The Holiday season has started!

Arrived back from Havana on Monday and went straight to the office for a sip of rum and a BBF….. no reason to stop the party πŸ™‚

Seems I beat jet lag for the first time this year which was just as well as we completed on our new London shop (Whisky and Cigars by Robert Graham) and I needed to have my head straight to deal with the builders who I can now confirm have started and yes …we have a floor! Well that’s a good start at least. If all goes to plan, we will open on Thursday. I’ll pop some photos on the website as soon as we have the shop merchandised. I’m planning on opening till 8 every night as I don’t think there is any cigar specialist in London where you can buy your boxes of Havanas from in the evenings. Oh! and we will be open Sundays as well πŸ™‚

Also opening on Thursday at The Treasurer by Robert Graham – 254 Canongate Edinburgh (Royal Mile) worth a visit if you are in the area as we will have a mouth watering selection of product.

Sorting through some of the old photos and price lists in our collection last week it was great to dig out a pre war Robert Graham catalogue of Havana cigars and hand made chocolates! I’ll get some scans done and put on the website, it’s pretty cool.

And we are now open (till the start of next year) at the Edinburgh Highland Village drop by for some whisky infused hot chocolate πŸ™‚

Had a very late night last Wednesday at Boisdale with my friend Jay from the US who popped over for a quick smoke and a dram or two and my partner Ron Morrison (the whisky connoisseur) The smoking terrace was packed till closing time and I think the restaurant was too, this has to be one of the most successful venues in London and it deserves to be, great food (at reasonable prices) splendid scotch and its cigar friendly who could ask for more?

Hmmm… losing count of all the locations we are trading in…. does that make us the biggest cigar retailer in the UK ? by trading units? I think so…. by value? …I think so…. by volume? …I think so. Hey, I could be wrong but I reckon we are the largest Cigar merchant in the UK ! I guess there has to be a reason (or a few reasons) why more cigar aficionados prefer C.Gars Ltd and Robert Graham Ltd.

Cigars seem to be a booming industry in the UK, maybe I’ll open more retail stores in some other busy locations in 2010, I’m having great fun developing different retail concepts with Ron

Christmas season seems to have suddenly started with an upsurge in orders that is quite staggering, I sometimes wonder how everyone decides to order on the same day?! Our London office/warehouse is so full of stock I don’t think we could squeeze another item in! Michelle has 6 girls in her team this year and expects to have 100% order fulfillment on time this year.

Karyn and Laura are busier than busy with their new website Great Gifts and I have been “told” to mention the new puppet toys that have just arrived in stock πŸ™‚

This Tuesday evening the C.Gars Ltd auction will be held at Boisdale from 7 p.m and it already looks like it will be a great success. There are a variety of different Lots from the rarest of the rare to some more recent limited editions. The C.Gars sales team are looking forward to the event and very pleased to be having famous ex Christies auctioneer Brian Ebbesen conducting the auction.

So Mish and I are at the office Sunday preparing the commission bids for the auction and Lotting up the final boxes of cigars, it could be a long day!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Partagas festival

This blog comes to you from the Hotel Nacional in sunny Havana where I have been enjoying the annual Partagas Festival week.

I decided to take a bunch of friends to meet Alejandro Robaina on Thursday (with the kind assistance of my friend Amir) but thought as we are travelling quite a distance we would also take in The Indian Caves, Viniales and a few other stops on the way…. it was a long day but with a comfortable minibus and a few bottles of Santiago rum in the bus as well as some great smokes, a great day was had by all. I have some great photos for the website in a couple of days time.

Robaina seemed to be in good spirits considering he is over 90 and as he lit up a rough looking little cigar that looked like he had just bunched it, he quipped that he is “proof that you live a long life if you smoke Havana cigars”!

Friday morning we had the pleasure of a tour of El Laguito where we saw a great deal of Cohiba Robustos and Siglo VI being rolled as well as various other vitolas. Note that code LBT NOV 09 is El Laguito πŸ™‚

The gala dinner was held at the Habana Libre Hotel (Havana Hilton before the Revolution) and it was the best event I have attended in the last 10 years, The entertainment was splendid and the cigars rolled by La China plentiful and quite beautiful (photos to follow as soon as I get back to London) The charity auction raised over 30,000 C.U.C’s and the event was attended by over 300 Friends of Partagas.

The “Amigos de Partagas” were called to the stage to receive goodie bags which included a book of memories from past Festivals. I counted 5 photos of me! (glad I never wore the same jacket twice!)

The Italian contingent was plentiful as usual and it was great to see Massimo, Francesco and friends. Simon Chase from Hunters and Frankau, Ajay Patel from LCDH London and me of course were happy to represent the UK Havana cigar trade. Jemma Freeman and Edward Sahakian of Davidoff were also in Havana for the earlier part of the Festival week.

No sign of any unusual cigars in the stores and HC15 rum seems to have gone up in price to 150 C.U.C’s ! but I still enjoyed hefing in 5th Avenue LCDH, Partagas and the Robaina shop at the Melia Habana. Jemma gave me a UK exclusive Juan Lopez Seleccion Suprema to try ” in Havana” and it was sublime truly a great smoke that I believe will mature into a classic.

