Plate With A View: La Cupula Copacabana, Bolivia
Saturday 12 November 2005
This eaterie allows you to choose the music as well as the food. In the lighthouse-shaped restaurant of Hotel La Cupula on the southern shore of Lake Titicaca, the menu comes with a playlist ranging from Mozart to Pink Floyd to Cuban divas. The cooking is a mix of Bolivian, Peruvian and international dishes. As a starter, try the beetroot tortilla or papa a la huancayna (potatoes with fried cheese served in a tasty peanut dressing). The house speciality, though, is fish from the high-altitude lake, especially trucha criolla, one of the world's largest trout. Other options include kingfish with a quinoa salad and trout fondue for two. If you can stomach it, follow this with the chocolate fondue and wash it all down with a frothy pisco sour. Or coca tea, if being 3,820m above sea level is affecting you.
On a shady slope above Lake Titicaca, La Cupula also takes in the perfect curve of the bay framed by low-lying hills. Canoes and pedaloes ply the lake while makeshift beachfront restaurants cook fried trout. The smell of eucalyptus wafts in through the arched windows, which mirror the lavish Moorish-style architecture of Copacabana's cathedral. The town frequently holds a curious benedicion de movilidades, or blessing of the cars, in front of the cathedral where a priest sprinkles holy water on new vehicles. For the best views of the lake, come at lunchtime and sit on the sunny restaurant terrace in one of the sculpted, high-backed iron chairs. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon siesta to the gentle lapping of waves in one of the hotel's colourful hammocks, strung up in the garden below.
Bolivia is very inexpensive and you'll get a real feast for under £10. Soup of the day is 8 Bolivianos (£0.54); other starters are around 20 Bolivianos (£1.36). Main courses start from 23 Bolivianos (£1.56) with the trout fondue costing 80 Bolivianos (£5.42) for two people. Expect to pay around 10 Bolivianos (£0.68) for dessert. Open daily, except Tuesday lunchtimes, 7.30am-3pm and 6pm-10pm.
Hotel La Cupula, Michel Perez 1-3, Copacabana, Bolivia (00 591 2 862 2029; www.hotelcupula.com)
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