Gabriel O’Rorke

Correspondent

  • Santiago, Chile, South America

Gabriel O’Rorke is a correspondent based in Santiago who covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. A multimedia journalist working in broadcast, print and online, O’Rorke started her career in TV and has worked for ABC News, BBC World Service, HARDtalk and Bloomberg TV. She treks across the globe but specializes in Latin American travel. You can find her articles in a range of publications, including the Financial Times, Daily Mail, Tatler, Conde Nast Traveller (UK), Wallpaper*, CNN Travel and Lonely Planet Traveller.

  • On April 25, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best food souvenirs to buy in Santiago?

    It's not strictly food, but Chile produces some of the world's best wine, so a few bottles of red are a great "food souvenir" to take home with you.

    Other favorites include merken, a native Mapuche spice which is great for seasoning cooking. You can buy some lovely bottles of olive oil with merken from Origen Chilean Gourmet. And they don't just do oil, you can also find honey, nuts, quinoa cereal and lots of native products all beautifully packaged either indivudually or in gift packs.  

    For high-end deli produce all under one roof, head to Coquinaria in Las Condes. Here you will find everything from caviar to chocolate and cashew nuts (best stop for a coffee or happen to plan your shopping trip on Sunday morning to coincide with their famous brunch). 

    There are also lots of independent, low-key organic shops around the small streets of Providencia where you can find organic quinoa, local honey and all sorts of teas you've never heard of. 
  • On April 25, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What should I pack for a trip to Santiago?

    For a trip to Santiago reach for your smallest wheelie suitcase - it's always best to travel light when on a city break (if you're tagging on a trip to Antarctica at the end, this may change things!).

    But for a purely urban trip, you won't need too many clothes, especially if visiting in the summer months - remember this is the southern hemisphere so summer falls between November and March.

    Here are some essentials:
    • sun glasses
    • sun cream
    • sun hat (avoid a cap unless you want to go for the gringo look!)
    • skirts / light trousers / shorts
    • loose tops, shirts
    • swimming kit - many buildings have roof pools and there are some outdoor city pools
    • a good guide book
    • some books to read - bookshops here charge US $30 for a simple soft back novel, so make sure you bring your holiday reading with you
    Santiago is a modern city so you can easily buy anything you forget on arrival. No major jabs are needed - forget malaria or yellow fever - and mosquitos are very rare in the city as the climate is dry rather than humid.  
  • On April 25, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What is the weather like right now in Santiago?

    Right now, as we move closer to the end of April, the weather in Santiago is well and truly autumnal. The leaves have turned orange and they make that satisfying crunch under your feet when walking through the parks. In the mornings, there's a bite in the air; and for the first time this year, you have to take a cardigan or jacket when going out in the evenings.

    I should clarify, however, that when I say "there's a bite in the air" this isn't anything like the sort of "bite" you find in the UK or USA in Autumn. It is just that the warm days of summer are passing, and trousers or long skirts are needed in place of shorts, for example. 

    The weather in Santiago is good all year round. Be it December or June, you will find you can eat lunch outside, and most days are sunny. In the winter, the Andes Mountains that tower over the city will be covered in snow, but the white stuff is still to come and at the moment the mountains still glow pink as the sun sets.
  • On April 25, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What is the best new café in Santiago?

    @Faustina The best new café in Santiago has to be Faustina. Run by three Argentine brothers, it opened in January 2013 and serves Italian coffee brewed to perfection, along with home-baked goods, sandwiches and salads.

    Tucked away on a corner of Andrés Bello in the district of Providencia, this Italian style café has a funky, minimalist vibe with wooden tables, art deco chairs and a long bar along the window for people spotting.

    Service is fast and friendly, and coffee comes with a small glass of water (a nice Argentine touch which isn't often found in Santiago). A nice touch is the way they serve Americano as an espresso shot, plus a jug of boiling water so you can water it down to taste.

    For breakfast, there's freshly squeezed raspberry or orange juice, muffins, toasted sandwiches and, of course, coffee - both take away and sit in. At lunchtime, the bustle is mainly made up from office workers coming in for a salad or sandwich, followed by one of the famous Faustina chocolate brownies - dark and perfectly stodgy, they are dangerous and delicious in equal measure!

    Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 8am to 9pm
    http://faustinacafe.cl
    Andrés Bello 2177, Providencia
  • On April 25, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best food experiences in Santiago?

    From the outside, Boragó looks like any other restaurant along Neuva Costanera, a smart street in Vitacura lined with upscale eateries. It is, however, something quite different as head chef and owner, Rodolfo Guzmán, plates up all endemic, foraged food from within a 200 km radius of Santiago.

    Chef Guzmán is developing Chilean food in a way that hasn't been done before. And this is in Santiago, a city where many people eat MacDonalds for lunch. And queue for it.

    The restaurant itself is minimalist, with clean white walls free from art work - "the idea is that everything is in transit," says Guzmán - and an open kitchen so you can see the chefs hard at work preparing your food. Chefs-in-training come from all over the world to learn their craft from Guzmán and the kitchen is a scene to behold: busy, intense and often steaming.

