Top 4 'Be More Rio' in North London
Written by: Sophie Taylor
If you didn’t fancy forking out for a twelve hour flight to the Rio Olympics, we hear ya. In order to ease your Rio FOMO, we’ve compiled four ideas that’ll see you sambaing your way into the Brazilian spirit, North London style…
1. Feed your inner animal
If you don’t know your camarão from your calabresa, the friendly staff at Made In Brasil Boteco will be more than happy to make suggestions from their petiscos (Brazilian finger foods) menu. You may have already unwittingly walked past this Brazilian bar/diner that sits between the bustling Camden Market and Chalk Farm Road (themselves not too dissimilar from Rio’s raucous back streets, but with less sun, Jesus statues, and thongs). We’d recommend the garlic and chilli prawns or the beef croquettes (kibe) with a sweet banana caipirinha cocktail chaser.
2. Wax yourself shiny
I’ll never forget my wax in an Ipanema high street salon. My curious request for a Hollywood was lost in translation. I hobbled out of the salon a Sphynx cat, waxed from head to toe with the Portuguese for “all off” and the therapists laughter ringing in my head. I just about had my eyebrows left but boy, was I raw.
Get a slightly more humility-saving Brazilian wax at Upper Street’s Ministry of Waxing. Their cheeky website alone will give you a relaxing giggle to ease the impending carnival of pain. A traditional Brazilian wax removes all the hair down there but leaves a few centimetres more to the imagination with a small strip or triangle left at the front. The male equivalent is becoming ever more popular – a brozilian or manzilian, if you like. Either way, you’ll be left just as hairless and in need of some aloe vera. You’ll also receive handy tips and tricks aimed at keeping your nether regions soft and content, with a plethora of creams and oils available to peruse.
3. Fill up on Caipirinha cocktails
Oof. Just don’t drink more than two. It’s muddled lime and sugar with an unhealthy dose of cachaça – a raw cane sugar rum. When done properly, the seemingly simple mix of ingredients and preparation creates a chemical reaction that rivals your basic bitch the Cosmo. Instead of the usual numbing effect alcohol has on your body, this drink can work more like a hallucinogenic and if consumed too quickly will send you round the bend (and down the stairs).
I had my first ever caipirinha with my two brothers on Ipanema beach. Three sips into our second glass and I was reciting my own eulogy, while Luke stared at himself in a toilet mirror laughing hysterically for a solid 15 minutes. Go steady. This is a rare delight for savouring, not a big session drink.
You’ll find authentic versions served in Caipiriniha Bar on Archway Road N6, a cocktail bar with hand painted murals and live jazz. The lesser-known Spiritual Caipirinha Bar in Camden is also worth a bash. Try their original caipirinha with lime before moving on to their impressive array of cachaça-flavoured creations.
Sip, savour and maybe leave your phone at home.
4. Have a dance off – Capoeira style
If you’ve never seen a Capoeira dance, you’re missing out on some pretty sexy acrobatics. The dance has a complex history, originally created by slaves in late 16th century Alagoas who needed to hide their martial arts moves within dance. The Trojan horse of shape-pulling, if you will. Beginners’ classes are held every Tuesday at the London School of Capoeira in Finsbury Park. It’s a fun cardio workout and you’ll be learning self-defence at the same time. Try a one-off class and see how your limbs feel afterwards, or be brave and sign up to a course for the Summer.
The London School of Capoeira
Units 1 and 2 Leeds Place, Tollington Park
London N4 3RF / Finsbury Park tube station – Wells Terrace Exit
Photos: Sophie Taylor
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Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.
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