• Address: Seerampore Police Line, N.N Roy Street, LP 39, 2/1, Seerampore, West Bengal, 712201
  • Cost for two: 600 approx
  • Hotel charges : INR 10,000 approx (per night charge)
  • N4M Rating:  4.4/5

History of the Café

Located in West Bengal, in the hearts of Seerampore, on the banks of the river Hooghly, lies a historical café known as the Denmark Tavern. Fabricated by a British man called James Parr, the café was established in the year 1786. Very soon it became a trendy spot where the Danes and the Britishers stopped for having meals. The Europeans cherished it and often people coming from abroad lodged there. The 232 years old café has been renovated in recent times and the efforts to retain the heritage was accomplished. 

The Dhobi Ghat, Seerampore, West Bengal, India (Photo: Shramana/N4M)

The region of Seerampore belonged to the Dutch territory and thus it has a palatial history. The river Hooghly was commonly used for trading purposes by the East India Company. The café lies close to the cantonment area of Barackpore region and thus was visited by lieutenants, traders, and generals too. Soon, it came to be known as a place where elite people and gentlemen congregated for meals and often, they sat down to discuss politics or trade.

Seerampore accounts for several historical and heritage sites. Amongst the Rajbaris and the houses of Zamindars, the café Denmark Tavern is indeed a spell binding site. The café witnessed a change in hands as John Nicholas took over the café from James Parr. John Nicholas who previously owned the Harmonica Tavern located at Kolkata,  released an advertisement of the tavern which said:

“The gentlemen of cantonments, or parties going up and down the river, and all others who may honour Mr. Nichols with their countenance, may depend on the utmost civility and every endeavour to give satisfaction and very moderate charges. Bed, Lodging, and Board, by the week or month.”

Restoration Projects

Post Restoration (Photo: Shramana/N4M)

Just like other heritage buildings the café lost its charm in contemporary times and was in ruins till the year 2010. Tampered with plasters falling off and creepers growing from the broken walls, the building was distorted and unrecognisable.  It was not until a group of restoration experts noticed the debris and studied the place carefully to unveil the historical café. Near about 5 crores was spent for the renovation of the building in terms of its ancient architecture. Finally, it was resurrected with joint efforts of Realdania; a private association of Denmark and the tourism industry of Bengal. The huge green doors stood open once again, welcoming visitors and tourists. The project was carried out with expectations that the café would account for twice the number of visitors in the early 18th century. It is agreeable that liberating the café from its perishable state was indeed a hectic task. However,  Manish Chakraborti; a conservation architect saw to the deplorable state of the café and worked to restore its former pride since the year 2015.

“The roots of Banyan tree penetrated deep into the grounds and creaked the walls. No one could tell that it was a heritage building. As the project to renovate it was taken over, construction work began and the history adjoining it was unearthed. Rescued from its perilous state, Denmark Tavern now looks beautiful. Foreigners come and lodge here and visitors enjoy dining in such a luxurious, ancient café.”  

Reopened in the year 2018, the café is now taken care by the State Government of West Bengal and is run by the Park group. During its opening hours it buzzes with both local people as well as tourists. As the news of the café spreads far and wide, a student waiting outside remarked:

“The splendour of Denmark Tavern is indeed noteworthy. No wonder why it’s always full of people and getting a seat inside is a bit tough. The price of food is reasonable, and the ambience is really cool.”

How to reach??

View Of Ganges from Ferry Ghat (Shramana/N4M)

If you are visiting Kolkata; the city of Joy, you must surely take time to unravel the outskirts of the city. Just like Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Indian Museum the city of Seerampore too offers a tarnished history of the Dutch and the East India Company. You can spend a quality time at Seerampore and stay at Demark Tavern while relishing the delicacies there. For reaching there, you can take a train from Howrah station and get down at Seerampore station. Look for an auto or Toto that will directly take you to the Denmark Tavern. Alternatively, you can also take a train from Sealdah station and get down at Barackpore. The running autos will take you to dhobi ghat. The jetty service will take you to the other side and just a 2mins walk from the ferry ghat will take you to your destination. If you are a tourist, I would advise you to take a ferry ride as it is exciting and is sure to cleanse all your tiredness. Moreover, the ride will help you in understanding the British mode of communication and how they used to visit the café in the early 18th century.

Food and Ambience

When I visited the café few months back, I was totally taken in by the quietness of the place. The green lawn mesmerized me, and the waiters were well behaved. When it comes to food, they make sure that your experience here is everlasting. The conditions are hygienic, and the food is scrumptious. I adore Chinese dishes and without fiddling much with the menu, I went on to order Hakka noodles, chilli chicken and chocolate milkshakes. Accompanied by my uncle and aunt we were engaged in a rapturous conversation. The lunch was served on time and at once we pounced over the savouring delicacies laid down before us. I generally refrain from experimenting with food and the only regret I carried in my heart is having not tasted Danish delicacies. A couple of days later when I suggested this café to my friends, they left me a conscientious review that the Danish style chicken sausage was luscious.

Coming to the ambience, the place is strikingly clean and decorated with various antiques. They have plants growing everywhere and it’s indeed relaxing breathing in the open air. They even rent the place for private parties. The neighbourhood of the Tavern is also alluring. The second floor offers an exotic view of the Ganges. Overall, the environment is tranquil. Just beside the Tavern, sharing the same building is a bakery called Flurys. They serve confectionary and you can settle in there for a dessert.

Cafe Ambience

Cafe Ambience (Photo: Shramana/N4M)

Acquitted with well-furnished five large rooms, the colonial types of windows and doors looks fabulous. The walls are pastel coloured, and the ceilings are high. The rooms are well maintained and cleaned by the staffs periodically. The king-sized beds and bathrooms designed in modern style is simply lavish. Thus, if you are looking for a comfortable stay in the city, Denmark Tavern is the best option for you. The mode of transport is easy and walking 2 minutes from the lodge you will find auto and toto service that will drop you directly to the station. You can book your stay from the following booking sites.

  • MakeMyTrip.com
  • Goibibo.com
  • Tripadvisor.in

The rooms provide a view of the Ganges, and the cool breeze will give you a unique feel. The staffs are hospitable, and they use all sorts of safety and protection means during the Covid times.

Facilities Provided/ Amenities

  • Smoking room
  • Housekeeping
  • Telephone
  • Parking lot
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • AC rooms
  • Restrooms
  • TV
  • Sit out Area
  • Lawn
  • Terrace
  • Living Room
  • Room service
  • Laundry service
  • Dry Cleaning facility
  • Intercom
  • Café
  • Bakery
  • Dining Area
  • Restaurant

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Armed with a degree in English Hons from the University of Calcutta, Shramana Ganguly often writes news and articles on lifestyle, film reviews, society and much more.
Located in West Bengal, on the banks of river Hooghly, the landmark cafe, Denmark Tavern has stood for more than 2 centuries now (Estbd: 1786) A trendy spot famous with the Danes and the Britishers then, has retained its stupor as a historical and heritage site as well. With long queues, exotic cuisines and a cool ambience, N4M gives it an overall rating of 4.4/5denmark-tavern-danish-cafe-india

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