Our lunchtime eco meal-making this month took place in the basement of Cecil Sharp House (the home of English Folk), where our polka dotted table was sandwiched between a drama class and some kind of medieval dance lesson. The dulcet tones of Radio 4 wafted through the air from the open kitchen and people carrying large instrument cases passed through.
The Nice Green Van, an ex-ice cream van transformed into a sustainable eating establishment on wheels, set down firm roots here in the summer and became the Nice Green Cafe. Run as a social enterprise, it promises to serve freshly made, seasonal and ethically sourced food, at folk friendly prices.
The menu is short, offering the usual lunchtime fare. We opted for a hearty bowl of squash and potato soup, which came with a bread roll and plenty of butter. Peppery and wonderfully thick, the portion was generous and the dense bread clearly homemade. It was full of flavour and filling. We also had a mackerel and potato patty with salad, which was simple, wholesome and tasted good. At £3.50 each, both were great value.
We treated ourselves to hot drinks and a slice of plum and apple flan for afters. The coffee was quality stuff and suitably strong, tea came in a big builder's mug. The fruit pie was a handsome creation, with stodgy homemade pastry and a sticky layer of pink fruit.
By this point the cafe had started to get busier, with most people popping down from elsewhere in the building. Cecil Sharp House, which sits on a residential Camden street near Regent's Park, has a lovely buzz about it and a welcoming air. The cafe feels a bit like it's intended for people who work, study or perform there, but it looks lovely, the food is cheap and tasty, and we easily made ourselves at home. If you're in the area and in need of an eco lunch, or coffee and cake, this is a quirky place to try.
Nice Green Cafe, Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Road, NW1 7AY / www.efdss.org