They stayed in our self-catering units. They had booked a certain number of days and decided to extend their stay so I knew we had got something right. I talked to Marion Milne who, although not wishing to name drop, is a well know Emmy nominated director – here's her profile (http://www.pbshowfolio.com/marionmilne). She said that the family simply loved it on La Margarita and Alex their 19 year old son said he loved it so much he was going to write a blog about his families stay here. Last week his blog arrived. For me it is a wonderful blog - I loved it (course I may be a bit biased) and so here it is. If you are thinking of coming to us I think you will enjoy Alex blog as well - have a read and see what you think:
|The Milne family minus Dad|
Estancia La Margarita – from a young person
“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the felix….” were the words that echoed in my head as we squeezed through the entrance to Estancia La Margherita. Albeit these are words that I can recite almost word for word since I was 11, give or take a few Latin conjunctions; the stretched fields of barley scattered with Cyprus trees peppered with dust unearthed by fighting bulls felt like I had stumbled onto the ‘Gladiator’ set (I even stole a quick glance behind me to check a raging Russel Crowe wasn’t about to tear into me or that a disappointed Derek Jacobi wasn’t donning a condescending look).
|Mr and Mrs Milne|
Yet thankfully our script was far less Hollywood – the only crucifixes that we were confronted with were above the doors. Instead what to unfold in this gorgeous green garden was a week of paradise. From our immediate warm welcome from the family, contrasting to the urbane nonchalance yet hectic nature of Buenos Aires, I felt relaxed and completely at ease. Having just finished a job at an upmarket country hotel in England, the difference in welcome was stark. I felt, and this continued for the duration of our stay, as though we were being invited into this 19th Century Hispanic Villa as a family guest. The staff were so comfortable and self-assured that by the end of our stay, it felt like departing from a school reunion rather than a hotel where we were customers. The way all the guests gathered to celebrate the birthday, of Isabella, young daughter of our gaucho Ignacio, rather than retreat to each other’s far corners, was a symbol of this.
This was truly represented on the Christmas Eve spent there. An evening that started trying strange Argentinean dishes (think Tuna swiss rolls and marinated Ostrich) culminated in a festive frenzy. I had the chance to play some guitar; which was well received. Unfortunately, due to the bottomless pit of wine supplied by the Estancia, I thought I’d sing as well. The latter was not so… But in the spirit of the place everyone got up and contributed something. Soon we were trying to work out how many lords did dance, to the bemused looks of the locals, having some South American passion pumped through us in the form of salsa and our brains, albeit not entirely sharp, twisted with some riddles. Yet the most memorable event was the congo line, led by two charming Danish ladies, into every room in the house with “FELIZ NAVIDAD!” ringing in our ears. Laughs and stories were soon exchanged between guests from all corners of the earth; reinforcing the notion that this was not a random collection enticed by the estancia, but a carefully selected group of old friends reunited. Soon I found myself around a table being charmed by the staff into a game of Chancho, a card game that means ‘Pig’ (although I wasn’t entirely sure who it was directed at). This is but a snippet of the fun that can go on at the Estancia.
Even the horses, all beautiful and specially selected by the ranch, felt more like long lost companions rather than a different species entirely (I think I was referring to mine as my steed by the end). The diversity of each horse was extraordinary; the over-exuberant Diablo eager to tear away at the first moment counterbalanced the calm, gentle manner of Dolores were so real and entertaining that they could have been characters in an Alan Ayckbourn play. I think each guest, whether experienced or beginners, developed a strong connection with their horse; and when competition arose, we felt that the Gladiatoresque scenery would have exerted its influence with fierce looks being exchanged and some flexing of muscles too!
Alex Milne-Turner – aged 19, a guest with his family at the Estancia Christmas 2011, now travelling in Australia and South East Asia before heading off to Trinity College Dublin in September 2012 to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
This is David Cummings alias the English Gaucho still recovering from the wonderful marriage yesterday of my son in NZ ( more on that in my next blog)