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Evita Museum + Buenos Aires

The Newest Argentina

She’s the original icon, in every sense. It’s fitting that Museo Evita is in a gorgeous 1920s mansion that once housed her social foundation. An architectural requiem. Nostalgia in marble. Hypnotic melancholic melodrama, food to the spirit: that’s what we’re after and that’s what we get. Plus deep fried empanadas in the classy courtyard restaurant for the body reboot. You can’t overdress on the Orient Express and the same goes for a football pitch. At least in Eva Perón’s boots books. There’s a fabulous photo on display of the national heroine kicking a soccer ball – wearing killer heels. She wore haute couture and Caron perfume. Just seven years into her public life, Evita was dead, aged 33.

Later, it’s comfort eating in Perón Perón, Palermo Hollywood. On the hour every hour (ok, not quite, this is Argentina, so 20 past if you’re lucky) there’s a blast of foot stamping heart pounding table thumping rabble rousing regimental Justicalist music. “Perón! Perón!” A shrine to Evita forms the fulcrum of the restaurant. Menu puns are aplenty. Salads are “Light Perónism”. Main courses are dedicated to “True Comrades of Life”. Puddings are labelled “Where there is a need, there is a right”. And the menu ends “A cup of java for the President”. The oligarch filled spoon lanterned Fervor brasserie feels a million miles away.

“I confess that I have an ambition, one single, great personal ambition: I would like the name of ‘Evita’ to figure somewhere in the history of my country.” Mission accomplished. A vibrant painting of the most recent president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, hanging over the restaurant tables, is a reminder that Perónism lives on. But there’s only one Evita.

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