Visit London Blog » guanabara Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:49:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Brazil in London Fri, 13 Jun 2014 08:34:00 +0000 The Fontanas. Courtesy of Rich Mix

In case you missed the news (where on earth have you been?) the 2014 FIFA World Cup is being held in Brazil. But you don’t need to jet around the world to get into the spirit, there are plenty of amazing places and ways to enjoy Brazilian culture right here in London.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started – from dancing up a storm to sipping delicious rum cocktails.

Brazilian cocktails in London

Made in Brasil cocktail and snacks

The caipirinha is the most popular of Brazil’s cocktails – a refreshing kick of cachaça (sugar cane rum), sugar and lime. Enjoy a classic caipirinha – or one of the many spin-offs, made with fresh fruit – at the newly opened pop-up Barzinho in Soho, Guanabara in Covent Garden or Floripa in Old Street.

Brazilian restaurants in London

Brazil is famous for its barbeques (or churrascaria) – and Brazilians know a thing or two about grilling meat to perfection. Find out for yourself at London chain Rodizio Rico, which has branches in The O2, Islington and Notting Hill. Other dining options include Raizes in Hackney, Barraco in Kilburn or the Japanese-flavoured Sushisamba in the City. While other favourite dishes to look out for include Brazil’s national dish, feijoada (a hearty bean and pork stew), moqueca (a tasty fish stew made with coconut milk) and the deliciously sweet pudim (a caramel-like flan made with condensed milk).

Brazilian music in London

Made in Brasil

The Brazilian music scene is big in London – and growing all the time. To hear live music, you need to head to places like Vauxhall restaurant/bar Tia Maria, glitzy Covent Garden bar Guanabara and Camden restaurant/bar Made in Brasil. As well as samba you’ll find choro, bossa nova, forro, MPB… the list goes on. Many non-Brazilian venues also hold regular Brazilian music nights too, such as Ronnie’s Bar (above famous Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott’s) and Primo near Westminster. And don’t forget to look out for samba, samba reggae and maracatu bands and dancers parading at the Notting Hill Carnival in August.

Brazilian dance in London

Brasil Brasileiro. Courtesy: Sadler's Wells

Like with music, there are many different forms of Brazilian dance – and you find many of them in London. Learn how to shimmy to samba at the London School of Samba itself, partner up for forro dancing (Forro London lists all the different forro nights in London), discover empowering maracatu and samba reggae dance with Gandaia Arts in Brixton, cross continents with Irineu Nogueira’s fierce Afro-Brazilian dance sessions… you could dance every night of the week! If you prefer to watch rather than participate, why not check out Brasil Brasileiro, coming to top dance venue Sadler’s Wells on 8 July.

Brazilian martial arts in London

If you prefer your dance with bite, seek out Brazil’s famous martial arts/dance form: capoeira. You can learn to ‘ginga’ (and the rest) at the many capoeira schools across London. Another popular Brazilian martial art is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – a self-defence sport focused on grappling and ground fighting. Just make sure you don’t get the two mixed up!

Brazilian events in London

Joga Bola! at Rich Mix

If you want to find out what Brazilian events are happening in your area or right now, pay a visit to, a great online resource of Brazilian happenings and culture – with a handy monthly newsletter. Other top sites to visit include Brazilian/Latin American magazine Jungle Drums and the website of London’s Brazilian Embassy. Just three upcoming events not to miss include: the World Cup kickoff party Brazil Day at Trafalgar Square on 12 June, musical feast Joga Bola! at Rich Mix (from 12 June to 13 July) – with The Fontanas (pictured top) and many more, and Radical Geometry: Modern Art of South America at the Royal Academy of Arts (5 Jul-28 Sep).

Find out where to watch the World Cup in London.

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London Restaurant News: Yalla Yalla, Shutterbug, Guanabara and The Spaniards Inn Thu, 07 Feb 2013 10:30:35 +0000 Yalla Yalla babaganoush

From pancakes to Brazilian street food, there’s always something new for foodies to discover in London. Here’s our pick of the best new restaurant openings and events.

Yalla Yalla Pops Up in Shoreditch
Middle Eastern eatery Yalla Yalla has opened a pop-up branch in Shoreditch High Street. Specialising in Lebanese and Middle Eastern street food, the new restaurant will be open for at least six months. The space is covered by a canopy, with heaters and a mixture of cushion seating and tables with stools. On the menu you’ll find mezze, lamb and chicken shawarma and wraps, along with a choice of Lebanese wines and beers.

