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As May draws to a close, Dehouche finds itself in a curious conundrum… to eat or not to eat, that is the question. On one side of the spectrum, there is Rio Restaurant Week and on the other, Rio Fashion Week.  And not just any Fashion Week, but Spring/Summer 2012/2013, which in Brazil means Swimwear Shows, and Dehouche have already learnt the hard way not to compete with Brazilian swimwear models, even before touring the city’s top restaurants sampling 3 course meals at set prices. While once characterized as a land of extremes, a strong economy and local government initiatives have levelled Rio’s playing field like never before, but this week poses a new set of challenges. We select our top picks to see if you can find the balance.

For the first time in many years, fashion darlings will not be forced to trek into the heart of Rio’s centre to catch the latest trends, for while Pier Maua’s industrial location may have offered a striking background, this year the event will take place at the more gentrified Jockey Club in Gavea: (what it lacks in edge, it makes up for in green leaves and convenience). The shows run from the afternoon through till 10 pm, with sleek stands hosting cocktail events and launches throughout the evening and the chance to check out some jaw-droppingly good looking models and eccentric fashion folk. The week begins with Dehouche favourite BlueMan, where the rumour has it that legendary singer Gilberto Gil will be making a guest appearance. Others to look out for are Maria Bonita Extra on Thursday (to be followed up with the after show party at Studio RJ), Lenny on Friday (who always throws a fabulous after-show party…if you can get a ticket) and Auslander on the final day. For more information on the running times http://ffw.com.br/fashionrio/

Now, if all that standing around being fabulous has left you a bit peckish fear not, for Restaurant Week holds the answer. In its 6th edition, RW (not to be confused with FW) brings together over 50 of the city’s top restaurants, offering set menus at (fairly reasonable) set prices for both lunch and dinner. For an evening soire a stone’s throw from fashion week, try the outdoor garden at bar/lounge/sometimes disco 00, while for lunch, you could spend 3 days weighing up the best Thai in Leblon (start with Sawasadee, Nam Thai and Mekong) in between picking up the evenings’ outfit at one of Dias Ferreira’s hidden shopping galleries. For a full list and online menus, go to http://tinyurl.com/bu58fsl

For advice on where to eat, shop and party in Rio, contact Dehouche to give you our Carioca inside track

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