Perfect Claret Jugs for Fine Wine

Until the 17th century, wine was served straight from the bottle; then it gradually became customary to pour it into a special serving bottle or jug before carrying it to the table. In addition to being more decorous, the new procedure had a practical advantage: if the wine was poured slowly and gently into the serving jug, all of the sediment was left behind in the bottle. This process was known as 'canting' , and as early as 1710 the vessel that received the wine was being referred to in advertisements as a 'decanter'.

Originally it was fortified wine such as port, Madeira and sherry that was served in a decanter, a practice extended only much later to whisky and other spirits. Another popular drink was claret, which had a different meaning in the 18th century. Today it refers to dark red wines, but formerly it was a general term for the light red wines of Bordeaux, which Englishmen had been drinking with their meals since the Middle Ages (when this area was ruled by England).
 

JAC Chalice Crystal & Silver Claret Jug

 

UK Wine Storage Services

Premium cellarage services provide a peerless storage environment, offering everything your fine wine needs when laid down to mature - making it safer, finer and ultimately worth more.

From bonded warehousing to online photographic records of your collection - ideal for potential buyers - services are wide ranging and prices do fluctuate so worth investigating further.

Arc Reserves

www.arcreserves.com

2 Purbeck Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PF44 (0)1223 271835

Armit

www.armitwines.co.uk/

5 Royalty Studios, 105 Lancaster Road, London W11 1QF44 (0)20 7908 0600

Atlas Fine Wines

www.atlasfinewines.com

10 Upper Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5NP+44 (0)20 3017 2299

Averys Wine Merchants

www.averys.com

9a Culver Street, Bristol BS1 5LD+44 (0)333 0148208

Bancroft Wines

www.bancroftwines.com

Woolyard, 54 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UD+44 (0)20 7232 5470

Berry Bros. & Rudd

www.bbr.com

Hamilton Close, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6YB+44 (0)20 7022 8973

Big Yellow Self Storage Company

www.bigyellow.co.uk

71 Townmead Road, Fulham, London, SW6 2ST+44 (0) 20 7736 5020 

Corney & Barrow

www.corneyandbarrow.com

No 1 Thomas More Street, London E1W 1YZ+44 (0)20 7265 2400

Davy's Wine Merchants

www.davy.co.uk

161-165 Greenwich High Road, Greenwich, London SE10 8JA+44 (0)20 8858 9147

Farr Vintners

www.farrvintners.com

220 Queenstown Road, London SW8 4LP+44 (0)20 7821 2000 

Bordeaux Index

www.bordeauxindex.com

10 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8AH+44 (0)20 7269 0703

Fine+Rare

www.frw.co.uk

Woolyard, 54 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UD+44 (0)20 7089 7400

Farthinghoe Fine Wines

www.farthinghoefinewine.com

The Old Rectory Stablehouse, Farthinghoe, Northamptonshire, NN13 5NZ+44 (0)1295 710018 

Handford Wines

www.handford.net

105 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LE+44 (0)20 7589 6113

Justerini & Brooks

www.justerinis.com

61 St James's Street, London SW1A 1LZ+44 (0)20 7484 6400

Laithwaite's

www.laithwaites.co.uk

New Aquitaine House, Exeter Way, Theale, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 4PL+44 (0)3330 148 202

Lay & Wheeler

www.laywheeler.com

Holton Park, Holton St Mary, Suffolk CO7 6NN+44 (0)1473 313 233

LCB (formerly known as London City Bond) 

www.lcb.co.uk

Olympus, 91-101 River Road, Barking, Essex IG11 0EG+44 (0)845 498 9918

Locke-King Valuts

www.ehdlondon.com

c/o EHD London No 1 Bond Limited, Unit A, Vickers Drive North, Brooklands Industrial Park, Weybridge KT13 0YU+44 (0) 1932 334300

Nexus

www.nexuswine.co.uk

1 The Green, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1AL+44 (0)1672 513028

Octavian

www.octavian.co.uk

Eastlays, Gastard, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9PP+44 (0)1225 810735

Private Cellar

www.privatecellar.co.uk

Kentford Lodge, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7QS+44 (0)1353 721 999

Private Reserves

http://www.privatereservesltd.com/

Grange Farmhouse, Holdenby, Northampton NN6 8DJ+44 (0)1604 770 759 

Seckford Wines

www.seckfordwines.co.uk

Dock Lane, Melton, Ipswich, Suffolk IP12 1PE+44 (0)1394 446622

Smith + Taylor

www.smithandtaylor.com

1c Broughton Street, London SW8 3QJ+44 (0)20 7627 5070

Uncorked

www.uncorked.co.uk

Exchange Arcade, Broadgate, London EC2M 3WA+44 (0)20 7638 5998

The Wine Society

www.thewinesociety.com

Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, Herts SG1 2BT+44 (0)1438 741177

Artisan Wine Storage UK

www.artisanwinestorage.co.uk

Humidor Setup Guide

Congratulations! You’ve purchased a humidor that will keep your Havana cigars in perfect condition for many years to come.

