The weather was surprisingly decent during a recent trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, apart from one day where there was a little rain… when it started I happened to stumble across…
11 Bristo Pl, Edinburgh, EH1 1EZ
I have only heard of this place on my social media accounts and remember seeing that the Hotel du Vin chain have a ‘cigar shack’ associated to it. I popped into the venue to enquire about their ‘cigar shack’ (also known as the ‘cigar bothy’) and hotel staff mentioned that it was fine for me to go inside and order a cigar without being a guest of the hotel. Sweet!
So what is a ‘cigar bothy’? I believe the name bothy is associated to the Bothy Lodge Company (who appear to now go under the name of Cap Co), the people that designed these outdoor ‘cigar shacks’ did so in response to the U.K. smoking ban back in 2007.
Correction: Thanks to someone on my Twitter feed for pointing out that ‘a bothy is a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge. It was also a term for basic accommodation, usually for gardeners or other workers on an estate. Bothies are found in remote mountainous areas of Scotland, Northern England, Ulster and Wales’
These outdoor spaces have underfloor heating, WiFi access and shelter.
Hunters & Frankau describe Hotel du Vin as ‘one of the most cigar friendly hotels in the U.K.’. And a lot of the hotels as part of this chain have a ‘cigar bothy’ that you can visit in a town near you. Apparently there are over 11 other venues, I’m not sure how many of them have the cigar shack, but it looks like these ones do…
Some folk have uploaded a small video of the Cigar Bothy onto YouTube, take a look…
I was really looking forward to popping inside and what an incredible little cigar cave it is. This has to be up there as one of the best places to smoke a cigar!
The only problem… the waitress at the venue mentioned that there were no cigars available to buy. I think they had lost the key to unlock their humidor?! I asked whether it would be ok to smoke my own, and they said ‘that’s fine, as long as you buy a drink’!
Thankfully I still had my cigars from The Cigar Box and decided to smoke my Diplomaticos No.2.
I was joined by a couple of cigarette smokers that had an appreciation for a cigar, they were due to visit the Edinburgh Tattoo in the evening, and later a father and son from the US. We had some great chat and they were great company!
I relaxed with my cigar and let the rain pass. Then it was time for some more comedy as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Towards the end of the festival I had a couple of hours to spare before heading to Edinburgh airport for my flight back to London. Before I did, I had to make a visit to the Jeffery St whisky and tobacco store, for some more cigars. I’ll talk more about that in my next blog post 👌