The typical resting heart rate in adults is between 60 and 90 beats per minute. So it might be nice, once in Havana and on your holiday, and having decided to spend the evening listening to some music, if you and your body were in sync; that´s to say that you, your resting heart and the melody were in tune? Best then, to choose something adagio. For those of you who missed out on childhood music lessons, adagio is an Italian term which means you have to play slowly and calmly; at ease. There you are, then. A gentle adagio – coming in at a very relaxed 60-80 bpm – harmoniously matches your resting heart beats a treat.
If you haven´t got your blood pressure equipment with you, though, there’s another way. You can get pretty much the same effect by visiting the new, rather swish and peaceful bar of the same name.
ADAGIO is opposite Parque Central and belongs to the Grand Teatro – home to the very fine Cuban National Ballet Company. It’s a complete surprise, but a very pleasant one, and it’s no exaggeration to say we´ve been waiting for something like this for years. After a night at the ballet, or on the way back from Old Havana, you pass through Parque Central – which divides Central and Old Havana – often dying for a coffee, a cuppa or a stiff drink. But before, all you found were loads of expensive hotels or a few rather seedy cafés. But – hooray – not now.
I recommend this little haven. The lounge seats are soft and comfy and the décor tasteful and restful; blown up photos of dancers legs in their pink, silky ballet shoes are, attractively and humorously, everywhere. Furthermore, the staff are friendly and efficient, toilets are clean and the menu is extremely reasonable. Two teas and two tapas (five delicious chicken chunks in a soy, raisin and honey sauce; palma ham with a garlicky tomato sauce on small toasts) cost only 6 cucs (about 4 pounds). Right in the centre of town, you can´t beat it. Catch it now – whilst it’s new and still a prima donna.
ADAGIO: Gran Teatro (next to Hotel Inglaterra), Parque Central, Havana