Scurrying off the tram, my way cleared amid polite-but-firm ‘excuse me!’s’, I staggered off the 86 tram, pulling my umbrella over my head as steady, fine rain filled the air. The air was crisp and laced with the scent of traffic leaving the city, Smith Street’s various eateries glowing neon through the misty darkness as I searched for my destination for the evening: Los Barbudos. Gratefully pushing my way into a golden-lit exterior, the cheering clink of glasses and bubbling voices of Nuffnang bloggers filled the warm bar – reader, there was no more welcome refuge from the weather than this fancy rum-joint that brings lashing of Cuban nostalgia paired with baseball ephemera.

Nuffnang hosted a night of blogger catch-ups at Los Barbudos, where our dapper and generous barman not only made our minty mojitos to measure, he taught us how to make both spiced rum and a hot buttered cocktail using said rum. Me – I’m not a huge drinker – but I supped on both concoctions and they were delicious, just the thing to shake the cold from your boots. In this short-but-sweet piece, we share some visual highlights of a night catching up with old friends and making some new ones. Including a lovely New Yorker – Marija – who semi-crashed our party guilelessly – we ended up swapping impressions of one-another’s cultures over mojitos and ‘Hakuna Matacos’ (read: mushroom tacos from onsite food truck Jabili’s Kitchen) before swapping Instagram handles (mine’s @iolantherubyslipper) and heading off into the night. I feel sure I’ll see Marija again.
Today’s post is the third chapter in Ruby Assembly’s Voices of 2014 Olympus OM-D E-M10 #myfamilylens challenge – my chosen theme being ‘arrival’: arrival away from the wet, bustling streets of Fitzroy into the welcoming embrace of an old-school bar from another time. And how!

Gracias, Nuffnang and Los Barbudos!


What’s a cuban rum bar without an icon or two to bless you as make your own communion?

Captain Morgan begone – try your hand at making your own spiced rum instead! Visit Los Barbudos for their secret recipe, enhanced by luscious butterballs in a hot buttered cocktail.

A fine place to while away a winter night, transporting you to Cuba – Los Barbudos is in fact named after Fidel Castro’s guerrilla baseball team. Home run!