El Meson de la Flota looks like a Spanish Tavern, with a carved wooden fence window, large wooden barrels, yellow and red tablecloths and red tiled floors. Posters of toreros and leather restaurant chairs round out the picture.
The feeling is driven home by wait staff weaving among diners to serve tapas and select wines to the sounds of live Flamenco music, replete with foot-stomping dancers and characteristic clapping. But this is more than just a restaurant, a fact proven by the five spacious guest rooms upstairs arranged around a cozy patio.
Whereas the majority of today’s visitors enter the island through one of the airports, in the 18th and 19th centuries, Havana was only accessible by sea. At the time it was one of the Americas’ most important harbor cities, when galleons sailed in and out of Havana Bay, loading and unloading their freight at the nearby docks. It is very likely that the maritime crew of that era visited El Meson de la Flota, just a few blocks from the harbor.