One of my most memorable dining experiences in Havana was, surprisingly enough, at a government-run restaurant (as opposed to the more popular private “paladares”) set overlooking Havana Bay. If the panoramic views weren’t enough to sway me, the food was up to par or even better. With a strong emphasis on fresh seafood, the fish was simply cooked but super-tasty and included international favourites that are hard-to-get elsewhere in Cuba, like grouper, sole or Mahi-mahi. The Basque chef puts a unique spin on the food served and house specialties combine the best of local dishes with elements of traditional Spanish cuisine. It may be closed for refurbishment now but will open soon renewed and refreshed. A rare gem not to miss in Old Havana!
A bit out of the way and some 15 minutes from the city centre, you’ll find La Carboncita in the quieter residential area of Miramar, one of the Cuban capital’s most affluent areas, which becomes instantly apparent once you spot the rows of beautiful houses and imposing mansions. This homely restaurant (or “paladar” in Cuban terms) is one of them, perfectly placed inside a local’s house and casually elegant without feeling the least bit pretentious. The speciality is tasty Italian food served in generous portions and the fantastic experience is one that definitely deserves being shared. Here I illustrate my visit to La Carboncita with photographs of the delicious lunch I enjoyed one sunny afternoon in suburban Havana.
One of the most inimitable places in the world and a household name in contemporary Cuban art, the otherwise quiet town of Jaimanitas is a vibrant feast for the eyes. My friend and travel writer, Susana Corona recently paid it a visit and upon her return gave me a colourful glimpse into this peculiar little village found just outside Havana. Through her photographs and her tales, I discovered a wondrous little microcosm too quirky, whimsical and amusing to keep to myself and here I am (with her permission) sharing her pictures on this post so you too can immerse in this Cuban fantasy land.
It’s no secret to anyone that Hemingway passionately loved Cuba. So much so, that he lived there for long periods of times and didn’t take long to buy a permanent residence on the outskirts of Havana.
After being rescued from years of neglect and oblivion this site has made the list of The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Places and the World Monuments’ Fund List of 100 Most Endangered Places. A few years ago, the former Cuban home of the Nobel prize-winning novelist was reopened as a museum for visitors to peruse and immerse in the American author’s world. I was lucky enough to enjoy a full tour of it alongside some of my colleagues during my last trip to Cuba and took few photos of the interior and exterior of the house, which is immaculately kept. Scroll down to view some of Hemingway’s most remarkable Cuban memorabilia, preserved intact, just as he left it for the last time.