Design Elements: Eclaire, Hyderabad

A tad Whimsical

Located in the midst of the busy  streets of Road No. 12, Eclaire, run by Carolyn Tadamala, is a quirky and quaint little café that takes you from reality to a fable-like setting in the blink of an eye.

Text: Deeksha Marur; Photographs: Santosh Kumar

A hole in the wall joint that has been functional for about less than a year, Eclaire’s interiors will catch your eye only if you have a penchant for detail. So if you pass by Road No. 12 and miss spotting it, we won’t blame you. Talk to Carolyn, the owner of the café, and she says, “I had the interiors sorted before finding the right place. I had a vivid picture of how I wanted the bakery to look and I had all the details down to the T.” The exteriors are painted in a shade of mint green, complimented with white trimming.

A kettle shaped board made from wrought iron hangs with the café’s name to one side and the other has a cart painted in white with flower pots hanging from its framework. Enter the café and it feels like you’re entering a patisserie on the streets of Paris. At first glance, you notice the coffee machine, the counter filled with sinful desserts on display that are a visual delight, as well as tea cup and saucer lights that hang above the counter. Looking at these lights, you feel like you are part of the sets of Alice in Wonderland at the Mad Hatters’ tea party. But on speaking with Carolyn, she says, “A lot of people have told me that but frankly, the café isn’t based on an Alice in Wonderland theme, but it’s just a representation of the heart.
It tells my story. It’s a comfortable place where I think people can come and get inspired,” she says. On the counter, in the shape of a mason jar, hangs their cute and unique menu card along with a couple of other stands – one for cupcakes, one for cookies and one for brownies. Behind the counter, is a shelf decorated with jars of sugar, chocolate chips, an old camera, and a pretty wooden
tray amongst the set of floral tea cup sets. Carolyn adds, “Different people come and see different things. For some it’s the cup and saucer lights that catch the eye and have said it has the Tea Party look. We’ve had different reactions to the décor. The wall where we have the chipped bricks and stencilled Eclaire on it, has received a lot of feedback. Some came up to us and said to get it painted because it looked incomplete.” Despite different reactions and feedback about the interiors, Carolyn was very sure of how she wanted the café to look and listened to no one but herself. In fact she thinks that people see what they like because it reflects them or their personalities and that’s the same way with the café for her. I’ve been baking since I was a kid, and it’s something close to my heart. Frankly I might not be the best baker in town, but I know what I like and how to make what I like, so that’s how Eclaire happened.”

Complimenting the décor is the beige coloured sofa with contrasting floral printed cushions. And on every table sits a pretty coffee mug planter that adds to the many quirks of the café. Ask her whether she sourced the decorations and she says, “Some are from Hyderabad, some from Mumbai, some from the streets during my many travels around the world. I had the interiors sorted before I got the place so I had to work backwards and get things to compliment the interiors and since I knew how I wanted it to be, I decorated the place exactly that way.”