I don’t smoke and have never been a smoker. I personally benefit from the smoking ban, but I would love to see it discarded as the freedom-hostile legislation it is.
A friend who is quite the cigar aficionado is in town, and while we would usually head to the Library Bar at the Lanesborough Hotel or other cigar-centric establishment, the nanny state and its busybody politicians have put a stop to such innocent fun. We were in his hotel room, wondering where we might be able to go, which brought me to do a Google search on “where to smoke” London. I’m chuffed to say that I ended up being helped by the nanny staters’ Sunday newspaper of choice, The Observer.
Floridita, the Cuban-themed London bar and restaurant, plans to exploit a loophole in the law allowing cigars and pipes to be ’sampled’ inside specialist tobacconists. It is separating off its cigar shop, and will allow diners and drinkers to go inside to smoke. Couches and coffee tables are being installed in the ’shop’ to make things more comfortable.
This is not quite right. They are not allowed to sell food or drink in the shop. There is water, but they are not allowed to serve it to you; you must get up and fetch it yourself, and they are not allowed to charge you for it. You are allowed to smoke only cigars which you are sampling for purchase from them right there. If you keep a locker in their shop, you are not allowed to come there and smoke from it, as you cannot sample that which you have already purchased.
It is all quite silly, in keeping with the entire ban.
I asked Andy, the manager of Floridita’s cigar shop, if he thought they’d been visited by inspectors yet. He said Westminster doesn’t have any inspectors, but that they fully expect that busybodies will be out en force, looking for even the most minor violation of the law which they can report to the police. Disgruntled cigarette smokers, who walk past the shop on Wardour Street and see people puffing away on cigars, are especially displeased that not everybody’s good time is being totally ruined just yet.
Like I said, I don’t smoke, but all this fuss is enough to make me consider starting. It horrifies me to think that there are so many people in this world who feel so unable to make their own choices in life that they would happily have such decisions imposed on all of us from on high. What a bunch of nutjobs.
Filed under: Life