January 2016

Our trip to Brazil was for our 25th wedding anniversary.  I had been to Brazil before when I was 13 to visit my Aunt and Uncle who had lived there since the 1950’s.  It felt strange, yet familiar when I returned to Sao Paulo.  My relatives had lived just outside Sao Paulo but I do remember visiting a tall tower to eat and got caught in a torrential rain storm as me and my cousins were exploring the outside and could not find the entrance to get back in.

Thirty five years later and I am back in the same restaurant and I am feeling very nostalgic.  Since I was last in Brazil my beloved Uncle G and my darling mother, M,  had both died and I was swamped with nostalgia and grief.

We arrived at our 4* hotel Mercure Pinheiros late at night and were quickly escorted to a tiny room on a lower floor and I sadly unpacked my bags.  I don’t like it, I muttered to Mr B as I climbed into bed.  “Don’t worry,” he said, “you’re just tired and emotional from the flight and revisiting the past.  It will look better in the morning.”  It didn’t.  It was a dark, dank little room and I was not sleeping here for a further 3 nights.

We spoke to a charming american accented Brazilian boy on reception, Renato.  He had studied in California so had a perfect west coast accent.  He heard our grievances and immediately upgraded us to to the 11th floor with fantastic views,  a lovely sitting area and tiny kitchenette with a fridge.  The bed was comfortable and the shower ok.

Bonus at this hotel, however, was the breakfast.  Great eggs to order, an array of delicious tropical fruit.  Yummy bread and the best coffee ever.  We had lessons in saying thank you and please in Portuguese which we were grateful for.

View of the sunset from our room.

Tips for Sao Paulo – Go on the Free Walking tour. Use taxis – they are cheap and plentiful just make sure you use the branded ones and go to taxi ranks to make sure they are official. If you are there on a Sunday YOU MUST go to Villa Madalena, a really cool area where they have Samba Sunday and eat FEJOIDA. It is delicious! Also drink Caipirinha – they are yummy! Enjoy Sao Paulo, the Street Art is phenomenal.

Street Artist KOBRA


The graffiti street in Vila Madalena


Street Artist KOBRA


One of my favourite shops in Pinheiros – a riot of colour and flowers Bendita Benedita


Vila Madalena where plastic bottles were reused as planters for succulents

Beautiful bold bright colour is everywhere in Brazil.  I love it.

Cool shops in the Pinheiros area