Treat, Play, Love in Tulum #16
Treat, play, love in Tulum
Follow us on social and you’d know we’ve spent the past few weeks (gloating) South of the Border. On a whim we skipped Blighty to explore Mexico’s Yucatan province, a bucket-list destination that ticked all the boxes for this sun-worshipping Growlmama: perfect beaches, perfect mouthfuls, and best of all an abundance of mutts and mutt-loving locals. If it weren’t for our very own Mexican dog-muse Frida Kahlo, (who "chose" Margate, not Mexico for her beach break), we may still be there. Here’s our wrap of the things we loved.
Because the taco costume is just too embarrassing...
You know how it is Growlmamas. You're dog-excited. You've escaped the daily grind. Jetted to an exotic destination. Goodbye commute. Goodbye colleagues. Goodbye clocks. Hello holiday! But then you realise...it's also goodbye mutt #howl.
Commence two weeks of pesting the dog-sitter for pics of your pupper while you scour foreign lands for perfect pup presents. But what to get your dog on a tropical break?
A sombrero of course. Yes we succumbed and returned with two (of varying colours and sizes) for our doggy muse (refer pic above). We had in mind a dog-poncho but not a one to be found amid the totems of tat.
What else? An overpriced stuffed chihuahua. Said toy procured from Victor, the sharpest seven-year-old salesman around (Now dining at Nobu with the spoils of our purchase. We hope poor poppet), and a friendship bracelet festooned with an "F" (really a gift for Growlmama).
We'll be ordering the doggy poncho online and prepping our brows for a Kahlo Halloween.
Walkies Tulum-style is park-life perfected. 4km of dog-friendly beach with powder-soft sand and warm gentle waves where pup by your side, you can frolic for days barefoot and bikini'd. Bliss for this sun-obsessed Aussie. These are our top pics for dog-walking Tulum (including some fab Mexican brands we found on our travels).
Centre: Every beach Growlmama needs a good bikini (or three). Enter stage left this Zimmermann find. The Harlequin comes with Crochet top and standard bottoms (we don't need crochet down there!) and fits the bill perfectly for Tulum, where eco-chic is de-rigueur from beach to bar. If you like a good bar don't miss Casa Jaguar for a jungle delight. We digress.
Anti-clockwise from left:
1. Protect your eyes/ hide the fallout from a million margaritas with a pair of wooden shades from Cancun brand Be Wood. For every pair sold a tree is planted. Probably about the best (only) good thing to come out of Cancun.
2. Hailing from Valladolid, not far from Tulum, Dutzi's perfect "BeachMama" bags are both sustainable and eco-friendly. Made mostly from recycled burlap (sourced from all over Mexico) and handcrafted by a team of Mayan artisans, no mass production is involved: each bag is individually sewn and one-of-a-kind. Even the mecapál straps are hand made by one of the last families in the region trained in the traditional technique.
Pictured: Keep your hands free for pup pats with the Sustainable White Raffia Messenger with Leather and add in their Vintage Burlap Pouches with Leather and Mecapal which come in 3 sizes - treats, bags and cash sorted!
3. And finally, dry off from your dip with The Beach People's Tulum Roundie. We love!
A taste of Mexican homewares for design-hounds
On our first jaunt to Mexico, so carried away were we with Mexican homewares we returned with a suitcase so stuffed it required two men to lift it. Disappointment set in when we realised said purchases did not suit our London abode. (Still in storage with the rest of the tropical spoils which await beach-house purchase).
Having learned from the past I'm proud/sad to say that we returned sans a skerrick of Mexican crafts. But we did track down some fabulous brands - all channeling Mexico's beautiful craftmanship into excellent modern product.
Check out these limited edition Stella Lines blankets (let's call them doggy throws for relevance) from MexChic. Virgin wool blankets loomed by artisans, hand drawn in MexChic's studio and then hand-embroidered by women in Malinalco Mexico. Inspired by the work of American painter Frank Stella and ancient Aztec and Mayan 'grecas'.
And don't miss, the Pack of Dogs bookshelf by NEL. These puppies aren't new but it seems never date. Featured at the 2007 Salone Satellite in Milan, these pieces were based roughly on the shape of a dog, in different sizes and positions. Each "character" is named after a famous Mexican wrestler (Dos caras Jr, Aguayo, Superastro, El Santo, Alushe and Mistico) and will follow you around your house or office, to work as a side table, stool, bench, bookshelf, magazine rack, newspaper holder, bookends, etc. Depending on the way each piece is used, and the objects that interact with it, a different story is told.
AND FINALLY, TREAT YO'SELF GROWLMAMAS
Our pick of Tulum
We had such a fabulous time we decided to share also the non-dog things we loved in this beautiful part of the world. So here goes:
Best Boutiques: Hoki Poki Kana, Wanderlust, La Troupe. Eco-chic, Gypset, all those fashion words.
Best Bar : Casa Jaguar. Dream garden, jungle happy. We want our backyard to look like this.
Best Restaurant: Hartwood.
Best Ceviche: Pretty much everywhere (lived on this stuff) but we really loved it at Viento de Mar.
Best Steak: Casa Banana (but if you pass through Merida, don't miss Apoala. Best food ever and so well-priced!)
Best Magaritas: La Zebra. Order a jug but stay out of the surf (for a bit).
Best Mojito: Batey Mojito and Guarapo Bar. Hand-cranked from the back of a re-purposed VW with perfect background beats.
Best Beach Beds: Be Tulum (pictured). Double beach-beds with Missoni cushions. Perfection.
Best Bit of Nature: Sian Ka'an Reserve. UNESCO listed. We were too lazy to make it here but darn it looks good!
Best Bit of Kulcha (sic): Ancient Mayan Ruins in Tulum. Get here early before you die from the heat. Mayan ruins with a postcard perfect view.
Best Mode of Transport: Bike. And by that I mean good ol' fashioned push bike - there's something so calming about cycling everywhere. But if you don't like the heat, hire a car or hail a cab!
Best Beach: We loved the calmer tropical turquoise waters around El Paraiso (they ship the tourists in here) but if you want hip and super cool head to the other end of the beach.
Best Yoga: No idea. But there are plenty of places. Just ask someone with a six-pack.
Ahhh Mexico, you have the best beaches, the best food and also the best design. Booking ticket now.
*We have not received any reimbursement for our endorsements nor do we profess to have found everything that there is to discover in beautiful Tulum. This is simply the stuff we discovered and loved. Send us the things you love! GRRR@Growlmama.com