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 March 20, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best art galleries in Santiago?

    There are around 70 galleries in Santiago. Here's are three of the best:

    Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
    With over 3,000 pieces of artwork, this is one of South America's best fine art collections. Worth visiting for the neoclassical and Art Nouveau architecture alone, the building was inaugurated in 1910 one hundred years after Chile gained independence.

    Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
    Built at the turn of the 19th century as the Royal Customs House, this historic building is now home to the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art. Come here to see ceramics and textiles. 
    (NB closed until September 2013)

    Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
    Santiago's modern art museum has both permanent and temporary exhibitions, and houses a great collection of modern art (by both Chilean and international artists). It is also a great spot for seeing the work of young up-and-coming Chilean artists.
  • On March 20, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What is the best time to visit Santiago?

    As part of the Southern Hemisphere, summer in Santiago falls between December and March. This means average temperatures of 85 Fahrenheit. So if you're not great with the heat, then aim for Spring (March / April) or Autumn (September / October).

    Most people recommend a visit between October and April, but if you're a fan of snow sports then come for the ski season which runs from July to early September (depending on yearly snowfall). You can ski just a few hours from the capital, and many people make a day trip of it.

    Speaking of ‘time’ in Santiago, make sure you allow a few days to explore the city. Many travellers pass through en route to Patagonia in the south, Atacama in the north, or Easter Island, but Chile’s capital city has plenty to offer.

    During the summer months, the streets are lined with tables spilling out from bars and restaurants. Long evenings can be spent enjoying the warm climes and sampling some of Chile’s great wines.
  • On March 15, 2013
  • On March 12, 2013
    Shannan Finke is now following Gabriel O’Rorke
  • On March 11, 2013
  • On March 5, 2013
    Erica Firpo is now following Gabriel O’Rorke
  • On February 28, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best restaurants in Santiago?

    Chilean seafood dish at Sukalde One way to ensure a good meal in Santiago is to head to Nueva Costanera Street in Vitacura, or Orrego Luco in Providencia. Both streets host a range of really good restaurants. Vitacura has more high end, fine-dining, whilst Providencia is more boho with restaurants pouring onto the leafy streets. Of all the options in both areas, these two rise above the rest: 

    Sukalde: Chef and owner, Matías Palomo, is half-Mexican, half-Chilean and he lives, sleeps and dreams food. Located on Nueva Costanera, this is pure gastronomy and the six-course tasting menu is the way to truly get a taste of things. Things get off to a very good start with the Sukalde aperitif of three varieties of Pisco Sour: merken (a local spice), rica rica (a herb from Atacama) and calafate (a Patagonian liquor). Homemade hummus and warm bread keeps you sustained, before ceviche and calamari, followed by conger eel, avocado puree, pork with quinoa and a pudding called 'eggs' that is made of panna cotta.

    El Jardin de Epicuro: With outdoor seating on wooden decking, El Jardin de Epicuro is one of those places that draws the eye and makes you want to visit. This French-owned restaurant has a great selection of tapas and platters to share, as well as proper starters, mains, salads and puddings. The Patagonian oysters are especially good to start, followed by the grilled salmon in a brie foam with broad bean and truffle puree. For pudding there's goats cheesecake and the classic French Crepes Suzette. Musicians come along playing instruments and the buzz from diners along the leafy street makes for a lovely atmosphere.


  • On February 28, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best restaurants in Santiago?

    Chilean seafood dish at Sukalde One way to ensure a good meal in Santiago is to head to Nueva Costanera Street in Vitacura, or Orrego Luco in Providencia. Both streets host a range of really good restaurants. Vitacura has more high end, fine-dining, whilst Providencia is more boho with restaurants pouring onto the leafy streets. Of all the options in both areas, these two rise above the rest: 

    Sukalde: Chef and owner, Matías Palomo, is half-Mexican, half-Chilean and he lives, sleeps and dreams food. Located on Nueva Costanera, this is pure gastronomy and the six-course tasting menu is the way to truly get a taste of things. Things get off to a very good start with the Sukalde aperitif of three varieties of Pisco Sour: merken (a local spice), rica rica (a herb from Atacama) and calafate (a Patagonian liquor). Homemade hummus and warm bread keeps you sustained, before ceviche and calamari, followed by conger eel, avocado puree, pork with quinoa and a pudding called 'eggs' that is made of panna cotta.

