Going to London next week. What should I check out? What's the 1 cigar lounge that you'd check out?


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Figure instead of clogging up the daily smoke thread, I'll start a new thread.  Going to London for the first time the Oct 15th - 23rd staying in the SoHo and Westminster districts, solo traveler doing mostly touristy stuff, and relying on public transportation. 

I see cigars are pretty expensive over there so combined with not having TOO much free time, if you were to check out only one cigar lounge...which would you choose?  What's open with covid these days?  I searched for old topics and they've been helpful - Davidoff, JJFox, Cavendish, and Corinthia hotel seem to be the consensus.  With covid, looks like Cavendish is reservation only?  Otherwise maybe just reduced capacity at each place?  Hear can bring my own cigars to Corinthia with a min spend on food and drinks(no problem) but it's outside and not quite sure how the weather will be when there.  Have no issue bringing my own, can I smoke in parks or anything?

Otherwise appreciate general tips!  Not a soccer fan but when in London might as well check out a game right?  I'm currently looking at the Arsenal v Crystal Palace soccer game since it looks pretty close to where I'll be staying and Monday night is an open time.  Already have plans Saturday the 16th, so anything that day is out.  Sunday I could do if there are games close to London then? 

Into foods(english breakfast, sunday roast, fish and chips, meatpies, etc) and drinks(beefeater tour looks fun plus general partying), churches for the architecture, dislike museums, and enjoy scenic sites in general.  Any tourist traps to avoid or hidden gems?

Thanks!

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If you want to try a good lounge, JJ Fox is really nice and you get free coffee (at least pre-covid, haven't been there since). Classy and classic. UK retail prices. 

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Borough Market is always a winner on the food front, fairly busy and probably touristy, but full of great food.

If your looking for decent beer, I highly recommend The Howling Hops tap room/brewery, they also do great food but there are quite a few decent places around Hackney Wick.

You can smoke outside in parks, most pubs have smoking areas, though not all are suited to sitting around for an hour+ as it's usually fairly fresh in October and there isn't always outdoor heating.

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London was a great trip.  So many historically impressive things to see and The Underground makes it really easy to get anywhere.  St Paul's is amazing in its size.  Westminster Abbey full of history (literally).  The Tower was very cool.  Even though we'd seen it many times, seeing Les Miserables in London was extra special and spectacular.  

We mostly enjoyed simply grabbing a coffee in the morning and start walking around.  Our catch phrase was "I don't know what that is, but it's something".  Everywhere we turned there was something we'd heard of in a book or movie and we'd pop into buildings, pay for tours if recommended, stop and eat, etc.  It's very cool.

I'd go back to Portobello's Ristorante in Notting Hill for the pizza...no kidding.

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Jjfox for the historical fun. But your on St James St so might as well wonder from Davidoff to 1A. With Mitch (CGars) newly nestled in the middle. With the Stafford hidden down a side road opposite - here you can smoke your own in the posh heated courtyard. Of course you've got the Ritz cigar lounge on the corner. Where you can check out the prices for fun.

Everything from everywhere is in London so you can try out anything! 

Boisdales is not far from where you are staying too. Steak, music, cigars. You might spot Ranald MacDonald too!

The BSMC up the road in colorful Shoreditch you can smoke outside. Great fun hanging out there. And TTLiqour near by have a roof terrace you can smoke on and loads of .. liquor!

10 Manchester St has a great covered, heated cigar terrace, smoke your own, min. spend.

Depends what you have time for!

Enjoy!

 

 

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I’ve lived in London my entire life, it’s a great city to visit as even after 32 years I feel like there’s always something new to do or see.

I’ve smoked at the Corinthia a handful of times, although outside it’s very well covered with heaters, blankets and seats you really sink into so the cold wasn’t much of an issue.

However I’d recommend Boisdales above anywhere you’ve mentioned. They have I think 4 venues across London, I’d suggest the one just by Victoria station. There’s a rooftop smoking terrace where you can take your own or buy there but the prices are steep as you’d probably guess. The service is amazing, drinks are very good, they do sell food also but I’ve never eaten there. It gets very lively, no reservations so I’d get there early if that’s when you plan on going.

Non cigar related but if you’re looking for food/drinks with a view I’d highly recommend Sushi Samba over any of the choices at the Shard which I assume would be the most obvious choice. There’s also a roof terrace at Sushi Samba but I’m unsure if you’re able to smoke.


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4 hours ago, Chibearsv said:

We mostly enjoyed simply grabbing a coffee in the morning and start walking around.  Our catch phrase was "I don't know what that is, but it's something".  

That is London for me in a nutshell as I have spent alot of time over the years there for work. Just being in London is fun for me. Kind of pretend you live there for a few days and just explore. One of my favorite cities in the world to eat. Long lunch at Scott’s in Mayfair with a bottle or two of Champagne, you feel like you’re in a James Bond movie. 

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Awesome, thanks for the tips everyone!  

Sautter looks interesting...but who would want a flip flop ashtray 😂  I must be missing something!

Yep Borough Market is on the list to visit and I do enjoy places with a bunch of food stalls!  Really liked the hawker stand setup when I visited Singapore.  

