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Last Nights of Havana
Havana is one of the most exciting cities I’ve ever been to. Fuelled by rum cocktails and an infectious Salsa beat the city still maintains a decadent if decaying sense of glamour that provides the visitor with an extraordinary experience. Last Nights of Havana – set in the re-imagined Quayside Bar at the amazing warehouse and wharf space that is Tobacco Dock, – is “inspired by the famously opulent playground that was 1940s and 50s pre-revolution Havana”. Just up the road from Tower Bridge it promises to “evoke a time when rum cocktails, cigars, Cadillacs and unbridled glamour were the order of the day”. Frankly, it all sounds like a lot of fun so since they’ve been kind enough to invite me – I’m more than happy to review it. Entering Last Nights of Havana the joint is jumping! The house band, led by Cuban-born Musical Director Oreste `Sambroso’ Noda, is both excellent and totally authentic, laying down some infectious salsa grooves taking inspiration from Cuba’s Buena Vista Social Club. DJs play club classics when the band is on a break. I haven’t heard a Salsa band this good since I was last in Havana! It’s always time for a drink… The bar menu at Last Nights of Havana is built around rum cocktails with the full Bacardi portfolio being featured alongside a selection of unique bottles from the Caribbean; however, a full bar offering is also available. We tried a Modern Mojito – fresh lime and mint muddled with house syrup and Bacardi Carta Blanca rum – it was beautifully balanced and a perfect example of a classic Mojito…I should know…
The Ron Collins blended Bacardi Carta Negra rum with fresh lime and Angostura amaro topped with ginger ale to give it a ‘Moscow Mule’ type kick.There is a food station at Last Nights of Havana that majors in Grilled Cuban sandwiches. We tried ‘The Classic Cuban’ which was stuffed with smoked ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and American mustard – it was a real meat feast with the delicious smokiness of the ham leading the flavours. ‘The Vegetarian’ featured roasted peppers, mozzarella cheese, rocket and pesto was like a supercharged veggie Panini – very tasty.
Sides were just as good – crisp fried cassava came with Cuban sauce flavoured by smoked paprika and sea salt. Gorgeous, gooey fried plantains were slathered with a mayo guava sauce and a generous Ensalada Criolla brought together salad greens with avocado, cherry tomatoes and pomegranate seeds.After a dance, it was time for some more drinks. Hotel Nacional #1 was deliciously sophisticated – a bit like me really – a mix of Angostura 7 year rum, apricot liqueur and lime juice with a hint of vanilla, it had a hint of sweetness without being too over the top. And the classic Air Mail blended Santa Teresa 1796 rum stirred with lemon juice and pine honey, topped with champagne, to help you channel your inner more frivolous party animal.
For an authentic taste of Cuba and a great night out, Last Nights of Havana is hard to beat. With fabulous music, great food and cocktails it should be on anyone’s Christmas night-out list!
Last Nights of Havana is located at Tobacco Dock – Wapping Lane Gate Entrance London E1W 2SF
Last Nights of Havana will run for a limited number of nights between October 19th and May 2019. Ticket are best bought in advance, but will be available at the door.
Looking for more fun things to do in London? How about a Hot Tug trip on the Thames? The perfect way to arrive at Last nights of Havana perhaps/