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Food and thought at the Nice Green Café

Nice Green Café is perfectly suited to the creative vibe of Tufnell Park - join the fun!

16 February, 2017 — By Tom Moggach

Nice Green Café offers decent food and a laid-back atmosphere

I’VE visited my fair share of community cafés, but this one was more communal than most – I even fixed their cranky boiler.

Nice Green Café sprung up in Fortess Road last October on the site of a Thai takeaway.

Several months of frenzied painting have resulted in an inviting, airy space decorated with a truck-load of vintage furniture: chintzy chandeliers; Formica tables; glass-fronted cabinets stuffed with cookbooks and mismatched crockery.

On the ground floor you’ll find the open-plan kitchen and a cosy back room with an upright piano. A regular was gently singing and tinkling the ivories. Sassy, the café dog, snoozed in a faded armchair.

Two further rooms are hidden downstairs. One hosts a ping pong table; the other can be hired out for functions and events such as cello lessons, yoga classes, holistic massage and film screenings.

Yes – this is a venture perfectly suited to the creative vibe of Tufnell Park.

“Here it’s literary people,” explains owner Helen Tindale, contrasting the crowd with her other café at Forty Hall in Enfield.

We visited for lunch, choosing from a simple menu chalked up on blackboards. Breakfast and brunch are a highlight. The Full English is £8.50; pancakes £6.50; soup and a roll for £5.80.

Helen offers a more substantial special every day, such as a shepherd’s pie. Most ingredients are sourced locally.

Cakes on our visit included a carrot, chocolate and raspberry, gluten-free pear and a lemon drizzle.

We soaked up the laid-back atmosphere. Nice Green Café feels more like someone’s sitting room. I bet you you’ll soon start chatting to strangers. It’s a magnet for creative, kindred spirits.

The food is decent. No quibbles with the scrambled egg or avocado on sourdough toast – with bread sourced from The Spence Bakery up the road.

We shared a special of meat pie, dusted with pine nuts and filled with chickpeas, veg and a touch of Middle Eastern spice. The best bit was the side salad, a feisty mix of mustards and Oriental leaves sourced from Enfield.

Nice Green Café hosts a smorgasbord of events – check their Twitter and Facebook page for updates. Future attractions include an experimental chocolate club and pasta-making workshops.

Guest chefs often pop in to host supper clubs – typically £25 per head and bring your own bottle.

A culinary historian called Phillip Costens is a regular, cooking on themes such as an “American Presidential Special”.

Nice Green Café is a breath of fresh air for NW5 – a dog- and kid-friendly oasis.

Helen says she’s aiming for “a creative hub where people can come and eat, play and learn”.

If this sounds tempting, join the fun. Imaginative projects like this thrive on local talent. Open every day except Monday.

Nice Green Café
53 Fortess Road, NW5
07779 026052


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