Tomorrow will see the opening of Flora Indica on Old Brompton Road, a fantastical, surreal British – Indian bar and restaurant inspired by the 10,000 of plants found on the subcontinent.
Sameer Taneja (formely Executive Chef at Benares Restaurant and Bar) brings his Michelin star training to the Flora Indica with the likes of sea bass, sea spinach, chilli coconut, parsnip purée and dill and smoked venison, burnt onion salt, fennel, beetroot textures and masala spiced potato on the menu. Pudding isn’t your usual sticky toffee pudding affair, oh no instead you’re much more likely to find beetroot doughnuts and rosemary and ginger heaven sent with rhubarb sorbet.
Drinks wise it’s all about the botanical cocktails with stand outs said to include the Flora Eden: Flambé fresh sage and rosemary in Green Chartreuse, gin, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, Earl Grey and lavender syrup (quite the ingredient list). Portobello Brewery will be serving up malt whisky and craft beer and a dedicated punch and bar gin will be creating Indian punches and Victoria–inspired shrubs and small batch spirits such as Tarquin’s Cornish gin.
Upstairs you’ll find a 30-cover bar and lounge whilst down stairs can sit up to 70 in the restaurant, they’ll be private banquettes under the vaults too. If you can get your head around this then the décor (designed by Henry Chebaane of Blue Sky Hospitality) is inspired by the Flora Indica a catalogue of Indian plants last published in 1855. It’s a tribute to Scottish botanists who travelled through the Indian Empire, mixed with elements of Victorian steampunk and the wonderful elements of 19th century literature from the likes of Lewis Carroll and H.G Wells. Add to this modern features from the 21st century – cool, white marbled surfaces, metal work, English oak flooring, bespoke McQueen and Westwood inspired upholstery and dozens of handcrafted plaster vintage roses adorning the walls.
It’s creative, whimsical and all a little awe inspiring.
Flora Indica: Opens 15th July 2016, 242 Old Brompton Road, SW5 0DE, www.flora-indica.com