Commission: To write and shoot a piece for Country Life magazine about a Cuban road trip.
A company called Esencia offer bespoke experiences of Cuba tailored to individual taste, I joined author Tim Lott on a food tour of the island. In search of culinary treats beyond the capital we hired an immaculate 1956 red Oldsmobile convertible and set off with the roof down in hot Caribbean sunshine on a road journey across the island. First stop the fishing village of Cojimar where we had a sensational seaside breakfast of Huevos Habaneros. There were no trendy paladares in Santa Clara, so we settled for the old Cuban classic of Moros y Cristianos, in a local café. It was a particularly good version served with a fresh fried egg on top and livened up with plenty of homemade Mojo Criollo sour orange and garlic sauce.
In the beautiful historic town of Trinadad we found paladares in magnificently restored mansions of sugar barons that rivalled any in Havana
At a roadside stall next to a mask and snorkel hire shack on the shore of the Bay of Pigs we stopped for a lunch of spicy a garbanzo vegetable stew topped with a lively avocado and red onion salsa with freshly baked crusty bread. The setting was wonderful, the crystal clear Caribbean full of fish and coral on one side of the empty road and tropical jungle on the other. It was a perfect place for a glass of the local tipple coco loco (a fresh coconut with half its water filled interior replaced by rum), the ultimate organic cocktail, delisious and very Cuban.