Out and about in Brixton
London is a collection of great villages, communities and micro-cultures. But Brixton is just that bit different; it does its own thing, in its own way - always has and we hope it always will.
Culturally, creatively and on every corner, there’s a different vibe in Brixton. The market is still one of the great places to go to, to find tomorrow’s future food and drink talent. There's a reason why Brixton is always busy and we love it; it’s retained its independence, a spirit of enterprise and is so culturally diverse by day and by night. We asked Sarah Weir, Managing Director of Albion & East (with Martello Hall in Hackney and Canova Hall in Brixton) to help us review some of Brixton's favourites…
250 Ferndale Road, SW9 8BQ, canovahall.com
Ok, front and centre is the Imbiba backed business Canova Hall from Albion & East. Twinned with Martello Hall in Hackney, it made its mark with a wonderful blend of craft beers, wine on tap and pizza to die for. Open all day and late night, the team’s second venue offers homemade pizza, homemade pasta and gin distilled on site. There’s hot-desking during the day, as a core part of the offer; it's generous, democratic and creates a space which isn't defined by being a bar or a restaurant, but a third space beyond home and work for customers to spend time in. At night, it’s alive with couples, groups, DJs and live bands. With a cocktail trolley parading on-site, you can even book up your own bartender. Canova Hall has great private hire and outdoor space, with an interior design that blends brilliantly into the diverse and dynamic environment that is Brixton. Naturally, it’s our favourite.
The Shrub and Shutter
336 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8QH, theshrubandshutter.com
If ever a bar felt like it helped to define its market, Shrub and Shutter is it. With expertly crafted drinks, paired with simple and delicious plates, it’s still one of the best bars around and serves some of the best drinks in Brixton. Following the success of their drinks consultancy, ‘Salts of the Earth‘, Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza have ‘Scran’ – a pop-up kitchen by Henry Osborn, providing a fresh, innovative take on seasonal cuisine.
Seven at Brixton
7 Market Row, SW9 8LB, sevenatbrixton.com
Traditional with an experimental twist best describes the cocktails menu (which changes four times a year), and an extensive premium spirits list on their back bar. At seven, it’s all Spanish – with great beers and fantastic house wines from Encantador and Cintilla. Upstairs we like the unique space with 3 different rooms - you can sit in amongst the art installations and book the individual rooms out. Everything is cheap – but it’s all good value and good fun.
The Beast of Brixton
89B Acre Lane, SW2 5TN, thebeastofbrixton.co.uk
A house party, round at the devil’s. That’s about it…
Somewhere in Brixton there’s a door. Behind the door there’s a staircase. Upstairs there’s a party, and the party is one to experience. There’s custom cocktails and mouthwatering Sunday roasts, all set to thrilling music over two floors of bone and gold. Cosy, quirky and oddly splendid, a little tricky to find, but well worth it.
69-73 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU, thecourtesan.co.uk
Offering the finest modern dim sum and carefully selected teas, wines and mixed drinks for discerning ladies and gentlemen of adventure, this place has a little of the glamour of a 1920s Shanghai club. The drinks list is an interesting one, with a wine and spirit list produced or grown exclusively by women. It has a lovely and unique storytelling aesthetic, inspired by the legendary courtesans of Ancient China. Nice.
Champagne + Fromage
10-11 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PR, champagneplusfromage.co.uk
Can you guess what it is? ‘Course you can. With sister sites in Covent Garden, Greenwich and Newington, it’s all about the Champagne and cheese. The Fromagerie offers more than 50 French soft and hard cheeses, from Brie, Comte or Tome to a range of Blues and Camembert. In addition to a wide range of cooked meat, pâtés, ham and sausages. Shelves are piled high with jars of terrine, rillettes, cassoulets or delicious confits, all sourced from tiny suppliers. A calendar of monthly Champagne and cheese master classes cut through the industry jargon and teach guests how to get to grips with grapes. For the cheese and champagne aficionados, there’s a lot to like here.
41-43 Atlantic Road, London SW9 8JL kricket.co.uk
After their pop-up at Pop Brixton, there’s a new permanent site in Brixton in the arches in Atlantic Road. Amazing food, we love it! The new venue is a big departure from the original 20-seat shipping container which first opened up in 2015. It has more space for more diners and takes bookings. The food is more Indian inspired than classically Indian and the drinks offer focuses on different spirits for different periods. Splendid.
HMP Brixton, Jebb Ave, London SW2 5XF Clink Restaurant
The concept alone makes this restaurant at Brixton Prison worth a visit. Both kitchen and front-of-house are staffed entirely by inmates from this Category C Prison, with the whole process working towards their rehabilitation. With five private dining rooms available for exclusive hire it’s well worth a visit. (Note: no alcohol is served in the restaurant as it is banned on prison premises.)
Figures show that the project has led to a 41% reduction in reoffending. The fact that food is actually great is an added bonus.
To find out more about Canova Hall, other businesses from Albion & East or some of the best places to visit in Brixton, please contact Sarah Weir at firstname.lastname@example.org