I always heard of the world famous Davidoff Cigar Shop in London. It was a place that I needed to check-off-the-box and add a notch to my belt as a cigar connoisseur. The shop is untouched by time from its debut in the sixties. Before I got there I took the liberty of stopping at a cafe across the street for a danish and a coffee as it was early in the day and I wanted something on my stomach. Slowly walking in, I took my time to take it all in. The marble floor, the beautiful humidors, an incredible selection of umbrellas, the top choice lighters, rose gold cutters, but I was amazed at the austere design of the humidor. It was nothing like what I expected. It was unpretentious and amazingly regular but the cigars were pristine with a selection of Cubans that I had never seen. Much to my amazement I saw a few Non-Cubans and I remember one of the employees telling me that the Americans usually buy them (Padron Family Reserve Maduro).
I settled on a few sticks and struck up a conversation with a rather young gentleman (early twenties) that was sharply dressed and extremely helpful. He was on the cusp of taking the Masters of Habanos test and you could tell that he was a bit intimidated. I could not believe that such a young chap was about to take such big step. I decided on a Montecristo and took a seat with my coffee. I lit the cigar and thought to myself dam. Here I am in London at the Davidoff shop about to smoke a Cuban and then the rug was snatched from under me. One of the employees informed me that this is not a smoking shop!
I was taken aback. "What do you mean this is not a smoking shop" I asked. He replied "this is a sampling shop were you can smoke for about 20 minutes but that's it". With the wind taken out of my sail I obliged with only a gesture (I did not fly here from NY not to be the ugly American).
I lit my cigar and smoked it to the nub staring at the nice gentlemen with a smirk that said "I will leave when I dam well please". Don't worry I was nice about it.