Month: June 2016

Boats and Goodbyes

When all good things come to an end, go out in style. And what better way to say goodbye to Recife than to take a catamaran down its famous river. But first we made sure to visit Francisco Brennand’s ceramic studio; a contemporary sculpture artist in Brazil and son of Riccardo Brennand, he displays hundreds of his sculptures in his massive studio space, doubling as a great gallery filled with gardens, water fountains and pools and theatres. His work exudes sensuous symbols and seem highly iterative of one another, being fairly abstract and range in form whilst being highly similar in style. He’s also well known to create floor and wall tiles for construction, beautifully decorated and painted by a team of hard-working locals who can be seen hard at work amongst the open galleries in the studio. And if you visit beware of some evil looking swans roaming around the gardens… Hurridley, we rushed straight after to the catamaran, sure we had missed it, but managed to jump aboard and set sail down the …

Me, You and Caruaru/Gravatá

Continuing on my exploration of the Northeast of Brazil’s cultural gem, Pernambuco, we rolled early out of bed, gathered some snacks, shades and sun cream, jumped in the car and took a road trip West of the coast toward small towns Caruaru and Gravatá. Snacks for the ride: Bolo de Rolo Biscotinhos – i.e. crunchy nuggets of sugary heaven. Caruaru is well known to be the artistic centre of Pernambuco, Alto do Moura, being the origin of the famous ceramics of Pernambuco. Driving down long and bumpy open and narrow roads, weaving in and out of slightly decrepit buildings and homes, getting inevitably lost, we finally found the the centre we were looking for. Known for being a haven for beautiful Pernambucan gifts, I whipped out my reais/Pedro’s debit card and filled my heart and Pedro’s car with beautiful hand crafted wooden and ceramic gifts. My indecisiveness often fuels excessive sweating, and so the searing Caruaru heat added to my skin’s discomfort. We also visited the small home of Mestre Vitalino, Master Vitalino, the man who …

Linda Olinda

A small town neighbouring Recife overlooking the ocean, founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Olinda radiates colonial beauty and charm. Having thought to be named by people exclaiming “Oh… Linda!”, Linda meaning beautiful in Portuguese. Surrounded and filled with a mass of greenery, Olinda is bathed in a tropical light high up on a hill with a sandy shore and ocean below. Filled with baroque churches and chapels, small markets, historical landmarks and rows and rows of vibrantly coloured houses, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Olinda’s charm. Being notoriously safe for tourists and well maintained as a historical nucleus of Pernambuco, you can stroll along the cobbled roads and streets, passing small food and gift markets and buildings,  children playing outside, nuns strolling to church and locals bumbling around getting home from work. If you’re lucky you can have Repentistas sing to you; literally “Repeaters”, men bearing guitars stroll along the streets singing and playing Repente – a kind of improvised sung poetry found in the Northeast of Brazil. Colourful …

Goodroots Food Festival

Where can you find a celebration of tasty wholesome food, wellness and hundreds of food crazed Londoners queuing for free samples? Goodroots Festival 2016 at MC Motors, Dalston. The sun peeked out from behind the clouds this Saturday to welcome the one day food and wellness festival just up the road from Dalston Junction overground, hosting an array of food and produce stalls and talks from well known cooks and bloggers from home and overseas. Of course I was there for the sole intention to meet the beautiful minds behind the best food blog around, Green Kitchen Stories, but I did get fan-girly when Deliciously Ella and her husband came within a 2 meter radius of me. From flavoured water kefir, to ethically sourced sushi, to chocolate avocado mousse and t-shirts bearing yoga and avocado slogans, you can easily walk around the festival 5+ times and gawk at everything like you’ve never seen it before – as you can tell I arrived too early to hear Green Kitchen Stories talk so I had to kill …

Porto de Galinhas

Riding down miles of clear road does wonders for clearing the mind. And as the sun finally peeked through layered pillows of slowly shifting rain clouds, ones that had been haunting Recife for far too long, I was elated. Porto de Galinhas, literally “Port of the Chickens/Chicken Port”, is only an hour and a half away or so from Recife is the host to one of the most beautiful beaches Brazil has to offer. Whenever a local asked where we were visiting during my trip, the first suggestion they had that rolled off their tongues without hesitance was Porto de Galinhas – and for good reason. Driving into the area was even magical, forests of palm trees encompassing the port swaying in the breeze, little to no traffic, and colourful cafes and small shops lining the roads. Once you stroll for a few minutes through some pedestrianised streets filled with shops selling a variety of beach-wear, food and drinks you arrive at the beach and it’s nothing short of stunning; all you need to do …