A Brazilian living in the UKBarbara Zanotelli Rodrigues - Former Travel Expert
Being fortunate enough to have Brazilian parents, I travel back to Brazil quite often, but sometimes when feeling nostalgic you need to know where to go and what to do to get you that Brazilian feeling.
1. Dance the night away at Guanabara
There’s a popular saying that Brazilians are born with “samba at their feet” and love to dance into the early hours of the morning. So it comes as no surprise that Brazilian bars and clubs are starting to pop up in the U.K. Located in the heart of London, Guanabara has grown to become a trendy night out with different genres of Brazilian music playing, typical food and drinks served as well as guest appearances from capoeira performers and London’s samba schools. Be prepared to mingle with London’s ever growing Brazilian community who treat Guanabara as a Brazilian night away from home!
2. Eat in Rodizio Rico
Although many Brazilian restaurants exist around London, usually in areas with large Brazilian communities such as Kensal Rise, their popularity grew when the chain Cabana started opening up in London and Leeds. Although very popular, it cannot be said to be that. For the typical restaurant experience head to one of Rodizio Rico’s three venues in London or Birmingham for a Brazilian churrasco (BBQ). Rodizio Rico’s first restaurant in Notting Hill has been around for over 10 years, a place my family and I went to when in need of a taste of home. Be warned this isn’t the restaurant for you if you’re looking for a small, vegetarian or light meal! Select from a wide variety of dishes at the side bar before heading off to your table where waiters will bring round an endless amount of meat. Enjoy your meal the traditional way with a chilled beer and let your mind travel to a warm afternoon in buzzing Rio de Janeiro.
If you’re feeling adventurous then why not make your own Brazilian dish at home. Some can be quite elaborate, taking days of preparation but do not fear as the modern Brazilian woman has managed to shorten cooking time making sure that this delicious meals can be enjoyed without the fuss. Follow our feijoada recipe, Brazil’s national dish, for a hearty beans stew, enjoyed by the whole family in times of celebrations, gatherings or in need of comfort food. If in doubt on where to buy the products, there are a large number of shops and butchers in London dedicated to Brazilian only products in areas such as Willesden Green and Kensal Rise, guaranteed to have everything you’re looking for.
Famous in Brazil for their rubber material, Melissa, a well known shoe brand, has followed Havaiana across the Atlantic and is now being sold in many shops such as Selfridges and Office. With a variety of styles such as jelly sandals and pumps, these cool sometimes funky shoes are a must in the summer. My latest pair I bought last summer are a lovely nude pump with a bow detail – perfect for all occasions!