Havana cigars mature like fine wines, in fact they will continue to improve for up to their first 15 years but they do need a little basic care. The humidifier in your humidor should be topped up either with humidification solution or distilled water.

Humidification solution is a mixture of distilled water, polyglycol and a mould inhibiter and will help your humidor keep 67-70% relative humidity (+/- 2%).

Try to site your humidor in a location with a temperature, which never exceeds 70 F. The temperature range you are aiming for is between 66 F and 70 F. The relative humidity that you are aiming for is ideally 67–70 %. You should add humidification solution to the humidifier and wait a few days for the cedar wood to settle before placing your cigars in your new humidor.

To test the condition of your cigars, press with the pad of your thumb just below the band of the cigar. The cigar should feel firm but springy if it is in good condition; if it feels hard and brittle then the cigar is under humidified. If it feels soft and spongy, then the cigar is over humidified.

Havana cigars need fresh air! Be sure to open your humidor periodically and be sure to rotate the cigars, i.e. if you are not smoking regularly, at the end of each week put the cigars from the bottom layer of the humidor to the top layer of the humidor and so on.

Our Cabinet Humidifiers

We use a low maintenance, fan assisted German humidity system in all our large bespoke cabinets. They cost a little more but are reliable and extremely effective in maintaining humidity.

 

Wine Storage Guide

Once it is firmly stoppered in a bottle, wine should be protected from its greatest enemy, the oxygen in the air. If, however, the cork dries out and eventually shrinks so that it no longer acts as an airtight seal, it may start to allow oxygen in to the wine and spoil it. For this reason, wine bottles have traditionally been stored on their sides, so that the wine keeps the cork thoroughly damp and swollen to fill the bottleneck. Screwcapped bottles can be stored at any angle.

There is a revolutionary school of thought, however, which suggests that it may be better for wine to store bottles at an angle, which ensures that both wine and the air bubble are in contact with the cork. This will keep the cork damp but allow any expansion and contraction of the air bubble due to temperature variation to result in air, and not wine, passing through the cork. When bottles are stored horizontally the distance of the air bubble from the cork means that when higher temperatures cause it to expand, wine may be forced out between the cork and bottle-neck (the sugary deposits round the neck of many sweet wines are cited as evidence for this). Then when the temperature drops, the air bubble contracts to form a vacuum and oxygen may be drawn into the bottle. That amount of oxygen may reach harmful levels if temperatures fluctuate dramatically.

For the moment, most wine racks in commercial circulation are blithely ignorant of this new theory, however, so if you want to store wine in a place in which the temperature can vary by more than 10 °C (18 °F) it might be wise to put a wedge underneath the front of the rack so as to tilt the whole thing at the (newly) approved angle.

For the reasons outlined previously, temperature fluctuation is the most serious hazard for wine storage, although the cooler wine is kept, the slower, and very possibly more interestingly, it will develop. The warmer it is stored, the faster it will mature (because heat inevitably speeds up all reactions and vice versa).

The actual temperature at which wine is stored is also important, evolution being accelerated at higher temperatures. Care should be taken than it never falls below -4 °C (25 °F), the temperature at which the lightest wines freeze and can fatally force corks out of bottlenecks. On the other hand, there is a temperature, about 30 °C (86 °F), above which a wine's more volatile compounds may be boiled off forever, and the colour and clarity is affected. In very general terms the ideal wine storage temperature is probably between 10 and 15 °C (50 and 59 °F), but no great harm will come to wine stored between 15 and 20 °C (59 and 68 °F) so long as the temperature does not fluctuate too dramatically causing the wine to expand and contract rapidly, with a risk of letting air in. Maximum and minimum thermometers can be very useful for monitoring potential places to store wine.

