The UK’s nationwide lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is finally easing, this means outdoor hospitality venues are open again and yes that includes outdoor cigar terraces 👊
With that in mind, I cracked on making reservations to visit the many cigar terraces across London.
First up was The Garden Room at The Lanesborough.
Only a few friends know I am a cigar smoker (yep I must say I have some kind of shame attached to being a cigar smoker) and they don’t smoke. I don’t know any other cigar smokers in person – so decided to bite the bullet and go on my own. Booking a table for 1 feels slightly embarrassing, but f*ck it, life’s too short and I love my cigar adventures!
So off I went to Hyde Park Corner which is the nearest tube station to Lanesborough Hotel (Exit 3 takes you outside the main entrance).
I had dressed up for the occasion – the WFH (work from home) attire is a boring look – and it was a nice change to wear a smart jacket, dark blue jeans, white shirt, tie and jumper again.
I’m not posh at all so was bricking it a little as I approached The Lanesborough. It’s strangely quite terrifying seeing those guys in the tall top hat and tails waiting for guests to arrive, when you’re going in solo. Hope I don’t make myself look like a right plonker!
I asked for ‘The Garden Room’ and immediately they escorted me through the hotel so I got to the right place, staff were greeting me as I walked through. It felt dead classy.
The interior was 👌
The next thing I know I’m in the bar being taken to my seat. The staff on arrival were excellent – instantly making me feel at ease – handing me the drinks menu and the cigar menu – yes!
These kinds of public cigar places are always a little more expensive than your local cigar store, as you’re paying for the environment and the experience.
Yep that’s £10,000 for the Cohiba 50th Anniversary cigar 🙈
I asked whether it would be possible to go inside the humidor to see the cigars on offer. It was at that moment I was introduced to the manager Sophian Ejjanfi, who was a cigar enthusiast himself – a great man. He immediately gave me a tour of the two humidors, where the hotel stores their cigars.
All of the cigars in this humidor are from Cuba, including a wide variety of strengths and flavours, as well as sizes. The Garden Room store a collection of Limited edition, Special edition and Vintage cigars including the 50th Anniversary from Cohiba.
It was at that point I came face to face with the wonderful Cohiba’s 50th Anniversary Humidor. The Cohiba humidor, made by Elie Bleu, is a spectacular, one-of-a-kind object. The front doors are covered with 48 panels of gold foiled tobacco leaves.
This particular humidor is number 31 out of the 50 made. Number 1 is owned by someone living in London and number 8 is lucky.
Inside, the cedar shelves are filled with 50 of the Cohiba 50 Anniversary, a special edition Cohiba; the cigar is a 7 inch by 60 ring gauge, the largest cigar ever made by the Cuban cigar industry.
After being wooed by the Cohiba brand, and with the 50th Anniversary cigar being a little out of reach in terms of budget, I tried the next best thing… the Cohiba Maduro 5 😀.
I went back to my seat in the chilled, laid back Garden Room where my cigar was cut and lit, along with a Morrocan mint tea.
What a great smoke! Bleeding heavy for a lunchtime cigar, but I do enjoy these full-bodied experiences. This Maduro is a great sized, well-built cigar, with a real sweetness to it in its flavour.
The smell of my cigar smoke even got complimented by a fellow guest – who told me that whilst they do not smoke cigars they love the smell of them.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this cigar experience, and would totally recommend a visit. The staff were 👌 and made me feel totally welcome – and big up to Sophian for the cigar tips!
My rating: 8 out of 10
If you would like to visit The Garden Room at The Lanesborough Hotel… make your reservations now at Bookatable.
Check out my other reviews of cigar bars, terraces, and smoking lounges in London.