The lovely Arbour Cafe at Boma is closing down

Kentish Town’s most bucolic spot for a coffee is being ousted by new owners

In the last week a few readers have been in touch about the fact that the really rather beautiful Arbour cafe at Boma Garden centre is closing.

“I really do love that little hut,” said Ashlee Cook in an email, while Sarah Leech told us that “it’s possibly the nicest place independent cafe in Kentish Town, and although I and some of the other customers have tried to find a way of keeping the cafe open, it doesn’t seem like there is much we can do.”

So what’s going on? We asked owner William Mok. “The cafe is doing very well, customers love it and the team really enjoy working there,” he says diplomatically. “And our sales are still growing. However, under the new lease owner, the garden centre do not now allow concessions (as per their new contract), which means we will have to close unfortunately. We would love to relocate to another place if we can find somewhere as beautiful locally.”

Really? It’s a proper shame – but surely totally unnecessary? Surrounded by thousands of beautiful plants and flowers, there really can’t be anywhere more relaxing to have a coffee in NW5.


And Mok himself is no ingenue, having previously worked for Nando’s as ‘strategy associate’, and before that as brand manager at Coca-Cola in both Hong Kong and China.

“My vision”, he said back in 2016 when he opened the cafe, “is to create an oasis in the middle of the city for my customers to chill.”

Surely the new lease holder can let such a popular cafe stay as a concession or at least apply for the correct lease? Do you have any ideas? If so get in touch. And in the meantime head down there before it closes “on 16th December”, says William.

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Find Arbour Cafe open daily till 5pm at Boma, 51 – 53 Islip St, London NW5 2D

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

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