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Meet the Man of the Moment: Darius Namdar

One of the most memorable moments from our meeting with Darius Namdar on a beautiful sunny Thursday in London, was seeing the gorgeous cabinet in Mark’s Club which displayed an excellent selection of some of the best cigars for sale on the market today. 

We arrived at Mark’s Club, in Mayfair, a little shy of 4 o’clock. Upon arrival we were welcomed by a refined young gentleman who asked us who we were here to see and suggested we go to the bar just upstairs as our interviewee, Habanosommelier of 2018, was running a little late (we imagined him stock checking the rarest Limited Edition Cuban Cigars whilst smoking a Cohiba Behike).

The multi-coloured stripe staircase against the beautiful blue and green floral wallpaper which runs through many rooms in the Club made one feel as though they were in a grand townhouse which had been warped as it travelled through time. Taking carpets, chairs and art from all corners of the universe and magically landing between 44 and 48 Charles Street back in 1973.

The barman offered us a drink and we waited for the arrival of the Habanos Sommelier, the award winner at this years 20th Habanos Festival. Seeing as we had a little time to wait, we enjoyed admiring the eclectic interior design of this world famous private member’s club and slowly sipped on our gin and tonics whilst discussing the Montecristo Linea 1935 blog post we published just a few days before.

Darius, half an hour late as is his prerogative for a man who is busy with being the director of Mark’s Club, acting Sommelier with the Birley Group and hopes of starting his very own club, apologised profusely, welcomed us to the Club and introduced himself with both confidence and kindness.

We conducted the relaxed chat in the comfort of the Games Room, which was located on the top floor. The room was furnished fancifully by a soft and copper r velvet sofa, rich wooden chairs with plush black leather seats and walls adorned with caricatures by Bateman and Georges Goursat (Sem). It was the perfect backdrop for an interesting interview.

Chelsea Covington, the interviewer, is seen here sitting with Darius Namdar after the interview in the elegantly designed Games Room.


See the full interview below:


As you can see, Darius is one of the most charming men you could meet and once the questions were answered and formalities were finished, he asked if we would like to stay for a drink and a cigar. Who would we be if we declined? We were taken through to the terrace and on our way Darius, being the hospitable and affable gentleman he is, said hello, shook hands and kissed cheeks of many if not all of the people he came into contact with. He suggested the light, but delicious Por Larrañaga Petit Coronas Cigar, the smooth Quai D’orsay No.50 and the punchy Montecristo Edmundo Cigar, which we felt were very fitting choices and suited each smoker perfectly.

The conversation began to bloom under the sun, like a flower in spring and Darius spoke about all things cigar, talking about various brands such as Partagas CigarsRomeo y Julieta Cigars and more, providing the most entertaining anecdotes to his time in Cuba and things that became before and after that.

The cigars Darius Namdar chose for each of the guests lay in a beautiful silver ashtray with shells for shelves whilst Darius tells his guests about the history of Punch Cigars.

I think you can tell that we were pretty bowled over by Darius and we can see why he chose hospitality over finance, it seems generosity and kindness runs through his veins. After boding him well with his next steps and hoping he does finally open his own club, we left Mark's Club and looked forward to seeing David Hockney’s iPad piece which hangs in one of the many rooms we didn’t manage to see, but one Darius promised he’d show us. I guess we’ll have to check it out the next time we’re there.

If you liked reading this, see our interviews with other interesting people in the cigar world on our Cuban cigar blog, including Sarah Saunders- founder of the Woman's International Cigar Club. 

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