Who are you and where were you born?
My name is Nick Hammond and I was born in Buckinghamshire, England.
Where do you currently live?
Buckinghamshire, England! We Hammonds are a loyal tribe ☺
What do you do for a living?
I am a writer and author.
What has been the most beautiful place you have ever seen in your life?
I have been fortunate enough to see some amazing places during my time and many spring to mind; the slopes of Mount Fuji; the vast plains of East Africa; the steaming rainforest islands of Borneo; the Mexican jungle. But I can’t really top the exquisite tranquillity and colour of Bolifushi Island in the Maldives; stunning, revitalising, mind-blowing beauty.
When did you start smoking cigars?
I had my first ‘proper’ cigar at around 18 years old. I am now 45 (I think, I’ve lost count the last few years!) so I have a fair smattering of experience!
Tell us about your book: Why did you write it?
Largely for my own entertainment, at least at first. Because I’ve spent my working life writing for others, it was a joy to be able to ‘speak’ in my own voice for once. And once I began to relay some of the stories from my life of roving reporting, it became increasingly obvious that I actually did have something worthwhile to say.
8.What makes your book so special? Where can we buy it.
It’s a book like no other, in my opinion. It’s part travelogue, part love letter to my beloved cigar, and it comes very much from the heart in many ways. And it is, I’m reliably told, very funny! You can buy from all the usual sources, as well as direct from www.nick-hammond.com
9.What instagram profiles do you like and why?
Honest ones. I’m not much of a fan of the ‘look at me, see what I’m doing, don’t I look amazing and my life is incredible’ type of accounts! (Of which there are a vast amount). I’m interested in the beautiful but realistic; an inquisitory eye on the weird and the wonderful.
10. What to smoke when having a whiskey on the rocks?
Firstly, no rocks thank you! Maybe a wee drop of water to open things up, but that’s it. And for me, it’s usually whisky as opposed to whiskey (Scotch as opposed to Irish, Bourbon etc, although it would be fair to point out I’m not fussy!) What to smoke? It’s like asking what cartridge to shoot; the choice is vast. I would urge you to try a Speyside malt and a Cuban Ramon Allones Specially Selected, mind. Heaven.
11. Top 3 cigars you will recommend us.
On the Cuban side, my desert island cigar – the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2. For a long and luxurious big night in (or out for that matter) after a lovely meal, a Partagas Serie E No.2 and as a beautiful, sensuous, luxurious smoke, an aged Diplomaticos No.2. In terms of New World, I love Joya de Nicaragua and Padron cigars. And having just returned from Mexico, can highly recommend Casa Turrent, a family business out there which is making some stunning examples of the art.
12: Top 3 clothing/accessories brands you like?
Crumbs – I’m a very untrendy sort of chap, as anyone who knows me will tell you! But I feel you can’t beat the timeless elegance of a British cut suit. My friend James "Sleater", MD of Cad & The Dandy on Savile Row, makes stunning suits, which always make me feel a million dollars. I am also a big fan of handmade, artisan craftsmanship and "Leggetts" is a newly-formed English company with some incredibly talented designers and leather artists using traditional English saddlery in exquisite custom pieces. As we speak, I’m working with the company to create a special line of cigar and travel pieces, so I’ll keep you posted! Lastly, I’d recommend "Cordings of Piccadilly" – beautifully made shooting and country attire built to last a lifetime.
13 . What does luxury mean to you?
In reality, I think true luxury is time; whether that’s to enjoy a cigar, spend time with friends and loved ones or just stare out of the window! That is freedom and the ultimate aim for me, being able to live life in the way that I choose instead of being beholden to someone else. We are all so busy these days.
14. What are your hobbies outside work?
Much the same as the ones I do for work! Cigars, a bit of shooting, fishing, travel, music, books. I love to cook and have had a wood-fired oven built in my garden which I have fun experimenting with.