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Hong Kong Tatler - - Features -

Rio’s mag­nif­i­cent Botan­i­cal Garden at the foot of Cor­co­v­ado, the moun­tain from which Christ the Redeemer pre­sides, is a great spot for a peace­ful start to the day. The vis­ual treats in­clude a grand av­enue of im­pe­rial palms, a sen­sory garden, the ru­ins of the old gun­pow­der works, and an or­chid house fea­tur­ing more than 700 species. The streets of the sur­round­ing up­mar­ket Jardim Botânico neigh­bour­hood are rich with veg­e­ta­tion too and har­bour some of the city’s best restau­rants and cafes.

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Nearby is the stun­ningly green and shady Par­que Lage, which is home to a pic­turesque 1920s man­sion that houses the School of Vis­ual Arts, the alma mater of Beatriz Mil­hazes, among other no­table Brazil­ian artists. Af­ter a turn around the

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One of the gas­tro­nomic stars putting Jardim Botânico firmly on the map, both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally, is Puro, where chef-pro­pri­etor Pe­dro Siqueira serves creative, de­li­cious twists on clas­sic Brazil­ian dishes with sweet sim­plic­ity and un­beat­able pro­duce.

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With lunch out of the way, it’s time to head off to another leafy neigh­bour­hood nearby, Gávea, and one of the city’s loveli­est art in­sti­tu­tions, In­sti­tuto Mor­eira Salles, which has an out­stand­ing rep­u­ta­tion for fine art photography. The 1951 man­sion epit­o­mises Brazil’s world-fa­mous slant on mod­ernism, with its smooth lines and white curves ac­cen­tu­ated by lush trop­i­cal gar­dens cre­ated by land­scape mae­stro Roberto Burle Marx. If you only visit one cul­tural space in Rio, this would be an ex­cel­lent choice.

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