    One of the first things you'll notice upon entering is the smoky smell, this is because Guzmán uses native Mapuche cooking techniques like smoking food and cooking over volcanic rocks. He also uses very unusual "rescued" products that were used in days of all, as well as flowers and herbs in place of traditional condiments.

    Upon sitting down, waiters in black serve rainwater from the Valdivia rainforest. Then the 8-course tasting menu begins. The menu changes daily depending on what the team forage, and in 2011 the team served a total of 725 dishes (they also have local small producers in Patagonia and Atacama who forage berries etc for them).

    Of course, it wouldn't do to serve food on normal plates: at Boragó they use 5-kilo plates carved from river rocks. From beef tartar to an egg poached in wood chips, and an alternative take on the Chilote dish curanto, the dishes are innovative, intriguing and outstanding. A personal favorite was the "trio glacial" pudding which makes you breath out steam. This is one not to be missed.

    www.borago.cl
    Nueva Costanera 3467, Vitacura
  • On April 24, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best food experiences in Santiago?

    From the outside Boragó looks pretty much like other restaurant along Neuva Costanera, a smart street in Vitacura lined with upscale eateries. It is, however, something quite different as head chef and owner, Rodolfo Guzmán, plates up all endemic, foraged food from within a 200 km radius of Santiago.

    Chef Guzman is developing Chilean food in a way that hasn't been done before. And this is in Santiago, a city where many people eat MacDonalds for lunch. And queue for it.

    The restaurant itself is minimalist, with clean white walls free from art work - "the idea is that everything is in transit," says Guzman - and an open kitchen so you can see the chefs hard at work preparing your food. Chefs-in-training come from all over the world to learn their craft from Guzman and the kitchen is a scene to behold: busy, intense and often steaming.

    One of the first things you'll notice upon entering is the smoky smell, this is because Guzman uses native Mapuche cooking techniques like smoking food and cooking over volcanic rocks. He also uses very unusual "rescued" products that were used in days of all, as well as flowers and herbs in place of traditional condiments.

    Upon sitting down, waiters in black serve rainwater from the Valdivia rainforest. Then the 8-course tasting menu begins. The menu changes daily depending on what the team forage, and in 2011 the team served a total of 725 dishes (they also have local small producers in Patagonia and Atacama who forage berries etc for them).

    Of course, it wouldn't do to serve food on normal plates: at Boragó they use 5-kilo plates carved from river rocks. From beef tartar to an egg poached in wood chips, and an alternative take on the Chilote dish curanto, the dishes are innovative, intriguing and outstanding. A personal favorite was the "trio glacial" pudding which makes you breath out steam. This is one not to be missed.

    www.borago.cl
    Nueva Costanera 3467, Vitacura
  • On April 24, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What is the best new café in Santiago?

    @Faustina The best new café in Santiago has to be Faustina. Run by three Argentine brothers, it opened in January 2013 and serves Italian coffee brewed to perfection, along with home-baked goods, sandwiches and salads.

    Tucked away on a corner of Andrés Bello in the district of Providencia, this Italian style café has a funky, minimalist vibe with wooden tables, art deco chairs and a long bar along the window for people spotting.

    Service is fast and friendly, and coffee comes with a small glass of water (a nice Argentine touch which isn't often found in Santiago). A nice touch is the way they serve Americano as an espresso shot, plus a jug of boiling water so you can water it down to taste.

    For breakfast, there's freshly squeezed raspberry or orange juice, muffins, toasted sandwiches and, of course, coffee - both take away and sit in. At lunchtime, the bustle is mainly made up from office workers coming in for a salad or sandwich, followed by one of the famous Faustina chocolate brownies - dark and perfectly stodgy, they are dangerous and delicious in equal measure!

    Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 8am to 9pm
    http://faustinacafe.cl
    Andrés Bello 2177, Providencia
  • On April 23, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best stores for designer clothing in Santiago?

    For a range of labels all under one roof head to the new Costanera Center in Las Condes. Not only is this 6-floor mall part of the tallest sky scraper in Latin America, but it has a range of outlets including medium and high-end designers.

    As well as stand-alone shops - from Adolfo Dominguez to Armani Exchange - there are also shopping centers within the shopping center! Falabella is the best for designer clothing stocking international labels like Ralph Lauren.

    If you prefer to be out in the elements then it's all about Alonso de Córdova in the Vitacura neighborhood. This leafy residential area has wide streets, plenty of restaurants and a line up of designer shops to rival Fifth Avenue. There's Louis Vuitton, Armani, Ferragamo, Hermès and many more.
  • On April 23, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke is now following the question:
  • On March 28, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best clothing boutiques in Santiago?

    There are boutiques selling lovely one-off pieces of clothing dotted all over Santiago, especially in the arty neighborhood of Lastarria which is full of shops (like Aji on Lastarria 316) which sell beautiful clothes and jewelry.

