The Annual Cigar Smoker of the Year Awards returned to the stage at Boisdale of Canary Wharf, on Sunday 3rd December 2017. For the fifth time this illustrious event for cigar fans celebrated iconic cigars, producers, writers, terraces and smokers.
Hailed as one of the biggest exports to Hollywood from the East End of London, acclaimed actor Tamar Hassan was crowned the Zenith Watches Cigar Smoker of the Year 2017.
The award was presented to Tamer by last year’s winner – US star of the screen and stage, Kelsey Grammer. The prizes were an engraved Rose Gold Zenith El Primero Cohiba Edition Watch, a Montegrappa Cigar Fountain Pen and Davidoff Rosewood humidor. In his acceptance speech Tamer Hassan spoke of his lifelong fondness for the Cuban stick which he shared with “many smokers big and small with the biggest of them all, dear friend and mentor the great Bob Hoskins”.
American actor and nominee of The Cigar Smoker of the Year Award, Jim Belushi, sadly couldn’t make the awards but said “my cigars are the closest thing to me, they’re my friends, I love cigars. The first cigar I smoked was in a cop car when I was shooting Red Heat in 1987 with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’ve been smoking ever since, and it’s been my friend and companion, I love the organic nature of the cigar”. Jim went on to say, “I’m sorry I can’t be there, because Kelsey Grammer is there and Kelsey is dearest to me, there was a time many years ago he took me on a very emotional tour in New York that I will never forget my whole life and Kelsey, I still remember your beautiful heart and generosity and your insistence that I travel with you and I adore you for that!”
220 guests of the evening including BBC presenter Andrew Neil, James Cosmo, Mark Hix, Nancy Dell’Olio, Nigel Farage and Made in Chelsea star Stephanie Pratt on arrival received one of each of the five cigars, nominated for Cigar of the Year 2017 including the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill which took the win. The British canapé reception featured the multi award winning English sparkling wine Jenkyn Place Vineyard, Brut, 2013 from Hampshire. The sumptuous dinner comprised of Hebridean shellfish accompanied by the outstanding Alpha Domus, The Wingwalker Viognier 2014, Hawkes Bay wine, New Zealand and the main course of grass fed dry aged Aberdeenshire fillet of beef “Wellington”, perfectly complemented by The Chocolate Block 2015, Boekenhoutskloof, Swartland.
Bringing together cigar enthusiasts and celebrity cigar smokers, the esteemed evening harnessed Boisdale’s uniquely eclectic style, hosted by Tom Parker Bowles and Boisdale founder Ranald Macdonald with entertainment from Natasha Hamilton of Atomic Kitten.
The Garden Lounge at The Corinthia took the Davidoff Cigar Terrace/Lounge of this year, Edward Sahakian was awarded the Boisdale Lifetime Achievement Award whilst James Cosmo accepted the Zenith Cigar Smoker Runner Up from Cuban Ambassador Her Excellency Mrs. Teresita de Jesús Vicente Sotolongo, before more cigars and Courvoisier VSOP Cognac were enjoyed on the heated cigar terrace. James said, “I’m actually having my 70th birthday party here, it’s really wonderful to feel part of the Boisdale family so thank you so much.”
Boisdale of Canary Wharf couldn’t have been a better venue in which to host the event as it offers the most comprehensive choice of handmade cigars of any restaurant in Europe. Boisdale has nurtured close relationships with suppliers over the years, enabling the opportunity for customers to sample old and rare Havana cigars in this unique destination for cigar enthusiasts.