A FAMILY-RUN restaurant in Ringwood that has gone from"strength to strength" is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

India Cottage was opened by Muhammed Mannan and his wife Momotaz on October 4 1981 and is now run by their son, Sadeq, who is also known as Shad.

Shad said: “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.”

A commemorative plaque has been put up to mark the special milestone.

Salisbury Journal:

Picture by Tim Scrace 

It says: "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."

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 New Forest where the couple started their family and their own business, India Cottage.

The couple retired 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 said: “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.”

One of the biggest changes Shad made this year has been to the outside of the restaurant, as he explains: “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.”

Shad also says the restaurant supports other local businesses adding: “We buy as much as we can, as locally as possible, it’s so important that we support local businesses.”


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