London's 2007 ban on cigarette and cigar smoking in public places makes it difficult for a gentleman to enjoy the odd Cohiba or other fine cigar on special occasions. There are several quite nice 'cigar bars' as they are called in London, mostly outdoors - protected by shrubs or discreet partitions (in other words you are subject to the elements - more or less.) This past November a friend of mine invited me to have a smoke at the Churchill cigar bar ('terrace') in the quite new Wellesley Hotel in Knightsbridge. I hadn't been to this establishment before but....as he knew that I liked all things 'Art Deco' - this was the place! I was very impressed by the discreet entrance, the warm reception by the hotels personnel - then we were quickly escorted to the Churchill. The surroundings are lovely, comfortable and again discreet. Once seated we were advised that there was a 'minimum charge' (once I looked at the cigar list how could you NOT spend at least the minimum?) Maybe that advisory policy should change! The attendant showed us the list, I was sufficiently impressed so asked to be taken to the humidors, which he promptly did. I was surprised and duly impressed to see a beautifully carved wooden box with a hand-painted portrait of Don Alejandro Robaina, one of the most famous Cuban tobacco growers EVER! When I mentioned to the attendant that I just returned from this mans 'farm' in CUBA - he immediately stood to attention and went over almost every cigar that was in inventory. He asked if I wouldn't consider 'consulting' for them (ha ha, thought I.) The selection of CUBAN cigars was incredible up to and including their £3,000 each Cohiba Behike cigars! Needless to say we spent the 'minimum' (I had a great £100 cigar, after-all and so did my friend.) A wonderful experience to be repeated again on my next trip back to London! A classy joint!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- London's finest boutique-grand hotel, The Wellesley Knightbsridge offer contemporary luxury, Art Deco glamour and uncompromising service. Each of the 36 suites and bedrooms are individually finished with sumptuous décor and amenities. The jewel in the crown is The Wellesley Penthouse, overlooking Hyde Park, which occupies the entire sixth and seventh floors. The Jazz Lounge echoes to the spirit of Cleo Laine, Amy Winehouse, George Melly, Mica Paris - legends who have graced this building in its past years. The Crystal Bar and Oval Restaurant celebrate the 1920s glamour and style. The elegance of the décor, the sounds and the ambience may recall another era. The warmth of the service, however, is beyond compare. It is based only on our own aspiration - which is to exceed your every experience. ... more less
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