Not far from the bustling Kilburn High Road lies a genuine hidden gem of a café.
The Community Bookshop, lost on a street mostly famous for its Indian and Chinese take-away restaurants, could easily go unnoticed with its tiny window and its seemingly lonely table sitting on the pavement.
It would however be a waste not to step inside and discover this fairly unconventional bookshop café where the frenzy of the city seems to disappear.
Opened two years ago in place of a former clothes shop, the Community Bookshop has since then been a haven for people eager to sit down, relax and sip a tea or coffee surrounded by an eclectic assembling of second-hand books and fair-trade items.
Although it suffers from a lack of sitting space as it only consists in a couch, a table for two on the inside and one on the outside, the place is truly inviting. Is it because of the large comfy sofa taking pride of place at its centre or because of the warm and welcoming smile of its owners?
It is possibly a bit of both that draws people to come and enjoy a range of affordable organic tea, coffee or hot chocolate and make some time for themselves in a place that makes them feel like home.
Those looking for an afternoon snack will be pretty disappointed though as they won’t find much in the way of food apart from complementary biscuits. But they will find a friendly welcome and a vibrant programming instead. The café is indeed quite well-known for holding Spanish and French conversation nights once a week that see people share a drink and some snacks while practicing their conversational skills.
Meetings with various authors, books reading, conferences and children activities also take place on a monthly basis at the café. An update on the upcoming events can usually be found on the Community Bookshop’s website: www.offsidebooks.com
The Community Bookshop – 92 Willesden Lane, Kilburn – NW6 7TA