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BEST RESTAURANT DESIGN:
Maya Gohill
Calcutta Cricket Club

What you cannot stop looking at is the black and gold leopard suspended over the backlit bottles arranged on the shelf at the back of the bar...

Presented by BLANCO

His name is Garry. He was a (carousel) rescue cat. After you get used to him, have a look around.

The bar that Garry overlooks—a holdover from the previous restaurant here, Bar C—has a base decorated with three different kinds of brightly patterned Moroccan tiles and is topped with Tiffany lamps. The stools are cast from pale bamboo, with leaf-print cushions. And all around the wallpaper is painted with palm trees.

Now add in some rattan screens, curved green banquettes, vintage chairs, green walls, pink walls, black-and-white checkered floors and a collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century prints of distinguished cricket players. There are also framed, vintage black-and-white photographs of family members of the Calgary restaurant’s four owners—Cody Willis, Shovik Sengupta, Amber Anderson and Maya Gohill. They are a gentle reminder that along with Calcutta (OK, Kolkata) street food, much of the inspiration for the Bengali cooking served here comes from some of their old family recipes.

When weather permits the most popular place to eat it is outside, on the restaurant’s eastern flank, where the 50-seat patio is separated from the bustling street by a huge gateway built from the remnants of an ancient cast-iron boiler. It is covered with a vibrantly coloured awning. A banquette runs the length of the terrace, which is lush with plant life and gets a further taste of the tropics from its flourishes of rattan and wicker, floral-print tablecloths and seat covers, and fringed blankets. Out here, you feel as if you’ve joined a garden party at a private club.

This eclectic evocation of post-colonial Indian social clubs and cafés is a first restaurant design from one of the partners, artist (and professed Wes Anderson enthusiast) Gohill. She assembled it a little mischievously in some large part from the esthetic experience of her own South Asian upbringing and, in another, from her Western pop culture enthusiasms, along with some inspired purchases on eBay and Kijiji. In the process she triumphed. And so, for her inaugural design of the Calcutta Cricket Club, we give Maya Gohill our 2018 Award for Best New Restaurant Design.

Maya Gohill accepts the award for 2018's Best Restaurant Design presented by BLANCO's Edyta Drutis.

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