London Auction – Havana Festival!

Our Winter Auction was held on the 19th November at Boisdale Canary Wharf and was as expected a resounding success. Bidders joined us from all over the world to enjoy the pre-auction herfing as well as the evenings event. The auction was held in the main dining room and literally packed with bidders.

Our consultant auctioneer Jonathan Humbert did an exceptional job of knocking down almost 350 Lots in just under 2 ½ hours which was quite a task! Well done Jonathan – great to have you on the Team!

The auction had a 96% sales rate which is pretty high by any auctioneers standards and record prices were achieved for rare Davidoff and Dunhill Havana cigar Lots. Plenty of interest in Pre embargo cigars, Cohiba and Limited edition humidors generally continuing the trend that we have seen over the last few years.

We keep all sold prices on our auction website search facility as a useful resource for both sellers and bidders, aficionados and connoisseurs and it’s interesting to see how values have increased on so many cigars whilst a few have stayed static.

I think bidders are clear that they demand good quality stocks, clean boxes and good provenance in which case they will pay the market price or perhaps above market price for certain items.

The event was followed by the Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year Awards dinner – more details here and here

The food and wine were superb as were the Fuente and Alec Bradley cigars we enjoyed over the course of the evening.

Big congrats to all the Award winners 🙂

Thanks to the C.Gars Auction Team including Jonathan, Michelle, Eliska as well as my wife Karyn and daughter Tasha for all their help before during and after the Auction.

My thanks to Ranald, Susanna, Nathan and Valeri and all the Boisdale Team for such a splendid event.

So the update for successful bidders is if you haven’t collected but have requested shipping… The Lots are now on the way to you. For Sellers – Sellers reports should be in your inbox in the next 24 hours.

No doubt the attendees enjoyed the evening as much as I did… And we look forward to doing it all over again next year 🙂 we start accepting auction Lots for our Summer auction at the beginning of February.

As if the Auction wasn’t enough action for me in a week, I zoomed off to Havana for the annual Partagas Festival! Relaxing with a pre-flight massage in the Virgin lounge and then meeting up with the boys from The Wellesley in Upper Class, the only thing that was missing was cigar smoking!

Smoked a Partagas Short at Jose Marti airport whilst waiting for the suitcases to come though (there is a smoking ban but no one seemed bothered) and my regular driver had a bottle of rum ready in the car which was perfect with a Partagas P2 as we headed off on our usual run around of Havana. 

First stop was the Melia Habana (Robaina shop) one of my favourites as they take great and very professional care of my cigars. I grabbed a rum from the bar and took a look in my locker to decide what to smoke. Settled on a box of 2001 Partagas Presidentes. first cigar was too perfect for words, the cigars were covered in plume, the draw was excellent and the flavour was old style full flavour, earthy and spicy Partagas.

Sadly the good experience ended with that first cigar as the rest of the box was terribly disappointing in terms of construction and draw. Joys of the 2001 lack of quality control I guess. Hey ho… Consoled myself smoking Cohiba Behike 54 and 56 as well as Cuban regional edition El Rey del Mundo Infantes over the next few days. All of which had excellent construction thankfully.

Visited the Partagas shop (factory closed down but shop is open), always good to see Hamlet the roller (he rolled for us in London a couple of years ago) who is managing the shop now together with the lovely and attentive Grecia.

Full range and stocks of cigars at Partagas. Melia Habana, Palacio, Melia Cohiba, Nacional in fact everywhere I visited and the El Laguito factory looks like it’s at very full production with large and beautiful tobacco leaf. So no signs of any shortages although a few vitolas of this and that in the UK seem to be coming and going… and coming back again.

The gala dinner was held at the Tropicana and as usual was a superb evening. I had a great table of friends including Amir Saarony who wrote the incredible book on Partagas. The auction which raises money for the Cuban National Health service appeared to be very successful and I was happy to help it along with a few bids for able auctioneer Massimo di Giovanni. The Tropicana show followed the auction and was awesome… As ever.

Herfed over the next couple of days at
La Fontana (superb food and service to match)
Sloppy Joe’s
La Dominica (odd name for an Italian restaurant!)
La Ferminia (Cigar Club bash)
Espacios (very cool place)
and Melen Bar (great place)

I’ve actually lost count of how many times I have been to Cuba! Probably around 70 times over the years but I never tire of my trips. Great cigars, rum, music, weather and very friendly people… Who could ask for more.

Finally back in C.Gars London office for a week or two before I head round all the Turmeaus and Robert Graham cigar and whisky shops around the country can’t believe Christmas is only a few weeks away! Our shops are crammed full of cigars and spirits, gifts and accessories and of course we guarantee the best service and value in the UK… After all, we are the largest cigar specialist in the UK 🙂

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing


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