Joanna Lester-George

The Space - review of a new lifestyle store, deli, café and wellness centre in Goa

Planet Goa Vol 4 Issue 13 | December 1st, 2013

"The Space has arrived! This welcome new addition to South Goa combines a lifestyle store, deli, café and wellness centre in the setting of a traditional old Goan house."

The Space is the brainchild of three very talented women — Kate, Handan and Ritika. Together they have created a magical venue offering a range of everything from delicious organic food to stylish gift shopping to fun filled Flamenco nights.

“We wanted to create a beautiful and health inspiring space for everyone to enjoy,” says Kate with a beaming smile. Originally from South Africa but living in India for the past ten years, Kate shares a diverse international background with her co-partners. Ritika is of Indian descent and raised in Canada, whilst Handan is of Turkish German parents and brought up in England.

There is no doubt that these resident entrepreneurs of south Goa have achieved their aim to create “somewhere a little bit different.” Located just two hundred metres past Dhavalikar’s Hospital on the Agonda Road, The Space is a world away from the busy beach scene and the perfect place to hang out. Themed in cool colours of teal, forest green and dove grey, it blends in perfectly with the surrounding paddy fields and nature.

The outdoor café is shaded by banana, mango and cashew trees and is open all day for food, coffee and juices. The menu is healthy and delicious, offering fresh salads and smoothies alongside naughty pleasures such as the café’s signature cake, Chocolate and Beetroot. The relaxed yet friendly atmosphere makes it the ideal spot for a catch up over Sunday Brunch with friends, or a place to indulge in some quiet time with a good cup of coffee and the papers.

Step inside The Space and you will find the décor elegant and minimal, with hand painted murals and light airy rooms. The lovingly curated lifestyle store offers an eclectic mix of tribal handicrafts and antiques, alongside bespoke furniture by local carpenters and fine quality ‘dohars’ from Rajasthan. You can also dip into a gorgeous range of designer clothing and accessory collections, such as the ever stylish bikinis by ‘Nikini’ and the beautifully draped jersey dresses of Michelle Banarse. The Children’s Store has fun kids fashion in cool cotton with cute gold and silver Kolhapuri shoes to match, and traditional wooden toys and trinkets ideal for Christmas stockings and birthday gifts.

South Goa finally has a great deli now too where the health conscious can source freshly baked bread, gourmet cakes, organic Indian honey and the finest olive oils. Homemade delicacies in the chilled cabinet are perfect for picnics, and include chili jam, hummus, olive tapenade, fresh pesto and a variety of locally produced cheeses. It makes me wonder how us Southerners ever managed before…

The wellness centre launches next, offering visitors a range of feel good options such as Shiatsu, Reiki, sound therapy and massage. There are Yoga Retreats and Detox Programmes in the planning, and also plenty of drop-in classes and workshops to choose from. Get your day off to a flying start with a Morning Dance Rave, or seek out the yoga shala in the peaceful garden for traditional yoga and guided meditation. There is even onsite child care so that parents have the chance to enjoy their treatments and classes in peace.

There are many things to love about The Space, but above all it has brought a much needed community platform to south Goa that showcases the talents of our local artisans and designers. It is little wonder then that this stylish and unique project has got off to such a great start, but with so many more exciting plans ahead, we should definitely be sure to watch this space…