Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 7

Around the quaint post colonial streets of calcutta

With over 5 million people inhabiting the colonial capital, one of the largest metropolis and industry hubs in India, if you google Calcutta and you'll read about British cafés, metal bands and festivity amongst the less privileged.

In real­i­ty, it’s slight­ly more and bet­ter than just that. The cap­i­tal of the East­ern port and West Ben­gal, with half of it being pri­mar­i­ly colo­nial with Anglo-Indi­an com­mu­ni­ties and tall church­es while the oth­er half being the polit­i­cal­ly active Ben­gali crowd, this is where tra­di­tion meets commerce.

Start your jour­ney around the Park Cir­cus, the cen­tre of old Cal­cut­ta, where a sev­en point junc­tion will guide you to lit­er­al­ly every place worth going to, in the city of joy.

Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 1
Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide

With poet­ry slams, lit­er­ary events and rather inter­est­ing hap­pen­ings every week­end, 8th Day Café is locat­ed in a qui­et colo­nial street, where you could read a book, meet peo­ple from dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties in the city and grab a cup of damn good cof­fee. Jute bags, qui­et cor­ners and a view of British architech­ture will keep you delight­ful­ly occu­pied through the day, when the heat is at its peak. As you may know, there is no such thing as win­ter here.

Head to one of the most char­ac­ter-juiced’ areas in the city, The South­ern Avenue. Now most­ly res­i­den­tial bun­ga­lows along with adorable cafes, bars and night­clubs, this is where one can take a walk around, stop and stare or just run, regardless.

A short ride from 8th Day Café to Mrs. Mag­pie would have an eerie sense of nos­tal­gia, both on the streets and on reach­ing the bak­ery. With pink and white inte­ri­ors and a fresh smell of cup­cakes and hot choco­late, Mrs. Mag­pie is one of the prime bak­eries in the city with it’s own unique recip­ies and com­fort foods. The best on the menu is the hot choco­late, tiramisu and any of those deli­cious minis­cule cup­cakes. Served in almost pris­tine, tiny white cups, nev­er­the­less, if you’re into desserts, this is the place to go.

Anoth­er must-go place to grab a good cof­fee is locat­ed in Hin­dus­tan Park, called Sien­na, a café/​store.

Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 2
Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 3

Start­ed by a young design­er who want­ed to bring out the for­got­ten essence of Indi­an tex­tiles (hand-woven cot­tons, silks, etc.) with a mod­ern, young take, you enter the café with a polar­is­ing out­look, with­out a doubt. Walls and dis­plays of tra­di­tion­al meets mod­ern fash­ion rang­ing from scarves, jute bags to sarees (the Indi­an gown, which is draped around the body), lis­ten­ing to Jazz, no less.

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Walk in through the store and enter the café, if you’ve ever been to Span­ish cafes, this may remind you of that. A palette of blue mosa­ic stones, crys­tal and wood, this place is ide­al for evenings in solace and prob­a­bly the only silence you won’t be sur­prised by, in a city as such. Taste­ful art and inter­est­ing peo­ple mixed yet most­ly quite the intel­lec­tu­al crowd can be found here.

Sien­na shuts at about 10 PM every­day, how­ev­er, if old school colo­nial bars sound intrigu­ing, then that that tends to be where most young­sters and expats hang out post lunch. Fair­lawn Hotel was start­ed in the 1890s, dur­ing colo­nial times, and has been func­tion­ing still.

Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 7

Head to Sud­der Street, the down­town part of the polar oppo­site upscale Park Street.

Amongst shops where locals dis­cov­er inno­v­a­tive jew­ellery and arte­facts ( includ­ing reli­gious hip­pie clothes), you’ll spot Fair­lawn, from a dis­tance. Serv­ing only beer and an open gar­den space as a bar, the lob­by is where con­just­ed pic­tures from the incep­tion of the bar to know, of every famous per­son who’s ever been there adorn the green walls. Noisy and yet charm­ing, it is a hot mess with some character.

Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 6

One of the old­est streets of colo­nial India, Park Street is now full of dance­halls, night­clubs and old pubs that man­aged to stay. Once, used to be the morn­ing debate venue for office goers, writ­ers and poets, Flury’s is where the tra­di­tion that stayed on was that of a hearty Eng­lish break­fast and the feel­ing that The brits were here’.

While Cal­cut­ta nev­er had a cul­ture of dance clubs, a dis­cus­sion over a drink is the best way to soak in all of it’s amaz­ing almost psy­che­del­ic noise. Oly­pub is where you could grab a drink with­out the pre­ten­tion that new Cal­cut­ta’ brought. Or? Off­beat, a group that con­tin­ues to pro­mote tech­no and pro­gres­sive sounds, hosts par­ties at Myx once in two weeks. A tall hall with blue geo­met­ric inte­ri­ors, where one can dance until sun­rise, at these.

A wild card presents itself in the form of the first bold club of the city, Boudoir Cal­cut­ta, which sur­pris­ing­ly is a great place to dance until the ear­ly house of the morn­ing. Rang­ing from dance-y Bol­ly­wood and oth­er­wise all Dance­hall, the lat­est addi­tion to the city’s nightlife has quite the over-the-top yet pep­py ambience.

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Over­all? The city’s a bleak mix of pulp fic­tion and tra­di­tion­al arti­ness in a cock­tail glass. Espe­cial­ly if you vis­it around October/​November when it is hav­ing a blast with the cel­e­bra­tion of hin­du God­dess Dur­ga and lat­er, fun­ni­ly enough, Halloween.

18 Nov 2016 · neubau eyewear