BOISDALE OF CANARY WHARF, LONDON
Monday 12th December saw Boisdale of Canary Wharf honour both cigar aficionados and celebrity cigar smokers from around the world at the highly esteemed Snow Queen Cigar Smoker of the Year Awards Dinner 2016.
Founder of Boisdale and the awards, Ranald Macdonald introduced the awards by saying:
Tonight celebrating the enjoyment of cigars, surrounded as we are by fellow cigar lovers, it would be tempting to think that we are merely a perfectly representative selection of modern society. Well sadly this is not the case and despite our perfections we are a really a tiny minority. Having said that we can take some pride in our tribe, as The Snow Queen Cigar Awards is undoubtedly one of the most significant gatherings of cigar smokers in the world this side of the jungles of central China!
The event saw the two highest paid TV stars in US history take home much coveted trophies. Kelsey Grammer, star of screen and stage, was awarded the ultimate recognition of the night and was presented with The Snow Queen Cigar Smoker Of The Year 2016 trophy whilst legendary Hollywood star Charlie Sheen took home the prize for runner up.
Celebrated broadcaster and journalist, Andrew Neil scooped the Cigar Smoker of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, against Oscar and BAFTA winning director Stephen Evans, Sir Terence Conran and movie mogul Alan Greenspan.
Upon receipt of his nomination, Sir Terence says:
‘I can only look upon a lifetime achievement award for smoking my cigars with happy amusement because there have been few things that have given me more pleasure during my rather long lifetime’
To commemorate his award, Andrew Neil was presented with a Limited Series Zenith El Primero Chrono-Master Cohiba Edition watch engraved with his name by Nicolas Meda, International Commercial Director of Zenith Watches.
The illustrious evening, hosted by Tom Parker Bowles, saw the great and the good of the cigar scene, from movie stars and socialites through to politicians and entrepreneurs, gather together to celebrate the great hand-rolled cigar. Boisdale of Canary Wharf, previously dubbed ‘The Cuba of London’ by the Cuban Ambassador, Her Excellency Teresita de Jesús Vicente Sotolongo (who was also in attendance), hosted the star-studded evening, in collaboration with organic Snow Queen Vodka from Kazakhstan and luxury time piece producer Zenith Watches, who provided the winners with the much sought after prize, a limited edition of its legendary Zenith El Primero Chrono-Master Cohiba Edition watch engraved with his name.
Guests including Nancy Dell’Ollio, Charlie Sheen, Kelsey Grammer and Boisdale’s very own Ranald Macdonald kicked off the evening with Snow Queen Vodka cocktails before heading out to the terrace to indulge in their first of many cigars of the evening.
Upon hearing of Charlie Sheen’s arrival, Kelsey remarked ‘the big man’s arrived’ and sped over to greet his old friend with a tight hug. Reminiscing on old times, the two Hollywood legends headed to the humidor for cigars and whisky, before they sat for the sumptuous dinner. Between courses, Charlie proved he was a man of the people as he snuck into the kitchen to greet and thank the staff. Flanked by his bodyguards, he was soon escorted back to his seat but not before pocketing a loaf of bread to keep him going between courses!
Following dinner, Nancy Dell’Ollio took to the stage to kick start the bidding for the charity auction, who’s lots included rare whiskies, wines, and naturally, cigars. Raising a total of £9,000, Andrew Neil and Kelsey Grammer went head to head in a standoff bid. Mr Sheen jokingly offered $80billion to help ignite the fire for guests to reach into their pockets and donate to the celebrated UK Youth innovative youth development programme just in time for Christmas.
As well as being crowned the The Snow Queen Cigar Smoker Of The Year 2016, Kelsey Grammer received a Limited Series Zenith El Primero Chrono-Master Cohiba Edition watch engraved with his name, a humidor of rare cigars and a Snow Queen Vodka hamper. During his acceptance speech, Kelsey referenced his previous attendance at the awards two years ago, where he lost out to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger comparing it to a ‘rigged election’. Discussing historical greats, with mentions of Aristotle and Freud, Kelsey was ever the comedian, signing off with:
‘And that is as odd and obscure as I can get, however I would love to thank you all. It is so fun to know that cigar smokers are reviled.’
Guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner of expertly sourced Hebridean lobster, crab and Aberdeen Angus Beef Fillet, of which Boisdale is famed for accompanied by stunning wines from Matthew Clark. Following dinner, guests returned to Boisdale’s famous smoking terrace to enjoy cigars perfectly paired with the award winning Glenfiddich 15 and 21 Year Old Malt Whiskies, legendary rums from Havana Club accompanied by live music from the Buena Vista Social Club.