By Suchita S. 

There’s something raw yet vintage, classic yet modern about leather. From its touch to its feel, its texture, every crease. It’s almost like there’s a bit of history associated with it, like it’s an homage to an era long gone. If this is how you feel about leather, and you’re simply a fan of beautifully crafted and finished leather products, Portside Cafe should be a destination on your week’s check-list. Located in one of the  meandering lanes of Lado Sarai, finding this store is quite a challenge but the excursion is totally worth it. And if the pictures don’t tempt you enough, here’s why.

When you pull up to Portside’s white exterior walls and teal shutters, you’d think you’re walking into a Mediterranean inspired store. But the interiors and the products ship you to a different world altogether. This furniture, decor and accessories store has a lot to offer- from beautiful leather tables, to erstwhile Grandma’s steel almirah’s that have been given a complete transformation, antique dressers dyed in rani pink, lamps, and an ‘on-the-desk’ area, showcasing diaries, pencil holders and organizers. “While leather is a material I’ve always enjoyed working with, I was keen on giving it a fun and playful look by toying with different colors and prints. As a material, leather is taken as tad too macho and serious, so I was keen on infusing an element of nonchalance in it.” Bobby Aggarwal’s {owner and designer of Portside} vision and aesthetic shines through in his designs. While they all maintain a regal look and feel because of the precision in finish and quality, the kitsch designs printed on a diary, a burst of splendid fuchsia on a dresser or cabinet, or a subtle stitch on a table- these elements add plenty character to the items on display. It’s classic, yet cool.

What’s commendable is the innovation and reinvention Bobby brings to a material as primal as leather. And how does he keep himself inspired? “I think it’s very important, as a designer and someone who’s in a creative field, to tremendously enjoy the raw material you’re working with. For some it’s fabric, others wood, metal, stones. For me, it’s leather. Its a material that brings back childhood memories, and I’m always exploring different techniques and finishes to bring something new with every collection.” While we’ll have to wait till September to see Portside’s new set of designs, the collection on display is exquisite and you’ll find yourself wandering around the store for longer than you had anticipated.

So whether you’re looking to buy something for your house, a friend, business associate, or you’re just an interior-junkie, make a trip to Portside Cafe.

{This table is on my list of purchases for when I get my bonus. Notice the cross stitch on its legs!}


{‘Hughes Road’ table, desk and lamp}

{Frumpy steel almirah gets a Portside makeover!}

{They have classic designs as well, but I am partial towards these printed diaries}


{ Little Black Book, Delhi } Recommends |

Portside Cafe

F 301 Lado Sarai
New Delhi 110030
# 011 46054371

Price Range: Gifting & Stationery items start at inr 2,950. Furniture starts at inr 31,000 can go up to a few lakhs depending on what you’re purchasing.

For more information, have a look at their Facebook page and website {they start online retail soon}

Note: Do call them for directions. It’s slightly hard to find the first time around.