Words Mizna Doray Photographs Mahesh Prasantha
Navigating one’s way through the labyrinth of rooms, the valuable art that adorns the walls and the antiques, collectibles and ornaments compete for space and attention at every turn in the former house turned shop on Gower Street.
Many of the pieces reflect the veteran lodgings they are housed in – they once started off life as something completely different.
Exquisitely carved coffee tables that were once windows occupy central positions, and an old doorway that has been turned into a headboard rests against the wall, a solid piece with mogul accents that looks like it has never been anything other than a headboard, so skilled is the restoration.
The brainchild of life-long friends Safiya Husain and Yasmin Akbarally, Hermitage started off as a shared hobby between friends, whose love for collecting antiques led them to share their finds via small sales events. They now run a shop on Stratford Avenue, in addition to their flagship store; which turns ten this year. The celebrations will go on for ten days from the 10th of this month and will feature discounted items, as well as Mehendi artists, a rotti karaththe as well as rare and valuable books alongside Hermitage’s already formidable antique collection.