Tooting’s trading co

Enjoy a tantalising taste of India with the carefully mastered cocktails at The Imperial Durbar, south London’s nautical drinking joint.

The Imperial DurbarA trip to The Imperial Durbar in tooting takes you on a journey further afield than South London, back to the ancient trading docks in India.

The décor – in fitting with the Durbar’s theme – is a host of wooden room dividers, nautical trinkets and elegant sofas that look as though they’ve been shipped straight outside the Taj Mahal. Ideal for large bookings and parties, The Imperial Durbar is an ideal venue for any alternative Christmas parties.

By day the Imperial Durbar acts as an artisan bistro serving coffee, cakes and teas – including their own Masala Chai tea for those that fancy a truly aromatic and intense brew, yet come 5 o’clock, the Tooting hideaway transforms into an energetic mix of bohemian cocktails and Indian style home cooked comfort food.


Lead by a team of creative mixologists, the extensive cocktail menu produces a range of excellent drinks but it’s the gin selection that impresses with a collection of botanicals mapped around the old Empire’s trading routes, each served in a giant Maharajah sized glass with accompanying tonic.

However, what makes an evening at the Durbar special is the relationship the bar has maintained with the Cardamom kitchen two-doors down. Heading to the vintage telephone booth at the back of the bar with instructions to dial 9, the direct line is picked up by the Cardamom Kitchen who offer a selection of authentic Indian dishes and will bring these straight to your table in Tiffin boxes. The menu offers a variety of curries, the most notable of which were the king prawn shahi which was creamy and perfectly seasoned with a generous serving of king prawns and the saag paneer – packed with spinach this had to be my favourite.

Thanks to the attentive and welcoming nature of the staff, our evening was one of nautical merriment, flavoursome food and excellent gin cocktails of which I shall be sure to return for more.

To book your table, visit the Imperial Durbar

Last modified: December 13, 2017

Written by 1:12 pm Food & Drink