ইডেন গার্ডেনে চা ঘর, কলকাতা, c১৮৭০
Calcutta is admirably served in the matter of “lungs”, There is no part which is not provided with a park or open space. The pride of Calcutta is its Maidan, an. extensive plain in the heart of the city covering about 1200 acres. The Eden Gardens are situated at the north-west extremity of the Maidan, bounded on the north by Auckland Road and on the west by Strand Road. They were laid out in about 1840, around an avenue of trees known as “Respondentia Walk”, then the fashionable promenade of Calcutta society, and named after Lord Auckland’s sisters, the Misses Eden, who designed and directed their general lay-out.
There are several gates to the Gardens, but by whichever one the visitor enters, he is led to sylvan surroundings far removed from the noise and bustle of the city. Pathways wind past multi-coloured flower-beds, tropical palms and murmuring fountains, adorned with dolphins and cherubs that add to the beauty of the scene; while rustic benches in shady arbours by the water-side, welcome those who seek rest in this haven of loveliness. See more What is more, there was a cute garden’s Refreshment Rooms with hatched roof and bamboo wall, as depicted by the artist Alfred Brooks in his painting above. Eden Gardens were formally opened to the public and for many years they were a fashionable evening meeting-place in Calcutta. The gardens are also home to the Calcutta Cricket Club.
Lithograph of the Refreshment rooms at Eden Gardens in Calcutta by Vincent Robert Alfred Brooks (1814-85) one of ‘Eight views of Calcutta’ published in London c.1870. Courtesy: British Library
পেলিটি’স রেস্তোরাঁ, গভর্নমেন্ট প্যালেস, কলকাতা, ১৮৭০
Chevalier Federico Peliti was a Manufacturing Confectioner, a purveyor of cakes, chocolates etc by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen Empress. He started his restaurant and confectionery business in 1870 at 11 Government Place in the Dalhousie Square area of Calcutta. The Pelitis’ was famous for their three course lunch which could be had very quickly at Rs 1.50. The price remained static from 1917 till about 1924. If we consider that the Firpos’ used to cater a similar lunch for Rs 2.50 in 1947 then you will realise that Peliti’s was not really cheap. The Peliti’s did a lot of outside catering and the variety of their cakes was well known. A great masterpiece of Peliti was a 12′ high replica of the Eiffel Tower in sugar, crafted by the great man himself in December 1889. It was here at a lunch meeting on 26-Sep-1919 that the Rotary Club of Calcutta was organised thus ushering in the movement in India and indeed the mainland of Asia. Peliti’s restaurant closed down after Independence.
The photograph was taken most likely by Frederico Peliti himself in c1890s