London’s India Club to bid farewell after over seven decades of serving curry

London’s India Club to bid farewell after over seven decades of serving curry
London’s India Club to bid farewell after over seven decades of serving curry

The historic London curry house known as the India Club, which has historical ties to India’s fight for independence, is sadly closing its doors permanently this Sunday.

Despite their efforts, they were unable to prevent a hotel redevelopment project.

As reported by Reuters, located inconspicuously up a steep staircase on the bustling thoroughfare of The Strand in central London, the restaurant was established just four years after India gained independence in 1947.

It was founded by members of the India League, a British-based advocacy group that campaigned for India’s freedom from colonial rule under British dominion.

The India Club has been a cherished destination for decades, attracting not only its regular patrons seeking delightful dishes like masala dosa or bhuna lamb paired with a refreshing pint of Cobra or Kingfisher beer but also serving as a welcoming hub for Londoners with Indian heritage.

“For many students, journalists and travellers, it was a home away from home, offering simple and good quality Indian food at affordable prices as well as a convivial atmosphere to meet and maintain friendships,” Indian lawmaker Shashi Tharoor, whose late father Chandran helped set up the India Club, said.

Also Read: ‘Home-away-from-home’: London’s India club to shut down next month. Details here

Manager Phiroza Marker told Reuters the India Club had experienced its busiest days this week and that she was looking for an alternative space nearby for the restaurant, whose formica tables and mustard yellow walls give it the atmosphere of a colonial-era Indian coffee house.

Ian Angell, a retired civil servant who has frequented the India Club for nearly ten years, expressed his deep sorrow upon hearing about the restaurant’s closure.

“There’s a sense of history about the place and it’s very difficult, if you have to move somewhere else, to replace it like it still feels the same,” he said at the Club’s bar.

“It’s such a great shame,” he added, sitting below portraits of Indian independence heroes Gandhi and Nehru. 

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Updated: 15 Sep 2023, 06:53 AM IST

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