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It may be the UK’s oldest surviving Indian restaurant, but Veeraswamy is far from fusty. Just a few months ago, its owner, Masala World (which also operates the Michelin-starred Amaya and Chutney Mary), transformed the restaurant to meet the needs of 21st century diners. Some £1.5m was lavished on the interiors, which are now arguably the most stunning of any Indian restaurant in London – not least when it comes to the private room.
Able to seat up to 36 diners, the room boasts beautiful handmade carpets, luxurious silk drapes, a wall that cleverly seems to be lit by scores of little candles (though they are, in fact, electric light bulbs), and a display of royal turbans. Every element of the decor is authentic, having being made to the owners’ specifications in India and then shipped back to London.
But it is not only the interiors that ensure functions here are a cut-above the norm. Food, too, is of the highest calibre; Masala World does nothing by halves and the entire restaurant brigade went on a lengthy tour of the sub-continent to research new and thrilling dishes.
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, Spring 2006.