The State Tourism Department (with lots of help from the Danes) had dusted off and spruced up a relic from the 18th century — Denmark Tavern — that you can now book a stay in.
The Denmark Tavern in Serampore dating back to the 18th century that had been restored with great care, and reopened as a lodge with an attached café, is back in business now. The tavern was established in 1786 by a British innkeeper called James Parr, in what was then Fredricksnagore. The revamp was a part of the Serampore Initiative by the National Museum of Denmark which is restoring several other buildings in the erstwhile Danish colony. Along with the tavern, an old registration building built by the Brits has also been restored and now serves as a heritage canteen on the court complex.
The tavern has a bright cafe area and four private luxurious rooms for lodging. The balcony offers a great view of River Hooghly. The furniture is traditional and antique, including a series of handpicked paintings on Old Calcutta that adorn the walls giving the tavern a warm vintage vibe. You can book any of the five high-ceiling spacious rooms on Bengal’s tourism department website.
When you stay at the tavern, get some books along as a homage to British Baptist missionary William Carey who had been a resident here. He settled in Serampore in 1799 because it was the only place in Bengal where he wasn’t ostracised for being a Baptist evangelical. Carey actually stayed here and founded the famous Serampore Press which published religious Christian texts and translations of the Bible in Indian languages. It also brought out the first Bengali newspaper and magazine and several Indian literary works, books on grammar, dictionaries, history and legends. Also check out St Olav’s church while you are there.