Monthly Archives: February 2015

SoBe Food & Wine: Cigars and Spirits – The Betsy, BLT and Cigar Aficionado

cigar event

The Location…

The Betsy hotel rooftop was a phenomenal location for this event. Located in the heart of South Beach, the Betsy Hotel exhibits a Georgian architecture style which truly exhibits a very comforting late 1940’s Frank Sinatra vibe. Its ocean views and glaring moon made this an exceptional feel for a Cigar smoking, bourbon and tequila sipping kind of night. Upon entrance we were immediately greeted and given wristbands to enter the event. The first stepping stone as I like to call it was every persons most appreciated spot, the bar. Filled with bourbon, wine and tequila, the bar offered infused drinks which were a great pairing for many of the cigars in attendance. The food was provided by BLT Steak restaurant and it consisted of delicious sushi and and delicate rib eye.


So what about them stogies? Cigars alone carry this sharp elegant image so any man smoking a cigar automatically must turn himself into a classical music loving political intellectual beard having somewhat of an asshole right? No, people here were classy, well dressed and most important respectful. The crowd was filled with laughter and fine smoke traveling through the air. There was a distinct glow on every women and a certain gentleman appeal on every man. I can genuinely say everyone looked very comfortable and happy.

Now for time for the cigars! To my recollection there was about 4 cigar stations: My Father, Montecristo, Olivia and Drew Estate Cigars. My first selection was the My Father No. 1 Robusto. This is a personal favorite of mine because it carries a nice full body, it is constructed well so the burn is even and pull is easy. This was a no brainer for me to smoke as my first sample. After I enjoyed the My Father No. 1 I headed over to Montecristo Cigars. Montecristo is a popular brand and I can respectfully say I am not to familiar with it. So I quickly asked the two young ladies for some information and was immediately guided to one of their best cigars the Espada. It is a made with 100% Nicaraguan tobacco and carries a spicy and bold taste to it. It is also one of the most decorated cigars with a very appealing label and packaging. I highly recommend it for a good afternoon smoke. Next stop, Drew Estate cigars. Now this stop was a surprise, they had a variety of cigars to offer which went from light wrapped cigars to dark wrapped cigars and for the first time in my cigar smoking life, sweet tip cigars. I went and tried their sweet tip cigar which goes by the name kuba kuba. I did taste the sweetness at the beginning and had to admit to myself this was not a cigar for me. The sweetness really took away the authenticity of how a cigar should taste like. I have come to the respectful conclusion that this cigar is not for me. Last and definitely not least is the brand that took the night, Olivia.

Olivia cigars offered two cigars, the Connecticut and the Olivia V. My favorite from the night was the Olivia V. It was a darker shade cigar with a full body that encompasses a smooth coffee flavor along with subtle spice and chocolate tones. Delicious and the cigar winner of the night!

This event was definitely a success. From the beautiful historical location to the tasteful food, infused liquor and the reputable cigar brands, this event clearly lived up to its expectations.   It was enjoyable, delightful, straightforward and most important memorable for all those experienced and rookie cigar smokers. I will definitely attend this event next year.


Clarins: a brand & philosophy.

If you see me on the street, you won’t usually see me with make-up, and I’m usually dressed rather casually.  I probably won’t come across as superficial, and I tend to be quieter.  And I doubt you’ll think my looks are too important to me, but you’ll be wrong.  Although I really don’t pay too much attention to the brands of clothes I wear or the kind of car I drive, I do care about what I ingest and what I apply to my skin.  So, imagine my delight when I was invited to the view the latest skin advancements that Clarins is rolling out for Spring.

First, let me say this company’s philosophy encompasses quality in all areas: excellence in the ingredients chosen, giving back to the world, being environmentally conscious, and practicing compassion towards its clients and employees.  Imagine that — a company that cares all around!  So, just like the foods I eat — I want to know that the products I apply originated from a positive environment, with good karma all around.

Clarins is a pioneer in anti-pollution skin care.  They actually observed the impact that pollution was having on steel buildings and thought of the impact on a woman’s delicate skin…and they created a line that includes anti-pollution components throughout “125 Clarins daytime skin care and make-up formulas”.  Now onto their Spring line

1. Total Eye Concentrate – smoothes out crow’s feet and wrinkles (starting to need it here so thank you!), reduces dark circles and puffiness (thank you so much!), and instant lifting of eyelids.  By the way, 94% of the women they tried it on were convinced within 7 days!

2.  UV Plus Anti-Pollution with SPF 50 – fights free radicals, UV rays, and pollution — I’m on board and I love the white tea and sanicle and cantaloupe melon extract!

3. The Everlasting Foundation with SPF 15 – 18 hour hold! matte finish, fights against free radicals, UV rays, pollution and it’s non-oily — lovely texture!

4. Garden Escape Spring Colour Collection –

  • beautiful array of Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector that almost act like mood rings for your lips (so yummy!),
  • a beautiful Blush Prodige, Crayon Khol in a gorgeous green,
  • (my favorite and it’s a Limited Edition!) the Garden Escape 6-Colour Eye Palette  WET or DRY!
  • Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil — nourishing, not sticky, and love the Honey, but it’s a Limited Edition so you gotta try it
  • Joli Rouge Perfect Shine Sheer Lipstick – wonderful, natural looking shades

The prices are reasonable, a little bit goes a long way and you’re feeding your skin quality products produced with good karma in every step.

I’ll sum it up in the words of Christian Courtin-Clarins: “It is essential to think that whatever we do today, we do for the future of our children.”  I think that’s good karma from a brand that demonstrates excellence on all levels.