BY: Lisa Marie Carter
Tired of the same ol’ same ol’ when hosting an event? Have no fear, Cigar Row Events is rescuing the hum drum get togethers.
As we plan our annual Girls’ Week together in the Low Country area, I’m always searching for a unique experience to plan for all of us, and after researching, Googling and Facebook scouring, I came across two unique options.
Luckily the girls in our tribe will always “roll” with whatever is planned and this year they literally did. Roll cigars that is! This educational and laugh-filled class made our 10th annual girls’ week one to remember for sure. Alison Rose with Cigar Row Events showed up with rolling case and ready to explain the complexities and history of cigar rolling.
We all sat around the table where the tools and materials required to make our own cigars was set up. We were totally enthralled by each step of this process,.Rose expertly explained every type of leaf, the parts of the tobacco leaf and the special technique(s) required to roll the perfect cigar.
Patience is a virtue when learning to roll, as rolling a great smokeable cigar takes practice, and Rose showed us she has had plenty of practice as she rolled one as an example. After rolling hers, she turned to each girl for their chance to roll their own. Though not everyone smokes cigars, they all enjoyed learning the intricacies of this craft and getting to roll their own cigars to enjoy or take home for someone.
Rose shared some valuable information with us when she explained a freshly completed cigar is smokeable, but not particularly palatable. Aging melds the flavors, dissipates excess moisture, and blunts any rawness. Like a fine wine, the longer a cigar ages, the better, if they’re stored properly, like in a home humidor. She brought some previously rolled cigars for each of us to enjoy, and they were all banded with our own custom-made cigar bands. Having this personalized touch to our hand-rolled cigars really was a nice finish.
It wasn’t all just listening, learning, and rolling. When Rose was finished with our class – she said going forward she’ll never teach this class without laughing.
Now, the second unique experience was a bit more relaxing as all it required was for us to show up (and bring our alcohol, which is not a problem on girls’ week).
Picture this: Six ladies, all dressed up for the evening, a walk to the beach and there amongst the sand and waves is a fully set picnic. Upon feeling our feet in the sand, we didn’t see the typical red checked blanket basic picnic because anyone can do that.
Much to our delight, set out on the beach, just for us, is a teepee accompanied by a large beach rug which is topped with fluffy plush complimenting pillows inviting each of us to grab a seat. The pillows surrounded a low sitting table draped in a striking lace cloth table cover. Atop the table sits two pewter candles sticks and candles, and some colorful fresh spring flowers in a matching vase. Softly sprinkled throughout this tablespace are some of nature’s own décor, like leaves and flowers that tied into the beach setting and seemed effortlessly positioned to highlight the formal place settings for each girl.
There are several food options to choose from. We chose to do a simple sunset happy hour spread, which included light bites of several artisan cheeses, cured meats, buttery crackers, fresh fruits, marmalades, and muffins. These perfectly complimented the champagne we brought.
The background and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Just as the sun was setting on the beach, we all toasted to another fantastic girl’s week together. This gorgeous picture-perfect setting was all orchestrated by Picnic Charleston. All we did was show up! Picnic Charleston set it up, supplied everything, food, glasses, décor, and clean up (minus alcohol).
We felt like royalty, and apparently looked the part too as people were taking pictures and cheering our adventure from a far.
A few beach goers even approached us to ask what was going on, “Oh, this?,” we’d respond, “It’s just a typical girls week celebration for us.”