    El Jardin de Epicuro: With outdoor seating on wooden decking, El Jardin de Epicuro is one of those places that draws the eye and makes you want to visit. This French-owned restaurant has a great selection of tapas and platters to share, as well as proper starters, mains, salads and puddings. The Patagonian oysters are especially good to start, followed by the grilled salmon in a brie foam with broad bean and truffle puree. For pudding there's goats cheesecake and the classic French Crepes Suzette. Musicians come along playing instruments and the buzz from diners along the leafy street makes for a lovely atmosphere.


  • On February 26, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best restaurants in Santiago?

    Chilean seafood dish at Sukalde One way to ensure a good meal in Santiago is to head to Nueva Costanera Street in Vitacura, or Orrego Luco in Providencia. Both streets host a range of really good restaurants. Vitacura has more high end, fine-dining, whilst Providencia is more boho with restaurants pouring onto the leafy streets. Of all the options in both areas, these two rise above the rest: 

    Sukalde: Chef and owner, Matías Palomo, is half-Mexican, half-Chilean and he lives, sleeps and dreams food. Located on Nueva Costanera, this is pure gastronomy and the six-course tasting menu is the way to truly get a taste of things. Things get off to a very good start with the Sukalde aperitif of three varieties of Pisco Sour: merken (a local spice), rica rica (a herb from Atacama) and calafate (a Patagonian liquor). Homemade hummus and warm bread keeps you sustained, before ceviche and calamari, followed by conger eel, avocado puree, pork with quinoa and a pudding called 'eggs' that is made of panna cotta.

    El Jardin de Epicuro: With outdoor seating on wooden decking, El Jardin de Epicuro is one of those places that draws the eye and makes you want to visit. This French-owned restaurant has a great selection of tapas and platters to share, as well as proper starters, mains, salads and puddings. The Patagonian oysters are especially good to start, followed by the grilled salmon in a brie foam with broad bean and truffle puree. For pudding there's goats cheesecake and the classic French Crepes Suzette. Musicians come along playing instruments and the buzz from diners along the leafy street makes for a lovely atmosphere.


  • On February 26, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best bars in Santiago?

    Santiago is a buzzing metropolis and that means there's no shortage of bars. The hard part is chosing where to go... 

    For a view: These three top-floor roof terraces can't be beaten for sipping sundowners: The W, Noi Vitacura and San Cristobal Tower. The latter is the best for having a true perspective over the city, whilst the W and Noi are nestled within the city so you have surround views. All have extensive menus with drinks and snacks ranging from Chilean classics like Pisco Sours, to beer and wine.

    For happy hour: For good deals on your drinks, Mulato on the cobbled streets of Lastarria has great 2-for-1 deals on its cocktails. Or head to Orrego Luco in Providencia and the northern part of the street is covered in tables offering happy hour offers and huge plates of food.

    For a challenge: This has to be La Piojera in Downtown near Plaza Mayor and the Central Market. And the challenge? It comes in the form of a ‘terremoto’ (meaning earthquake), a drink made of fermented wine, pineapple ice-cream and fernet that will knock you into next week.

    For connoisseurs: Baco Wine Bar in Providencia is the place to go for a good glass of Chilean wine. It's one of few places that serve wine by the glass. 

    For cocktails and food: If you want to make sure you're well fed after one or two pisco sours, then head to El Jardin de Epicuro in Providencia where there's a great tapas menu as well as French-inspired mains. The tapas menu has all the classics from Spanish tortilla to serrano ham.
  • On February 26, 2013
  • On February 25, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best places for brunch in Santiago?

    Cafe Melba, Avenida Presidente Riesco When it comes to refueling on the weekend, Cafe Melba and Coquinaria dish up the 'best of the brunch'...

    Cafe Melba:
    Brunch in Santiago was invented by Cafe Melba. This sounds like a big shout, but brunch is a foreign concept to most Chileans (and was even more so in the late 90s when Cafe Melba first opened) with most locals happy grabbing a croissant and Nescafe. Instead, at Melba it's all about big bumper breakfasts washed down with delicious Arabica coffee. Owned and founded by a New Zealander, this is the place for a proper feeding and the special Weekend Menu has everything from croissants and bagels to blueberry and lemon pancakes, omelets and eggs benedict. Then there's the crème de la crème, called The Works, and including bacon, eggs, sausages, baked beans, mushrooms, sautéed potatoes and caramelized onions. Originally an expat hangout, Cafe Melba is going strong with foreigners and locals alike, and now has three branches - one in Tobalaba, the second on Avenida Presidente Riesco in Las Condes, and the latest taking pride of place by the fountain in the newly opened Costanera Center.
    Don Carlos 2898. Nearest metro: Tobalaba. Open Monday to Friday 7.30am to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm

