By Mailini Aikat
We all have a spot that calls out to us or that we are drawn to: coffee shops, old neighbourhoods, parks. Designers are a hungry lot – their eyes feasting on the sights and sounds around them. In this new blog series. The Lab Nilaya designers talk about their favourite haunts and take you with them. So come along …
Coffee and Jolly Gerberas
Well if Starbucks isn’t your cup of tea and you are an indie at heart seeking other indies then Marzipan on Ulsoor Road may just be the place for you. I can’t remember the last time I was in a quirky coffee shop run by real people with names and not uniformed staff replaying greetings from a chain store manual. The food is good, in some case better than that. It doesn’t work if the food sucks. Design is nothing if the main purpose of your existence falls flat. And the music is obviously reflective of someone’s personal taste, not piped out of some dispassionate compilation, because that’s not Drake I’m hearing but Sinatra. And it’s a little here and there and free flowing which is charming because a moment ago it was Ed Sheeran. Three laptop warriors as I call them are tapping away at different tables, cocooned in their own universes.
The design is good. Which is not very writerly of me. What I mean is it is more than pleasing. It has character. There are Pinterest moments but also enough individual flourishes to make you sit up and notice. Like the Rupee sign beneath the cash counter – you would think at odds with Pinteresty stylings but somehow not and quite harmonious and yet distinctive. Jolly gerberas – red, white and yellow - nod at you from bright jam jars. Jam jars are being done to death but these are vases not glasses. Makes a diff. The overall canvas is bright white making the gerberas pop. Various menu boards declare in bright chalk lots of yummy stuff and Pinterest wisdom is chalked on to the exposed pipes which are painted matte turquoise. They’ve used those addictive chalk pens which I now desperately want.
Opposite where I’m at are two hanging wicker chairs like two old friends in front of an asymmetrical bookshelf. There’s a kid tucked inside one with her nose buried in a book. Nice. This place is obviously home to all sorts. Always a sign of something right.
My tea arrives. It’s a floral printed teapot cup and saucer set. The sugar arrives in a very small brown cup – this I like a lot. It’s plain and simple and quite perfect. The tea ain’t bad either.
The Victoria Sponge is straight out of a food magazine, golden sponge with a raspberry jam centre, lashings of white cream and makes you wish everyday was a cheat day. It’s fluffy and soft and melt in your mouth.
Well, Bangalore is looking up. I’m looking forward to other small places to wile away the hours. And feed my eyes as well as my tum.