MUST DO: Arbour Cafe, Boma Garden Centre

Never has there been such a delightful spot to sip an americano in Kentish Town

Islip Street just got itself a colourful new addition. Photo:  Arbour, Boma
Heard about the stylish new Arbour cafe at the Boma Garden Centre, a stone’s throw from Kentish Town tube? Surrounded by thousands of beautiful plants and flowers, there really can’t be anywhere more relaxing to have a coffee in NW5.

“We’ve been opened for a week or two and already have seen lots of locals coming back,” says the cafe’s Hong Kong-born owner William Mok. “We serve Tilbury-roasted artisan coffee and baked pastries with 100% natural ingredients”.

That rare thing: a real oasis. Photo: Arbour, Boma
Mok is something of a business whizz, having previously worked for Nando’s as strategy associate, and before that as brand manager at Coca-Cola in both Hong Kong and China.

“But life is short,” he says, “and I always thought I should do something I really like. So I quit my job and started this small business. My vision is to create an oasis in the middle of the city for my customers to chill.”


Fair enough. And what of that coffee? “Our blend is Momentum from Modern Standard Coffee, the beans from El Salvador and Rwanda. There are taste notes of milk chocolate, red fruit and a honey sweetness. And all the beans are roasted in Essex next to the Tilbury port where the coffee containers arrive. We get our pastries from Galeta, an award-winning bakery in west London.”

Coffee is from Momentum in Essex. Photo: WM
Coffee is from Momentum in Essex. Photo: WM

Lovely. And it’s worth bearing in mind that they don’t do lunch for the time being; but expect that to change very soon. In the meantime why not enjoy a bucolic brew in the hot sun this week – if these relentlessly sludge-grey skies ever clear, that is?

Like cafes in Garden centres? You could also try the very good Pritchard & Ure in Camden Garden Centre.

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Arbour Cafe, Boma Garden Centre, 51-53 Islip Street NW5 is open from 9am -6pm everyday from Mon to Sat and 11am -5pm on Sun during summer time. More info here

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    Sadly Boma also sell Round Up which they have been challenged about but refuse to remove from their shelves. In case you don’t know …. it contains glyphosate which is a highly contested material as it causes all manner of cancers and other very detrimental conditions. Similarly they also cannot ‘confirm’ that their plants have not been sprayed with neo-nicotinoids … so will not be doing the bees and butterflies much good at all … so ignore the coffee and shop organically.