LAST NIGHTS OF HAVANA
A review by Tanya Howard
This Autumn, Meanwhile Events, the team behind the incredibly successful and popular Skylight, will be bringing the distinctive tastes, sounds and spirit of pre-revolution Cuba to Tobacco Dock with the launch of Last Nights Of Havana – a celebration of rum, jazz, dance and decadence.
The pop up was absolutely adorable with bright colours, music playing and a neon sign saying, ‘Anything Might Happen’, the room was abuzz with energy. At the large island bar, we ordered cocktails where I opted for a Papa Doble, a mix of Bacardi Rum shaken with fresh grapefruit, lime juice and a dash of Maraschino.
The cocktail menu has been designed by the team behind the Shoreditch bar, The Cocktail Trading Company, other drinks on the menu include Cuban classics such as the Mojito and Pina Colada. Most of the cocktails are Bacardi based, and are theatrically made by the bar staff, but the bar is fully stocked with other rum bottles and spirit brands for you to create your own drink.
The smell of Cuban food wafted through the air as we looked over the menu of nibbles, Cuban sandwiches and sides. I ordered The Classic Cuban, a sandwich with Smoked ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard (holding the pickles and mustard as I’m such a fuss pot). I also went for a side of Yuca Frita con Mojo Cubano, which is fried cassava with Cuban sauce and smoked paprika sauce.
I learnt that the national game of local Cubans is Double-Nine, a dominos game, and you can ask the bar for a set of Dominoes to play with during the night. There will be salsa dance classes every Saturday from 5.45pm – 6.45pm before the band’s first set at 7pm, and also Cuban cigar sellers make their way through the crowds.
Inspired by the famously opulent playground that was 1940s and 50s pre-revolution Havana, the re-imagined Quayside Bar at Tobacco Dock will evoke a time when rum cocktails, cigars, Cadillacs and unbridled glamour were the order of the day. Last Nights of Havana will run for a limited number of nights between October 19th and May 2019.
Tickets are priced at £9 each and includes a membership card for repeated free access for the duration of the pop up. You can purchase tickets by visiting lastnightsofhavana.com and https://last-nights-of-havana.designmynight.com. Groups of 5 or more are also eligible for a discounted ticket price and can email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange this.
Host a rum-tasting master-class each Saturday afternoon of the pop-up. Priced at £60 per person, tickets include a rum flight and special cocktail, and a discount towards that night’s event. Also, if you haven’t got a New Year’s Eve plan yet, Last Nights Of Havana will host a special NYE party priced at £60, including a glass of Moët & Chandon and other treats.