Tokyo herfing …and other news

Hunters and Frankau treated me to a spot of lunch at the Churchill cigar bar last week. They seem rather pleased with my little company as we are buying more cigars than ever….quick celebration with a some champagne and Siglo VI’s :-) Thanks H&F.

I was getting a tad bored last week waiting around for all these delightful new Havanas to be launched so I decided to spend the weekend in Tokyo (!)

Yes,yes I know a bit of a schlep for the weekend but I can only bear being away from my lovely wife ( and her wonderful cooking ) for a day or two… so a weekend it was :-)

I have never been to Tokyo before although traditionally C.Gars Ltd has always had a large client base in Japan so this was as good a time as any.

My friend and smoking buddy Zaff came along for the trip and we arrived in Narita airport on Friday morning after a first rate Virgin Atlantic flight ( well done Richard Branson! Shame he doesn’t smoke cigars…as far as I know)…turned my Orange cell phone on to find that it would not work as Japan is on 3G and I was not ( travellers you have been warned!) rented a phone for around tuppence a day..problem solved.

The weather was sunny and hot and we smoked some excellent Partagas shorts whilst waiting for our shuttle bus. Perfect smoke after a 12 hour flight :-)

Checked into the delightful Sheraton Miyako hotel in the Minato -Ku area which is best described as a high class business area of the city.The hotel was splendid and the service and friendliness from the staff beyond compare.

In fact I must admit I have never come across such friendly and polite service on any of my world travels as I found in Tokyo.Simply superb.

I was told that there are some 200 cigars bars throughout Japan which is staggering. We headed to the M Bar in the Sheraton which is a cigar bar with fabulous ambience and a decent range of cigars as well as first class service.Drank some calvados an smoked a BBF.

Dinner at the Takanawa Prince Hotel was an incredible experience with friends who kindly took us there.The chef prepared our meal on a hot plate in front of us.Quite excellent.Dinner was followed by Ramon Allones Belicosos in the “Le Connaisseur” cigar bar at the same hotel….a very cool cigar shop…humidor…and lounge bar. Highly recommended.

We relaxed with our friend Yagi-san at his wonderful cigar bar,called Bar Bridge on Saturday evening,enjoying some P2’s and drinking some rather old Scotch.(thank you!)

Bar Bridge looks like a traditional English cigar divan,Leather couches,dim lights,lots of very very cool cigar memorabilia.Without doubt my favourite cigar bar in Tokyo. Oh! and the owner speaks excellent English and is a rather knowledgeable cigar merchant so it’s really a pleasure to “hang out”

We went on to “Maduro” cigar bar at the Grand Hyatt Hotel to listen to some live jazz ( why does jazz go so well with cigars? !) This was one BIG cigar lounge! Smoked some old Monte 2’s matched up with my favourite Bilecart salmon champagne…does life get any better?…ummmm…no don’t think so:-)…oh hold on it does,I forgot to mention the line of cars outside the hotel ….Ferrari 430,Rolls Silver Cloud,Lamborghini Murcielago amongst other Supercars :-)

Thanks to my Japanese friends for such a lovely weekend.

Zipped back to London…well 12 hour flight sort of zip…and back into the game as we say.I find out that the new Cohiba maduro 5 range is being released to our La Casa del Habano in Hamburg late this week and my sales team are selling these splendid new Havanas like they are going out of fashion:-) Happy days! Sorry to my clients in the UK,you will have to wait till they are launched on the 5th of July. I always love the first batch of a newly created/released Havana.The blends are so perfect and the excitement of trying a new cigar is tantalizing.

I was disappointed to hear that the UK regional Por Larranaga Magnificos is now delayed till September as I can’t wait to have them in my humidor.That said I doubt they will stay in my humidor for long as only 1400 boxes are being made ( all numbered I am pleased to say) A cigar for the smoker as well as the collector.

Only around 11 days till the stupid smoking ban in England so I’m off to Langans with friends….to puff my way through lunch whilst it’s still legal.From next month if you get caught they cut your nose off or something like that.

Tomorrow another smoking lunch organized by the Association of Independent Tobacco specialists

Thursday…..a diet :-)