Monday, September 21, 2020

Old-world charm in a'Courtyard'

By Nabamita Chatterjee | Vjmedia Works | November 25, 2013

'The Corner Courtyard' is a 110 year old house, restored to gift the'City of Joy' an all day fine dining experience of world cuisine.

Want to walk down the memory lane while you step inside a South Kolkata house courtyard? Then this destination will surely get added on to your list of choices when it comes to good food and an ambience perfectly suited to that. The place is conceptualised by Megha Agarwal, Director of'The Corner Courtyard', who wanted to establish a'personal touch' in each corner of the interior space. The global menu, set amidst interesting graffitis at wall, chequered floors or the old clocks and vintage photographs have blended well with the spirit of the city which has a knack of adapting to the new while reminiscing the by-gone era.

Located at 92B Sarat Bose Road, a very high-end locale of South Kolkata,'The Corner Courtyard' is perfectly divided into two sections at present with a 55 seater fine dining area and a cafe - The Rouge. Megha Agarwal shares with us, "When I decided to take up this project I wanted to do something that would suit the character of this place. Thus the whole decor having a very soothing colour tone and antique furniture actually compliments the variant shades of our world cuisine which is our speciality and also first of its kind in the city.”

This desire was put to a drawing board by a very young Kolkata based interior designer Anumeha Tantia. Anumeha shares in this regard, "When I took up this project it was our aim to maintain that old-world charm of this type of architectural space which are very rapidly vanishing away from our city's skyline. Thus a lot of time has been devoted to modern civil work on the building and only after that interior designing could begin for the Corner Courtyard.”

The time-honoured grand white facade of the building was retained as it is to set the tone for the experience inside. Inside, the experience delivered was that of a visit to an ancestral house spread over three levels, each measuring about 1,200 sq. ft.. The ground floor is the main highlight featuring the chequered courtyard.  This has been divided into three sections featuring the cafe, the open fine dining area and a corridor restaurant. Anumeha further adds, "The theme of all the three sections though are inter-twined yet they have a distinctive look, for example the cafe having the patisserie has a variant tone with subtle lighting arrangement, decorative-flowery mirrors and such. The open fine dining part has got heavy antique furniture and various interesting props like the green faux window which is adorned with brass doorknobs, latches and knockers all collected over two years. The corridor restaurant part is mainly a tribute to the city having various photographs of the daily life of Kolkata captured in black-white frames.”

Adding to the colonial feel of the house are interesting eclectic arty features on the walls. Anumeha further adds here, "For enhancing the beauty of the whole space a part of it has been given to artists to showcase their creativity on it, thereby making the wall more colourful and after every six months one may enjoy new form of graffiti on certain wall of the restaurant.”  The lighting concept is designed to complement the concept with the use of decorative pendant fixtures and recessed accent lights to highlight interior design features and provide a soft ambience for fine dining. Anumeha explains, "During day-time the effect of sunlight coming from the pyramid dome structure on the open courtyard indeed enhances the beauty of the interior. Apart from this we have used studio light, decorative chandeliers having a vintage look and LED spot lights.”

The restoration work took nearly a year to complete and the'The Corner Courtyard' concept has started attracting the city dwellers and tourists alike who always want to try out something new and different. "As we started with Fall-Winter Selection our diners are now demanding new variety as they have already tasted'all' what was there at our menu, and we are coming up with new set of choices in a few days time. We want to build this as a brand name in the F& B and Hospitality sector and this would be turning into a boutique restaurant cum hotel once the upstairs rooms are fully ready. We would also like to come up with a second project in Kolkata itself and then will take The Corner Courtyard may be to Bangalore and other cities of the country,” signs off Megha. 

Anumeha Tantia,
Studio Absorb

Madhumita Chatterjee


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