Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest Information

During these uncertain times caused by the rapid spread of the coronavirus, and on behalf of The Bella Team, I want to reassure guests and customers of our firm commitment to you.

We know that all companies and markets have been affected by the current situation. Travel and supplies to and from the Islands are now also being effected.

The health and safety of all guest and staff is most paramount.

The hotel has been closed for the winter season, and we have liaised with all our staff both overseas and locally, and for their safety and that of our customers we have decided to review our re-opening for the summer season:

We will now re-open May the 1st 2020 and not April 1st as previously planned.  We will continue to review and post updates on our website and social media accounts as they arise.

All existing reservations and bookings for April will be contacted ASAP to make alternative arrangements. 

All future hotel and restaurant bookings, and general queries should be directed through:  [email protected] / 01481 238764

Phil Collinson, General Manager

Recipe: There’s More to the Mojito

If you’re after something to sip poolside this summer, then the classic Cuban Mojito will likely be high on your list.  Like many great cocktails the origins of the Mojito are hazy, full of folklore, and often contested; the result of this being a drink that has evolved over a long period of time rather than being any one bartender’s creation.

One origin story, and probably the most romantic, dates back to 1586 when, following his victory over the Spanish in the Battle of Cartagena de Indias (in modern day Columbia), Sir Francis Drake sailed for Havana.  An outbreak of scurvy and dysentery amongst his crew prompted Drake to send a party ashore on Cuba on June 4th to seek a remedy from the indigenous population.  They returned with an early and barely drinkable form of sugar cane rum known as aguardente de caña, lime, yerba buena (a local variety of mint) and sugarcane juice, which when mixed together and consumed helped to prevent scurvy (largely thanks to the vitamin C in the lime).  A century later, when rum and tafia (it’s un-aged equivalent) production was developed as a highly profitable source of revenue for the British-owned sugarcane plantations across the West Indies, rum replaced aguardente de caña and a cocktail of rum, lime, mint and sugarcane juice known as “El Draque”, supposedly named for Sir Francis Drake, became popular across Cuba. 

Whether the Mojito started life aboard the ships of Sir Francis Drake’s fleet or a century or so later amongst the slaves working the Cuban sugar cane plantations (as is otherwise argued) is still open to debate, but one thing that is certain is that for the past century this Cuban export has been a worldwide success story.

Here at the Bella Luce we offer you a choice of white, dark or spiced rum depending on whether you’re after a bright and refreshing cooler or a more flavoursome and complex cocktail, and if you don’t have a sweet tooth then we add mint bitters to cut through the sugar.  Soda water can also be replaced with champagne, if you fancy pushing the boat out and ordering a Royal Mojito.  If you can’t make it to the Bella's bar anytime soon, here’s how we mix a Mojito for a summer’s day:

Recipe:  Royal Mojito

  • Havana Club 7 years - 50 ml
  • Touch of vanilla sugar
  • Spearmint leaves- around 12
  • Lime wedges - around 7 depending upon how juicy they are
  • Forget-Brimont premier cru champagne

  • Place the lime, sugar, mint and rum in a glass shaker and muddle together to release the juice from the lime and the essential oils from the mint.
  • Add crushed ice and shake well.
  • Pour into a tall glass (traditionally a Collins or highball glass) and top with champagne (or soda water).
  • Garnish with a wheel of lime and a sprig of spearmint.

Written by:

Bella Luce