Wine dislikes light as well as heat. Strong light can adversely affect the taste of wine, particularly sparkling wine, and particularly if the bottles are made from clear or pale glass. (This is why wine is sold increasingly in almost black bottles, and why champagne is often wrapped in tissue paper or a special light-proof cellophane.)

Humidity is also quite important. If wine is stored in too dry an atmosphere for several years, the corks can dry out and stop being an effective seal. Damp coal holes are good for the condition of the wine but can rapidly damage labels and make wine more difficult to re-sell.

Lack of vibration is useful for wines with a sediment, although this widespread belief is based more on hunch than hard evidence, and an absence of strong smells is absolutely vital (no old cans of paint or garden chemicals). In practice, security has to be weighed against ease of retrieval, with the relative importance of these two factors dependent on things like your income and willpower.

The ideal cellar

It follows from all of the above that the ideal place for wine storage is a nice, dark, roomy, slightly dank cellar with a single discreet entrance to which only you have the key. It is lined with wine racks but has masses of room to walk around and to stack wine in its original cases, as well as little tasting corner and a large desk for keeping cellar records up to date.

For most of us, alas, this cellar belongs in the realm of fantasy. Most modern dwellings have a shortage of storage space of any kind, let alone somewhere cool, dark, quiet, slightly damp and roomy enough for a cache of bottles. Garden sheds and all but the most protected outbuildings are unsuitable in the British climate because of the danger of the temperature's dropping below -4 °C (25 °F). The main problem with most possible indoor places, on the other hand, is that they are too warm. Central heating boilers tend to be put wherever there is spare storage space, which rules out storing wine there - unless the boiler can be insulated. Insulation of this sort is generally the key to establishing some decent permanent territory for a large wine collection, whether of a basement, an attic, or a slice of a room which becomes a walk-in wine cellar. Many people will be unwilling to make this much commitment however and are really looking for somewhere to store a dozen or two bottles. They could be kept in an attic, basement or corner of a spare-room under an insulation blanket, or even in an old fireplace or possibly under the stairs. It is useful if possible to keep a bowlful of water on the ground near the wine to keep the humidity level up.

Bottles can be stored in wooden wine cases, or those made from the strongest cardboard, so long as the corks are kept damp. A proper wine rack will last longer and can be made to any shape you specify. Double depth models can be useful.

The worst place to store wine (a fact unbeknown to many kitchen designers) is by a cooker or on top of a fridge where there are frequent blasts of hot air.

If you are serious about wine you can buy an 'artificial cellar', a temperature- and humidity-controlled cabinet like a refrigerator which keeps reds and whites at pre-ordained temperatures in different parts of it. 

It is also possible to buy a spiral cellar which can be sunk into a specially excavated hole under ground level, but the installation can be messy.

Using professional storage

Much the easiest option in some ways, particularly if you have a large quantity of young wine, is to have it stored by professionals, either under the auspices of the merchant(s) you bought it from or directly with one of the specialists in wine warehousing. This can cost as much as a bottle of village burgundy per year per ‘case’ (the standard box containing dozen bottles) and should ensure that the wine is stored in ideal conditions, but it rules out the spontaneity of picking bottles at random from your wine collection. Some of these also offer advice on when to drink your wines. 

Getting serious about collecting wine

Wine sometimes gets to otherwise sane people. They are smitten with the desire to exchange large sums of money for a collection of bottles that will mature over their lifetime. They scramble for smart or rare wines offered en primeur, as futures, paying for it (from a respectable merchant, please) long before it’s delivered. They may also fill gaps in their collections by buying older wines at auction, notably from Christie’s or Sotheby’s. I find it inimical to buy wine solely as an investment. And in any case wine prices go down as well as up. But, like all forms of collecting, it can bring a great deal of pleasure (and costs much less than collecting, say, works of art). Reasonably good record-keeping such as that offered by online cellar management systems is needed to ensure that wines don’t languish past their drink-by dates. And some wine collectors need to be reminded every so often that wine is for drinking! 

Caring for Wood

The treatment care is dependent on the type of timber used and the finish. This basic guide will help your custom piece last more than a lifetime.

Common Wood Types

Oak

When new and unfinished, oak furniture will naturally appear quite light with a slightly yellowed hue. All woods however can have significant colour variation from one piece to another, as with any natural product. Any sample products should be taken as indicative of the wood and finish, however it is not possible to guarantee an exact colour match.

Over time, sunlight will cause the wood to darken and mellow throughout its life. Oils in the skin will accelerate this process with any areas that are regularly touched, such as handles, table edges or chair backs, gaining a noticeably darker tint to the rest of the furniture.

