City-Center, Brussels

    About Havana

    2907 15043

    This mightily and deservedly popular Cuban-themed restaurant-meets-club bar might not be to everyone's taste, but we defy you not to have fun if you give it a go. Billing itself as a temple to devoted to Cuba, it has a most enormous wood floor and vast seating booths, and by our reckoning no fewer than four bars and three dance floors - if we were counting aright. Drawing their inspiration from Hemingway's Havana of the 1930s (quelle surprise), its has become the rendezvous of choice for Brussels smart set. The irony, though, is that this is one of the few bars that Papa H. did not frequent. Still, the fact remains that it is the ideal spot to meet the most fascinating people and it the owner shave gone to great lengths to replicate a little bit of Havana in Brussels. And by and large they have done so admirably. The bill of fare tips its cap both to the Mediterranean and the Spanish Main, but in truth its chief appeal lies in its drinks and dancing. They don't stint on the entertainment either. There are DJ's every night and the inevitable salsa classes twice a week. The cocktail menu makes for pretty cliched reading and leans to sweet big-bar drinks - White Russians and Sex on the Beaches and so forth - but the friendly staff have a way with the measures and mix them to perfection. So we'll forgive them the occasional lapse in taste and it's a joy to watch them at their craft. There is a vast selection of malts, bourbons and brandies, but the best potion for our money is the Havana Special: a sweet Havana Club rum, pineapple juice, Cointreau and Grenadine concoction that will have you dancing until dawn. Quite literally, for they are open until seven o'clock in the morning of a weekend. If there's one word to sum up this place, it is surely this: muy caliente. Sorry that was two. Must be the rum.

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