London’s India Club

London’s iconic India Club, which has served as a cultural and culinary hub for the Indian community in the UK, was permanently closed on September 17, 2023. The club has been a venue for discussions, social gatherings, and authentic Indian cuisine. It has also hosted prominent figures such as India’s first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, and Lord Mountbatten. The club faced threats of demolition and rent increases in recent years, and the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic made its operations unsustainable. Efforts to save the club, including a public appeal, were unsuccessful.

Why is London’s India Club facing permanent closure?

London’s India Club is closing due to financial challenges, including increased rents and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made its operations unsustainable.

Who founded the India Club, and what was its historical significance?

The India Club was founded in 1951 by the India League, a British organization that initially advocated for Indian independence and later aimed to foster Indo-British friendship in the post-independence era. It became a significant meeting place for the Indian community in the UK and hosted distinguished visitors, including India’s first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, and Lord Mountbatten.

What efforts were made to save the India Club from closure?

The club’s owners launched a “Save India Club” public appeal and successfully prevented partial demolition in 2018 when faced with eviction notices. However, the economic impact of the pandemic and rent increases ultimately led to its closure.

What role did VK Krishna Menon play in the founding of the India Club?

VK Krishna Menon, a diplomat and former Indian Defence Minister, served as one of the secretaries of the India Club. He intended the club to be an affordable place where young Indian professionals could gather, discuss politics, and plan their futures.

What made the India Club’s interior unique and evocative of a bygone era?

The club’s interior featured elements of colonial-era Indian coffee houses, including formica tables and mustard yellow walls. Its walls were lined with portraits of prominent Indian and British personalities who had visited the club, creating a nostalgic atmosphere.



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