Change of Scene

Phew, I’ve had a busy week! I started off in Chester as usual, with the heat bringing out loads of people looking for cigars to enjoy in the sun. Or conversely, enjoying our icy cool air conditioned cigar sampling lounge when the heat got too much. We’re also blessed with a lot of history in the shop, as we’re a grade 2 listed building, so we have no shortage of tourists checking out our quintessentially “Olde English” shop. So, in short: it’s a very busy time for us!

After a busy start to the week in Chester, on Wednesday I hopped on a train down to London for a cigar and champagne pairing session set up by Hunters and Frankau for the various Masters of Havana Cigars dotted around the country. I will admit I’m not a huge champagne buff and it’s not something I’d always think of as a classic cigar pairing, so it was quite an eye-opening session. We tested three Havana cigars; a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2, a Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill and a Partagas Serie E No.2 all paired with a selection of Champagnes.

As well as opening my eyes to more possibilities with cigar and champers pairings, it also reminded me of a couple of great smokes that I’ve let slip out my rotation. Mostly, the Partagas E2; I remember both Roy and myself going nuts for these, when they first came out (Back when Havanas with a gauge over 52 were something of a rarity.) However, since La Casa del Habano opened, I’ve been favouring the immensely awesome Partagas Salomones when I’ve fancied a big Partagas, or just sticking to the smaller Serie D No.4s or Partagas Shorts for convenience. Now I’ve been reminded of just how good the E2s are, they’re firmly back in my regular rotation.

After a good herf with some familiar faces and a quick catch up with my Sister and family in Finsbury Park, I jumped back on the train to Chester.

Thursday and Friday saw me returning to what has to be my second favourite place to work within C.Gars Ltd: Turmeaus Knutsford. Prior to taking over as Store Manager in Chester, I helped set up and run the Knutsford shop, while it was in its infancy, so it’s always nice to get back over here for a few shifts to see how everything’s getting on. The staff here are a universally great bunch (not that this isn’t true of all our stores, of course!) so it’s especially nice to get over here to see them.

I’m pleased to say that the Knutsford store continues to be amazing, with its specialist wine room and locally known wine expert, Andrew at the helm. Their wonderfully cosy cigar and pipe sampling lounge is one of the best I’ve ever visited and has an especially “homely” vibe.

Naturally, I had a little mooch around the cigar room and was pleased to see some excellent cigars nested away amongst the stock, including Partagas Gran Reserva Lusitanias and H. Upmann No.2 Reservas. There are also a last few of the ridiculously popular Trinidad Topes left here. These Edicion Limitadas have been flying off the shelves faster than we can get them in and supplies are now starting to run low, so get them while you can. This may well be your last chance!

Speaking of changes, I’m also very happy to say that C.Gars’ latest venture, The Puffin’ Rooms in Liverpool is now officially open for business. This is a late-night establishment, open from 5pm till late, 7 days a week. It features our usual top quality range of spirits, but also cocktails, delicious food, music, a new cigar sampling lounge and humidor. Our customers have always said they wished our shops were open in the evening for some after work cigars and refreshments, so here’s the proof that we do listen! I’ve not been over to Liverpool since work was finished on the Puffin’ Rooms, but I’ll be getting over there soon to check it out, so keep an eye out on future blogs for more information! Best of luck to the Liverpool team for the new venture!

Until next time:

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!


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