Solid oak furniture may also be subject to rough grain protruding from previously smooth surfaces. This is usually caused in humid conditions or areas where spillage has occurred, the water having been absorbed into the wood causing the grain to swell.

Walnut

Compared to oak, walnut is quite dark when first cut, especially the American black walnut varieties. Sunlight will cause walnut to lighten overtime, often bleaching into a light brown, with perhaps a slightly red tint to it.

In all other respects, walnut behaves much in the same way as oak (see above).

Ash

Ash behaves in all respects nearly identically to oak, the main difference is ash has a slightly narrower grain. Again, as with oak, ash will darken over time.

Cherry

Cherry is a wood that starts very pale, and can look very similar to both ash and oak when young. Over time, sunlight will cause cherry to darken and redden.

Avoid placing objects on cherry for a long period of time in a fixed position as this will mean the area which has been covered will remain lighter than the rest of the wood.

Elm

Sourced from North America, grey elm has a rich grain that makes it a fascinating and beautiful timber, especially when used for inlays. Elm is hard wearing with lacquered finishes naturally darkening over time.

Stained Wood

Stained versions of the woods described above, usually in ash or oak, adding a little more protection from spillages. Staining also adds a greater level of colour control between timber batches.

General Care

Finish: unless otherwise specified, our wood is usually finished in a durable clear matt lacquer. This provides an easy to care for durable finish that doesn't compromise the natural beauty of the wood grain.

Care: solid woods may expand and shrink with differences in temperature and humidity. Take care not to place your furniture next to radiators or anywhere subject to excessive changes in temperature or moisture content. We recommend that all kitchenware and beverages should be placed on mats and any spillages should be wiped away immediately.

Cleaning: to clean, wipe with a damp cloth before buffing with a dry cloth. In the event of more stubborn marks, a solution of mild detergent should be used on the cloth. Silicone based polishes should not be used on the wood as they will build up and leave a sticky residue on the surface.

Heat: never place hot items such as dishes directly onto the table without using a heat resistant mat or trivet as direct heat will draw out the moisture in the wood leaving a ring mark ingrained into the wood.

Oiled Wood Care

Finish: applied by hand. the pre-oilded finish enhances the open grained appearance of the wood giving it a slightly more rustic,matt finish. We use an Eco friendly Linseed based oil.

Care: despite having already been pre-oiled, we recommend that you apply an additional two coats of oil within 48 hours of taking delivery of the table. We would also recommend that you oil the table surface on a six month to yearly basis depending on its usage. Take care not to over-oil the table. We will give more advise during the wood selection process. 

Please note that unless specified by a client, we manufacture entirely out of solid wood and it should always be remembered that the wood should not be exposed directly to excessive heat or moisture. For instance, do not place immediately adjacent to radiators and in the event of any spillages, wipe up all liquids as soon as possible before the liquid has the opportunity to soak into the wood. Again we will advise which woods to use dependent on site visit.

Cleaning: to clean, simply wipe down with a soft, barely damp cloth to remove any dust. In the case of stubborn marks, a solution of mild detergent such as washing up liquid should be used on the cloth. Avoid the use of scourers or bleaches. In the event of severe spillages and stains the surface can be re-finished. However it is recommended that you consult our customer services department.

Sustainability

All the woods we use is responsibly sourced natural timbers.

Finishes such as oils or lacquers also adhere to strict European Union guidelines and regulations, minimising their environmental impact.

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Why do I need to decant wine?

Should you decant it or just serve it up straight out of the bottle?

Decanters not only look elegant but placing a wine in a decanter 'wakes up' the wine so that it reveals its full personality. Decanting either separates oxygenation of a young or tannic wine in order to release its aromas, or enables the liquid from the sediment for a vintage wine.  Decanting also presents the wine or whisky in a glass or crystal receptacle which highlights the natural colours. 

Berry Bros. & Rudd set out to find the most frequently asked questions about wine, before enlisting the expertise of their own team to answer them. Here their Wine Education Specialist, Anne McHale MW, explains why certain wine styles benefit from being decanted and the best way to go about it.

See more videos from BBR by visiting their YouTube Page.

Did you know that during the 18th century, when England was at war with France during the Napoleonic Wars, England imported young port wine from their Portuguese allies. When the wine was shipped, brandy was added to help keep it in good condition. This led to Britain's adoption of Port as their wine of choice.

