Cu­bic space

The theme, pre-revo­lu­tion Ha­vana, played out in the bar­tenders’ flo­ral shirts and straw hats

The Wharf - - Bethnal Green, Limehouse & Wapping - By Florence Der­rick

On step­ping through the door to the To­bacco Dock pop-up Last Nights Of Ha­vana, I thought I should have dressed up.

The team be­hind nearby bar Sky­light has trans­formed the shed-like Quay­side Bar (20 mins from Ca­nary Wharf) into an Art Deco-in­flected and sex­ily dim-lit lounge.

Pol­ished wood ta­bles and scar­let, leather seats were over­hung by stained-glass lanterns dif­fus­ing sub­dued, flat­ter­ing light – and al­though they hung from a tim­bered, cor­ru­gated-iron roof, the over­all aes­thetic gave off so­phis­ti­cated speakeasy-style glam.

The theme, pre-revo­lu­tion Ha­vana, played out in the bar­tenders’ flo­ral shirts and straw hats, as well as their rum-based con­coc­tions that were the­atri­cally mixed to or­der at the is­land bar.

The high­light of the drinks menu (de­vised by the boys be­hind Shored­itch bar Cock­tail Trad­ing Com­pany) was the £10.50, swee­tand-sour Papa Doble, a white rum cock­tail made fa­mous by Ernest Hem­ing­way.

As for the food, it was un­com­pli­cated grilled sand­wiches – my meat-tas­tic choice was stuffed with ham, roast pork and pick­les – paired with fried plan­tain, which would’ve been too dry if not for the guava mayo.

The wall be­hind the bar was em­bla­zoned with ‘any­thing might hap­pen’, but the vibe was more sip on a mo­jito or two and at­tempt tipsy salsa to the crowd­pleas­ing Latin sounds played by the band.

It’s a beau­ti­fully dec­o­rated space and it’s fun to watch the bar­tenders shak­ing things up, but Last Nights of Ha­vana should work a lit­tle harder for its price point.

Tick­ets cost £20 each in­clud­ing a cock­tail on ar­rival and will in­creas to £25 in 2019. Go to last­night­sofha­ for more in­for­ma­tion (in­clud­ing on rum-tast­ing mas­ter­classes)

Cock­tails the­atri­cally mixedFlorence Der­rick quaffs, sips and im­bibes to find the best bars on be­half of The Wharf

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