Published By: Showli Chakraborty

Period dining: Why are we so taken by it?

Key features that add to your vintage dining experience all the more memorable

History has a special place in our lives. And it has curious ways to make its way back into our lives. Just as there can be no present without a past similarly, when it comes to dining at a restaurant, period dining experience has been a win-win strategy for most food connoisseurs.


As soon as you walk into a restaurant you will be enamoured by the furniture, especially if it is vintage.  In keeping with the theme, the concept is to create a vintage fine dining experience and the seatings add a modern touch with an organic curvature façade usually made from wood.


Right from the moment a diner enters a space, to the end of his meal, it is all an experience for him. From the memories that the customer generally takes with him, the food generally overshadows the ambience. Thus, the menus, too, need to go hand-in-hand with the ambience. So, when you walk into a dhaba with truck motifs you expect good quality butter chicken while if you walk into a medieval India themed restaurant, you will find dum biryani to be the most popular item on the menu.


One of the most interesting factors in a vintage dining experience is the cutlery. Cutlery can be made from many different materials. Historically, sterling silver was the traditional material that had the advantage over other metals. Good quality cutlery must be made from metals which are less chemically reactive, because it can lead to unpleasant tastes. It can also be made from gold, it is less reactive than silver, but is too expensive and only a monarch could afford it. A good sterling silver set would contain lettuce fork, a gravy ladle, mustard spoon, tea spoon, forks for dessert and many other items.


The lighting plays a big role in any restaurant you walk in, whether vintage or grunge. Properly lighting the exterior of the building will help draw attention to the restaurant and let potential diners know it is open. To achieve the proper lighting effect, one needs to add different layers of light. Ambient light sets the general level of lighting, while accent lighting can draw attention to the architecture of the room. In general, warm, cozy lighting will make diners feel more comfortable and make them more likely to stay longer. Use of automated control systems for the lighting can help adjust the interior lighting based on the time of day and ambient brightness to make sure optimal lighting levels are met.

Social media

In the age of Instagram, restaurateurs want to boast of décor elements that will eventually become talking points for them on social media. For instance, Fable in Mumbai has telephones and lamp posts made of books. Even the bills that go out to the customers are sent out in storybook covers unlike regular bill folders. Everyone wants to take selfies and make memories when they dine out. So when they spot an interesting looking chair or a printed table-top, they snap it and this adds to the conversation.