Located two hours south of Santiago by bus, this oasis is nestled smack in the middle of Chilean wine country, surrounded by vineyards.
The property was built from scratch by Belgium-born Ruth and her Chilean husband Vincente. There was nothing here when they started and they lovingly gave attention to every stone and plank of wood. The entire place oozes charm and screams come relax with me.
Ruth is a trained chef who has worked in many of the world´s top gastronomic cities and served us meals with all of the delicious glamour to detail and none of the pomp. Our first dinner was a delight of ceviche, chicken and strawberry shortcake. We kicked it off with a pisco sour made by Vincente, who graciously offered us an aperitif, as if we were dining in an English garden in the 1920s.
Ruth also willingly shares her culinary knowledge through cooking classes and taught us how to make two foods I
hate love: mussels and lamb. On the morning of our class, Ruth took us to the market with her to shop for our ingredients. When I discovered what was on the menu, I was inwardly downcast. What good were cooking lessons for food I didn´t even like? But Ruth´s preparation methods had me gasping in surprise at the lovely flavors she taught Natasha and I to create. And the results were mouth-watering:
Of course, Natasha and I spent one afternoon at the Miguel Torres winery where we had a scrumptious, boozy lunch:
And the next day when I casually mentioned in conversation that I hadn´t eaten Indian food since February, Ruth threw together a last minute feast!
Ruth is an inspiration to anyone looking for the courage to live their dream. She gave up an option to continue in a high-paying and glamorous atmosphere to create her own dream here on this piece of land in the countryside. And not only was every, single, morsel she cooked beyond heavenly but her attention to detail is amazing in her food, the way she decorated her home and in her gardens.
Thanks Ruth and Vincente for taking such good care of us!
(NOTE: I was NOT paid to write this about Mapuyampay. Natasha discovered it on TripAdvisor and we booked it based on the glowing reviews and our desire to drink wine and take a cooking class.)