Jesus creates, the fish and chip shop decorates!

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As regular readers of this blog will know, I was intelligent enough to choose an architect whose name suggests he is God’s right hand man, a handy thing in a relatively religious society when you need to get notoriously laid back Argentine suppliers to deliver on time! One presumes that if there is a real problem, we can get Francis to intervene. After all, what self respecting new Pope isn’t going to take a call from Jesus? A further advantage is that Jesus is a very good friend, the sort of guy that I can ring late in the evening (I call this praying) to discuss some entirely vital design feature that has just occurred to me, and he will actually reply. This never happened to me in all the years I was obliged to pray to Jesus in a cold chapel under a gothic abbey, at my resolutely uncomfortable Benedictine monastery boarding school.

But it appears that even Jesus has his limitations (no hate mail please). I wasn’t entirely convinced about his colour schemes. I was even less convinced about my own. Jesus is a structural guy. I have no visual imagination. What to do? Obviously go and eat somewhere to ponder the quandary. And fish is good for the brain and I had heard about Chipper, a new traditional fish and chip restaurant, and the sun was out, so off I trotted. And as I have previously mentioned in this blog, the fish and chips was excellent and the place was quiet as I had arrived well after the lunchtime rush, so I got chatting to Susan the Irish co-owner. And obviously, given the commercial chaos that is running a business in Buenos Aires, especially for a foreigner, I soon asked the question, ” So how the hell did you end up here?”

It turns out that Susan’s vocation has not always been to stare into the oily depths of the deep fat fryer. I might have difficulties with the very defined God thing, in the form of old man with beard etc, but I do have a feel for synchronicity. When Susan explained that she had been an interior designer working in New York, who had come over to work on a hotel in Recoleta, during which period she had fallen in love with The City and more importantly with Marcelo who was making all the furniture for said hotel, I knew I was onto something. “So you know about colours?” I asked.

“I like to think interior design is a little more sophisticated than that,” she replied.

“And Marcelo (who I had already worked out was a thoroughly good bloke), can make the furniture that I am having some difficulty finding?”

“Yes of course.”

Great, problem solved, consign all the responsibility to the guys at the local chippie! Who wouldn’t? I just hope that their fish and chip empire doesn’t take off too rapidly and that they deliver on the marvellous deco designs that they have come up with.

If they don’t, I know where they live!!!!

So some before and not quite after photos, as in more work in progress…..And with few lights in place all the illumination is natural.

Passage leading to the dining room, Before:

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And now, waiting for the floor to be polished:


Dining room leading to terrace, Before:

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Now a sage green which should look great when the green marble floor gets polished:


And look at the Andalusian terrace! Can you already imagine yourself feasting on asado from its parilla?

The Master Bedroom, Before:

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And Now:


Master Bedroom, view to balcony, Before:


And Now:

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The Living Room, Before:

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And Now (wait till the 75 year old oak parquet is polished up):


The Bar and its terrace, Before:

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And Now (lacking the amazing bar/library that Susan has designed of course):


And finally the biggest change, the old workshop which will now be the Studio Room, with its own deck for sun lovers, Before:

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And Now:


So the decorating should be finished by the end of the month, God (currently in the bodily form of Sebastian, the Jefe of the painters) willing. The furniture should arrive a few weeks later. Of course this is Buenos Aires, so I didn’t bother to negotiate a penalty clause. As I mentioned I know where my designers live but more importantly I know where their restaurant is. If my hotel has no furniture, then I have no income, no money left and not much to do. But I like fish, especially their octopus dish (Pulpo a la Gallega -Pulpo is very expensive here). And being an Irish chippie they serve Jameson’s, which I also like, as do my friends. So rather than than sitting miserably in my unfurnished hotel, I intend to set up shop in their restaurant, at least for lunch and dinner. And invite friends, on my tab of course! Which I won’t have any money to pay.

Sounds like a penalty clause to me! What’s the betting they deliver on time?

Besos to Susan and Marcelo and if you are over here and suffering from meat overload go to their restaurant, Chipper.

If they look nervous and there is a drunken Brit in the corner with a bunch of friends you will know why…

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