New Customers: Gymkhana

Gymkhana London


Whenever Karam and I have spoken over the last two years, he mentions the Gymkhana project that’s happening soon. I hear about the idea, the food, the design. There’s no ostensible movement. Then, this summer, the project seems to come together with lightning speed and we find ourselves at the soft launch of Mayfair’s newest exciting eatery and the latest holder of our curated collection.

Here’s a window on what it’s like and our recommendations for making a visit.


Gymkhana Interior


The Place

The whole experience is curated; beautifully designed as if taken from the black and white photos of the 1800s, with oak booths and leather banquettes, cut glass lamps from Jaipur, marble bars and brass edging.  Rumour is, the hunting trophies are from the Maharaja of Jodhpur.


Gymkhana London


The Food

Karam’s created a modern spin on Gymkhana Club food. He’s newly decorated with a Michelin Star for Trishna in 2012 and the talent shows.

We recommend snacking on the masala peanut & lotus root chat at the bar on arrival.

The gol guppas with jaljeera, potato and sprouting moong are little taste explosions and the kasoori chicken tikka is probably the best in London.

Whatever you do, definately order the Muntjac deer byriani, our favourite. It’s a beauty with deer from the Harwood Game Company, where The Ledbury also sources theirs. We love deer and the Wild Roe deer chops with mooli pickle and keema naan are super tender.


Lalani & Co: Darjeelings at Gymkhana


The Tea

Gymkhana’s is an all-Indian tea list; small-batch, seasonal and rich in provenance. These are the leaves you would have drunk back when all tea was a highly prized luxury. The current list has the Belseri 2nd Flush Gold and the Autumn LaKyrsiew Silverleaf Green.

The focus is on the Darjeelings: The Makaibari 1st Flush Grand Reserve and Gopaldhara 1st Flush Wonder Gold. Each one is a marvellous work of nature and craft. I can’t begin to tell you how many 1st flushes we tasted, assessed and agonised over before deciding to accept these two for curating. Soft, fresh, fruity, floral; each is distinctly Darjeeling and distinctive from the other, a result of the different elevations, plants and styles of the two gardens.

These are two serious teas and when you pick up a dessert, pick an astonishing 1st flush and round off the evening in style.


Gymkhana can be found at 42 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4JH and at

Each of the 1st Flush Darjeelings are available individually or together in a mini-case.


Darjeeling Mini Case