Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2014 Contents |WINE|
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I WALK THROUGH the door of Luce (pronounced
Lue Chay), located at the Hilton Trinidad, and imme-
diately understood why the name. "Luce" means
"light" in Italian, and the mesmerising lighting hits you...
Boom!... awesome. This enchanting lounge and wine
bar opened its doors in April; however, it seems to be
a well-kept secret. The décor clearly brought out the
creativity in its owner, Stephen Hadeed, and his aunt
Rosemary, where they unleashed lurid flights of fancy
and psychedelic splendour, secure in the knowledge
that to the jaded, shaded eyes of the fashionable
drinker, nothing is too over-the-top. There is plenty
more about Luce to fire the imagination.
Luce is not your run of the mill lounge; the layout, de-
sign and ambiance allow for conversation and con-
viviality with friends and business associates. The
lounge is elegant, classy, and spacious, with its mod-
ern and contemporary designs and decorations. Step
onto the patio and experience the splendour of the
lights way beyond the Queen's Park Savannah by
night, and the green lushness by day.
The outside patio is simply breathtaking, and offers
calm and charm all in the ambience of an historical
site with over fifty-two years of history: the upside
down hotel, Hilton Trinidad. Luce, in my opinion, can
stand alongside lounges and wine bars in large cities
like New York, London and Rio, where the cocktail is
a cultural icon and the frenetic, alluring world of
today's bar and lounge scene is explored.
I sat with a glass of in-house, flavourful Sangria to
chat with the vey affable, absolutely charming and
savvy Stephen about Luce. Why Luce....the name?
Stephen gushes with passion when he explained
why he chose the name. He has always had a fasci-
nation with lights, lightness of spirit, light opposed to
darkness. He sees light as wholesome and good for
the human spirit. Hadeed has been involved with the
entertainment industry since he graduated from col-
lege, and is most known for his involvement in the
Carnival fete "Eyes Wide Shut".
He thinks it's quite interesting that his dream lounge
now occupies the same place he enjoyed hanging out
in his younger years, the former Carnival Bar. Stephen
believes that the lounge and wine bar concept of en-
tertainment is trending the world over, that the Mil-
lennial Generation is very sophisticated, trailblazing,
and has the disposable income to seek out the finer
things in life, including indulging in what Luce has to
offer as part of this generation's entertainment
With much pride he spoke of his wine library, which
can hold up to 400 bottles of wines. The unique fea-
ture of this wine library is that it takes the guesswork
out of the right service temperature for each wine
style. Each section has a separate temperature con-
trol, so you can be assured that the wines are always
serve at the recommended temperature, and this is
a critical aspect for wine service. The wrong temper-
ature can be do injustice to both wine and drinker.
Serve a robust red wine at, say 7 degrees Celsius, and
what you can expect is the muting of its aromas and
flavours. What is the point of drinking if the pleasure
of doing so is absent? The wine bar carries quite an
interesting selection of wines, from champagnes to
reds and whites, from various regions, including Italy,
France, South Africa and South America. There is
also a wide variety of cocktails served up by creative
barmen, who are given the latitude to experiment
with new and interesting drinks.
And while having drinks, you can order from a wide
range of "Lite Bites" served tapas-style. There is a full
sushi bar, where you can sit and have anything sushi,
made right before your eyes. I am a sushi lover, so I
could not resist trying Luce California, with a glass of
Pinot Grigio, at the bar, which did not feel "barish", if
you know what I mean, as the bar design allows for
comfort and functionality.
Luce offers the ultimate experience in lounge, a place
that can lure you away from the everyday life into a
tantalizingly polished and detailed space, where the
ambiance and music, together with warm service
and great bites, wines and cocktails can, if only for a
couple of hours, take you to a place of absolute bliss.
Luce is great if you wish to host social functions like
birthday parties, cocktail receptions, a corporate
events, or just hanging out with friends and family.
Next week, I am back with Brasil's sparkling wines,
and my experience on a visit to one of their oldest
wineries, Casa Valduga. Read what Steven
Spurrier, editor of UK wine magazine Decanter,
has to say of these sparklers on his last month's
visit to Brasil's wine country and what were the
wines he chose as the official wines for the just-
concluded FIFA World Cup.
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