Get ready to take a peek inside one of London’s hidden treasures!
Nestled in upmarket Mayfair, cigar merchants James J. Fox first opened its doors in 1947 – and is one of the last remaining public places in the UK where people can still smoke inside.
Phillip Shervington, who works as the shop’s Cigar Consultant, believes it is the unique history of the shop that still draws in customers from all over the world.
He explains, ‘we have quite a lot of history attached to the place with Churchill as one of our early customers. He was a customer of ours for some 64 years – he was quite a demanding customer!’
‘Originally Churchill used to smoke a brand called Bock, which is no longer around. Because of his visits to the Romeo factory, they eventually decided to name the size of the cigar the Churchill, and it’s still used today on lots of different brands.’
James J. Fox are so proud of their connection to Churchill that every November they hold a celebration in his memory where fans gather in their finest clothing to puff on cigars.
And if their connection to the former Prime Minister isn’t enough for you, James J. Fox also supply cigars to the royal household – not bad, eh?
So, how much does it cost to get your hands on one of these famous cigars?
Phillip explains, ‘we probably have about 130 odd different brands and sizes. It varies from around £20 up to £70 or £80. We have quite a lot of rare cigars, some pre-Castro – they can go into hundreds of pounds.’
With such a glowing reputation, it seems certain that James J. Fox will still be attracting customers for around the globe for years to come.
Phillip says, ‘I don’t think there are any other cigar merchants that rival us in size or variety. We have quite an extensive range, plus the fact that we have the history attached to us.’
‘We have a lot of younger people coming into the industry and hopefully they will carry on, they certainly will be here for the next 50 years.’
‘I should be long pushing up daises by then but younger people coming into the industry is a good thing to see.’
Watch the video above to take a look around the shop for yourself.