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).
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.
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.
“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.