The Claret Jug is the popular name of The Golf Champion Trophy, the winner's trophy in The Open Championship, one of the four major championships in the sport of golf. The awarding of The Claret Jug dates from 1872, when a new trophy was needed after Young Tom Morris had won the original Championship Belt outright in 1870 by winning the Championship three years in a row. 

See our recommended range of decanters from The Silver Company.

Return to Wine Rooms

Stunning examples of bespoke and standard cabinet humidors.

Superbly crafted, with exquisite marquetry and exotic wood inlays. It's hard to find a flaw when buying bespoke humidors made to your own secification. Whatever you put in them will simply come alive. If your budget will not stretch to 100% bespoke why not consider a beautifully made free standing humidor cabinet made by Europe's leading manufacturer.

Our favourite London cigar friendly venues, terraces & bars

From the 1 July 2007, all workplaces and enclosed public places in the UK became smoke free, including pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants. However, many of these venues have built outdoor areas and house stunning humidor rooms such as The Wellesley and Bulgari Shop & Sampling Lounge

For more information on cigar venues in London download the Simply Cigars Cigar Venue App.

10 MANCHESTER STREET

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.
Address: 10 Manchester Street Hotel, Marylebone, London, W1U 4DG
Phone: 020 7317 5900

THE MONTAGUE

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.
Address: The Montague, 15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BJ
Phone: 020 7637 1001

BOISDALE, BELGRAVIA

Revelling in plaids and tartans, with antlers and boars’ heads on blood-red walls, Boisdale relishes its Scottish heritage – no wonder it’s a top choice for sipping a few drams. But there’s more to this fun-loving venue than malt whisky – owner, bon viveur and self-appointed ‘laird’ Ranald MacDonald also has an eye for good food from his homeland.
Dunkeld smoked salmon, Buccleuch chicken, well-aged Aberdeenshire beef, haggis and more besides appear on a wholesome and well-crafted menu that plays it straight – expect top-notch steaks with “excellent chips”, venison, Hebridean crab and Shetland mussels with linguine, plus some serious wines to boot. Otherwise, it’s all about entertainment and “good convivial company”, with the bonus of live jazz, cocktails in the upstairs bar and a terrace for those who enjoy premium cigars. Click here to hear more from Ranald MacDonald or read their own magazine Boisdale Life.
Address: Boisdale, 15 Eccleston Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9LX
Phone: 020 7730 6922

BOISDALE, CANARY WHARF

Boisdale of Canary Wharf is a two-floor venue overlooking Cabot Square which comprises a restaurant, four private dining rooms, Oyster Bar & Grill with a terrace, whisky bar, Cuban Cigar Library & shop and live music venue.

The second floor restaurant is decorated in the instantly recognisable Boisdale signature look of lacquer red and dark green walls hung with eclectic and original artwork. It is here that one can find the whisky bar, a 12 metre long ‘amber wall of liquid gold’ that holds over 1,000 bottles of malt whisky. One floor below is the art deco-inspired Oyster Bar & Grill which benefits from an awning-covered heated cigar terrace complete with members-only area. Four private dining rooms are available, accommodating from 12 to 40 guests.
Address: Boisdale, Cabot Place, Canary Wharf London, E14 4QT
Telephone: 020 7715 5818

THE CORINTHIA HOTEL LONDON GARDEN LOUNGE

The Corinthia Hotel is nothing if not impressive. Two restaurants, a handful of glorious suites and a beautifully glamorous interior, it’s the haunt of choice for celebrities wanting to avoid the limelight that staying in Mayfair invariably draws. Now, if there happen to be any cigar lovers amongst the Corinthia’s a-list guests – we’re not sure where regular guest Will.I.Am stands – you’ll be able to find them in the hotel’s garden lounge.

