India Cottage celebrates 40 years

Momotaz Mannan, Shad Mannan, Muhammed Mannan - photo credit Tom Scrase
Momotaz Mannan, Shad Mannan, Muhammed Mannan - photo credit Tom Scrase

A family-run restaurant in Ringwood is celebrating its 40th year with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque. India Cottage, in the heart of Ringwood, was opened by Muhammed Mannan and his wife Momotaz on 4th October 1981. Now in the hands of their son, Sadeq, aka Shad, India Cottage’s new anniversary plaque reads:  

‘Wow! 40 years, who would've thought...Opened October 4th 1981 by my parents Muhammed and Momotaz Mannan. The restaurant has gone from strength to strength. We couldn't have done this without the support from our loving customers and staff. Long may India Cottage continue serving the community. Shad, October 4th 2021.’

 

Born in Bangladesh, Muhammed arrived in Euston, London in 1963. After meeting and marrying Momotaz, the newlyweds discovered life outside the city and fell in love with the idyllic New Forest. And it was here, in their new home, that the couple started their family and their own business, India Cottage. Going on to have five children: Shah, Parvin, Shad, Emran & Nasrin, the couple led busy lives building the business before retiring in 1991 passing the restaurant on to their son Shad. In preparation for taking over the family business, Shad studied at Brockenhurst College before graduating with a degree in business and marketing from Wiltshire College & University Centre.

Muhammed comments: “The restaurant was always a big part of our family and we knew it was in safe hands when we handed it over to Shad. With his studies in business, he has taken the restaurant from strength to strength and has been instrumental in making sure that we’re here today celebrating its 40th year.”

Set in a beautiful period cottage on Ringwood’s high street, the aptly named India Cottage, famed for its innovative dishes, is an important part of the market town as Shad explains: “We buy as much as we can, as locally as possible, it’s so important that we support local businesses.”

One of the biggest changes Shad made was to the outside this year, “We transformed our car park so we could offer outdoor dining during Covid. I wanted to make something really special for our customers so it’s got an open fire, heating and a beach hut where people can connect their own music. It’s warm, welcoming, and the perfect setting for nights out with family or friends.”

“India Cottage is such a huge part of my life, and all my families lives, and we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve built and grown here. We’re also really grateful to all our customers and would like to thank them all for supporting us over the last 40 years, and especially over the last 18 months, we wouldn’t be here without you!”

 

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