Nice Green Cafe is opening on Fortess Road


The long-boarded up Thai Cafe is being reborn. We had a sneaky peek inside



The long-shut Thai Cafe is to be reborn nice and (still) green. Photo: SE
The long-shut Thai Cafe is to be reborn nice and (still) green. Photo: SE
Many readers will traipse up and down Fortess Road with some degree of regularity.

As for us, we’ve often pondered why the former Thai Cafe has always been, well, half-closed (let’s not go into the rumours about its previous incarnations. Oh alright then: it was a brothel in recent years).

Anyway, joining recent arrivals Jessica De Lotz and SK Vintage in brightening up that mid-stretch of Fortess is soon-to-open Nice Green Cafe.

Nice Green Cafe at Forty Hall. Photo: Forty Hall
Nice Green Cafe at Forty Hall. Photo: Forty Hall
It’s the NW5 offshoot, in fact, of its namesake up in Forty Hall, Enfield. A Grade 1-listed Jacobean Manor House, set amidst a bucolic lakes-and-parkland landscape, the original Nice Green Cafe serves Capital-roasted beans, tea blends created by Primrose Hill’s Ripe Kitchen, meat from Barrett’s on England’s Lane, and organic sandwiches, home-made tarts and salads.


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Not forgetting cakes, of course. And there’s even an organic farm onsite to help with the air miles.

But the Kentish Town outpost will be quite different. We had a peep inside the other day: first impressions are that it’s surprisingly capacious. There’s a good-sized main dining room, open kitchen, back room and huge downstairs area.

Work in progress: the ground floor level at the Nice Green Cafe. Photo: SE
Work in progress: the ground floor level at the Nice Green Cafe. Photo: SE
“It’s had the longest gestation imaginable,” says owner Helen Tinsdale, with a laugh, who’s lived in the area for years. “We’re almost ready to open, but the team have gone on holiday now and so we’ll be painting, recruiting, installing appliances, a piano and signage all for the opening at the beginning of September.”

So what can readers expect, food and drinks offer aside? “Apart from being dog-friendly,” says Helen, “there’ll be stacks of food and travel books, music rooms – we’re installing an upright piano – and, downstairs, a life drawing studio, yoga classes, baking classes, film shows and monthly pop-up dinners.”

Phew. With three or four hot daily chalked-up specials, in addition to the more typical cafe fare, it sounds like a handy addition to the ever-changing thoroughfare that links Tufnell Park with Kentish Town.

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Nice Green Cafe opens on 1 September at 53 Fortess Road NW5.

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