Encuentro Amigos de Partagas Festival: Day One
Our very first day at the Encuentro Amigos de Partagas was one full of great food, fantastic entertainment and, of course, the finest Cuban cigars.
We had high hopes of arriving to Italy with hours to spare to get dressed to the nines and get to the festival with plenty of time. You’d think we would have known that this was hardly going to happen considering we were flying from the land of delays and a country known for its inability to conduct public transport effectively. So, one of us missed their flight to Italy entirely thanks to trains being cancelled destined for Gatwick and another made it only by moments to board the plane after buses being stuck in traffic at 4 in the morning- London hey?
We didn’t let this get our spirits down though and as soon as we landed in Milan; we dashed to the tailor, picked up our suits and made our way to Matelica. The views were a sight very far removed from the bustling, busy city of London and we were met with the bluest of skies, the greenest of fields, vineyards a plenty and many a sunflower field- perhaps even more of the latter?! A quick pit stop at the Osteria Pizzeria Barbarossa for some much required pasta and refreshment and we were well on our way. We arrived to our accommodation and slipped into our outfits for the evening, jumped into the car and arrived just in the nick of time to Borgo Lanciano.
If you’re yet to visit this hotel devoted to wellness, imagine beautiful brick buildings with those quintessential cream, peach and blush facades surrounded by a wide park and rolling green hills. It’s located in the heart of Marche Region near Macerata and it truly is a place like no other and a space where most come to refresh, gain some respite and definitely relax. But for us, on Friday the 6th of July, we enjoyed meeting with friends and future companions who share our passion and love of cigars.
We were greeted by Señoritas, dressed in simple black dresses and traditional Cuban headscarves in a vibrant and eye-catching floral green and received by senors in perfectly fitting suits pouring champagne for every guest. As the bubbles were emptied from bottles, we all entered into the main dining area, picked up a handful of the cigars they were offering including the H.Upmann Magnum 54, H.Upmann Half Corona and took our seats.
As soon as we sat down we introduced ourselves to the others at the table and quickly began discussing cigars, stories and enjoying general conversation. We sat with the proprietors of the Sigaro Italico (hand made Italian cigar) and the organisers of the Primera Emotion event in Ischia and spoke about our companies, what we do and why we do it.
Over the course of the evening we dined like kings, with a five course menu and five star cigars we couldn’t have hoped for a better start to our time at the Encuentro Amigos de Partagas Festival.
We were entertained over the course of the night by various shows including acrobats, a sword dance and it goes without saying but some marvelous Cuban music. After our final dish- a deconstructed fruitcake and between smoking cigars, we basked in the pleasure of full stomachs and pleasant company until the rum was poured and everyone made their way to the dance floor.
Moves were made and shapes were thrown, with one of our team getting first-hand lessons from a dancer who had impressed us, as she taught us the trick of shaking those hips.
The evening ended with one final rum sat beneath the stars and we left the party just past 3am, knowing all too well what sort of headache would be waiting for us tomorrow.