Amsterdam has its coffee shops, where connoisseurs (yes) can actually go to enjoy a smoke and try different things… but what about tobacco? Cigarettes have become a bit of a cold and rainy affair since the smoking ban and it’s quite hard to even find fag machines in bars nowadays. The solution? Ditch the smokes and get into cigars instead… gansta! It’s the last place of dignity and warmth for smokers (pick up a monocle to complete the look – Shoreditch might even salute you!).
LA CASA DEL HABANO
Finding a Cuban bar to smoke a cigar is wise… those Cubans know their stuff. This place isn’t your usual brandy-soaked, OAP cigar bar either – you’ll find almost as much choice in the cocktail list as with the cigars one. Thanks to a loophole in the smoking ban, you can “sample” the cigars in their cigar boutique next door. Sweet.
100 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0TN
Ok, so you’ll have to sit outside on the pavement to enjoy a smoke, but that seems kind of fitting in this Italian bar. Sit back, chill out and people watch as the world goes by. Not happy with their selection of cigars? Easy; Davidoff across the road have got your back – they reckon that they’ve got the largest selection of cigars in Europe. If you’re feeling flash then wash it all down with one of their Chase vodka White Truffle Martinis… cos you can.
61 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6LX
If you’re the kind of person who likes to have everything in one place, this private member’s bar could be for you. They have a rooftop garden and bar, a barbeque, a cocktail bar, private meeting rooms, an outdoor cinema and a restaurant… and that’s not even everything. Of course, they also have a cigar terrace. You’ll never need to go home!
474-476 Fulham Road, London, SW6 1BY
Covered up smoking areas are awesome! With heated lamps and deep armchairs, it’s pretty much as far as you can get from standing out in the cold. You could even meet your perfect woman here as they run special events that introduce the ladies to the cigars. Definitely order a Tobacco Road cocktail with rum and tobacco liqueur to go with your smoke.
Marylebone, London, W1U 4DG
Spoil yourself, eat some awesome Argentine steaks and then digest with a fat cigar. The Gaucho guys have a huge alfresco dining area at their Canary Wharf branch and a selection of cigars on their bar menu… plus their cocktail menu is pretty extensive as well. Treat yourself!
29 Westferry Circus, Canary Riverside, E14 8RR
Attached to South Kensington’s Gaucho, you’ll find this authentic Argentine bar. Most of the staff have flown over to work here and the head barman has brought his own Argentine bar tools with him – you’re in very capable hands. Get them to pair one of their delicious cocktails with a cigar from the list on the back of the menu, then unbutton your shirt and don some kind of gold medallion – you’ll fit right in.
87 Sloane Avenue, London, SW3 3DX
They’re well equipped for a long session here; with heaters, fine accessories, blankets and cushions under the awning, all of which should keep you warm as you smoke. They have books on cigars too, so you can turn up in your best tweed and make like you’ve been smoking them forever.
If you really want to splash some cash, you can try one of the rarest cigars currently on the market here – in the Cohiba Behike range. Their cigar terrace is actually dedicated to cigar smokers after 5pm, so leave the Marlborough Reds out of it.
15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BJ
This is generally accepted to be London’s best smoking lounge; with leather sofas, flowers, exotic plants, a fireplace and even a ceiling over part of it – you can pretend that the smoking ban never even happened. Check it out. If you want to roll like a high-flier, then you’re in the right place, their collection of exclusive cigars is matched by their spirits– which includes a vintage cognac from 1770. Warning: you might have a Kleenex moment when you see the bill.
Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA
Owner Ranald Macdonald has compared the smoking ban to “a Nazi occupation.” With its very own cigar terrace, you can light up in comfort. Comedy-size cigars and fat-cat stereotypes, we encourage. Throw on a pin-stripe suit and tell them BarChick sent you.
15 Eccleston Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9LX
With Alessandro Palazzi behind the bar, you’re in the most capable of hands at Dukes, he’s a bit of an oldskool legend. This little hotel might be hard to find, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and the small garden at the back is just as tucked away – with lanterns, decking and its own bar, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a cigar in peace. Why leave? Grab a room and disappear for a day or two.
35-36 Saint James’s Place, London, SW1A 1NY