The heart of Cuenca: its charming streets all seem to lead to the fabulous “yellow house” on the corner of Parque Calderón. Nestled at the back, up the stairs to the second floor, is Mansion Matilde.
Ready to be transported? Here awaits a bubble, a place that balances elegance and familiarity, seriousness and fun, formality and informality, slow food and delightful snacks to while away the afternoon. Our recent visit to this exquisite haven of good experiences left us breathless.
We are excited to share with you the “Matilde” experience at Our Extraordinary Table with Güitig.
A Vibrant Welcome
From the moment you step into Mansion Matilde, you are greeted by its warm, friendly atmosphere, a visual feast of tasteful decor and beautiful details. The entire team exudes youthful energy and generosity, with contagious smiles and an enthusiasm to show you what makes their three spaces so special: the exquisite tea room, the excellent restaurant, and a bar with stunning stained glass windows and a prodigious view of the Cathedral.
But what always leaves the greatest impact is the unique ability of this space in Ecuadorian gastronomy to transform itself as you spend time within it, until you feel completely at home. A very special home, of course.
We comfortably discovered their Bar 1880 (which pays homage to the date when the residence was built and has now been majestically restored), where you can enjoy any aperitif. We were recommended a delightful Negroni, but the menu is extensive and filled with great options. We ordered something “rich” with Güitig, and we were served the most refreshing mojito, perfect for the mid-afternoon.
Of course, you could easily spend hours at the bar. But that would mean missing out on one of the great experiences: the tea room.
In a French… English… Cuencan Way!
Tea time is undoubtedly an English tradition. Although here at Mansion Matilde, you also feel other horizons. The French influence in the salon—the fleur-de-lis, the pastel colors of the wallpaper, the elegant furniture, and the gilded frames of mirrors and paintings—nod to the glamorous past of the original residence.
The assortment of imported teas is comprehensive, including delicious varieties from the Asian subcontinent: chais, oolongs… and, of course, classic British favorites like aromatic Earl Greys. They will teach you how to choose if you’re not an expert; the friendly waiters will patiently find the tea that best represents you… all to be enjoyed alongside the delicious palillero.
The palillero is an ode to hors d’oeuvres, to finger foods. Again, drawing inspiration from England, Mansion Matilde’s palillero pays tribute to the sweet tradition of its city. In England, they are usually savory bites, and there are some in this palillero, but sweets dominate: mille-feuilles, profiteroles, delightful Pavlova, “higuitos” with cheese, and of course, the hit: canelazo ice cream.
A sip of Güitig to cleanse the palate, and you’re all set. It’s one of the most special sweet and afternoon experiences in the country!
It’s a true gastronomic journey at Mansión Matilde, reaching its peak in the luxurious salons and elegantly decorated tables of the main restaurant. The cuisine is “slow,” author-driven, and above all, focused on the traceability of fresh and organic products in each preparation, combining techniques from the international haute cuisine…
We had the opportunity to taste several delicacies, from escargots prepared in the pure French style to a delicious dish with octopus and pancetta, a complete gustatory experience, ending with a delightful dessert of figs with cheese. But the entire menu is delicious, inventive, and fresh… a proposal that contributes not only to the culinary art of the city but also to the circular economy, supporting small-scale farmers.
And of course, after a delightful meal, why not… let’s head back to the bar!
Mansión Matilde is a kind of gustatory refuge, a place that takes you out of the routine, where you can easily spend several hours if you wish, offering an escape. With its vibrant atmosphere, the perfect fusion of tradition and modernity, breathtaking views, culinary delights, and the excitement of discovering this charming city in its best state, an afternoon, dinner, snack, tea, or cocktail at Mansión Matilde promises a journey that will leave you with cherished memories and a rejuvenated spirit.
Photos: Carlos Puga