    Coquinaria:
    Like a mixture between London's Fortnum and Mason and Harrod's Food Hall, it's no surprise that Coquinaria is owned by an Englishman. The shelves are stocked with mouthwatering gourmet produce from around the globe - think British classics like Marmite and Bovril, Italian Cipriani Prosecco, French chocolates and Chilean truffles. Once you've pulled yourself away from the shelves of the Gourmet Market, it's time for brunch. This is a high-end affair (Coquinaria is in the same building as The W hotel, after all) so why not start in style with a glass of champagne or a Bellini. Next comes the Coquinaria Martini - not alcohol this time, but yogurt, fruit and granola in a chic martini glass. Healthy part out of the way, next up are the eggs. If you're a fan of Eggs Benedict, they don't come better than these. But there are also Croque-Monsieur or classic English breakfast options. Presentation is more 'Michelin style', and this is a favorite for the well-heeled residents of Las Condes. Just like Cafe Melba, popularity has brought about another branch, and the second Coquinaria can be found on Alonso de Córdova 2437 in Vitacura.
    Isidora Goyenechea 3000, local S-101, Subsuelo, Las Condes. Nearest metro: El Golf. Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 11.30pm; Saturday 9.30am to 11.30pm; Sunday 9.30am to 9.30pm. www.coquinaria.cl
  • On February 25, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best places for brunch in Santiago?

    Cafe Melba, Avenida Presidente Riesco When it comes to refueling on a lazy weekend morning, head to Cafe Melba or Coquinaria dish for the 'best of the brunch'...

    Cafe Melba:
    Brunch in Santiago was invented by Cafe Melba. This sounds like a big shout, but brunch is a foreign concept to most Chileans (and was even more so in the late 90s when Cafe Melba first opened) with most locals happy grabbing a croissant and Nescafe. Instead, at Melba it's all about big bumper breakfasts washed down with delicious Arabica coffee. Owned and founded by a New Zealander, this is the place for a proper feeding and the special Weekend Menu has everything from croissants and bagels to blueberry and lemon pancakes, omelets and eggs benedict. Then there's the crème de la crème, called The Works, and including bacon, eggs, sausages, baked beans, mushrooms, sautéed potatoes and caramelized onions. Originally an expat hangout, Cafe Melba is going strong with foreigners and locals alike, and now has three branches - one in Tobalaba, the second on Avenida Presidente Riesco in Las Condes, and the latest taking pride of place by the fountain in the newly opened Costanera Center.
    Don Carlos 2898. Nearest metro: Tobalaba. Open Monday to Friday 7.30am to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm

    Coquinaria:
    Like a mixture between London's Fortnum and Mason and Harrod's Food Hall, it's no surprise that Coquinaria is owned by an Englishman. The shelves are stocked with mouthwatering gourmet produce from around the globe - think British classics like Marmite and Bovril, Italian Cipriani Prosecco, French chocolates and Chilean truffles. Once you've pulled yourself away from the shelves of the Gourmet Market, it's time for brunch. This is a high-end affair (Coquinaria is in the same building as The W hotel, after all) so why not start in style with a glass of champagne or a Bellini. Next comes the Coquinaria Martini - not alcohol this time, but yogurt, fruit and granola in a chic martini glass. Healthy part out of the way, next up are the eggs. If you're a fan of Eggs Benedict, they don't come better than these. But there are also Croque-Monsieur or classic English breakfast options. Presentation is more 'Michelin style', and this is a favorite for the well-heeled residents of Las Condes. Just like Cafe Melba, popularity has brought about another branch, and the second Coquinaria can be found on Alonso de Córdova 2437 in Vitacura.
    Isidora Goyenechea 3000, local S-101, Subsuelo, Las Condes. Nearest metro: El Golf. Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 11.30pm; Saturday 9.30am to 11.30pm; Sunday 9.30am to 9.30pm. www.coquinaria.cl
  • On February 25, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best places for brunch in Santiago?

    Cafe Melba, Avenida Presidente Riesco When it comes to refueling on a lazy weekend morning, head to Cafe Melba or Coquinaria dish for the 'best of the brunch'...

