Without question, the number one perk of running a streetfood business (and the number one reason for holding off on bricks and mortar!) is the freedom it gives you to shut hatch and travel the world.
We get so much inspiration from our travels and playing around this evening with a tapioca pancake recipe, a smoked tofu feijoada and a yummy Biribando salad for our new book, has reminded us of what a magical time we had in Brazil last year.
First stop was Rio, perhaps the most beautifully situated city we’ve ever visited.
We stayed at the seriously gorgeous Mama Ruisa http://www.mamaruisa.com in the artsy Santa Teresa hood and had a ball from the moment we arrived.
It was a whirlwind few days, hoping in taxi after taxi to visit Christ the Redeemer, to stroll among the palms at the Botanical Gardens, to whizz up Sugar Loaf, to eat healthy food in Leblon, to stroll along Ipanema beach, fresh coconut in hand, to get lost amid the old colonial buildings of Centro; making a trolley dash at the Granada apothecary http://www.granados.com.br and stuffing our faces with pao de queijo at the Confeitaria Colombo http://www.confeitariacolombo.com.br
It was hard to tear ourselves away, but a short flight to Porto Seguro and we were heading towards Trancoso. We arrived after a slightly hairy drive and a rather long detour down a dirt path where, nerves frayed by the impending dusk, torrential rain and total solitude, we argued slightly as we debated at what point to accept we’d gone wrong and to head back. Still, as soon as we saw the twinkling lights of the Quadrado at night…
…and were ushered into the sanctuary of Uxua http://www.uxua.com, hands down the most super stylish place we’ve ever had the good fortune to stay, the journey was quickly forgotten. ‘Why on Earth did you drive yourselves?’ asked Carlos (head concierge and one of the best people we’ve ever met). It was a good question.
Bunkering down in our little blue house directly on the Quadrado, we weren’t too lucky with the weather, but made the most of short spells of sunshine at the heavenly pool or down at the beach club.
We woke every morning to see the local fishermen chatting on their way down to the beach, we watched the most romantic wedding ever take place at the iconic church, we did yoga, we skipped capoeira but learnt how to SUP, we felt part of the village as evening fell and everyone came out into the Quadrado to chat, to play football, to set up trampolines for the local kids, to eat flan; but mostly we just lounged around, hypnotised into torpor by the slow pace and fantasising about the pink house that was for sale.