{ THE IN­SID­ERS — HA­VANA, CUBA }

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

JAC HUNT Di­rec­tor, Jac + Jack knitwear ja­can­d­jack.com See: Mu­seum of the Rev­o­lu­tion, Old Ha­vana This ex­hi­bi­tion chart­ing the Cuban Rev­o­lu­tion in­cludes dis­plays of blood­soaked uni­forms along­side bul­let cas­ings ex­tracted from rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies; cuba-mu­se­ums-guide.com. Stay: Casa par­tic­u­lars, city­wide These pri­vate homes for rent are in­ex­pen­sive, of­ten very chic, and run by fam­i­lies who hap­pily share their lo­cal knowl­edge; cas­apartic­u­lar­cuba.org. Dine: San Cris­to­bal, Ha­vana Qual­ity din­ing in Ha­vana is all about pri­vately run restau­rants called pal­adares. San Cris­to­bal, with its de­li­cious food, ex­cel­lent ser­vice and eclec­tic old-man­sion decor, is my favourite; Calle San Rafael 469; +53 860 1705. Late: El Gato Tuerto, Vedado This small base­ment club has doo-wop groups per­form­ing Span­ish love songs un­til the early hours, against an Afro-Cuban back beat; worlds­best­bars.com/ cuba/ha­vana/el-gato-tuerto. Bar­gain: Rum Drinks based on lo­cal rum are cheap ev­ery­where, with cock­tails about $4 each. Out­door: Male­con (Avenida de Maceo), start­ing in the Old Quar­ter This 8km es­planade and sea wall is worth a drive (con­sider an open-top 1964 Chevy); hun­dreds of lo­cals gather here each evening; cubaab­so­lutely.com. In­dulge: A mo­jito on the ve­randa of the Ho­tel Na­cional, cen­tral Ha­vana This Hem­ing­way haunt has over­sized wicker chairs and so­fas lin­ing a vast space over­look­ing the ocean. Think lo­cals dressed in linen suits and pana­mas, smok­ing Mon­te­cristos; hotel­na­cionalde­cuba.com/en. Shop: La Casa del Ha­bano (House of Cigars), Mer­caderes Street, Old Ha­vana Afi­ciona­dos will find cigars of all sizes and qual­i­ties here; cigarafi­cionado.com. In­spire: The Riviera Ho­tel, fac­ing the Male­con This ho­tel, where Frank Si­na­tra once played to the largest ever gath­er­ing of the mob, is a vi­sion of 1950s glamour; hotel­ha­va­nariv­iera.com. Avoid: Gov­ern­ment-run restau­rants, un­less they’re rec­om­mended. Most op­er­ate along the lines of Fawlty Tow­ers, with av­er­age food and ser­vice. THIS lim­ited-edition de­canter looks more art in­stal­la­tion than drinks pourer. The free-blown glass neck and coiled base are de­signed to rep­re­sent a co­bra’s at­tack stance and, in its pre­sen­ta­tion box, this strik­ing piece weighs 12kg, is de­signed to fit a mag­num of wine and is the largest de­canter Riedel has made. Of the 555 Co­bra Verde de­can­ters pro­duced world­wide, a hand­ful are now avail­able in Aus­tralia. Each of the col­lec­tor’s pieces is num­bered and signed by com­pany CEO Max­i­m­il­ian Riedel, the 11th gen­er­a­tion of the glass­mak­ing dy­nasty. More: (02) 9966 0033; riedel­glass.com.au.

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