On SUNDAY NOVEMBER 16 Boisdale of Canary Wharf saw cigar aficionados and celebrity cigar smokers from around the world gather for The Spectator Cigar Awards Dinner 2014, sponsored by Mehmet Kurt of Kingwood Stud, founded by Boisdale.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was crowned The Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year 2014. Governor Schwarzenegger was presented the award by lead sponsor Mehmet Kurt (both pictured with host Tom Parker Bowles left and owner Ranald Macdonald right) and he was awarded a beautiful JEANRICHARD 1681 18 carat pin pink gold wristwatch, a bottle of Château Mouton Rothschild 1999 and a Frederic Saint Romain designed limited edition ST Dupont lighter (retail value £5,500). Govenor Schwarzenegger tugged at Kelsey Grammer’s beard upon meeting and both enjoyed the charming company of Baroness Trumpington.
Governor Schwarzenegger said of his win, “I never dreamed in the 1970s when I was crowned Mr Universe, that I’d be receiving The Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year Award. I remember when I became Governor of the great state of California and they said now you have to stop smoking cigars. The laws stated that you could not smoke within twenty feet of the Capitol building; I built a smoking tent in the atrium just over twenty feet away and I kept smoking cigars. This place was where we did most of our work — it brought together the Democrats and Republicans and Liberals, we all had something in common… our shared passion for the great cigar.”
British Conservative member of the House of Lords and once a code-breaker at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, Baroness Trumpington was honoured with The Spectator Cigar Lifetime Achievement Award 2014. Baroness Trumpington said of her win, “I am delighted to have been invited to such a thrilling evening. This beautiful restaurant is certainly a long way from the pigsties of East Kent where I smoked my first cigar.”
Kelsey Grammer, Hollywood star, was a runner-up for the Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year 2014 and was awarded a JEANRICHARD Terrascope pink gold watch. Kelsey said of his win, “It has been a fantastic evening full of fantastic people and I am very honoured to be here. I would also like to add that Nancy Del O’llio has done more for red lace than anyone in history.”
Kelsey told the assembled company of an encounter with the Tom Parker Bowles’s mother: “I was at an event at the White House and I felt a tight squeeze on my right buttock and I turned to a woman who I knew to be Camilla and she said to me in an impish way, ‘nice to finally meet you… in the flesh…!’” Guests gathered on the Boisdale’s covered terrace and enjoyed Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut NV, Chivas Regal Negronis and canapés followed by a sumptuous dinner of expertly sourced Hebridean shellfish and Aberdeenshire beef fillet that Boisdale is famed for cooked by Executive Head Chef, Andy Rose.
The evening was hosted by Tom Parker Bowles and recognised various aspects of the cigar world, with award categories including Cigar Producer, Retailer, Writer, and culminating in The Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year. The awards ceremony was followed by another long-awaited cigar and a rare opportunity to taste Hennessy X.O Cognac and The Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel Malt Whisky. Throughout the evening guests enjoyed five hand-rolled cigars provided by the UK’s Leading Cigar Merchant C.Gars Ltd.
Boisdale owner, awards founder and cigar connoisseur Ranald Macdonald commented, “Tonight has been a truly wonderful celebration of the cigar. In this era when so many irritating and self-righteous governments around the world obsess themselves with interfering in our lives and legislate to remove our rights to enjoy the sublime pleasure of smoking hand-made cigars, we join together to do homage to those accomplished and charismatic individuals, who through their highly visible and unbridled passion for cigars, elevate the beleaguered status of the cigar enthusiast the world over.” With a vast collection of fine, rare and introductory cigars, and a list of over 2,000 bottles of whisky, Boisdale’s expertise in these fields has long been recognised. The Spectator Cigar Smoker Awards Dinner gathered the greats of the cigar and celebrity world for an enticing evening that confirmed Boisdale as the UK’s home of cigar smoking.
• Cigar Smoker of The Year 2014 — ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
• Cigar Smoker of The Year 2014 RUNNER-UP — KELSEY GRAMMER
• Cigar Lifetime Achievement Award 2014 — BARONESS TRUMPINGTON
• Cigar Terrace of The Year 2014 — NO. TEN MANCHESTER STREET
• Cigar of The Year 2014 — RAMON ALLONES PETIT BELICOSO 2012 UK REGIONAL EDITION
• Cigar Writer of The Year 2014 — BILL KNOTT
• Cigar Producer of The Year 2014 — OLIVA
• Cigar Retailer of The Year 2014 — DAVIDOFF OF LONDON