A Belgian LCDH Tour With The Brits – Antwerp

4 Aug

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We left Hasselt and drove on to Antwerp.
It was Friday afternoon and a terrible traffic jam awaited us. I had been forewarned by Frank and he was right, avoid driving into Antwerp on any day but especially on a Friday …

Luckily I had Elliott in my car to keep me company – or me to nurse his previous day hangover … and we made it by 4:30 pm into the docklands by the Schelde river.

Reza turned on his great hospitality & charm right away by letting me park in his underground garage – some acrobatic manoeuvring needed but it worked …

The lounge at the Casa Antwerp  was already filled, not just by the other touring Brits ( why does the auto-corect give me brats … 🙂 but by a nice company of friends and regular customers joining the tour.

I was especially happy to meet Simon. We have been in contact for a few years but meeting in person is something special and we had the chance to exchange good conversations and cigars – Thank you Simon !

Also very happy to meet Muhammad again as well as Etienne. Plus the lovely Ina, great person and charming counter-presence to Rezas ugly beard 🙂

Also there were Michel and Jan from the Netherlands and Koen who would tag along with the group next day to Knokke – good to see him again.

We started off with Reza offering us a Punch DC from a 2004 50’s cabinet along with a Trinidad rum.

The cigar was fantastic for the first third and then it started to get out and the last third became bitter and harsh – hey, it happens.

Stretching my legs I wandered around and, lo and behold, I found some lovely black box containing a beautiful cabinet humidor … I was seriously thinking : will this fit into my car’s trunk ??

Oh well.

Second cigar was a 2000 RyJ Petit Corona, un-banded, Cabinet, to a G&T and while it felt hard to the touch the draw was perfect and I enjoyed that cigar a lot, very sweet, aromatic and pleasant.

In-between we were served very tasty snacks, Gaarnalen salad, tatar and some other tasty bits as well as the most delicious Belgian pralines in a very colourful package that I mistook for Sushi … I was to buy such a box next day for my wife. She loves them.

It was now 8 pm and we moved over to the docklands and Il Migliore restaurant for dinner, arranged by Reza – not before he showed us a well-kept secret venue to be unveiled soon …

What followed at Il Migliore can only be described as a very long cigar smoking debauchery with many good cigars, fun, light Antipasti, the best Pata Negra ribeye steak I’ve ever had, lovely Italian wine from the Magnum, a few bottles of ice-cold Lemoncello, Etienne almost doing a table dance, good chat in-between lots of dirty jokes and was finished way past midnight at Muhammad’s harbour-facing terrace with a few cold beers – and more cigars.

I guess it was daylight when I hit the bed.

Up again by 09 am and a coffee with Reza who already had a Robusto clinched in his mouth and put another one into mine – great way to start the day !

Off with him and Ina for breakfast – lovely place, good food .. but it was a kindergarten, literally, on a Saturday. Lots of families with little kids, so we kept our cigars unlit.

We relighted them again at the Casa before we took off for a nice stroll of down-town Antwerp. Lovely city, bustling with activity, great pubs and shops.

I was very happy to be back in the city after 45 years … what a great feeling !

Some shopping, pictures, and then we met up with Aimee for another coffee, a cigar and I decided to head back home – I could have stayed on for a few more days but … I can’t take this much fun anymore at my age. Gotta keep it light and easy.

So back it was but not without a pit-stop at Frank’s home for a midway cigar and some talk before he leaves on vacation with his family.

I was sure happy to reach home and rest my bones in the quiet of the village. Not a big city boy anymore.

The best part of meeting all this great people is that I will see them again here at the pharmacy for the big summer ANS in 10 days.

Now, that will be a more sedated affair … maybe 🙂


2 Responses to “A Belgian LCDH Tour With The Brits – Antwerp”

  1. Simon Bolivar 04/08/2015 at 13:43 #

    Great review as always & now I know how accurate they are! Great herf, marvelous hospitality & great new BOTL’s met & some ‘older’ friends too, look forward to the next time Nino.

    • Nino Munoz 04/08/2015 at 14:01 #

      Thanks Simon,

      same here, looking forward to meet up again in 2 weeks at Cliff’s.
      Great bunch of friends and all so relaxed and easy. It was a great herf !

      Cheers / Nino