If you’re one of the many cigar afficianados who had hoped to be jetting off to Cuba for the prestigious Festival del Habano this year, the disappointment of not being able to discover new – and vintage – sticks to celebrate the start of a new, more positive year is palpable. Yet, whether you’re looking for a vintage Romeo Y Julieta beloved by Sir Winston Churchill, or fancy celebrating Cohiba’s 55th year with a limited-edition release, look no further than London’s indulgent smoking lounges, which will be awash with exclusive options and expertise no matter one’s taste – often with perfect pairings to match – when they reopen this year. Read on to find out more...
CIGARS AT NO. TEN
Boutique Marylebone hotel No. Ten Manchester Street is home to one of London’s finest cigar terraces, specialising in hand-rolled Havana cigars – in fact, it is certified as an official Gold Havana Cigar Specialist. Sample from the extensive range before making your choice of single stick or box, all of which are housed in a bespoke De Art humidor. The discreet, heated space is available all year round, and boasts an internal cigar store and sampling lounge, as well as a perfectly-matched menu of accompanying drinks and bar snacks.
EDWARD SAHAKIAN CIGAR SHOP & SAMPLING LOUNGE AT BULGARI HOTEL LONDON
Located in Knightsbridge on the edge of Hyde Park, the Bulgari Hotel London opened in 2012 with all the brand’s well-known flair and elegance. Its excellent cigar shop and sampling lounge, created by multi-award-winning cigar merchant Edward Sahakian, specialises in vintage cigars, rare Havanas and more delights sourced from Sahakian’s own private collection amassed over the past 40 years. Look out for the hotel’s exclusive events, where enthusiasts can learn more about rare cigar, food and wine pairings.
THE GARDEN ROOM AT THE LANESBOROUGH
This grand dame hotel’s newly renovated smoking area has long held its place as one of London’s original cigar terraces. The well-heated outdoor space remains pleasantly warm year-round, offers a large humidor stocked with impressive vintage and aged cigars as well as an exceptional bar. The collection includes limited edition and vintage cigars including the 50th Anniversary from Cohiba, Bolivar Soberanos LE 2018, Romeo Y Julieta Churchill and Partagas D No.4. The perfect spot to relax and enjoy an evening. »
THE CIGAR TERRACE AT THE WELLESLEY
The Wellesley Knightsbridge is one of the neighbourhood’s newest luxury hotels, with its reclaimed art deco grandeur matched by its sophisticated service. The hotel’s Cigar Lounge and Terrace is no exception, with a bespoke humidor that houses Europe’s largest collection of cigars – and one of the world’s most exclusive and extensive selections outside of Cuba. Humidor specialist Giuseppe Ruo and his team can advise connoisseurs, or guests can opt for the Cigar and Cognac Experience for a more tailored tour.
HYATT REGENCY LONDON – THE CHURCHILL BAR & TERRACE
Sir Winston Churchill is one of history’s most famous cigar afficionados and so it’s only natural that his namesake hotel, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill should honour the former prime minister with a smoking terrace worthy of his name. The sumptuous bar pays homage in its statesmanlike decor, which includes original photographs and love letters between Sir Winston and his wife Clementine. The hotel’s award-winning cigar sommelier can match the perfect champagne to each guest’s selection from an exceptional humidor, ready to enjoy in comfort in the year-round outdoor terrace.
THE MONTAGUE ON THE GARDENS
This charming Georgian townhouse in literary Bloomsbury is known for its fine dining and regular pop-up events, but the hotel’s cigar terrace is an equally opulent and serene escape from the bustle of the city. The Montague on the Gardens’ cigar terrace enjoys comfortable seating, ample heating and lighting and regular cigar tastings overlooking the secluded private gardens of the Bedford Estates. The Montague’s cigar sommelier works closely with Hunters & Frankau to fill its spacious humidor cabinet with the newest and most exotic cigars from around the world.