Delightful little courtyard café in the middle of Ipanema's beachfront road
The Laura Alvim cultural centre in Ipanema is an impressively incongruous sight at the best of times, a three-storey building surrounded by huge blocks of flats that stands as one last monument to the Ipanema of yore. Now a protected building it should stay that way too, and whilst it remains an important venue for art lovers, the central courtyard tea shop is equally a boon for those partial to a spot of afternoon tea. Between 3-6pm tea-on-a-tray is served (R$12.50), consisting of a steaming hot cuppa (local brew, R$4 more for an imported Twinings) and enough brioche and cake to make you not want to set foot on the beach across the road for a week.
Breakfast and brunch fans can sit back and enjoy the set menu (R$20) served between 9am-1pm consisting of coffee, juice, artisanal breads and cakes, or grab an early evening glass of wine in the wonderfully calming atmosphere that feels a world away from the hectic beach the other side of the wall.