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Friday 14 September 2012

The boy and his poison: 'A suitcase stuffed with sneezes'

This boy is opting for a different poison this week and served to you in a really unique way. We've had cycling bars, popup hotels, shops and gin carriages but I've managed to find a really interesting modern take on an old habit with Reginald Spleen's Travelling Snuff Bar.

At the ripe old age of 500, it is by no means a novel pursuit. Snuff is essentially pulverised dried tobacco leaves that you take a pinch of then sniff into your nose. It's certainly a classy habit with a bit of pedigree as well. In the 19th century it was the denizens who were left to miserably chug away on their cigarettes while this stuff was the nicotine fix of choice for royalty and aristocracy. By way of a disclaimer, it is tobacco and therefore not without its associated risks, but snuff is smokeless and thus presents a far lesser risk to your health than cigarettes. It also won't bother anyone else (no chance of passive snuffing) and unlike smoking you can merrily try it whilst relaxing in the comfort of the inside of a bar or pub which is no bad thing with winter approaching. However, you may at this point be asking why you'd want to shovel pinches of dried tobacco up your nose and this is where Reginald Spleen and his contemporary snuff bar comes in. It's quite a fun thing to try and a great talking point with the wealth of different flavours offered ranging from whisky and bucks fizz to chocolate orange and G&T.

Reginald Spleen's bar isn't a bar in the traditional four-walls sense but instead a portable set up that can be booked from £95 to give the guests at your next event a nicotine fuelled blast of a time. That will get you Reginald and his suitcase to help guide you through the 43 different types of snuff they offer, but if you fancy a cheaper hassle-free alternative you can also get 18 flavours with a decision dice and a flavour guide couriered to you for only £75.

If like me you're just a bit curious and want to try a few flavours you can even buy them from their site for £3 a tin. Purely in the interest of journalistic integrity I've been happily huffing up the gin and tonic snuff as well as the chocolate orange flavour (which they were good enough to drop in to the envelope as an apology for being a day late with delivery… that's how you do customer service) for the last week. Definitely not an everyday thing, but as an unusual treat you can't beat it.


  1. I've tried snuff a few times, but I doing really get it (although this whole smoking indoors thing? yes please).

    But it makes me grubby, am I doing it wrong?

  2. I quite like the Swedish "snus", which comes in a delightful array of flavours just like snuff, but is used orally. Snuff is definitely a great social experience though, and, to be frank, I'd rate the experience of sneezing high up on my visceral pleasure list.


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