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11.07.2018

A three-tiered gold cake with a thick scarlet gash running through it is a good way to think of Mumbai – always an open wound festering in the gilded city.

Would we have rustled up a prettier image had we not binged on Sacred Games all weekend? Sure. But the fact remains that this wounded cake in the window is a surreal piece of art, and will draw you in to Provenance, a new gift shop and coffee shop in Lower Parel.

Provenance glistens at the tip of Palladium’s peninsula, the Gucci-Zegna corridor where mostly the moneyed and mothballs venture. But here it is to rouse the house from its slumber, with a Dutch-made beast of a coffee machine, the “pride of joy of Provenance”. Samir Gadhok beams brighter than its silver scales, and his wife and business partner Avani Raheja jokes that the store was really an excuse to buy the machine.

A good excuse, we muse, while walking around Provenance that open on July 12, 2018 by Burgundy, the folks behind ROYCE, Papabubble and Onitsuka Tiger. The idea at Provenance, the couple explains to us, is to build a constantly-spinning carousel of this and that, sourced from travels across India and the world - a closet for all your gifting needs.

Currently, this stock consists of a “library” of artisanal chocolate from New Zealand; half baked croissants and pain au chocolat from Brittany; Koinonia coffee from Bandra; and a cloche of Tier Nom (not from Cannes, but Colaba), maker of formerly mentioned surreal, pricey cakes which taste as complex as they look. May we recommend the dark chocolate-orange and pistachio-rose sponges? To support your cake and coffee habit, grey Terazzo benches and tables rise from the ground to seat about 17, in front of a window that lets light in.

Finish your coffee and browse Provenance’s insides, where more gift-y things await – wrapping paper printed in Italy with maps and shells; New Yorker cartoons (officially licensed) on greeting cards and paper napkins; granola packs from Sustenance; and a batch of in-house labeled preserves, condiments and a bottle of Gujarat sun dried tomatoes that Avani highly recommends.

Our favourite: jars of irregularly shaped, multi-coloured chocolate pebbles that conceal within them bits of Valencia oranges and whole strawberries. “These Dragees we first tried in Germany and then sourced from Pireaus, a coastal town in Greece.” Stoners!

Buy individually or pack a combination of your favourite things into Provenance gift boxes that look like tomes; speaking of which, the best present of all launches next month: your favourite novels bound in leather and ready for customization, priced at under Rs 1,000.

Here's a store that let’s you send leather and strawberries to someone in the rain, and we can’t think of a sexier monsoon gif(t).

Getting there: Ground floor, Palladium Mall, Lower Parel, call 66155711/82911 90798Rs 250 for a pack of New Yorker party tissues, Rs 115 for a croissant.

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