    Cafe Melba:
    Brunch in Santiago was invented by Cafe Melba. This sounds like a big shout, but brunch is a foreign concept to most Chileans (and was even more so in the late 90s when Cafe Melba first opened) with most locals happy grabbing a croissant and Nescafe. Instead, at Melba it's all about big bumper breakfasts washed down with delicious Arabica coffee. Owned and founded by a New Zealander, this is the place for a proper feeding and the special Weekend Menu has everything from croissants and bagels to blueberry and lemon pancakes, omelets and eggs benedict. Then there's the crème de la crème, called The Works, and including bacon, eggs, sausages, baked beans, mushrooms, sautéed potatoes and caramelized onions. Originally an expat hangout, Cafe Melba is going strong with foreigners and locals alike, and now has three branches - one in Tobalaba, the second on Avenida Presidente Riesco in Las Condes, and the latest taking pride of place by the fountain in the newly opened Costanera Center.
    Don Carlos 2898. Nearest metro: Tobalaba. Open Monday to Friday 7.30am to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm

    Coquinaria:
    Like a mixture between London's Fortnum and Mason and Harrod's Food Hall, it's no surprise that Coquinaria is owned by an Englishman. The shelves are stocked with mouthwatering gourmet produce from around the globe - think British classics like Marmite and Bovril, Italian Cipriani Prosecco, French chocolates and Chilean truffles. Once you've pulled yourself away from the shelves of the Gourmet Market, it's time for brunch. This is a high-end affair (Coquinaria is in the same building as The W hotel, after all) so why not start in style with a glass of champagne or a Bellini. Next comes the Coquinaria Martini - not alcohol this time, but yogurt, fruit and granola in a chic martini glass. Healthy part out of the way, next up are the eggs. If you're a fan of Eggs Benedict, they don't come better than these. But there are also Croque-Monsieur or classic English breakfast options. Presentation is more 'Michelin style', and this is a favorite for the well-heeled residents of Las Condes. Just like Cafe Melba, popularity has brought about another branch, and the second Coquinaria can be found on Alonso de Córdova 2437 in Vitacura.
    Isidora Goyenechea 3000, local S-101, Subsuelo, Las Condes. Nearest metro: El Golf. Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 11.30pm; Saturday 9.30am to 11.30pm; Sunday 9.30am to 9.30pm. www.coquinaria.cl
  • On February 25, 2013
    Gabriel O’Rorke answered the question: Gabriel O’Rorke

    What are the best hotels in Santiago?

    @TheAubrey Santiago has a couple of great boutique hotels, and a handful of big name chain hotels (Ritz-Carlton, The W etc.). To see the best of Chile's capital city, these three hotels are the cream of the crop:

    The Aubrey:
    Set on the edge of Parque Metropolitano, this charming hotel is like an island floating in the bohemian district of Bellavista. Outside the gates, the buzzy neighborhood is full of restaurants, bars and street art; but enter The Aubrey and all you hear is cascading water and birds chirping in the surrounding greenery. Open since 2010, this 15-bedroom boutique hotel is made up of two 1920s mansions. A dark wooden paneled staircase runs through the main house, brightened up by Art Deco furniture on the landings. Bedrooms are split between the two mansions, and an outside block near the pool (ask to be in the house if you like more traditional decor and the pavillion rooms if you prefer space and a feeling of independence). A cobbled terrace joins the restaurant and piano bar, with outdoor seating next to an aqueduct-like set of arches, above which sits the swimming pool. The food is international with a Chilean twist, and the smoked rainbow trout with squid ink risotto is especially good (plus I could eat tubs of the pea puree). Don't miss the artisan ice creams for pudding, the chocolate and dulce de leche go down very well with an espresso.
     
    Lastarria:
    Another 1920s townhouse, Lastarria is also pretty new - it opened in 2011 and sits on a corner of a leafy street in the (you guessed it) Lastarria District. The 14 bedrooms are more traditional, with antique furniture reminding you of times gone past. Food is served in a cute cafe with seating in the internal terrace away from the hustle, bustle and cars. Lastarria is a great district to explore with bars, cafes, boutiques and street stalls aplenty.
     
    Noi Vitacura:
    Noi Vitacura is often overshadowed by The W, but I find this Chilean-owned hotel a little more personal. There are 87 rooms - so it's still pretty spacious - plus there are four restaurants including a roof terrace with an outdoor pool. Unlike the smaller boutique hotels, there's a spa and fitness area. Stripes are a defining feature - either from sunlight filtering through the wooden blinds, or on the Italian bed linen.