An Arresting Eatery In Udaipur, Which Is A Rajasthani Design Lover’s Dream Come True
- 23 Jan '24
- 3:56 pm by Pallavi Mehra
Ahmedabad-based interior designer Gaurav Mewara recently refurbished the interiors of Qalaa, an artfully crafted coffee house and bar situated in a restored 91-year-old haveli once owned by the erstwhile king of Udaipur. This eatery’s interior design showcases a seamless marriage of tradition and modernity that celebrates traditional craftsmanship. The colourful walls of Qalaa are adorned with artwork by Rajasthani artists and the contemporary furnishings were sourced from local vendors. The cafe offers European and American dishes in an ambience, which is evocative of regal Rajasthani dining rooms. Think ornate chandeliers, vibrant Pichwai paintings and arresting Indian decor pieces. While the overall ambience is traditional, the furnishings add a modern touch.
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“Qalaa is a cafe where you step into history while enjoying modern food and drinks. It’s set in an ancient haveli once owned by Maharana Bhopal Singh, welcoming visitors from all corners of the world. Some beautiful wall paintings already existed, and our main challenge was to blend historic charm with a modern atmosphere,” says Gaurav Mewara, Founder and Interior Designer of Eth Design Studio.
As guests enter Qalaa, they step into a cosy dining section with pink-coloured coloured walls with white floral patterns. This space is for groups of two or three people who want a quiet and private spot to either work or have a conversation. If they follow the central path, it leads them to the primary bar area, which opens up into a double-volume space with beautiful arches. This section of the cafe features blue walls with white paintings and an arresting modern bar that contrasts with the traditional ambience of the space.
The standout feature here is the single arch above the bar, which defines the essence of the area. “Crafted with a striking, gigantic metal finish, it captivates the viewer’s attention, drawing them toward it,” adds Gaurav Mewara of Eth Design Studio. The cafe also features charming windows that are evocative of traditional jharokhas that add to the overall ambience.
Qalaa’s furnishings are primarily made from mango wood and have a rustic paint and natural polish finish. The contemporary bar features brass fluted panels and the coffee tables are made of camel bones and epoxy, with brass legs. The soft furnishings are made using jute fabric in monochromatic colours such as white or grey, while a few are blue and pink to match the overall design.
“For the furniture, I opted for low-backed designs with cosy loose furnishings to maintain the connection with the walls while ensuring seating comfort. In the seating area, we used chairs with a natural polished wood finish, introducing an element of raw, natural beauty to the space,” explains Mewara. “The Jaisalmer stone flooring, with its yellow hue, prompted us to create contrast by introducing coffee tables with black and white patterns. We also incorporated bone inlay elements to reinforce the overall design language of the space. These materials and design choices were carefully selected to enhance the space’s character and evoke a strong, memorable aesthetic experience,” he continues.
Classic Continental Offerings
Qalaa’s expert culinary team has crafted an extensive menu featuring delectable continental dishes, coffee creations and cocktails. Signature food dishes include Continental fare, including pizzas, sandwiches and pastas and speciality coffees like Iced Mocha and Iced Cinnamon and Caramel Coffee.
This charming cafe and bar in Udaipur is an excellent addition to the city’s rich design and gastronomical landscape.