There’s no better way to host out-of-town guests than to give them a taste of what home means to you. The beauty of your town can easily be overlooked if it’s already woven its way into the fabric of your daily life, but those regional wares and local dishes are what dazzle visiting friends and family.
Mexico City, a cornucopia of vibrant traditions, is the perfect backdrop to illustrate how to impress your guests with local flair. That’s especially true of Ex-Hacienda de San Pedro Martir, a historical property hidden away in the vibrant but decidedly peaceful neighborhood of Coyoacan (which is also home to Frida Kahlo’s infamous blue house).
The sprawling footprint of this historical home, which once housed the Escuela de Pintura al Aire Libre (or “outdoor painting school”) of which Kahlo and Diego Rivera were students, was initially constructed in the 1600s, and is full of unique and historical architecture and artwork. (It even has a chapel!) Explore it below, and if you can’t resist its charms, know that it’s on the market and available for purchase through Sotheby’s International Realty.
Having guests feel at home begins with a comfy seat in the living room, a juicy cocktail, and talk of what the weekend has in store. Set your coffee table with dried local fruits to snack on, and serve your guests a seasonal cocktail. Mezcal has a place in every home in Mexico. It’s sometimes sipped from tiny clay copitas, and is very often mixed into spicy, smokey, savory riffs on a margarita. We recommend the mezcal creation detailed below.
Adapted from Bodega’s Don Diablo cocktail
1/2 inch jalapeño
2 ounces mezcal such as Alipus Joven
1 ounce guava purée
1 ounce fresh lime juice
Hibiscus (Jamaica) Jarritos
Muddle jalapeño in cocktail shaker.
Add mezcal, passionfruit, and lime and shake with ice.
Add 3-4 Hibiscus ice cubes to a double rocks or collins glass.
Strain cocktail into glass and top with hibiscus Jarritos.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
Maida Goods Salinas candle holders, $600, Ad Hoc ROOTS black stool, price upon request, Cedar & Hyde Mercantile vintage striped rug, $688, Onora Casa cocktail napkins, $24, Perla Valtierra “Chino” ceramic plates, $32, Perla Valtierra “Bajíjo” ceramic cup, $19, Cooperative Panorámica Castillo vase, price upon request
Making a memorable impression on your guests means gifting them treats that foreshadow the weekend ahead. Here, we opted for Oaxacan piquillo pepper flavored hot chocolate, bouquets made from blooms found in the Coyoacan Market, and grass hand fans and traditional woven basket bags.
Recreate a similar scene for visitors in other locales by looking for thoughtful gifts that speak to where they are. If nights are cool, throw in a woven shawl to keep them warm on the porch. Is an incredible brewery nearby? Include a couple of bottles for guests to take on a picnic.
Another way to celebrate your town and provide something special is to provide them with a stack of postcards and a roll of stamps. Check vintage and thrift stores for a set that’s unique, and potentially other fun finds like old roadmaps and kitschy drawings.
Guests traveling from near and far will find respite in a cozy, light-filled bedroom outfitted with the essentials for a memorable stay and a great night’s sleep. Try stacking books by local writers to ignite their imaginations and turn garden herbs and field flowers into a graceful wall-hanging.
Here, the rich history of exposed-beam ceilings and the cultural nuances tucked into titles by Mexican authors Guadalupe Nettel and Laura Esquivel remind each visitor of where they are and what lies outside to explore. For a traditional siesta, try the ultimate warm-weather accessory—a woven, built-in hammock for unfurling midday.
Place a hand-dipped taper candle on an antique bedside table to light the way downstairs for a late-night snack. Arrange ceramic trays for storing jewelry, and fill a locally-crafted glass water pitcher to quench midnight thirst. Outfit beds with luxury linen sheets (seen here in the hues of Coyoacan’s plaster and tile work) to ensure your guests wake up feeling renewed.
Model wears dress by Merlette
Two Dawson Desert Rose linen duvet cover, $295, Two Dawson Pond linen sheet, $195, Greentree Home candle tapers, $10, Maida Goods Four Cross soup plate, $180, Onora Casa white ceramic candle holder, $10, April Valencia hand-dyed fabric, price upon request
The bathroom is where the thoughtful host really shines. Take a cue from your favorite resort and fill woven toiletry bags with locally-made bath and grooming products (these are from Coyocan’s Bazaar Sabado).
Search for organic facial sunscreen with pretty packaging, travel-size hand lotion from your favorite shop, and a pack of herbal incense, like Mexico’s treasured copal. These local tokens are unique gifts for your guests and will last beyond their stay.
The morning after guests arrive, wow them with a delicious breakfast spread set on an open-air porch or laid out thoughtfully in the garden.
Whether you’re in a quaint seaside town or a bustling metropolis, mom and pop bakeries or traditional delis are the perfect place to source local pastries and sweets. Place wooden cutting boards at the center of the table, and arrange sliced and peeled fresh fruit from your go-to market into a colorful mound for guests to grab.
At the Hacienda, a sun-dappled terrace wraps around an abundant green space—the perfect spot to introduce guests to the city’s temperate weather and its plethora of tropical fruit. Sourced from the nearby Mercado Coyoacan market, juicy guavas, papaya, mamey and guanábana balance the crunchy, crackly sweetness of traditional concha, a cookie-like sweet bread laced with cinnamon, found at most local bakeries, called panaderias.
Onora Casa wooden silverware set, $24, Onora Casa ceramic coffee pot, $32, April Valencia hand-dyed napkins, price upon request, Taller Experimental Ceramics of Coyoacan breakfast plates, $8, Gramo sunglasses, $350
Exploring an entire city can begin with a single bite. Set a festive table that facilitates the passing of dishes and sharing of stories, with local napkins and tableware taking center stage. Heaps of nutty grains, roasted veggies, and braised proteins—no matter what cuisine they’re based in—are most fun when passed around.
In Mexico, smokey, lime-laden salsas, stone ground corn tortillas, creamy avocado, and saffron-tinted rice will give guests the first taste of the country’s mouthwatering cuisine. Alongside time-tested recipes for constructing authentic tacos, a natural wine scene is flourishing as part of the country’s new wave of culinary authority, which mixes traditional flavors with new, modern techniques.
Light tall centerpiece candles as it starts to get dark and turn the music up a notch or two, kicking the evening into high gear. After all, there’s nothing better than a fantastic dinner party to celebrate the end of your guest’s memorable weekend stay.