Tag Archives: Jamyang Buddhist Centre

The Top Ten Best Lunch Spots in Kennington – no. 1 – Cafe at Jamyang

The Courtyard Cafe at Jamyang Buddhist Centre - kenningtonrunoff.com

Positives: Any of our top six could lay claim to serving the best lunch in Kennington (in an establishment that doesn’t normally open in the evenings), but what edged it for Cafe at Jamyang is the setting. Where else can you have a delicious vegetarian quiche in a peaceful, green courtyard beneath a giant gold statue of the Pairnirvana Buddha?

Golden Buddha in the courtyard of Jamyang Buddhist Centre - kenningtonrunoff.com

Negatives: It’s better when the weather is good and you can sit in that courtyard. Sometimes they run out of quiche. Try not to think about the fact that the Buddha may have died of food poisoning (not from a vegetarian quiche though). They’re only open on weekdays.

What, no quiche?

What, no quiche?

Hygiene rating: 5 out of 5

The counter at Jamyang Buddhist Centre Cafe - kenningtonrunoff.com

Address: The Old Courthouse, 43 Renfrew Road, London SE11 4NA

Jamyang Buddhist Centre - kenningtonrunoff.com

Website

Café at Jamyang Buddhist Centre

There are three Buddhist Centres in Kennington (see also the Kagyu Samye Dzong Tibetan Buddhist Centre and the Diamond Way Buddhist Centre in the former Beaufoy Institute), but only one of them is worth visiting if you have no interest in Buddhism, yoga or meditation – that’s Jamyang, for its excellent Courtyard Café.

The counter at Jamyang Buddhist Centre Cafe - kenningtonrunoff.com

All the food is vegetarian, much of it is vegan, and it’s delicious. They always have a selection of salads and cakes as you can see above. Their quiche is our favourite main but they’d run out last time we visited so we had bulghur wheat served with spinach, caper and artichoke for £4.80, or £6.80 with salads:

Bulghur wheat served with spinach, caper and artichoke sauce at Jamyang Cafe - kenningtonrunoff.com

Most of their products are organic, and they serve local sourdough bread from the Kennington Bakery.

Jamyang Buddhist Centre - kenningtonrunoff.com

The building is an old courthouse dating from 1869, in its later days used as a maximum security court for special remands, including IRA terrorists, the Kray twins, and members of the gang who seized the Iranian Embassy. Despite that, when the sun is shining, Kennington has nowhere more peaceful to eat your lunch than the Jamyang courtyard:

The Courtyard Cafe at Jamyang Buddhist Centre - kenningtonrunoff.com

and certainly nowhere else with a giant gold statue of Buddha surrounded by plants:

Golden Buddha in the courtyard of Jamyang Buddhist Centre - kenningtonrunoff.com

Glastonbury Festival are increasingly looking to Kennington for inspiration when booking their acts. When the Foo Fighters pulled out as headliner, they booked Florence & The Machine, clearly remembering the time Florence Welch stepped up to the plate at short notice at South London Pacific. Likewise, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama “played” Glastonbury this year, but he appeared at Jamyang way back in 1999, when he blessed and inaugurated a new shrine.

Jamyang’s cafe is open Monday-Friday 10am-4pm (we wish they’d open on the weekend too). They have free wi-fi and takeaway available. Get there early for the quiche.

Address: Jamyang Buddhist Centre, The Old Courthouse, 43 Renfrew Road, London, SE11 4NA.

Meditation at the Jamyang Buddhist Centre

Happy new year.

Are you starting the new year in need of spiritual sustenance? Get yourself down to the Jamyang Buddhist Centre on Renfrew Road in North Kennington, one of two Buddhist centres in Kennington with a third one on the way in the former Beaufoy Institute.

On January 6th from 7.30pm till 9pm is one of Jamyang’s regular Introduction to Meditation sessions. We’ve been to one of these sessions before. What can we tell you about it?

– You’ll have to take your shoes off.
– It’s not a brazen attempt to convert you to Buddhism – Buddha barely got a mention.
– There are opportunities to ask questions. Someone else asked the question we should have asked – how to stay awake during meditation? The instructor did provide some practical suggestions but also said it doesn’t matter if you fall asleep, at which point we nodded off.
– They do a nice quiche and salad in the cafe during the day.
– It’s free but donations are welcome.
– Meditation is scientifically proven to boost concentration, reduce stress, depression, anxiety and addictive behaviours, and can even help with physical problems like heart disease and chronic pain (sorry we can’t lay our hands on the scientific proof right now).

So, all in all, an ideal opportunity to have a look around the Buddhist centre – which has a nice, welcoming vibe whatever your religious beliefs – and to try napping meditation.

Read about the history of the building – and old courthouse – here.

Jamyang Buddhist Centre - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Courtyard Cafe, featuring a Buddha in a glass cage made from pure Nepalese gold:

The Courtyard Cafe at Jamyang Buddhist Centre - kenningtonrunoff.com