    If you want the convenience of having everything in one place then Avenida Italia is a great place to start. The neighborhood, Barrio Italia, even has it's own website: www.barrioitalia.cl

    Clothing boutiques, like the Argentina label Ay Not Dead line the streets. If vintage style is your thing, then head to Casa Malaquias, or if you prefer slick cuts and tailoring then Snog may just be for you. Hilos de Savia is perfect for anyone who loves block colors and fun accessories, whilst Lupe is more boho-chic.

    If you'd like to check out the homegrown Chilean talent then Hall Central in Lastarria (on Merced 346) stocks independent up and coming designers so you'll find some real one-off pieces.
  • On March 28, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best clothing boutiques in Santiago?

    There are boutiques selling lovely one-off pieces of clothing dotted all over Santiago, especially in the arty neighborhood of Lastarria which is full of shops (like Aji on Lastarria 316) which sell beautiful clothes and jewelry.

    If you want the convenience of having everything in one place then Avenida Italia is a great place to start. The neighborhood, Barrio Italia, even has it's own website: www.barrioitalia.cl

    Clothing boutiques, like the Argentina label Ay Not Dead line the streets. If vintage style is your thing, then head to Casa Malaquias, or if you prefer slick cuts and tailoring then Snog may be just you thing. Hilos de Savia is perfect for anyone who loves block colors and fun accessories, whilst Lupe is more boho-chic.

    If you'd like to check out the homegrown Chilean talent then Hall Central in Lastarria (on Merced 346) stocks independent up and coming designers so you'll find some real one-off pieces.
  • On March 28, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best clothing boutiques in Santiago?

    There are boutiques selling lovely one-off pieces of clothing dotted all over Santiago, especially in the arty neighborhood of Lastarria which is full of shops like Aji on Lastarria 316 selling beautiful clothes and jewelry.

    If you want the convenience of having everything in one place then Avenida Italia is a great place to start. The neighborhood, Barrio Italia, even has it's own website: www.barrioitalia.cl

    Clothing boutiques, like the Argentina label Ay Not Dead line the streets. If vintage style is your thing, then head to Casa Malaquias, or if you prefer slick cuts and tailoring then Snog may be just you thing. Hilos de Savia is perfect for anyone who loves block colors and fun accessories, whilst Lupe is more boho-chic.

    If you'd like to check out the homegrown Chilean talent then Hall Central in Lastarria (on Merced 346) stocks independent up and coming designers so you'll find some real one-off pieces.
  • On March 28, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best clothing boutiques in Santiago?

    There are boutiques selling lovely one-off pieces of clothing dotted around the city, especially in the arty neighborhood of Lastarria which is full of shops like Aji on Lastarria 316 selling beautiful clothes and jewelry.

    If you want the convenience everything in one place then Avenida Italia is a great place to start. The neighborhood, Barrio Italia, even has it's own website: www.barrioitalia.cl

    Clothing boutiques, like the Argentina label Ay Not Dead line the streets. If vinatge style is your thing, then head to Casa Malaquias, or if you prefer slick cuts and tailoring then Snog may be just you thing. Hilos de Savia is perfect for anyone who loves block colors and fun accessories, whilst Lupe is more boho-chic.

    If you'd like to check out the homegrown Chilean talent then Hall Central in Lastarria (on Merced 346) stocks independent up and coming designers so you'll find some real one-off pieces.
  • On March 28, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are some things to know before visiting Santiago?

    Before hopping on the plane and heading for Santiago de Chile, here are some top tips:

    1: Schedule in a good amount of time in the city. Chile's capital is often used as a stopover en route to Patagonia, Atacama or the Andes, however Santiago has a lot to offer so set aside a few days to explore the city.

    2: Learn a bit of Spanish. One of the charms of South America is that not everyone speaks English. This means that English culture hasn't infiltrated as deeply as elsewhere in the globe and it makes it even more interesting for exploring. However, this also means that it pays off hugely to learn some Spanish before visiting. Even a few phrases will make a difference.

    3: The metro is to be avoided at rush hour. Unless you want to get real close and personal with Chilean commuters, then plan your days so you avoid the metro during rush hour. It's packed to the brim and metroquette (metro etiquette) is nowhere near as civilised as in London, for example, where people wait obediently for everyone to get off before attempting to board. Read chaos!
  • On March 28, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are some things to know before visiting Santiago?

    Before hopping on the plane and heading for Santiago de Chile, here are some top things to know:

    1: Schedule in a good amount of time in the city. Chile's capital is often used as a stopover en route to Patagonia, Atacama or the Andes, however Santiago has a lot to offer so set aside a few days to explore the city.

    2: Learn a bit of Spanish. One of the charms of South America is that not everyone speaks English. This means that English culture hasn't infiltrated as deeply as elsewhere in the globe and it makes it even more interesting for exploring. However, this also means that it pays off hugely to learn some Spanish before visiting. Even a few phrases will make a difference.

    3: The metro is to be avoided at rush hour. Unless you want to get real close and personal with Chilean commuters, then plan your days so you avoid the metro during rush hour. It's packed to the brim and metroquette (metro etiquette) is nowhere near as civilised as in London, for example, where people wait obediently for everyone to get off before attempting to board. Read chaos!