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Food for taste, food for thought, food for all the senses. We’ve stumbled upon some great Indian restaurant interiors that have found ways to become one with Nature.

Coromandel Café, Puducherry

Inside a charming colonial period villa named La Maison Rose, aptly named for its rose-pink walls. The Coromandel Café effortlessly accommodates changing intensities of sunlight and surrounding foliage, including lush palms, a mango tree that has always been there, and shrubbery. An existing well, once potentially unsafe, has been transformed into a wooden seat-out – thus becoming an outstanding feature of the landscape. The original lime walls have been carefully preserved and decorated with larger than life botanical illustrations, gentle and graceful even in that scale. Wood or marble furniture pieces dot the space, with cane/wicker details or retained wooden shutters that have been enhanced functionally, on all the doors.

The Ice Café, Manali-Leh Highway

Looking for a new place to ‘chill’ out? India’s first natural ice café is built inside a giant ice stupa at 14,000 ft, in the village of GyaMeeru. It is the result of the vision of 3 enterprising local youth, and the Border Road Organisation officials. The Ice Café was designed  and created by allowing water to fall on a conical net structure, from a designated height. Once it began freezing, more water was added to increase thickness, strength and durability. Even as the stupa begins to melt with the changing seasons, it wouldn’t be a wasted effort. The water will be collected in tanks and used in a drip irrigation system around Ladakh.

The most decent images are coming from Times of India ‘Ice Cafe Ladakh’ search.

Elgin Café, Amritsar

Conceptualised and designed to recreate the feeling of being engulfed by restful outdoors, with great food and relaxed conversations . The most striking feature of Elgin Café’s interiors is a spectacularly tasteful use of green Indian granite. Wicker armchairs help create an accommodating, but striking contrast. Coffered details on the ceiling and fluting on the walls appear to reimagine the rhythmic way in which shapes or patterns are created in Nature.

XochiResto-Bar, Bengaluru

A wonderful example of dialogue between a green space and a ‘concrete jungle,’ evident almost immediately in the meeting of MS fabrication structures, glass and louvres (façade) on one side and leafy palms in an ample outdoor area. The restaurant emerges around the central axis of this area, with one part opening up to a green space. Natural light and healthy ventilation circulates effortlessly in the massive double height dining space. Alongside the bar are brick wall backdrops and a water body. A central wall space splits the layout neatly, creating convenient and easy to navigate partitions. The mezzanine floor reinforces the brick and foliage aesthetic, with exposed concrete defining the straight flight staircase. 

Garden of Dreams, Goa

The tropical jungle hideout concept taken seriously, but with such free-spirited joy. The outdoor landscape is shaped by wood structure canopy or ‘tent lounge’ cubicles, basketweavechics, wooden benches and tables for share eating; besides some upcycled and repurposed accents, like centre tables, and open face book cases. 

3Seventy Kitchen, Surat

This is a contemporary space for easy-going eating and socialising, but extensive natural stonework makes for  a key feature of its earthy-vintage persona. Three sides of the restaurant are covered in hand-engraved stone, with rich oakwood panelling on the walls. 

Terracotta Restaurant, Gandhinagar

Humble clay moulded into modern-luxe charms. The driving design philosophy was to use organic, affordable materials that were connected to the earth and charged with  the creative energies of the universe. Besides locally sourced clay – and terracotta – brick and wood were also used to create a rooted space; one that evoked craving for beauty and peace, because of its simplicity.

Image sources:

Coromandel Café: Postbox
Elgin Café: Niveditaa Gupta
XochiResto-Bar: ID + AS Architects
Garden of Dreams
Ice Café: Times of India
3Seventy Kitchen, Surat
Terracotta Restaurant: Forbes India