Canela – Bossa Nova


Canela is a Portuguese wine and food restaurant tucked away just off Shaftsbury Avenue. It’s an ideal spot for an intimate gathering or to take a date. Ordinarily I would have taken my girlfriend to such a place. However as it were the World Cup 2014 semi finals that evening I felt I really had to take my football-obsessed mate. I did insist he not wear his footy kit to the table (though I can’t guarantee it was not worn underneath his outfit…)

To add to our excitement for the Brazilian-hosted world cup, a Bossa Nova band played throughout the meal. These Boss Nova nights are happening every Tuesday throughout the rest of July. This Brazilian music is a fusion of samba and jazz and it was just the right level of lively and unobtrusive. As it was such a warm evening the two entrance doors each end of the restaurant were opened. Canela has a very relaxing Latin-European feel to it.

Having not sampled much Portuguese wine before I asked for a red wine recommendation and the friendly member of staff suggested the Casa de Darei 2010. After a quick sip to check it wasn’t corked I told her it tasted like a gaggle of grapes frolicking in my mouth. When she stared at my blankly I reassured her it was delicious. It really was and this was their house wine – and not overly expensive – so I imagine their more expensive variety must be amazing (and still not extortionate)

My date friend and I decided to share a cheese board together. This included four different cheeses; two older goat cheeses and two softer cow cheeses. My personal favourite was the black peppercorn-coated goats cheese (very spicy and with a lingering aftertaste greatly complemented by the chosen wine). The board also included ice-cold green grapes, warm Ciabatta bread and cranberry jelly.

The staff were very friendly and there seemed to be many other Portuguese and Brazilian customers dining there (always a good sign in my opinion). The other meal prices were reasonably priced and although the mains looked to be modestly sized, the sides were very inexpensive so I’d advise ordering a side to go with it. Thankfully my mate is a cheap date and on this visit at least we just enjoyed the wine and cheese.

Overall then… Canela Bossa Nova offers delicious food and drink, fun music and a relaxing atmosphere. A really great evening. Just don’t get me started on the Brazil-Germany game afterwards…

Written by Gareth Brown @GarethBrown26

Check out Gareth’s Youtube Channel and Booksie Page for his films and short stories.

Address 33 Earlham St London WC2H 9LS

Phone: 020 7240 6926

Email [email protected]



Hours: 9:30 am – 11:30 pm