Frank’s Cigar BBQ – Smoking With Friends In Belgium

6 Jul

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Almost exactly a week after landing from Havana I was back on the road in a cigar mission …

Frank had invited a few close friends to a cigar BBQ party at his house in Tielt near Leuven.

The day he had chosen turned out to be the hottest day in weather-recorded history, temperatures hitting 40 C / 100 F. Very Cuba-like except for the missing humidity.

I had left home shortly after 7 am to take advantage of the cool and arrived at 10 with the sun burning hot. All we could do was take off our shirts and try to get some respite from the heat.

After coffee and a Partagas shorts, we smoked a new custom rolled vitola I brought from Havana, the Romeo, a smaller, thinner Salomones. Tasty stuff. Interesting even to Christophe, Frank’s smart & alert son.

Catering arrived at noon and started putting up the grill and by then the friends arrived : Cliff and family from Kortrijk, Michel and family from across the border in the Netherlands and Christian and son from Belgium.

The Cigar Quintet was complete and we felt happy to see each other.

Frank opened a 3l bottle of ’96 champagne ( somehow he has gotten an addiction for ’96 bubbly ever since our last Hong Kong trip … 🙂 and tasty canapés were passed around.

Christian passed around the first cigar, one that I identified as NC and most certainly Nicaraguan – which turned out to be a Nicarao by Didier van Houvenaghel.

After an excellent lunch, and celebrating the fact that Frank had just returned from London where he picked up a Hunters and Frankau 225-th Anniv. Humidor, I passed around the H&F 225-th Anniv. sleeping head from an un-banded bundle I received in Havana 3 years ago. I have been following this cigar’s progress and it makes me happy to see that it develops amazingly good. An opinion shared by the others as well, all serious cigar smokers and collectors of Regional Editions.

Matt and Karen from Leuven arrived, we had been together at Bay of Pigs just a few weeks earlier and I was happy to see them again. Karen’s hand was still a reminder of our snorkelling expedition and her encounter with sea urchins in the bay.

We continued with a pre-1970’s Montecristo Nr 1 from Cliff’s collection, a very elegant and delicate vitola that was delicious, while a long conversation was held by Cliff and Michel with Min Ron Nee after Frank greeted him and thanked him again for a marvellous experience.

Next in the line up was a 1960’s Partagas Coronas, a long “gone with the wind” vitola offered by Michel. Again a wonderful cigar.

Michel offered a bottle of fine rum, Matusalem, and this excellent drink was used to accompany the last cigar smoked in the group, Christian’s RA ER Lebanon Eshmoun, before I called it a day. Great cigar ! I took my unfinished cigar to the B&B and finished it after a shower in the quiet garden of Silentium.

It was a fantastic day, certainly too hot – we all suffered the sun – but truly worth the trip and made memorable by meeting all good the friends, sharing the conversations and being part of an intimate little band of cigar brothers that go back some time now.

We all look forward to next month’s cigar BBQ over at Cliff’s place where we will continue the fun !

I smoked the SLR ER Peru with Frank after breakfast before heading back home yesterday, and we planned for Havana next year when he will be back sharing the Cuba trip with me.

Dank u wel, Frank & familie !!








One Response to “Frank’s Cigar BBQ – Smoking With Friends In Belgium”

  1. Frank 07/07/2015 at 15:48 #

    The pleasure was all mine. Glad everyone was enjoying the party and I loved seeing the kids fool around in the little pool of water.
    We will be repeating it for sure.