The meeting place was
The Churchill Bar and Cigar Divan at the Churchill Hotel at 9 Portman Square.
11 am, A Jaded Ian Pepper and Keith Rowson who had started the night
before, were the fist to arrive, shortly followed by Kevin Timmins, Peter
Embling and Paul Dixon. Coffees were served and the first of many cigars were
fired up. The herf had begun.
Keith & Kevin
Peter enjoying the first of many
Ian after a heavy night
Leaving the cigar Bar at about
11.45 we got a Taxi to Dunhills at Jermyn Street, were we met some more
herfers, J B and Susan Mafu. whilst we were there, Andy Wright arrived, hotfoot
from the Davidoff shop where one nameless individual, lets call him
Pedro had told him to meet us!
Admiring the stock
J B & Susanne
Llewelyn Hill with some vintage cigars
Llewelyn Hill, one of the managers of Dunhills
kindly gave us a talk about the Keep (where they store Customers
purchases) and showed us some vintage cigars (to you offers in the
region of £ 20,000 will be acceptable!) One of bits of information
Llewelyn told us, was that the Keep is kept at 80% relative humidity, as
opposed to the accepted 70%. This is because of the way the lockers were
designed and the way the contents were stored . He also told us the estimated
value of the contents of the keep.
Llewelyn also told us
of an incident when a customer actually brought back a humidor into the shop's
walk-in humidor with a weevil inside it. Needless to say he quickly ushered him
outside to deal with the problem! It was Llewelyn's opinion that a single hole
in a stick merely indicated that a beetle had been trapped in the filler of the
cigar during manufacter and was trying to escape! He told us that in his
experience the beetles eat the wrapper out of choice, so damage is more obvious
than a single hole. He also suggested that a good way to tell if a box had been
affected was to look at the base of the inside of the opened lid to see if
there was a line of powder-like dust on that crease.
After about a pleasurable hour and a half and a few purchases by some of us,
we took taxis to The Terrace in Kensington for lunch.
The Terrace Restaurant
The Terrace is a small cigar
friendly restaurant. Whilst we were a smaller than expected number, we were
warmly received. There were about 3 or 4 other tables with diners, but when we
fired up, they quickly finished of their meals and departed.
We all had the set menu - Lasagne of goats cheese with tomato and black
olives, followed by Chargrilled chicken breast with rosemary potatoes and
pomery mustard mayonnaise. The desert was a choice of chocolate tart with
anglaise sauce or Hazlenut parfait with hot chocolate sauce.
It was at this point that J B brought out the cigars that were sent to him
for the Herf by Drew Newman of CigarFamily. Thanks alot Drew, maybe we'll see
you at one of these herfs of ours one day? They were Robusto No 7s
(41/2"x50) Maduro in a box of 10 and Dominican No 2 Centennial collection
(71/4"x48).of Questa Reys We fired them up. The general impression was
that whilst they were smooth, well constructed, they were no match for Havanas.
A good breakfast cigar perhaps?
J B Relaxing
About 4 p.m. we went to Tasador (no longer open). This was the shop that
Paul Farron who some of met at TOBACCO in Dublin) recently opened. We were due
to stay there for drinks in the back room, but unfortunately for us, it had
also been booked by some of his customers; and business has to come first!
Peter in the Shop
After a quick look round, we went to The Elephant &
Castle pub opposite the Terrace Restaurant for a quick couple of beers and
The Cigar Quiz which is now a
tradition of THOLT and TOBACCO
It was time to go to Che in St Jamess Street.
El_Ingles doing his impresion of David Bailey (Badly)
Here, Karl & Bruce
Yeo, Graham & Janette Taylor and Richard Page joined us. Che is one of the
newer Cigar bars in London., with plenty of cigars modern and vintage. Anything
you see is for sale at a price.
Peter & Janette in the cigar lounge
Admiring the stock
JB & Ian at the bar
Bruce, Ritchard Graham & Karl
Susan & Janette
Susan & Andy
A few drinks later,
Peter, invited Pia, Silvia, Ashleigh and Bernadette to join him, they declined,
I wonder why? but they joined us to have their pictures taken!
Pia, Silvia, Ashleigh and
It was time to go to the traditional THOLT "End of Herf" place,
9 pm is not a good time to get in to the place. People were queuing. When we
got to the door, we were told that it was couples only! After some
"discussion", we were shown up to the V I P Area. Since this was
nearly empty, it was perfect for some serious herfing. We ordered some pitchers
of mohitas and mellowed.
VIP Area of Little Havana
Getting the drinks in
JB, Keith & Ian
Susan, ??, JB, Andy & Ian
?? & Susan
?? & Keith
Tom & Kevin
Now that's what I call a Cigar! -Andy & Kevin
Y'know JB, in an hour's time I'm flying to Cuba!
Kevin & Ian
No, honestly they're mine!
Smoking! Keith with Tom distracted, but why?
And just why is Andy taking that photo?
Did we have entertainment?...
I Think Not!
Honorary THOLT3'ers, Venasa and Anja
Venasa and Anja
Anja & Keith
Deep in thought
Romeo y Julietas
Now what's he doing?
That's my Mobile Number...
Peter, Venasa ,Anja and Andy
Where's the other hand, Peter? or should we ask Andy!
Since Hugh (Romeo) Swift did not turn up, Peter, stepped in for him. He
found Anja and Venasa, and spent most of the time with them!
About 11.30 I had to leave to get the last tube home and I seem
to remember JB and Susan leaving as well.
'Peter and Andy were last seen practising thier Spanish and German at least
unto 3.30 in the morning, but that's another story ;)