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Tea and Cakes at Flurys

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Flurys, Calcutta

Flurys, Calcutta

Considered a landmark on Calcutta’s mindscape, Flurys on Park Street is an old tearoom in Calcutta that has been serving tea and pastries since late 1920s. Don’t expect mustiness of a hundred years – a few years ago, it underwent a total re-haul and was turned into a retro styled patisserie. It occupies a charming spot in the fashionable part of Calcutta, inviting the loitering visitors and busy locals alike for a spot of hot tea and fresh baked cakes and pastries. With a girlish pink in the logo and its old world black and white tiles, Flurys continues to engage a cosmopolitan clientele.

Cakes at Flurys

Cakes at Flurys

Many years ago, when I was a young college student in Calcutta, I would play hookie and end up by the cheesecakes at Flurys. Now that I visit India only for a few weeks a year, I am usually too busy satisfying my craving for roshogolla and mishti doi. But this trip was during the New Year and whoever heard of celebrating the new year with a bucket full of roshogollas. So a cake from Flurys it had to be.

For a brief moment, you can pretend that you are in a European patisserie – but only a brief moment – the Indian system for queuing is hard to ignore. There is one queue that goes up to the counter at the end of which you get a slip describing your list of goodies. Then you queue up again – this time to pay, at the end of which you get a slip that says “PAID”. Finally, at the end of the third queue, you get your bag of goodies. Standing in a queue is  like sampling a cross section of humanity with its  potpourri of moods, and colognes, and the melange of conversations – not an entirely boring process when done in moderation. During the brief period I waited to collect my extra rich fruit cake,  I watched  a group of well dressed elderly ladies daintily eating their pastries – the look of anticipation, a small bite, brief closing of eyes, a satisfied exhalation and a delicate licking of lips…priceless.

And what about the fruit cake you ask – it arrived in a pink tinned box. It was buttery, fruity, and rummy. Good but not as good as my home made sticky plummy chocolatey cake that I had baked on the side.  What made the trip worthwhile was the sight of those elderly women enjoying their cakes.

Written by Som

February 27, 2010 at 10:38 pm

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