If anyone is wondering how to make a courtyard cosy, point them in this direction. Designed in collaboration with David Collins Studio (who else?), the outdoor space is a fusion of calming cream and terracotta and hand-made mosaics trailing to the roof. An outdoor fireplace, complete with armchairs and a canopy could place you in someone’s lounge. The key to it all however is the Corinthia’s bespoke humidor. Dark, luxurious and suffused with tobacco, the space houses a good number of fine cigars, including the rare Partagas Sublime and 109. Complimented with a range of 15 different whiskies from the terrarium bar, there’s nowhere better to spend a warm, lazy evening.
Address: The Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2BD
Phone: 020 7930 8181

BULGARI HOTEL LONDON CIGAR SHOP & LOUNGE

Over in Knightsbridge, the Bulgari is all about extravagance. Dinner at hotel restaurant Rivea illustrates that well enough. Well, what else would you expect from an Italian jeweller? We were half expecting bejewelled serpents crawling along the walls. Fortunately what we found was a very decent martini at Il Bar and one of the most exclusive cigar lounges in London.
Edward Sahakian is a cigar legend, his eponymous emporium a pilgrimage for true idolisers of rare Havanas. Curated by Mike Choi, a contender for best UK cigar sommelier, there are examples in the humidor that you simply can’t find anywhere else, including the fabled Davidoff 80 Aniversario. Once you’ve made your selection, whatever it may be, there’s no need to head outside, with one of London’s very few cigar lounges. Amateurs beware however; this is a humidor dedicated to the consummate connoisseur.
Address: Bulgari Hotel, 171 Knightsbridge, London, SW7 1DW
Phone: 020 7151 1010

THE WELLESLEY CIGAR TERRACE

Leather arm chairs, a roaring fireplace and a luxuriously carpeted floor, the Wellesley’s Cigar Terrace certainly continues the town house feel of the main hotel, especially with the occasional flash of gold. Yet being bordered by a hedge and iron fence certainly add a touch of eclecticism to proceedings.

While one of the smaller cigar lounges, its size creates a sense of energetic intimacy, as full of conversation as curling wreaths of smoke. Its cigar collection too is more refined than many of the others, yet manages to balance range with exclusivity. They have the usual Montecristos and Cohibas, but also some rare, limited edition Bolivars set in reserve for the true connoisseurs. Match with one of the bar’s classic cocktails and before you know it you can find yourself spending an entire evening in rapt indulgence.
Address: The Wellesley, 11 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LY
Phone: 020 7235 3535

DUKES HOTEL COGNAC & CIGAR GARDEN

What goes better with cigars than whisky? Cognac. Or at least that’s what DUKES Hotel seems to think. Sequestered just off St. James, the hotel certainly had its fair share of epicurean guests over the years; it was at DUKES’ bar that Ian Fleming created the famous Vesper martini – shaken not stirred, of course. Yet more than anything, it’s a haven which, if it wasn’t a minute from Piccadilly, you’d assume was in some quiet West London neighbourhood.

It’s a sort of sophisticated solitude, one which they have built into the very fabric of their cigar and cognac garden. With its curtains, mirrors, cushions and candles, if there wasn’t a breeze you could quite easily be in someone’s sitting room. But they’d be unlikely to have such a fine selection of cigars, or let you smoke them there and then. Complete with a range of cognacs to fit, if you’re unsure about the best pairings (we’re more used to whisky) feel free to ask. A more relaxed experience than some cigar lounges, why not follow a relaxed smoke with a martini?
Address: Dukes Hotel, 35-36 Saint James’s Place, London, SW1A 1NY
Phone: 020 7491 4840

THE MAY FAIR HOTEL CIGAR ROOM

Everything about the May Fair bespeaks glamour, be it the restaurant, bar or various suites. However, when it comes to their cigar room, they’ve really outdone themselves. The stunning outdoor space balances cosy with elegant, wood and wicker meeting mood lighting befitting a Manhattan loft bar. This setting is everything you could ever want to elevate smoking a cigar to an experiential level.

Sample a range of stunning cigar-inspired cocktails or indulge in the Cigar Room’s Rare and Fine Collection and select an Armagnac, cognac or exquisite whisky to go with your cigar of choice. And oh what a choice there is. Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas, Trinidad, Bolivar, the list goes on and on. All the finest cigars are represented, complete with some exceptionally rare examples. The sheer range begs extended tasting sessions, making the monthly cigar and spirit masterclasses a necessity for experienced cigar enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
Address: The May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8LT
Phone: 020 7769 4041

THE GARDEN ROOM AT THE LANESBOROUGH

Guests are invited to make their choice from the sizeable collection of Cuban and pre-Castro cigars in The Garden Room’s celebrated walk-in humidor, and take a seat in exclusive surroundings, perhaps with a Cognac from the bar’s extensive selection, which includes bottles from as far back as 1770. The Garden Room at The Lanesborough is the first and most luxurious Cigar lounge in Knightsbridge – a destination for cigar connoisseurs from around the world.
Address: The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA
Phone: 020 7259 5599