The only amply sized, designated places you'll find smokers communing are cigar bars, rooms and/or terraces where connoisseurs of Churchills and Gran Coronas can puff away without fear of censure. The bars tend to play up the classic ambiance of their predecessors, heavy on nostalgic elements of old school gentleman's clubs. Suffice to say, in London, a city ruled by tradition, they fit right in.
If your idea of a leisurely evening begins or ends with a few slow draws of fermented nicotine, be sure to check out the three hotels listed below, all of which specialize in catering to the (legal) narcotic habits of their clientele and offer a relaxing and roomy environment where non-smokers are the odd ones out.
Here, hand-rolled Havanas are on the menu, as are Cohibas, Montecristos, and Romeo y Julietas. If, cigar novices, these sound more like classic novels, turn to the hotel's "cigar trained team" for advice about type, cut, et cetera, along with drink pairing suggestions.
The Garden Room is billed as London's "first and most luxurious" smoking room, the O.G. cigar bar to its copycat counterparts. With a £14,000 suite on site, clearly the hotel has a penchant for over the top opulence. Expect their cigar selection to match, with a variety of Cuban and pre-Castros available, along with a special wine, cigar, and food pairing lunch of which to partake, should you fancy.
When the weather outside is frightful (as is often the case in London), warming oneself with a cigar is, well, you know. And, actually, September has brought an Indian summer to the city, so you'd best hurry to Dukes before the inevitable onset of grey skies. Cognacs and cigars are the combination of choice at this hotel, and while you can only smoke selections purchased at the hotel, there are plenty of classic, quality Cubans available. We'll drink—not to mention puff and drag—to that.
[Photo: No. Ten Manchester Street Facebook]