Slowing down in San Miguel de Allende

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Our guidebook described San Miguel de Allende as "a Disneyland for American retirees". And yep, that's about right. Walking around, we were the youngest people by about 40 years.

So this isn't the best place to come if you want to experience "real Mexico". But sometimes it's nice to be somewhere that's a little easier.

And San Miguel has a lot going for it. It's colourful and pretty; all the buildings have unique details, a hand-painted plaque or a huge carved wooden door or pots of cacti on the balcony. Each time you climb a hill you're rewarded with views of the surrounding mountains. The food is great, it's a nice place to walk around, relaxing and slow paced, people, both the expats and locals, are friendly. There are also lots of galleries and boutiques. The expats in San Miguel have serious style – these were some of the most stylish people I've seen anywhere, of any age.

It's a place to relax and potter around, stop off for a coffee or a juice, meander through the main square on the way to lunch, browse in the market. We stayed for a week, but it's not too big so if you're short on time, a day is enough.

A city view of San Miguel

The colourful streets

One of many VW beetles

A colourful street

Mexican flags blowing in the wind

Views of the hills A mustard yellow building

Another VW beetle

Lots of plants

Where to eat

Lunch at Lavanda cafe

Tule, a great juice spot

Where to stay: We loved the Hotel Edén de los Ángeles, it's right in the centre, good value, with spacious rooms, a roof terrace and the biggest beds ever.

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