Royal Ballet dancers, and husband and wife team, Thiago Soares and Marianela Nuñez tell their London Story in the video above.
During our interview the two dancers, who are both South American but met at London’s Royal Ballet told us about their life and work in London. We’ve used some of their favourite London experiences to populate our homepage www.visitlondon.com from 4 to 6 February.
Here’s Marianela and Thiago’s London top five:
T: We have a really strong connection with Covent Garden. Because really, that’s where the dreams came true, isn’t it – both onstage and offstage.
M: Covent Garden definitely is a very special place for us.
T: We’ve spent so many nights here, visiting restaurants and doing things for the Royal Ballet Company, and of course, so many nights on stage at the Royal Opera House, here, so whenever we are walking around the piazza, it feels like home to us.
T [It’s hard for me to surprise Marianela because] she’s not that keen on surprises and we work so hard that she knows exactly what she wants to do when she’s not dancing, whether that is go to a restaurant or go to her favourite shops. We very much like Roka, the Japanese restaurant on Charlotte Street.
M: We bought our first flat in Highbury & Islington and we’ve been living there for two years now. We fell in love with the area straight away. It feels very ‘homey’ and we are only 10 minutes from Upper Street which I love – it’s full of great restaurants, beautiful little boutiques and we are so happy there. We are only 20 minutes door-to-door from the Royal Opera House, so it’s very handy too.
T: A great nightlife as well, some great pubs and small clubs too.
M: Close to our flat we have Highbury Fields as well and I love it there. I also like to go to Columbia Market on Sunday mornings, I love it and could spend hours there.
London in 24 hours: Start at Portobello Market
T: I would take them to maybe Portobello Market in the morning, walk around, get some cool stuff and look at the funky shops.
M: I would take them to see all the big sights like Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral. The Underground means you can get round the city in just one day. I would take them to my favourite shop, Liberty’s. So, see all the main spots and then finish your day by coming to the Royal Opera House to see us dance.
M: We are very lucky to have the National Gallery right here near the Royal Opera House. I remember when we started going out together, he would call me and say, ‘Hi, I’m on a lunch break and I’m at the National Gallery.’ It’s amazing for us from where we come from as we don’t have that free entrance. We go there and get inspiration from all that incredible artwork.
T: There is so much going on in London, a lot of culture and a lot of art, and the real tradition that there is in this city in theatre, which is our field, is really amazing. You can just walk from here and see a number of high-class performances at so many places. I really believe that art makes all of us better people.
Discover more stories and enter a competition to win a fantastic stay in London at www.visitlondon.com/story #TheLondonStory
What would you recommend to visitors to London?