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Why is a café connected to a plant nursery? : Little Darling Coffee Roasters @Nogizaka

When I was in the UK, I'd been wondering why nice cafes in and around London, like Petersham in Richmond or cozy cafes in Cotswolds, are always located next to plant nurseries. I didn't know why, but I kind of understood that visiting a café and nursery at the same time is one of the holiday rituals unique to British people. And I couldn't believe I would find the combination in Japan.



LITTLE DARLING COFFEE ROASTERS, walls painted so cool in shocking pink that I almost believed it has teleported from NY downtown, is located between Aoyama and Roppongi, two of the most stylish areas of Tokyo. A short distance from NOGIZAKA station, passing by high-end residents, an industrial-ish gate and narrow path leads us to a wide green park with a cute café and nursery connected to each other.


Entering the hall, a big coffee roaster spinning slowly and exhaling sweet aroma welcomes us. Tables are mostly taken by groups of friends cheerfully chatting or diligently discussing over their laptops. Everyone is surrounded by pot plants with price tags borrowed from next door. Some guests are sitting outside in the park, playing with their kids or dogs. Staff members are brightly taking orders over the counter and guests in the queue are browsing shop brand T-shirts displayed on the wall.


It is AWESOME. Everything is COOL. Much BEYOND my expectation.  


My favourite Cheeseburger is stuffed with plenty of fresh lettuce and tomatoes between thick buns. Good portion for my Sunday brunch. Flat white, a very rare find in this country, is bitter enough to flash back to my days in London. If the season were nicer, I would have definitely spent my lunchtime at an outside table in the park.


After lunch, walking around the park and checking plants in the nursery is good exercise for your body and a feast for your eyes. A variety of plants are displayed on the shelf or hung from the ceiling. Many of them are designed to nurture inside a room, suitable for Tokyoites who live in a small apartment.  


Coming back to my question. Why are cafes connected to nurseries? My friend gave me a hint that this is the same concept as IKEA CAFE. I'm now convinced that Londoners and Tokyoites alike, are fond of visiting IKEA, nurseries or somewhere like that on holidays without planning particular goods to buy, spending their afternoons browsing furniture or pot plants or whatever. They definitely are keen to have a cup of tea or coffee at a break, preferably at a cozy café. For some, priority might be otherwise, but anyway, these combinations serve you a peaceful moment in the holiday afternoon without spending much.



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