hosted by Mehrunnisa Yusuf and Darjeeling Express
Asma and I are delighted to be serving our guests ‘Gymkhana Tea’. The Gymkhana is an Anglo-Indian establishment. The name itself is derived from the Urdu/Hindi word ‘jamaat-khana’ which refers to a place of assembly. During the time of the British Raj, the rulers established Gymkhanas in large cities like Lahore and Karachi, now in Pakistan, and Bombay and Delhi in India. These clubs provided extended facilities such as social and intellectual evenings, tournaments and social events as well as other sporting activities.
Many Gymkhana Clubs survived partition and remain an important part of Pakistani and Indian society. Their Codes of Conduct retain colonial era rules and class etiquette. Both sexes are not allowed into particular dining areas if they are dressed casually, special areas are designated for families with children and the Clubs retain male-only lounges.
My grandparents are members of the Gymkhana Club in Lahore, and my visits to them always include an outing to the Gymkhana. In the sweltering heat of Lahore one can enjoy the expanse of well-manicured gardens in the cool and calm of the dining hall. Asma’s family has similar traditions. It is this shared heritage that has brought the two of us together.
Masala Peanuts (A Calcutta ‘Saturday Club’ Classic)
Green Chutney Chicken Sandwiches (Green Chutney Egg Sandwiches- veg option)
Chilli Cheese Toast
Chicken Tengri Kebab (Paneer Kabab- veg option)
Scones with Clotted Cream and Home-made Jams
Strawberry Rose Water Jam
Lemon Loaf Cake (Peela Cake)
Newby of London Earl Grey Tea
Newby of London Darjeeling Tea
Pataki (spiced fresh lemonade, Calcutta Style)