Monday, 17 October 2011

Plus ça Change..

Several rituals have become the bedstead of life, be it personal obsessive idiosyncrasies throughout the day, or shared general progressions for a typical evening out. They can occasionally draw ruing for their predictability, or comfort through their familiarity. Following a meal in Jeddah, typically the evening is capped with a saunter over to a shisha cafe' to help "digestion". As evidenced by the plethora of outings to cigar lounges of late, it would seem they have become the new shisha. Albeit on a far more wallet debilitating scale.

As such, being Huzaifah's last evening in London since a while, and for a while, he was rather intent on following up dinner with another cigar experience. Where at?

Rather obviously. He seems to be quite taken with the place - this is the third time in two weeks we will have come here - I don't blame him. This will be my sixth or so appearance in as many weeks. Not that it has to be said, but I have already stated the rightness of the serenity, the calm, the excellency of service and advice. All I need is to be paid to experience this delight and it would be perfect, but that would be greedy. Awesome, but greedy. Yet again, I let the choice befall on the Barman, this time suggesting to me a Bourbon to go with my cigar, a Bourbon which I had actually got my first sampling of the week prior at the Harrod's tasting.

Montecristo No. 4
Makers Mark Bourbon on Ice
The terrace was empty - after ousting a couple, how dare they impinge - which boded well. Seated and served of our tipple, ambience calm, temperature almost perfect, just approaching a bit chilly, though I revelled in the new purchase of my fabulous sweater, keeping me warmth, if only on the upper half of my body. The cigar was pleasant, light and with a reasonable drag for its size, and the usual tones of slight chocolate and coffee seemingly the only ones I can sense in a cigar. The Bourbon on first thoughts, was disappointing, mainly as it seemed to contain the iceberg that sank the Titanic. However, despite being slightly watered down by this glacial body, it soothed with its mild sweetness, and slight almond notes (?). It also helped that it paired particularly well with the cigar, the sweetness coming alive and supplementing the cigars' lightness of body. 

The evening ensued, with some mint tea and espresso coming our way, primarily as I would still have a lot of travelling for the night, taking on chauffeur duties for Huzaifah, both of which were as well, rather boringly, pleasant. Especially of note were the "petite fours" served, a chocolate/almond brownie square and the shortbread biscuit, which were delicately sweet, and in the case of the brownie, deliciously nutty, and somehow worked with the mint tea as well as the clean and elegant espresso. As such, putting a pleasant cap on the evening, an enjoyable and serene smoke amidst contemplation and good company, following our thrifty dinner of Kings, much as with every outing in Jeddah. The more things change..

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