Last night in Havana and I’m off to the Jazz Cafe, cigar friendly of course. It may be a communist country but smoking indoors seems so civilized!

Peaceful puffing

Saludos

Mitchell

Humidor photos courtesy of Eric Rigori

Nottingham herfing :-)

After a days herfing in Scotland with my partner Ron on Monday,it was good to relax in the London office for a few days and get in shape for what turned out to be a bit of a marathon herf in Nottingham on Thursday/Friday!

At the kind invitation of one of my clients (now a firm friend!) I zoomed up the M1 smoking a Diplomaticos no.2 on Thursday morning. Met up with my client and checked out his fabulous collection of Havanas. He noticed that I was paying a lot of attention to some old Monte 2’s and promptly told me to grab a handful and we’d smoke them after lunch. Needless to say I didn’t need telling twice! (TY AS)

Off we went to lunch at the delightful Harts restaurant Slick service, chic decor, delicious food accompanied by a 2007 Sancerre and followed by a cheeky Pomerol 2003.Perfect. Highly recommended

But where to smoke after lunch? Easy said my friend,the lovely Harts Hotel is cigar friendly and set us up with a lovely (and comfortable) outdoor covered and heated smoking area.

We sampled a few goodies including Diplomaticos no.2’s Bolivar Belicosos, Monte Edmundos and Punch Serie D’Oro no.1 and yes you guessed it, the Punch was the big winner (every time!)

Friends joined us over the rest of the afternoon and quite a few more smokes and bottles of that cheeky red were put away πŸ™‚

By 9 pm we thought we had better have some dinner and The World Service was just a short walk away. Another thoroughly excellent choice of restaurant that I would highly recommend.

I think we were all kind of herfed out at midnight so a quick gift of a Cohiba Gran Reserva to my friend ended the evening in style.

Great to see old friends and new in Nottingham and I look forward to coming back again in the future.

Laura, Karyn and Mish have worked ridiculously hard on their new website and I’m terribly proud of them. Do check it out Great Gifts. Any constructive criticism always welcomed.

Christmas season is upon us and our retail cigar and whisky stores seem to be busier by the day. Edinburgh Rose street had a madly busy few days as they had a fabulous roller from the El Laguito factory rolling custom blends. Always popular with the customers. I never even got to try one as they all sold out!

The auction catalogues are printed now and looking pretty cool if I do say so myself πŸ™‚ You can view ( and bid) on Lots online or come to Boisdale for the actual auction on the 1st December

Well that’s all the news for now except to say I’m off to Havana next week for the annual Partagas Festival πŸ™‚ this one should be the best ever. The gala dinner is at the Habana Libre Hotel and I’m looking forward to seeing friends from all over the world in sunny Havana

Have a great weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Christmas Gifts….

Our latest venture into the Gift market has certainly taken off and the launch of our new website last week was very well received by customers old and new. If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to visit our new gift site which carries a range of gifts for him and her, along with a range of wedding items and official football memorabilia! Be sure to take a look at http://www.greatgiftsetc.co.uk/

Best regards

Mitchell!

More Cohiba Gran Reserva! and auction update !

Whatttta week! sold out our last sticks of the fabulous Cohiba Gran Reserva but have just heard from Hunters and Frankau that we are being sent a further allocation πŸ™‚

Now I’m delighted about that as they are fast becoming a firm favourite for our clients as well as myself.

We sell them in full boxes of 15 as well as singles of course and having tested 4 cigars from 4 different cabinet (on the same day-all in the interests of quality control!) I can confirm that blend was identical on all as was the appearance, the construction was also without fault.

Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Undoubtedly. If you only smoke 1 great cigar in this lifetime… Cohiba Gran Reserva would be a great choice. With the holiday season fast approaching this is a great cigar to tuck away.

Made a quick trip to Turmeaus cigar shops in Liverpool and Chester on Tuesday and am happy to confirm that they already have enormous stocks of Havanas and Havana gift packs for Christmas so if you are in the area do drop in to one of our traditional cigar stores. My team are highly experienced and always happy to advise.

The interest in the cigar auction at Boisdale on the 1st December is increasing all the time. More Lots were added last week and more are due to be added in the next week. Now I can’t tell you what the reserves are but I reckon there will be some bargains to be had.

If you want to attend the auction which will be at the fabulous cigar terrace at Boisdale just drop me a line sales@cgarsltd.co.uk . If you can’t attend you can of course bid online. It’s straightforward and simple and you may be able to top up your humidor with something special at an auction bargain price.

Robert Graham Ltd -whisky and cigar merchants have now acquired premises on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile at 254 Canongate to add to our stores on Glasgow and Edinburgh Rose street and we expect to have our new fabulous whisky/cigar/chocolate emporium open by the end of this month if all goes to plan.

Robert Graham Ltd was established in 1874 and are highly successful and award winning independent single malt whisky bottlers. You can have your own personalized bottle of whisky delivered within 24 hours πŸ™‚

Robert Graham Ltd will also be at this years Edinburgh Highland Village

Finally if you smoke as much as me but don’t want your hair or clothes to smell of smoke check out this product that I have just imported. It works! and thanks to my smoking buddy Matt for telling me about the product (commission cheque is in the post!) I know I smell like I have just been dry cleaned πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell