On a recent cold winter’s day in December, I travelled from London to the East Midlands over 152 miles to visit a cigar lounge, and wow, what an absolute hidden gem of a place it was. If you haven’t heard of it, I’m referring to the Cigar Lounge Derby.
Also known as East Midland’s premier gold standard Havana specialist, they offer an incredible range of Cuban cigars and an excellent in-house cigar lounge where you can sample what’s on offer. Cigar Lounge Derby has modelled itself as a traditional cigar shop with an exclusive club-like atmosphere. A stone’s throw away from the centre of Derby, at the heart of the UK.
Located inside an industrial estate (a far cry from the streets of St James, London), you will be amazed at what you will find once you enter through the door! A timeless world of elegance and unashamed quality awaits. The cigars are kept and matured under perfect conditions inside a large walk-in humidor, including all your favourite Cuban cigar brands Montecristo, Partagas, H. Upmann, La Gloria Cubana, Hoyo de Monterrey and Romeo y Julieta. There is a wide range of special regional limited edition cigars and a selection of aged and vintage cigars. As you would expect from a dedicated cigar retailer, they also have a complete range of accessories, including humidors, cigar cutters and lighters.
I first heard about this cigar lounge by ‘word of mouth’ across some of the online cigar communities I am a part of. I found out more and tracked down Cigar Lounge Derby’s Instagram and Facebook pages, which led me to their website.
I wanted to visit on a weekday, and my aim was to spend a couple of hours in the lounge sampling cigars. I initially reached out to the venue to enquire about their opening hours and found that they are open Monday to Friday, 9:30 to 5:00. Saturdays by appointment. You can’t book a space, which made me worry a little. I didn’t want to make the trip from London to Derby to find it closed, so I planned to get there shortly after opening to ensure I got a spot in the lounge.
As always, before going into any cigar lounge, I felt quite anxious, as I always feel like a bit of a billy no mates going in solo. But I needn’t have worried because I was completely welcomed in by the Cigar Lounge Derby family.
The venue itself is a short walk from the Derby Midland train station, approx 15-20 minutes.
It’s hidden in the most random place, but that’s what adds to its glory, situated within a small industrial estate.
I walked up to and entered the door of the shop. Inside they sell honey. At first, this place felt a million miles away from being a cigar venue. I asked whether it be possible to sample a cigar in the lounge. The assistant said yes, of course, and led me behind the till and through another door. It was then that I stepped inside the most unique cigar ‘cave’, a room full of huge leather chairs, deer heads, and cigar memorabilia.
Everywhere I looked, there was just so much to see. This place felt like a real homage to hunting, shooting, fishing and, of course, cigars. Exactly what I imagine the cigar lounges in the States to feel like. The atmosphere was super relaxed.
The shop assistant led me into the cigar humidor, full of Cuban cigars, Hunter and Frankau are associated with this place. I spotted the Ramón Allones Exclusivo Gran Bretaña, but it was a little too pricey for me on this occasion at £109. There were cheaper Cuban cigars, and I opted for the Partagas Maduro at £59.
Once I made my selection, I went and sat on the huge leather chairs – there were cigar cutters, lighters and ashtrays everywhere, amongst cigar memorabilia in every corner you looked. It was amazing. You could spend hours in here, just looking at all the detail.
At that point, I cut and lit my Partagas and started to relax with my cigar.
I got chatting with Tony Spacey (the owner) and his mate, and they told me some amazing stories. Other customers came into the store too, and I got chatting with them, and then Tony’s wife Jan came in. What a wonderful couple. They couldn’t have made me feel more welcome – which I really appreciated.
After a couple of hours of cigars (I had another Partagas, a Serie D No. 2) and conversation, it was time for me to make a move and head back into London.
This cigar lounge has the wow factor! It’s one of the most unique lounges I’ve visited out of all my treks – and I wholeheartedly recommend other cigar smokers venture up here at least some point in their time. The owners made me feel so welcome, almost as if I was in their living room, and I had a fantastic day.
A place I would definitely visit again, especially at one of their cigar events. The lounge runs its own monthly cigar nights, which sell out quite quickly, so you have to be quick on booking those if you’re keen to attend. I’ve heard they’re pretty legendary.
If you are interested in visiting, the details are below:
Cigar Lounge Derby,
Robinson’s Industrial Estate,
You can contact them on
Tel: 01332 331548
They are open Monday to Friday, 9:30 to 5:00. Saturdays by appointment.