Are you missing those warm summer evenings on the beach, rubbing shoulders with sexy strangers and an exotic cocktail in both hands? Us too. If you've got the holiday blues then we suggest it's time to get that pasty behind down to Guanabara for a little Latin American flair. Brazilian Samba club, Guanabara is a multi-purpose venue being not only a red-hot restaurant but also a fully fledged bar and nightclub. They say that Christ the Redeemers arms are outstretched to symbolise peace but he’s really saying: ‘Guanabara! Come at me, bro’.
Located between Covent Garden and Holborn, Guanabara is a lively and colourful bar/eatery driving Londoner’s suitably ‘louco’. At Guanabara it’s all about the theatre so décor-wise they’ve opted for a pretty stripped back combination of red furnishing and rich wood as to not detract from the performers. There are two bars that overlook the dining area which later turns into a wild dance floor for any aspiring Carmen Miranda’s out there. They’ve also have a stage area for the string of live bands and performers Guanabara frequently book - it’s all go here. The whole place has a cool, relaxed atmosphere that really makes you feel comfortable right off the bat. It's not one of those cheesy novelty places either, which is a breath of fresh air. Instead, Guanabara sets out to offer guests a "fun-loving, unpretentious vibe that would do Carnival proud." Here, here.
Music: Latin, Funk, Dance, Live
Dress Code: Smart/Casual
Train Station: Covent Garden
Address: Guanabara, Parker Street, London, WC2B
This place is like, Club Tropicana. The tropicana drinks aren’t free though, unfortunately. Even though Guanabara have the best mojitos and tequila sunrises in town, make sure you try out the house cocktail: The Guanabara Cosmo - an exotic blend of Stolichnaya vodka, triple sec, melon liqueur, and cranberry juice. All cocktails are a reasonable £7.50 a pop but make sure to pop your head in for happy hour (between 5 and 7) to take advantage of the lovely 2-4-1 offers. The Spanish, Latino and Salsa music at Guanabara is provided either by DJ or by live band which really generates an electric atmosphere, and at Guanabara there’s ample room on the dancefloor to show off your snake hips. Don’t worry though - if your salsa is a tad rusty, you’re invited to arrive a little early to take part in their free dance lessons. Forget £25 a month for Spin and Crossfit, just hit up Guanabara a few times a week.
We’re not sure whether it’s the dancing, the displays of Capoeira, the percussionists or the carnival beats, but something about this place will surely slap a smile right across your face. There’s just this really palpable Brazilian charm and warmth to Guanabara and it’s totally infectious. With a menu jam-packed with all your spicy South American favourites, the food is also top notch. You can stuff yourself to the gills with Tacos, Churros, Chilli, Tortilla dishes and Moqueca. Next time we’re definitely going for the Guava BBQ chicken wings though, that’s for sure. It’s not too hard on the purse-strings either so is a great spot for both students and the money-conscious.
Live Brazilian percussionists, professional dancers, super-tasty food and a range of great Latin-inspired cocktails? You don’t have to tell us twice. The unmistakable Guanabara energy has even been known to get even the stiffest of businessman up on his feet and channelling his inner Shakira. You don't have to wait for the weekend to get down at Guanabara either as it’s open a cool 7 days a week so why wait for the summer holidays for a taste of the exotic? We have Brazil to thank for so many wonderful things (Rio Carnival, Cachaça, Samba, Giselle.. to name but a few) and now thanks to Guanabara that list gets a little bit longer. To a certain extent it even takes the sting out of the Brazilian wax. Oh no wait, that’s not Guanabara. That’s Aloe Vera.