By Halil Osman – Master of Habanos at James J Fox
London is full to the brim with smells, sounds, and delights to delight all who travel there. Truly, it’s harder to decide what not to do whilst in the UK’s capital. However, one thing that should definitely be on your list of places to visit is the historical establishment of JJ Fox. Named one of the hundred best stores in London – as well as one of the coolest! – it is a haven for cigar aficionados.
An experienced tobacconist’s merchants – with over two hundred years of trading in fine tobacco and smoker’s accessories – this is the undisputable destination for smokers with fine taste.
A Shop with History
Established in 1787, this shop has been trading now for two-hundred-and-thirty years; providing luxury smoking to both commoners and kings. The store was founded by Robert Lewis on St James’s Street but became a part of the JJ Fox brand in 1992 in a union of two of the most premier brands in the cigar world.
The history of the store even extends into a museum. Where you can see countless vintage cigars, antique accessories, photographs, and memorabilia collected from past prestigious patrons. It is a space that has been lovingly dedicated to Freddie Fox, the man who made the store what it is today, and can be found in the basement of the store; an enjoyable way to pass the time as you try the vast array of cigars on sale.
Oscar Wilde, Sir Winston Churchill and countless members of the royal family (both foreign and British) have walked the hallowed halls of this store. Of course, Churchill is perhaps the most famous cigar smoker of all time and he exclusively bought said cigars from JJ Fox from 1900 onwards. He was rarely seen without a cigar, having a collection of singed suits as a result and famously stating, “I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form.”
JJ Fox is now one of the few public spaces in the UK where it is legal to smoke indoors, provided that you pay for the cigar you are smoking with the prospect of buying more (with the latter not being enforced). You may even choose to do so in the very chair that Sir Winston Churchill did the same. Only the very best cigars, most of the famed Cuban origin, are stocked and so quality is guaranteed.
Expert Cigar Merchant
The store even boasts three Masters of Havana Cigars, of which there are very few throughout the UK. This is a prestigious qualification which marks the store as one of the few places in London – as well as the wider UK – where you can find expert Cuban cigar recommendations and knowledge. So, whether you are a beginner or a more seasoned cigar smoker you are guaranteed not only the best cigars but also the most knowledgeable assistance when choosing them.
This is an establishment of pure indulgence, the perfect place for the modern gentleman to visit on a trip to London.
James J. Fox have been trading from St. James’s Street for over 225 years, offering the perfect hang out, along with some of the world’s finest cigars and accessories, for the cigar aficionado.