The Herf in Old London Town

The very first THOLT was on 28th February 1998. This is the report

Firstly thanks are due to Ian Richardson who organized the event. Due to personal circumstances, which was unknown to us on the day, could not attend.


BoisdalesIan had sent us our instructions -- were to meet at Boisdale’s, a cigar Divan in Ecclestone Street, near Victoria Station in London for twelve noon.

It was a cold day, very different from the exceptional warm weather we had been having recently. I arrived at twelve, soon to be joined by Andy who had arrived at 11.45 but had gone for a walk as he was early. Soon afterwards Perry arrived, followed by Ian from Dublin, and then Paul and Caroline.

We had been let down by the surprise guest speaker, due to his work commitments. In the process of trying to arrange another on Friday, I had learnt that Boisdale’s was closed on Saturday lunch times!. I had e-mailed Ian, but by the time he read it, it was too late to tell most of the others, although Ian had posted a note in A.S.C.

We stood like lemons out side getting colder and colder, as we waited for the others.
We gave up by 1.30, leaving them a note on the doorstep and decided to go to the Rat and Parrot, opposite Victoria coach station.

The note
The Note
The back of Paul & Perry
Strolling from Boisdales towards the Rat & Parrot Pub

We had started.

After a few beers, and smoking some of the cigars that we had brought along, we decided it was time to see some of the specialists after having a bite to eat.

at the Rat & Parrot
The Rat & Parrot
Catherine enjoying a cigar
Catherine enjoying a Cigar
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A much better picture of Catherine
Perry & Paul L
Perry and Paul Lawford
Ian Pepper
Ian Pepper
Paul (El_Ingles) and Ian
Paul (El_Ingles), Ian Pepper and Paul L
Perry and El_Ingles
Andy - sizing up the situation
Paul L
Paul enjoying a Cohiba
Ian & Perry at Green Park
Ian & Perry

We took the “tube” to St. James’s,

Paul L
Paul L
Paul (El_Ingles)
Paul (El_Ingles) more interested in getting pictures than where he was going!
Perry accross the road from The Ritz
The Ritz

and decided that the Ritz just wasn’t the place,

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Catherine & Ian wondering if this is the place to eat
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Ian, Andy, Perry and Paul L going in to the restaurant

and settled on a uncrowded bar/restaurant where lunch was ordered and drinks served, cigars smoked.

At about 4.30, we sauntered along to the Davidoff Shop, and then to J. J. Fox. It had been arranged, the day before, by HUGH SWIFT, a Rep of Hunters & Frankau to meet us there, for the group to see the shop and their museum, together with the manager to give a talk. However due to the fact we arrived a bit late, just a quick tour of the museum, along with a brief explanation, was all we had time for.

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Item in the J.J.Fox Museum
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Item in the J.J.Fox Museum
J J Fox Museum
J.J.Fox Museum
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Pity its not ours!
Winston's Letter
Dear Sirs,
Confirming our telephone conversation, Winston Churchill would be much obliged if you would send a box of cigars of good quality, but not quite as good as the Romeo & Juliet, and of uniform size to his grandson for his bithday on October 10th. I enclose a note to go with this parcel Yours faithfully
Dear sir...
Ian and cigsars
Ian wishing that they were his!
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at J J Fox
Still at J J Fox

After some purchases, Hugh suggested that we go on to Leicester Square, and Little Havana (No longer there)

We all piled into taxis

Little Havana, is one of the newest theme bars in London, complete with decor and music to match its name. We tried to gain entrance, by pushing the door, but to no avail; so we stood at the door, waiting for the bar to open, until we discovered that in order to gain entrance, you had to pull the door open!

Very dignified, we all entered, and immediately went upstairs to the bar. The place was deserted, apart from the staff and a few customers. (Well it was early!).

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Outside Little Havana
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Hugh Swift
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Ian just about to light up

That Tastes Good!
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Andy and Paul L

We sampled a Mohita cocktail. More Mohitas arrived, cigars were smoked. Hugh had with him some special Cognac -- ‘Cigar Reserve’ and a Single Cru Borderies, and with special permission from the manager of Little Havana, we sampled them both. I am pretty sure that the single cru won, but that the cigar reserve came a close second.

To wash down the samples, Cuba Libres arrived. One by one, as more drinks arrived, THOLT members left in order to get trains back home. I left a very crowed little Havana at about 11pm (people were now queuing to get in), leaving Hugh Swift and Andy to carry the flag.

inside Little Havana Inside Little Havana
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Andy and Catherine
Paul L
"Am I that P&#!@*"asks Paul L
Hugh & Andy
Hugh & Andy
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Ian Pepper
Ian in a mellow mood
"I like big ones!"- and Andy agrees!
next table
The next door neighbours
{short description of image} Hugh, Andy, and "Friends"
Now that's a herf! Hugh, Andy & "friends"

I arrived back home at about 1pm to an understanding but cigar hating wife, whose only complaint was the stale cigar odor!