Ab dem 25. März werden die öffentlichen Räume in Schottland rauchfrei sein. Jeder weiss, welch grosse Tradition Zigarren in diesem Land haben. Scotsman.com beschreibt unter „Gourmet smokers stub out in style„, wie die betroffenen Smoker den Abschied von der Tradition begehen – mit viel Stil und entsprechenden Gastro-Angeboten.
Gourmet smokers stub out in style
JEREMY WATSON AND WILLIAM LYONS
THEY WILL lean back in their chairs and unwrap their cigars. A glass of cognac or whisky will no doubt be at hand.
Like prisoners on death row, the toast will be to freedom and a former life. Scotland’s smokers may be about to be banned from indulging their habit in public places but they intend to go out in style.
Restaurants and clubs across Scotland are planning a series of „last suppers“ in which customers will celebrate – or more likely commemorate – the introduction of the Scottish Executive’s smoking ban next month.
Some will serve one-night-only tobacco-related menus in the run-up to the ban which comes into force at midnight on March 25. Others will relax dining-room no-smoking rules to allow their clients to light up for one last time.
Igg’s restaurant in Edinburgh city centre says its £35-per-head „last supper“ is aimed at giving customers their final chance to savour the „pleasure“ of smoking in a restaurant.
Iggy Campos, the 30-a-day, Valencian owner of Igg’s, on Jeffrey Street, said the restaurant was non-smoking but diners could go through to the adjoining Bar Rioja to light up.
„They won’t be able to do that now and I don’t think my customers will be very pleased at having to go and stand outside on the pavement,“ Campos said.
„I don’t agree with the ban but like everyone else I will have to comply. On the night of the last supper, the customers will be able to smoke in Igg’s so they won’t even have to leave the table.“
The Wild Bergamot restaurant, in the upmarket Milngavie district of Glasgow, has planned a special tobacco-themed menu for which it will be charging £60 a head.
After „bubbly“ and canapes on arrival, diners will be offered smoked shallot veloute as a taster followed by smoked duck breast.
Tobacco panna cotta will be followed by a course of fillet of char with a honey-smoked pistachio crust. The main course of roasted loin of wild boar will be wrapped in tobacco leaves.
Dessert of bitter chocolate tart will be accompanied by ice cream and tobacco crumble. Tobacco chocolates in the shape of a cigar will end the meal.
Wild Bergamot chef-proprietor Alan Burns said his 24-cover dining room was already non-smoking although customers could smoke in the lounge before and after their meal.
„I am not a smoker but I am against the ban from the freedom of choice point of view,“ Burns said. „The Executive has overstepped the mark with this ban, which is turning us into a nanny state.“
The idea for a smokers‘ „last stand“ had come from regular customers who liked to smoke in the restaurant lounge after their meal.
„Tobacco comes in leaves which we will use to infuse the cream in dishes like the panna cotta,“ Burns explained. „Otherwise we will use it as a spice or, as with the crumble, broken into small pieces. It will give the dishes a kick but it won’t be overpowering.“
Diners will then retire to the lounge to enjoy their last smoke before midnight. „Having a smoke with a cognac has been an after-dinner tradition for centuries. I don’t think people realise how much the country is going to change.“
Cigar aficionados are also planning events to mark the passage of the ban into law.
Simon Chase, the director of cigar importers Hunters & Frankau, which dates back to 1790, said the company is organising a „farewell to freedom dinner“ in Edinburgh in the week before the ban.
„For me one of the great pleasures has always been to light up a Cuban cigar after a first class meal,“ said Chase. „It is a sad day when such a simple pleasure is outlawed.“
The Western, a private members‘ club in Glasgow’s Royal Exchange Square, whose founding members included the 18th-century tobacco barons who played a large part in building the city’s prosperity, is also holding a last supper.
Club secretary Douglas Gifford said: „We have a long tradition of smoking with records that date back to 1881 relating to the Cigar Committee.
„The event will mark the end of a long tradition of smoking in the Western Club and, as a private members club, we feel that not to be able to smoke a cigar at the end of a dinner party is most unfortunate.
„We are not in a position to build an outside area and nor do we have any balconies or roof top areas. March 26 will mark the end of smoking at the Western.“
Most restaurateurs believe they are right to make a symbolic protest against the ban.
But Forest, the pro-smoking organisation, said it was dismayed that restaurateur’s were only choosing to take a stand now. „Where were the restaurateurs when this was all being debated two years ago?“ said spokesman Simon Clark. „If they had taken a stand then, we might not have a ban now.“