Pancakes at Shutterbug
If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate Pancake Day on Tuesday, why not head to new “crepe and cocktail speakeasy” Shutterbug, where they’re combining pancakes with a Mardi Gras party. Parisian chef Romain Ragouin has been making crepes for more than 15 years, and current favourites include chorizo, egg, roasted peppers and fresh chilli; and red velvet crepe with mascarpone and strawberries.

Rio Carnival at Guanabara
The sights, sounds and tastes of Rio Carnival are coming to London’s Guanabara for a six-day Brazilian festival, starting today. Chef Pietro Rocha will be creating delicious carnival favourites, such as corn dogs and feijoada (a black bean, sausage and beef stew) and there’ll be rum cocktails and Brazilian Brahmas beer. Daily entertainment includes samba dancing, live music and DJs.

The Spaniards Inn
The historic Spaniards Inn near Hampstead Heath has reopened following a refurbishment. Built in 1585, The Spaniards was immortalised in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The interior, with its oak-panelled walls and chandeliers, has been spruced up and the outside boasts an al fresco bar, barbeque and dog wash. You can choose from a changing menu of classic pub dishes and an extensive selection of beers.

Look out for more restaurant news soon.

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Brazil in London: Brazilian Music in London Fri, 26 Nov 2010 13:30:50 +0000

Rebeca Vallim, a singer from Rio de Janiero, tells us about the exciting Brazilian music scene in London for our World in London project.

How long have you been living in London?
Almost six years now. What I really like about living in London is all the different cultures in one place.

Where have you performed in London?
All around London, including Guanabara, Ronnie Scott’s, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Favela Chic, Pizza on the Park, Rose Theatre Kingston, On Anon, Barbican and The Green Note.

I’ve also performed at different London festivals, like Thames Festival, Carnaval del Pueblo, Summer in Holborn and Bloomsbury Festival.

What is your favourite place to perform?
It’s really hard to say!  Probably the Southbank Centre as they’re very supportive of artists, and encourage and promote Brazilian music, like with Festival Brazil this summer. The audience are great too, people aren’t busy drinking or chatting – they come to appreciate the music.

What is the Brazilian music scene like in London?
The Brazilian music scene in London is very varied, with rhythms from North to South of Brazil. It’s exciting, there’s so much happening.

You can hear all kinds of Brazilian music in London: bossa-nova, samba, maracatu, forró, samba-rock, pop, country, chorinho, samba-reggae and others…

Where do you go to listen to Brazilian music in London?
The last places I’ve been to hear Brazilian music were Guanabara for a concert by Diogo Nogueira, a great sambista of the new generation; Royal Albert Hall to see Gilberto Gil, an icon of Brazilian music; and Koko to see the great singer Maria Rita.

I also recommend the Tia Maria restaurant in Vauxhall, which has live samba and choro every Thursday.

So where can we see you perform?
I perform in a number of different bands: Rebeca Vallim & Band, Mafua de Yaya, Viramundo, Umpatacum and Maracatudo Mafua.

My next gig is Brazilian Night at Ronnie Scott’s Bar, upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho, on 9 Dec from 8pm.

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Easter 2010 Clubs Roundup Thu, 01 Apr 2010 11:00:52 +0000 Easter‘s not all about chocolate and bunnies, it’s also about partying! London knows it, so check out these brilliant Bank Holiday clubs:

  • Our favourite way to start the Easter weekend, is a trip to Guanabara‘s Chocolate Shot Ball. There’s free entry before 9pm and everyone gets a chocolate egg filled with Sagatiba Premium Cachaça. 1 Apr
  • But if a chocolatey, Brazilian-style celebration isn’t for you, try superclub matter instead. John Digweed, Danny Howells and Guy J are all taking to the decks. 1 Apr
  • You might have lazed around all Bank Holiday Friday, but that’s no reason not to let loose at Jailhouse Jam. Dress in prison chic and sing along to prison ditties at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. 2 Apr
  • On Saturday night, head south of the river and check out Plan B‘s new sound system. There’ll be a rare London appearance from The Shapeshifters. 3 Apr

Sunday is your last guilt-free night to party so make the most of it!

Happy clubbing!

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