Racing round the city of Sao Paulo: the Brazilian Grand Prix
The bustling metropolis of Sao Paulo is one of the most culturally diverse in the world. It’s a city of celebration, hosting some of the world’s largest public events including of course the Brazilian Grand Prix, which attracts enthusiastic crowds of local and international fans. The circuit itself is conveniently located just 10 miles south of the city center, meaning that visitors can easily enjoy the variety of attractions on offer; art galleries, boutiques, first class restaurants and a lively night life.
The Emiliano is one of the most exclusive hotels in the city, located in the smart neighborhood of Jardins, renowned for its world class selection of designer stores such as Versace, Armani and Hermes. Bedrooms are stylishly decorated, spacious and bright whilst the smart Italian restaurant offers an a la carte menu of fresh pastas, risottos, fish and meat or an indulgent five-course tasting menu. The Grand Hyatt in the business district is luxurious on an even grander scale with 466 rooms and suites, an expansive spa, three excellent restaurants serving French, Japanese and traditional Brazilian cuisine, a wine library and two bars. Wellness and relaxation are central to the hotel’s ethos; the Amanary Spa offers specialised treatments such as stress alleviation, jet lag and beauty treatments. The Tivoli hotel boasts the largest presidential suite in Latin America, covering an area of 750 m2 with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and it’s own private fitness room.The Nara Bar Lounge is lively spot for post-race celebration cocktails, whilst the bistro offers a casual atmosphere for breakfast and lunch served buffet style.
Whilst Brazil is traditionally famous for its churrascarias restaurants, serving vast quantities of barbecued beef, it has it’s Italian, Middle Eastern and Japanese communities to thank for some of the city’s best gastronomic offerings. Fogo de Chao is an F1 favourite and one of the more upmarket steakhouses. The menu consists mainly of huge slabs of well seasoned and tenderized meat alongside traditional sides such as caramelized bananas and pao de queijo (soft, cheesy bread rolls made with sweet and sour yucca flour). For the best of Japanese cuisine, head to Kinoshita on Rua da Gloria. It has won masses of Brazilian accolades and values the elegant presentation of its dishes almost as much as the taste. Dependent on fresh, seasonal ingredients, the menu changes regularly, but is consistently excellent. Eat at the sushi bar to watch the chefs’ mastery close up. D.O.M is one of the best places in Sao Paulo to taste refined Brazilian home cooking. Founded by former punk-rock DJ turned chef Alex Atala, it’s currently listed as number 11 on the list of the “World’s best 50 restaurants”, serving inventive dishes inspired by the flavors of the Amazon. If you have time, venture to the city’s main market Mercado Municipal where you can fully appreciate the multicultural influences as you wander past colorful and fragrant stalls of salt cod, Calabrian sausage, fruits and herbs.
At the Interlagos F1 circuit, the Premium Paddock Club is the finest hospitality facility with individual suites for guests, fine dining and privileged views whilst the Red Bull Paddock Club presents a more lively atmosphere with a resident DJ and HD video wall allowing guests to plug into race commentary and team radios. Continue the celebrations back in the city center at one of the many upmarket night-time spots, where supermodels, celebrities and royalty are regulars on the guest-list. Enjoy a drink accompanied by live jazz at Terraço Itália before making your way to Le Reve, one of the slickest clubs, located inside a stunning, restored mansion.
Sao Paulo’s surrounding countryside is worth exploring on a longer visit. Rainforests are within driving distance as is the famous Nossa Senhora Aparecida Cathedral or else take a short flight to the gorgeous Ilha Grande, the most exclusive of the Angra dos Reis collection of islands, where you can taste some of the freshest fish and sunbathe on deserted beaches.