May 21 2013 Latest news:
Rosie Peaty, Reporter
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Brazilian restaurant owners Mariana and Marcos Camarotte were delighted when they found out their country’s national team would be making their Olympic base in their neighbourhood.
Since learning that they would be training at Crystal Palace’s National Sports Centre, the husband and wife team have been busy planning how to welcome the athletes to their area, and to Braziliana, in Westow Hill.
“How cool is it that we happen to be in the right place at the right time especially when you think that the last time the Olympics was held in the UK was in 1948,” Mariana said.
“For us as Brazilian bistro owners it is serendipitous and we see it as a unique opportunity to serve and support our athletes and the same time introducing to the locals a little bit more about our culture and cuisine.”
Mariana and Marcos, who have two young children, redecorated the restaurant for the Olympics and created a new evening menu for the celebrations.
They are thrilled that the athletes accepted their invitation and have been dining at the restaurant since arriving at the end of last month.
Mariana and Marcos, married for 14 years, are originally from Sao Paulo but have lived in Crystal Palace for 10 years.
Mariana explained: “We just wanted people to experience what we know to be great food, home cooked and served up in a warm friendly environment.
“We love the area for its variety and strong sense of community. Crystal Palace is the perfect locality to have a welcoming ethnic restaurant and cafe.”
Mariana graduated here in management and tourism and Marcos has an IT background.
But it’s not all been easy. Shortly after opening its doors in January 2009, a delivery van crashed through the bistro’s front window.
Luckily no one was injured, but the restaurant had to close for nine months for repairs and refurbishment.
It reopened again in April 2010 and was fully taken over by Mariana and Marcos in April 2011, when they bought out the partner’s shares and became the principal owners.
Asked about Rio de Janerio being the first South American country to host the Olympics in 2016, Mariana said: “It is fantastic and will be a milestone in Brazilian modern history.
“I really hope that our country can keep up with the good work in terms of infrastructure but more importantly our athletes will have unparalleled access to proper training and support they long deserve.”
For information on competitions and events held at the restaurant visit www.braziliana.co.uk.