20th Habanos Festival: Day 3- Wednesday 28th February 2018
Wednesday was absolutely packed with activities and because of this we were unfortunately unable to keep our promise to our readers and not able to give a daily blog post direct from the festival yesterday. Nevertheless, this post is going to make up for that, so let us get started!
As aforementioned, day three of the event was a very busy one filled with lectures and masterclasses, as well as a celebration evening dedicated to the anniversary of the Habanos Festival.
Our first event of the day was a master lecture held in room 4 of the staggeringly large meeting centre, the Palacio de las Convenciones. This inspiring talk was centred around the cultural significance of tobacco in Cuban Culture and we were astonished by how much it has had a positive impact on Cuban Culture, truly enlightening.
This was followed by another lecture, which we had been very excited about since the release of the 20th Habanos Festival programme last week. The lecturer spoke about the genetic evolution of tobacco plants since Christopher Columbus. A truly fascinating talk and one that we think will make an interesting EGM Cuban Cigar Blog post (hint hint). The centre ensured that the variety of listeners could understand the talk, by providing translated live versions in English and French.
In a rush to fit everything in, we had a quick lunch spent mostly talking about the fascinating lectures we’d just listened to and discussing various Cuban Cigars. We then progressed to visit the numerous and diverse stands in the centre, ranging from vintage Cuban lithography to tobacco art, it is truthfully astonishing how many different ideas, projects and concepts have been created through tobacco and Cuban cigars.
Tiring ourselves out a little, it was now time for the Pairing Master Class. Perfect timing if you ask us. This cigar pairing focused on four aged brandies and two cigars, the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill Cigar and the Partagas Serie D No. 4 Cigar. It was not only delicious, but also admirable to watch and learn how these cigar aficionados/connoisseurs combine the different flavours found in both the brandy and the cigar to create something even more flavoursome and enjoyable.
After such a fantastic and inspiring day, we rushed back to the hotel to get changed for the big event of the night- The Celebration of the 20TH Habanos Festival. We had only been given the location of the event and given no other information. The anticipation and suspense had reached its peek and we got ready quickly and rushed to the venue, Teatro san Marti.
Upon arrival at the theatre we sat in our designated seats and began chatting to the attendees next to us, anticipating the cigars which would be presented and how the event would unfold. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was very excited for the show to begin.
The show was a mixture of a projected film which celebrated the history of Cuban Cigars and a number of live performances by very talented musicians. The quality of both was sensational. We were treated to performances by a singer songwriter with the most beautiful voice, who shared the stage with an unbelievable pianist. Blown away and not quite ready for the next performance, we felt completely overwhelmed when the next act came on. The jazz band that took to the stage after were absolutely sublime, opening their set with an introduction that was dominated by the wind section was truly enchanting and exciting, and so was the rest of the performance.
After this, it was straight on to the open air party bus direct to the Gran Teatro, the most spectacular building- tall spires and turrets made from white stone and freckled marble all aglow in the evening sky, not a cloud in sight.
Upon our arrival to the beautiful venue, which sits right next to the equally spectacular Capitolito, we were gifted with goody bags and cigars. Everyone eagerly and excitedly opened theirs as soon as they received them and all headed in the direction of the bar. Champagne, rum and mojitos were in order! We all then enjoyed a grand cocktail dinner, each others company and several Limited Editions and Regional Editions.
Here, to complete an already unbelievable day and night, the attendees were entertained by a live performance by Cuban Legend, Descemer Bueno. Habanos S.A has truly outdone themselves, delivering year after year an event that delivers every time. Organised to utter perfection. The most heart-warming and beautiful thing about the evening as a whole, was the chance to observe and be a part of a community where people from various corners and positions in the world can interact and enjoy each others company in the most genuine and convivial way. This is what, here in Cuba, they call ‘compartir’, which in its simplest translation means ‘to share’. An unforgettable night and one I will always remember.
Did you catch our last post? 20th Habanos Festival: Day 2- Tuesday 27th February 2018. Make sure to follow our Instagram for exciting instagram stories and updates.