The India Club, lounge-cum-restaurant and bar – that sits inside the Hotel Strand Continental on a busy stretch of road in central London shuts after 70 years.
The India Club, a historic lounge, restaurant, and bar in central London located within the Hotel Strand Continental, has been a cultural hub for the South Asian community for decades.
Established in the 1950s as a meeting place for early Indian immigrants, it faces closure as the building’s owners plan to modernize the hotel. This news has saddened many, as the India Club represents a significant part of the city’s history.
Initially founded by members of the India League, an organization advocating for India’s independence, and reportedly counting Jawaharlal Nehru among its founding members, the India Club later became a gathering place for the South Asian community.
It offered a familiar taste of home with Indian cuisine, including dosas, butter chicken, pakoras, and masala chai. The Club’s interior retained its vintage charm, resembling pre-independence Indian coffee shops, complete with chandeliers and Formica tables.
The walls of the India Club are adorned with portraits of notable Indian and British figures who visited, adding to its rich socio-political history. Over the years, it became a popular spot for a diverse range of patrons, including journalists and various India-British groups.
Many fondly remember the India Club for its affordability, unique atmosphere, and personal connections. It served as a cherished place for celebrations, gatherings, and even personal milestones.
As it faces closure, patrons and visitors reflect on the memories created there, recognizing the loss of a beloved institution.