Lentas Maravillas: The best cafe in Colonia

On your trip to Colonia de Sacramento in Uruguay you will find that there are a lot of restaurants in Colonia, however, if you want to stop for an hour or so to have a coffee and a chat your options are rather limited. Lentas Maravillas is the exception. You will certainly have a slow and marvellous afternoon if you step into the secluded space of this tiny cafe in Colonia. Lentas Maravillas calls itself Colonia’s best kept secret and I believe that it just might be. Once you enter this cafe you just might not want to leave.

Once you enter through the tiny Alice in wonderland door you will find yourself in a cafe come bookshop with piles of interesting looking reads all around. Relax and browse through some magazines or books about Colonia while you wait for your menu. The cafe is quite small with only around 14 chairs and so the atmosphere is at once very personal and inviting. Unique art and interesting objects cover the walls (we were excited to see some capoeira instruments) and there are huge windows which look outside onto a marvellous well kept garden complete with chairs and tables for summertime. We even had a visit from the resident kitten who was relaxing just outside the window and clearly missed his mum who was working inside. Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to enjoy the garden due to rain, however, the garden is perfectly secluded by well kept shrubbery and I imagine that it summer the capacity of the cafe probably doubles. Once you settle down into the comfy living room style sofa chairs you will find yourself with a difficult choice.

Which cake to eat! All of the cakes and sandwiches here are home made by the two lovely ladies who run the cafe. They both speak English and Spanish in case you haven’t quite adjusted to the language yet and they are more than happy to give you some advice on cakes and also things to do in the village and are helpful and attentive. There are a huge variety of cakes on offer. Along with brownies and sponges there is also an extensive list of “redondos” on offer. For those of you, who like me, don’t know what a redondo is, I can tell you that it is a kind of biscuit base complete with honey and cinnamon which is topped with a variety of enticing flavours. We tried the carrot cake with Belgian chocolate sauce and the redondo de Manzanas (with apple.)

Also mouth wateringly good are the selection of drinks and I can certainly recommend the hot chocolate which is made of real chocolate (yes, loosen those trousers ladies) and served in divine blue and white china teacups. Also on offer for those of you who visit in winter are a selection of coffees with various additions to stave off the frosty weather outside: whiskey, Tia Maria, Baileys and a few others. For summer there are also a fantastic selection of refreshing summertime drinks in various fruit flavours.

The ambience of Lentas Marillivas is fantastically relaxing and I have to confess that we returned there twice to take advantage of the beautiful view, fantastic drinks and warm hospitality of the host there.

The address: Santa Rita 61, Colonia, Uruguay.

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