1. Drink pisco at the Pisco Museum
You have been wonderfully mislead if you think you’ll come out of the Pisco Museum with an education. Rather, an overly full belly and dizzying ability to make grandiosely poor choices from one too many cocktails. Sit downstairs for romance, upstairs to find someone for a romp in your dorm room.
2. Repent at Fallen Angel
Submerged in a courtyard surrounded by seductive boutique hotel rooms, Fallen Angel in no way caters for the traditionalist. As you walk through the door you are greeted by a bathtub filled with goldfish swimming around under a glass table-top, and a giant, glowing 20-foot tall fallen angel who has spent some serious time working on his buns. The food is divine, service even better. Order a fresh lemonade with mint on a stuffy Cusco night.
3. Fill your boots with steak at Baco
Oh man, if you love steak, make your bed in Baco, fill your belly to the brim and fall into the most wonderful meat-induced coma you’ll ever find yourself in. Baco — covered from floor to ceiling in paintings of naked ladies — served me my perfect, almost still breathing steak with no raised eyebrows when my answer was “as rare as possible,” when asked how I wanted it to come. Order an antipasti for starters before devouring the fleshy BBQ’d meat slapped on the table in front of you. The service is impeccable, atmosphere calm & the toilets actually smell so good you won’t want to leave.
4. Fine dine in Uchu
As you walk into Uchu, you immediately enter the sublime and all traces of the day melt languidly into a perfectly poured glass of smooth Chilean Carmenere. The décor is simple and cool, so as not to distract too much from the stone-cooked alpaca steak and perfectly pureed sweet potato mash on the table in front of you.
5. Learn to cook with Marcello Batata
One of the best cooking classes I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking, Marcello Batatas cooking class is hidden in a dark courtyard just a couple of blocks from the Plaza de Armas. You begin with an education on Peruvian food, with tasters, followed by a touchy-feeling session with corn, potatoes, coca leaves and quinoa. Fruit tasting, pisco sours making class and tasters, ceviche and then a flaming lesson in how to make lomo saltada. By the time you come to demolish your saltada, you’ve had so many tasters you’re going to want to eat your way around Peru for the rest of your life.
6. Snack on tapas at Cicciolina
A dark refuge from the intense Cusco sun, Cicciolina, Baco’s more introverted cousin, serves up the finest tapas you could ever dream of having 3000 metres above sea level. From the ceiling hang huge garlands of dried chilis, tiny little flavour grenades that detonate with explosive force in your mouth.
7. Eat a guinea-pig on a stick from the street
C’mon, have the experience once, just for fun. Although I don’t expect you’ll want to repeat it anytime soon.