So we have absolutely fallen head over heels in love with a vibrant town in the south of London called Brixton.
Van Gogh spent 2 years of his life in Brixton and it was described in his memoirs as the best time of his life! Brixton is the Birth place of Bowie, Adele & Freddie Davies and is referenced in songs by Amy Winehouse, Robbie Williams, Eddy Grant, the Misfits and the Clash just to mention a few.
Brixton is known as a multiethnic community, with a large percentage of its population being of African and Caribbean descent. Evolving from a site of controversy and struggle during the 1990s, Brixton has grown its appeal in the last few decades without losing its embrace with the cities unapologetically unpolished reputation. Invitingly alternative, Packed full of markets and culinary delights I currently works and lives in Brixton and has never met a city like it! Brixton even has its own currency!
The neighbourhood replaces Britain’s acclaimed architecture and posh boutiques with homespun culture and more than a bit of crass. Charming and well known to be a tiny bit on the scary side, The neighborhood’s energy emanates from the shops along Electric Avenue to the art galleries, local markets, and pop-up restaurants with miniscule kitchens in Brixton Village Market. The vaulted arcades that form Brixton Market were built in the 1920s and Locals have been picking up their Alphonso mangoes and ackee here for generations. From cinnamon sticks to pigs tails, unique fabrics to plastic statues of Christ, the stalls on Electric Avenue and the covered markets in Brixton Village and Market Row sell anything you could possibly want, providing you are willing to root around and engage with the traders.
Below I have highlighted my favourite stalls in the Village:
Circus is a shoebox sized store that is literally made out of cardboard and showcases Genuine post Exhibition Art from Europe including Picasso, Matisse and Chagall. Alongside these they offer very affordable elegant gifts for your loved ones including vintage and locally sourced ceramics, Clothing, scarves and collectibles. The owner named Tabitha has a keen eye for collecting treasures around the globe and is well versed in Art. I would often come in and watch her light up as she spoke about the many lithographs they had in store. An enlightening Art experience and shopping experience all in one! Fabulous!
THE AGILE RABBIT
The Agile Rabbit is unapologetic, Has stuck around for the past 5+ years and serves the best pizza in Brixton and possibly the whole of London. The staff are exclusively Italian and often you can hear them loudly arguing and smashing plates about in the kitchen. The daily specials concocted by their head chef Nico are unreal and the menu is large enough to cater to even the fussiest eater. The Agile rabbit plays live alternative music from Thurs-Sat and it is usually loud enough to wake the neighbours. The laid back atmosphere is cultivated by its patrons and staff and it is indeed, Very Brixton!
WOO WOO BOUTIQUE
Eva Sykes is probably the nicest person I have ever come across and she is the creative force behind the infamous Woo Woo Boutique. A well priced boutique selling a mix of vintage and modern-retro clothing, art and furniture.
The store is kitted out with Genuine Punk Rock vintage treasures which is hard to find these days when most little shops are selling exclusively cheap china made 50s dresses on the sly. The Jewelry is one of a kind and they have recently started their own unique label which is absolutely fabulous!
I have to say that Wag Free (Which stands for Wheat and Gluten Free) probably serve up the best Duck Confit I Have ever had in my life (even after living in Paris!) The chefs are so lovely and welcoming and the dishes are surprising as I thought gluten was the special ingredient in most dishes that specifically make them delicious. Turns out, You don’t even need gluten!
FRENCH AND GRACE
French and Grace serve Mediterranean glorious wholesome food from fresh locally sourced ingredients and gives a home to the sweetest staff and probably the most delicious coffee you will ever have. A lifesaver.
Rosies serve probably the most ingenious breakfast ever. One of their dishes includes Sourdough topped with ricotta, prosciutto, fig jam and Maple Syrup. The sausage rolls are dusted with fennel seeds and the walls are decorated with strung up dried chilli bunting. The popular Author has hit the jackpot with this one.
I love a good quirky gift store. A shop with a sense of humour, 20 Storey is your essential stop for funky mugs, great cards, gadgets, posters and original books.
As A Hot Blooded Sri Lankan woman who loves a good curry, London had left me thoroughly disappointed! The sauce was a hot pink mess of sugar water with a few cubes of floating meat and I cried subtly in my napkin. Elephant however serves the best Pakistani curries I have ever had in my life! The owner Imran Bashir will also be featured competing in “Beef” the Channel 4 show for professional chefs coming soon!
NOUR CASH AND CARRY
Probably my favourite spot on this list. This widely known and 14 year old popular market opens up to the most affordable and fresh groceries in London including middle eastern and asian essentials.
Other notable places in Brixton are:
MAKE DO AND MEND
An obvious choice but if you have not seen our post featuring Make do and mends incredible clothing selection then please go ahead and have a look here
Like most things in Brixton, This bar is significantly hidden.
You’ll find it Next to a pub called the Prince of Wales. Press a Buzzer outside the door and you are greeted by a bartender, who will lead you up some steps into a little mahogany quaint prohibition style bar. and he will then honestly make some of the best cocktails you have ever tasted.
THREE EIGHT FOUR
Compact, industrial-chic bar/restaurant serving Mediterranean small plates and seasonal cocktails. And of course home to Brixtons best chicken wings. No seriously..
Now this is a rare find. You know that Quinoa that is £99.99 for a scoop? well Quinoa is an Andean plant which originated in the area surrounding Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia. Quinoa was cultivated and used by pre-Columbian civilizations and was replaced by cereals on the arrival of the Spanish, despite being a local staple food at the time. The point I am trying to make is that Brixton Wholefoods actually charge the correct price for these traditionally lower class healthy items and is a brilliant alternative to the regular overpriced Wholefoods. Making healthy eating achievable for any budget!
These are just SOME of the nooks and crannies that shine in Brixton. Comment below to let us know what else should be tasted or seen!