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Hemingway Adventure

Havana, Cuba (fifth day)

Havana, Cuba 
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The Floridita was Hemingway's favourite Havana venue for eating and drinking. The daiquiri was its speciality, but Hemingway insisted on a stronger version and they called it the Papa Doble. I'm on my third. I can sit at his end of the bar, but his bar-stool is roped off.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureMeanwhile the locals still drive around in pre-Revolution American cars, Castro allows the dollar to be traded, the Afro-Cuban All Stars band wins a Grammy award and an American novelist remains one of Cubaís biggest tourist attractions. Crazy.

Hemingwayís presence is never very far away. Fifteen minutesí walk from the Ambos Mundos - or three or four days if you stop to talk - there stands, beneath a fine old sign of swirling neon, his favourite Havana bar, El Floridita. Itís little changed from the days when he would be snapped at the bar with Errol Flynn or Gary Cooper. Hemingway drank there a lot and drank a lot there.

Though Iím not allowed to sit in the hallowed corner which was, and still is, reserved for Hemingway, Iím as near as I can get to the altar, and I can see why he liked to sit here, back to the wall with a good all-round view. But then, Hemingway didnít just sit. He presided.

I can also understand why, as a connoisseur of the cocktail, he always preferred a seat at the bar to a seat at the table. From here I can follow every tip, twist, shake and stir of the mixing process.
Havana, Cuba 
click to enlarge 
file size
The Floridita was Hemingway's favourite Havana venue for eating and drinking. The daiquiri was its speciality, but Hemingway insisted on a stronger version and they called it the Papa Doble. I'm on my third. I can sit at his end of the bar, but his bar-stool is roped off.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Havana, Cuba (fifth day)
  • Country/sea: Cuba
  • Place: Havana
  • Book page no: 214

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