27 Feb '14, 7pm
Roll On, Britannia
Beneath the awning at the entrance to the Wellesley, a new boutique hotel built on the original site of the Hyde Park Corner tube station, there are still vestiges of the old red subway tiles, and it is not difficult to imagine the many cigars puffed by waiting passengers so many decades ago. Just off the lobby, inside the hotel’s stylish cigar lounge, the sweet, thick smoke of well-aged Havana leaf proves that cigars are still very much a part of the city’s present-day culture. Just seven years after “Black Sunday”—the day on which Parliament enacted a ban on indoor smoking—London has improbably evolved into a haven for cigar connoisseurs of all tastes. It is possible to visit some of the city’s oldest tobacconists, in shops that serve as portals to the Victorian era, or to soak in the ambience at a cutting-edge cigar lounge in a fashionable hotel. The law provides just e...