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Flora Indica brings ‘time & spice’ travel to Kensington

If Alice had fallen down the rabbit hole on Old Brompton Road, chances are she would have ended up in Flora Indica, a fantastical new all-day British-Indian bar and dining venue inspired by the plants of the subcontinent.

Flora Indica, located on 242 Old Brompton Road in London, features a host of creative British and Indian flavour combinations throughout its dishes and cocktails, all originating from some of the tens of thousands of plants that were discovered, labelled and studied in nurseries throughout the two nations by botanists, such as Robert Kyd and William Roxburgh.

The carefully crafted menu features a collection of starters spearheaded by 63c duck egg, smoked mayo, crisp nest & kalonji seeds and Tuna tartare, pomegranate, sesame, citrus, spring onions, coriander & chilli dressing. The mains and standouts include Sea bass, sea spinach, chilli coconut & parsnip purée & dill with Smoked venison, burnt onion salt, fennel, beetroot textures & masala spiced potato. Desserts are of the calibre of beetroot doughnuts and rosemary & ginger accompanied by a rhubarb sorbet.

Flora Indica's thirst quenching cocktails.
One of Flora Indica’s thirst quenching fresh botanical cocktails.

The drinks offered at Flora Indica will be spearheaded by a unique collection of fresh botanical cocktails, among them Orchard Garden (Gin, elderflower liqueur, pear & bay leaf shrub, lime juice, egg white) and Flora Eden (Flambé fresh sage & rosemary in Green Chartreuse, gin, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, Earl Grey & lavender syrup), together with a fine selection of malt whisky and craft beer specially made by the Portobello Brewery.

A dedicated Punch & Gin bar will serve up creative Indian punches, Victorian-inspired shrubs and small batch spirits such as Tarquin’s Cornish gin. An array of premium quality teas and bespoke infusions from Tea Palace are also part of this impressive line-up of libations.

The dazzling décor meanwhile is inspired by Flora Indica’s catalogue of Indian plants last published in 1855, that has now been re-edited for a modern audience for an immersive experience. Designed as a tribute to the Scottish botanists who travelled through the Indian Empire on a voyage of discovery; the exponents of 19th century surreal and fantastic literature, from Lewis Carroll to H.G. Wells, and heroes of the neo-Victorian Steampunk movement, Flora Indica’s eclectic interiors almost defy description.

An eccentric mix of Kensington residential elegance, Victorian fantasy and postmodernist design, here 21st century resins co-exist alongside 19th century steel. Cool white marbled surfaces and metalwork are offset by warm teak, English oak flooring and bespoke McQueen and Westwood-influenced upholstery in Harris Tweed matched with the very finest leathers.

Flora Indica's vintage hand-plastered decorative wall roses.
Flora Indica’s vintage hand-plastered decorative wall roses

Not only ceilings but entire walls are covered with dozens of handcrafted vintage plaster roses. Meanwhile spreading across two floors is “G.H.O.S.T.”, a conceptual art installation inspired by 19th century science and industry. Complemented by a number of other pieces, it forms an intriguing backdrop to the food, beverages and
conversation.

Flora Indica’s ground floor will comprise a 30-seat cocktail lounge, while the lower-ground floor dining room can seat up to 70. Private dining is also available, with banquettes under the vaults available for group hire.

Providing south-west London with a highly creative and whimsical social, dining and meeting place in the spirit of British botanical institutions such as Kew and the Chelsea Physic Garden, Flora Indica is set to offer both locals and visitors alike something that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Address: Flora Indica, 242 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 0DE