No jacket required.
That's not a dress code statement for Ten Manchester Street—just a comment on its Cigar Terrace.
The understated boutique hotel boasts spacious rooms, a prodigious wine list and a top drawer á la carte menu, all of which are making it one of the hottest venues in West London.
But a key draw for lovers of the leaf is the beautifully appointed Cigar Terrace that adjoins the restaurant. This purpose-built outdoor area can be enjoyed in all weather—and you really won't be needing that jacket.
Warmth from overhead lamps keeps you at optimum temperature while you peruse the cigar menu. It boasts surprisingly good value, considering you're only a stone's throw from the shopping emporiums of Marylebone and Bond Street. A Cohiba Siglo VI, for example, will set you back £36 ($58)—and if you select a great small smoke, like the Montecristo Petit Edmundo, you'll pay only £16 ($26). Then one of the attentive staff will clip and light it for you at your table, and the rest of the day is yours.
"The owners have made a big commitment here with the cigars," said charismatic hotel manager Stefano Lodi. "Every time we talk, they ask me 'How are the cigars going? How can we get better?' The terrace is very popular, every day of the week."
As well as businessmen sealing deals and postprandial smokers, the local cigar mob is regularly in attendance, too. Expect to see London cigar merchants like Ajay Patel, Mitch Orchant or Lanesborough cigar sommelier Giuseppe Ruo puffing away nearby.
"It's become a hot spot because it is warm, comfortable and we have a huge selection of cigars. There are not that many places that tick those boxes and also offer you a great selection of drinks to choose from," says Lodi.
The walk-in humidor alongside the terrace features all the well-known Cuban brands, and each month, Ten Manchester hosts a cigar evening. For £30 ($49), participants receive a hand-rolled cigar with a well-matched alcoholic drink. A representative from Hunters & Frankau, distributors of Cuban cigars in the United Kingdom, will lead you through the tasting.
As in the best of establishments, attention to detail is what makes the difference; glasses are refilled when they become empty, snacks replaced, a torch lighter placed within easy grasp of each clean, porcelain cigar ashtray. 'Walk-in' customers are welcome, but a reasonable clipping charge is in operation if you don't buy from the humidor.
If you plan to kick
back on the Ten Manchester Street terrace, make sure you get there
early, not only to ensure you bag a table, but because the hotel backs
onto residential properties and is obliged to clear the terrace at 11
p.m. so as not to disturb neighbors.
Ten Manchester Street Hotel
Marylebone, London W1U 4DG
+44 207 3175 900, +44 207 3782 460 (fax)
Opens daily at noon, cigar terrace closes at 11 p.m.
Table reservations recommended for weekends