I figure most of my morning's I'll get a coffee and walk around deciding on what I feel like doing that day.  Another option is to see if any of these shops/terraces open early so I can have my coffee and cigar while planning the day.  Hopefully there will be some nicer clear days so I can get a good view from the London eye or shard!  

Never heard of Boisdales but it looks interesting!  Not sure I'll make it into the Ritz, I don't plan on bringing a suit lol.  Yea I don't see myself going during peak times so hopefully it won't be too bad, but if Davidoff only has a few chairs then it may not matter and I'll just skip it.  

That ERDM lancero is tempting!  And at $65 def be the most expensive cigar I've bought, but yea it's still a deal even compared to online shops....

Didn't see myself bringing any cigars but looks like I'll be bringing a few for the places that just have a minimum spend and buying maybe 1 or 2 sticks!

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Never been to London. But if you have a Rolex on your wrist, keep it covered under a long sleeve. The moped watch thieves are apparently no joke. They will hurt you and steal your watch. Plenty of threads on the watch forums about this. Be safe regardless!

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5 hours ago, Drguano said:

My two favorite lounges are James J. Fox and Ajay’s posh emporium called 6 Cavendish. Tell Ajay that Dr. Guano sent you.

I second this... Ajay does lay on a great service and his humidor is really fantastic.

1 hour ago, ChangBang said:

That ERDM lancero is tempting!  And at $65 def be the most expensive cigar I've bought, but yea it's still a deal even compared to online shops....

Didn't see myself bringing any cigars but looks like I'll be bringing a few for the places that just have a minimum spend and buying maybe 1 or 2 sticks!

The La Reina is terrific and online (out of the UK) I can't find for anything less than $120 so if you can, give it a whirl.

If you are coming from the US and plan to smoke, do bring your own with you. This isn't the place to buy cheap cigars ;)

Also, and last thing from me :), everything is open with very few restrictions. Be prepared to bring some masks and some joints still insist on it but it's unlikely you'll find anything closed (unless the business has gone under - sad reality).

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35 minutes ago, NYgarman said:

Never been to London. But if you have a Rolex on your wrist, keep it covered under a long sleeve. The moped watch thieves are apparently no joke. They will hurt you and steal your watch. Plenty of threads on the watch forums about this. Be safe regardless!

I don't own a Rolex but this isn't really the London I know, bit hard to get anywhere on the roads, even if you're on two wheels!

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18 minutes ago, cnov said:

I don't own a Rolex but this isn't really the London I know, bit hard to get anywhere on the roads, even if you're on two wheels!

 

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11 minutes ago, NYgarman said:

 

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5 years ago, really on the pulse. Luckily the recent fuel crisis is keeping the little shits in doors.

If you're that worried, I'd suggest maybe just leaving the Rolex at home and ducking into a shop if you hear a fast approaching hair dryer.

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2 minutes ago, cnov said:

5 years ago, really on the pulse. Luckily the recent fuel crisis is keeping the little shits in doors.

If you're that worried, I'd suggest maybe just leaving the Rolex at home and ducking into a shop if you hear a fast approaching hair dryer.

Watches are even more in demand for thieves in this current environment. I'm not going to London, just wanted to let the OP be cognizant of the reality. Cheers.

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Just be mindful of your surroundings like in a lot of major cities. Don't walk around staring at your phone either. Some naughty might nab it .. but your more likely to walk into a lamppost or bump into someone.

News is quiet about this stuff these days. Bigger problems. Brexit etc.

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Wow that's crazy, thought moped theft was more of a SE asia crime!  That being said - I don't own a watch, expensive cameras, and my phone is like 3 iterations old.  Hell with a lot of dress codes of "smart casual" I'm having a hard time finding fancy enough clothes 😂  

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Also coffee in London is in the main, shit. A cappuccino will likely be 90% milk. An espresso usually without crema and sickly. Or it will be from a ghastly pod. Hardly a decent filter around. V60 likely to be more like tea! So you'll have to research hard for coffee.

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And don't forget to look right when crossing streets! - that's the direction the cars are coming from in the lane closest to you.  There are arrows painted on the sidewalk at a lot of intersections on the sidewalk to remind you.

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6 hours ago, ha_banos said:

Also coffee in London is in the main, shit. A cappuccino will likely be 90% milk. An espresso usually without crema and sickly. Or it will be from a ghastly pod. Hardly a decent filter around. V60 likely to be more like tea! So you'll have to research hard for coffee.

Oh I heard it was fine?  Maybe if they grew up with bad coffee, then the coffee is just fine lol.  Plus I think my friend is a big tea drinker too....  Good to know, thanks!  I'll have to add that into the food/drink categories to look into. 

Any tips on sunday roast?  Just looked at reservations and Blacklock in SoHo is straight up booked or isn't taking reservations on the 17th.

2 hours ago, Chibearsv said:

And don't forget to look right when crossing streets! - that's the direction the cars are coming from in the lane closest to you.  There are arrows painted on the sidewalk at a lot of intersections on the sidewalk to remind you.

Haha yep will do!  Did a lot of walking in Tokyo so hopefully it isn't too weird for me!

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