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A Cigar Expert’s Guide To Cuba

1 week agoWords by Mr Darius Namdar, club director, Mark’s Club

All photographs by Mr Darius Namdar, February 2019

Cuba’s Habanos Festival is where the cigar world gathers every February for cigars and socialising, with a prized humidor auction raising money for the Cuban health services that rounds off the week. Mr Fidel Castro attended several festivals and Sir David Tang took Ms Naomi Campbell a few years ago.

In 2017, I was chosen as the UK representative for the World Habanos Sommelier contest. Held every two years, it is the most prestigious accolade for cigar sommeliers. Sommeliers are tested on their knowledge of the industry, as well as their service skills and I’m pleased to report that I beat a Cuban finalist to take the title back to the UK for the first time in a decade.

This year, I went to the festival as the reigning champion to network and to take part in the festivities (and everything else that Cuba offers). Whether you’re going to smoke cigars, or you just want a holiday, you might find my diary useful.