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Wood 'is top choice for Mumbai bars'

01st March 2012

The Balcon opens after renovation.

Mumbai is a city many people will be vaguely familiar with, both as the setting for Slumdog Millionaire and as the home of Bollywood, a city of huge contrasts, but above all a sprawling metropolis at the heart of India's massive economic growth that still retains a rich mix of cultural traditions and historical legacies of empire.

Just trying to take all this in may be enough to make you want to sit down and have a drink. And, like most cities, there are plenty of bars around, including many with a modern feel to match a 21st century powerhouse of a city.

In a feature on the best bars in the city, the Guardian noted a number of designs and styles were in evidence, but two of the finest hostelries made use of wood as much as any traditional pub in Britain might.

The Woodside Inn even has a name to suit and it certainly lives up to it, with a real taste of heritage to go with its 120 years of history, which have been kept alive with a decor made up of wood floors and low ceilings, plus extras like sepia pictures of the old bus terminus. The paper describes it as "cosy" and "bordering on cramped", but also ideal for those "craving a taste of home".

And there is also plenty of wood in the Tote on the Turf, which has wood panelling on the bar and was recently redesigned with what the paper calls "a more informal" feel.

It may be interesting to note that both these bars are described as serving a varied clientele, with this perhaps strongly suggesting that one of the best aspects of having plenty of wood is that it creates a decor few find unattractive.

And with this being a feature of a city of contrasting cultures like Mumbai, it may be little surprise that wood remains in vogue with westerners who are used to it. 

One recent example of a hotel incorporating this, reported by World Interior Design Network, was the Holiday Inn Boston/Woburn in Massachusetts.

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