Time travel, steampunk and botany inspire Victorian-themed Indian restaurant

A new Indian restaurant and cocktail bar has opened in London with a design that pays tribute to the scientists and botanists of the Victorian era and their explorations in the jungles of India.

Walls and shelves of the restaurant are filled with authentic 19th century artefacts evoking adventurous tropical explorations, such as apothecary bottles, microscopes, looking glasses, walking canes, jars of plant specimens and original botanical prints.In addition to its tropical flourishes, the design features examples of Steampunk style and lighting, industrial parts and custom-designed metalwork used by Victorian engineers such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This is juxtaposed with 21st century pop light fittings and luxury suiting fabrics.“Victorian Britain is a fabulous treasure trove of scientific, artistic and literary works,” Chebaane told CLAD. “After reading dozen of books from the 19th century, I edited and condensed them into one narrative arc and developed an aesthetic language to design an experience relevant to today’s youth, while also being inclusive to a more mature audience. The result is a mixture of Victorian fantasy and postmodernist design.”

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This beautiful chromolithographed certificate was produced by Wilson & Horton in Auckland, and was presented to Edgar Roydon Norgrove (1878-1964), after he had served three years with the Fire Brigade, beginning on 8 August 1900. From a descendant we know that he went on to serve in the Brigade for 56 years. Before enlisting in the First World War he had worked for a building supplies store run by Billy Carr in Blenheim, and after the war, worked as a carpenter.

One might today see the combination of pretty Victorian decorative elements as being slightly incongruous for a certificate awarded to a fireman, and it is shows none of the more hair-raising and heroic rescue scenes depicted on some overseas firemen’s certificates. However it does show, with some admiration, the equipment ready for the fire brigade to use.

United Fire Brigades Association :Certificate of membership. This is to certify that [E R Norgrove] has served as a member of the [Blenheim Volunteer Fire Brigade] for a period of [three] years, dating from [8 August 1900]. Wilson & Horton Chromo-lith., Auckland [ca 1903?].