A neighborhood with a bad reputation. Walking, drinking and eating in Brixton – Road.Travel

A neighborhood with a bad reputation. Walking, drinking and eating in Brixton

Road Trip Route. Listen to reggae., Eat Mexican tacos., Drink a craft beer..

The areas south of the Thames have been tough enough at all times. While in the north political and economic passions were stirring, palaces were being built and museums opened, in the bleak south everything was simple: here the working class lived, working all week in the factories of industrialisation, and spending their weekends over a pint in the pub. Hence all the working class entertainment: alcoholism, prostitution, crime and robbery, which took root around the railway stations and gradually made their way deep into the city. Eventually they managed to creep into an area with one of London's worst reputations, Brixton. Here even now there are no famous monuments, no beautiful mansions, no expensive shops, only absolute straightforwardness bordering on working class rudeness and perfect multiculturalism, which largely gave rise to rumours of local horrors. The rebirth process doesn't stand still. Locals smile enigmatically when the next mate grimaces when they hear the phrase, "I live in Brixton," and selfishly try to say as little as possible about the area's pros. South London is on the verge of gentrification, which means it already has its quirks, but it hasn't yet attracted the big money and large holdings that can destroy identity. Daria Konurbaeva talks about what to see in the still distinctive Brixton.

History and Culture, Gastronomy. From: Brixton

Daria Konurbaeva. Travel Expert.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1:

In the 1860s and 1890s, the area was connected to the town centre by railway and Brixton immediately became a popular suburb for middle-class living. In 1880 London's first ever street lit by electric lights was named Electric Avenue. But at the turn of the century Brixton was being developed into relatively cheap housing, and the working class gradually ousted its wealthier neighbours. After the First World War, Brixton Market, the largest shopping centre in the southern part of the town, opened here, and after the Second World War the newly-built Brixton was overrun with waves of migrants, mainly from Africa and the Caribbean. In the 1980s, south working-class London was plagued by waves of strikes, protests and subsequent economic problems. Unemployment and crime became synonymous with Brixton, while the 1990s saw serious drug trafficking problems and racially motivated clashes: the majority of the population of the area was still comprised of settled migrants. As a result, even 15 years ago, no sane person would think of going to Brixton, let alone moving there: it was consistently ranked among the top five most dangerous areas in London. So what's different today?

David Bowie Memorial

You can start exploring the neighbourhood straight from the subway exit. Across the street from the lobby is a huge portrait of David Bowie, who was born here in post-war Brixton. The portrait became the musician's main memorial after his death, where fresh flowers and candles are always lit, and every piece of the wall is scrawled with fan confessions.

O2 Academy Brixton

Further north you can follow the music, at the intersection of Stockwell Rd and Brixton Rd stands Brixton Academy, one of London's legendary venues where Aimee Winehouse, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Kasabian, Florence and the Machine, Blur, Coldplay have performed.

Lambeth Town Hall

If you walk south down Brixton Hill, you will inevitably stumble into Windrush Sq. Of the official landmarks on it, the handsome Lambeth Town Hall, but much more interesting is the Traid opposite, an old-fashioned second-hand shop that offers plenty to see and do.

Ritzy Cinema and Cafe

There's also the red-brick Ritzy Picturehouse, Britain's largest independent cinema. The Ritzy Picturehouse is the largest independent cinema in the UK.

White Horse Brixton

Further down Brixton Hill the White Horse Brixton is a Victorian pub, perfect for Sunday lazy lunches, seamlessly transitioning to dinner. On weekends it's the absolute epitome of a local pub; it's far enough away from the tube that you won't have to deal with the occasional passer-by, and the next table will probably have an elderly Londoner with a spaniel or terrier at his feet.

Stir Coffee Brixton

Stir Coffee is responsible for the coffee in this part of Brixton. An independent coffee shop with the perfect balance of great coffee, pastries, cosy atmosphere (shabby walls and small details like vintage teaspoons), friendly baristas and good Wi-Fi. The latter, however, may be in short supply, during the day almost all the tables will be occupied by local freelancers.

Hootananny Brixton

Head back to the centre of the area via Brixton Water Lane, which cuts right into Hootananny: another musical hotspot on the map, but with a reggae and ska twist. A local fixture is the large painted tables outside. Pick your favorite pattern and sit down for a pint, or better yet, a bowl of tacos. Hootananny's serves great Mexican food on weekends.

Brixton Market

Food from every conceivable nation in the world is the kind of diamond you can and should brave on a trip to Brixton for. The old Brixton Market and the Brixton Village across the road were derelict in the 1990s, but have been reborn for the new century, and now only Brick Lane or Borough Market can match them. Under one roof are dozens of small cafes serving all the cuisines of the world: Spanish, Cuban, Italian, Mexican, Indian, Korean and more.

Pop Brixton

Drink up this culinary variety at the good bars Dogstar or Three Eight Four on Coldharbour Ln, but you're better off walking a little further down Pope's Rd and tucking into Pop Brixton. The large park, assembled from fancy shipping containers, could compete with the likes of Box Park in Shoreditch, and easily wins it. There are no tourists, noisy bars or packs of smashing youngsters, just cosy breweries, live music, vintage sales in the morning and concerts by jazz, rock or brit-pop artists in the evenings.

The Craft Beer Co. Brixton

You can get your last pint in Brixton at The Craft Beer Co: perhaps the only chain pub here. There are only seven of them in London, but they're all off-grid, with 30 beers to choose from and another 200 in the bottle. And they also host group tastings of Europe's best beers. It's a great option to try a dozen beers - and not get a headache in the morning.