The gentleman in Cuba

Hello there,

Here continues a newly introduced segment at The Gentleman where we open our door of travel experience a crack for you to peek inside. Please read forth for a gentleman’s travel guide to Cuba.

The Cienfuegos Yacht Club - the perfect spot for smoking some of Cuba's finest tobacco. My spanish is not exceptional, but I believe 'yacht' is spanish for 'cigar'.

We all know of Cuba for it’s four main exports: cigars, rum, sugar and highly trained doctors (seriously). The gentleman makes use of all four of these things. He smokes Cuba’s finest cigars, he uses rum and sugar in his mojito and he visits the doctor if/when his drinking and smoking eventually catches up with him (but rest assured, this rarely happens. And I should know; I spoke to a doctor once).

Ernest Hemingway takes the Olympic torch for a stroll along one of Cuba's fine beaches.

Many notable gentleman have enjoyed Cuba as a gentleman’s refuge, such as Ernest Hemingway and Frank Sinatra. There’s something about the Caribbean air,  cheap rum and the fact that you can’t walk down the street without being offered a cigar that draws gentleman from far and wide to the island.

Frank Sinatra gets snapped unawares as he's about to board a light aircraft to Cuba. The picture was later used for his album Come Fly With Me.

I suggest you book your next holiday to Cuba. Pack your summer clothes (including plenty of polos) and a cigar cutter and you should be set to enjoy paradise – the gentleman’s way.

A typical bar in Cuba distributes cigars and rum and little else. Also be prepared for live music. This means bring your dancing brogues.

In order to avoid being ridiculed by the locals, cigars must be purchased in boxes of 25. This is the smallest quanta possible. Request a single cigar and you will be laughed off the island (literally – it’s not pleasant). This means if you wish to sample a few different cigars, you can quickly amass hundreds. When traveling home, customs restrictions are often very stringent with tobacco, so you will need to make sure you smoke all of them while in Cuba.

But you were probably going to do that anyway, because you’re a gentleman.

This man organises his cigars in preparation to smuggle them through customs. Little does he know that the true gentleman's solution to this problem is to smoke them all. I reckon this at less than 3 days worth of cigars if Brixley and myself were released upon them.

Another thing to prepare yourself for in Cuba is that essentially nothing has been updated since the 1960s. This means that all the cars are old, the technology is old and the people are old. This could be attributed to the communist government seceding from primarily U.S.-run technological advancement, or it could be attributed to the Cuban people enjoying living as if in a better era, the hey-day of the gentleman.

A state-of-the-art cuban automobile. This is actually central Havana. Note how literally everywhere in Cuba is a beach lined with palms.

So with that, I strongly suggest you take a trip to Cuba. It will amplify your gentlemanliness like no other country.

Until next time,

HL Griffith

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