Experience Real London: A Photo Log of Brixton Village

Originally built for the middle class during the Victorian property boom, Brixton, a suburb in London, has had its ups and downs in reputation since.

During my childhood days this was an area in London that was impoverished and well-known for racial tension. As far back as I could remember it was a place synonymous with being rough and a dangerous part of town. It was not advisable to go there on your own unless absolutely necessary and especially not late in the evening.

Brixton Village entrance
One of the entrances to Brixton Village
Brixton Foodland, a typical green grocers to be found throughout Brixton Market and Village
Brixton Foodland, a typical green grocers to be found throughout Brixton Market and Village

Starting about 20 years ago and accelerating in the last five years (if house prices are anything to go by), Brixton has been enjoying a revival and a more positive reputation as an up and coming area.

Belonging to the London Borough of Lambeth, the area has seen money pumped into various regeneration schemes such as the square outside Roxy Cinema. Trendy businesses have been popping up to cater for the equally trendy 20 or 30-somethings (many of whom are professionals) that have taken up residence in the area. Where previously such groups where only moving to Brixton because they were being priced out of the traditionally more desirable neighbouring areas such as Clapham, they are now making specific requests to buy and set up family homes in this area. This all conjures up images in my mind of green, open spaces and manicured genteel streets.

Ramzey Fishmongers a long standing tenant when Brixton Village was still known as Granville Market
Ramzey Fishmongers
Bibs Konsult catering store
Bibs Konsult catering store

Recently whilst back in London and close to that part of town, I ventured to Brixton and found myself exploring the main high street and Brixton Market, which are both situated right next to Brixton Tube station itself.

In my opinion (though I made no interviews or tallied any numbers), Brixton is still rough around the edges and in no way smooth and manicured as an estate agent or developer might try to paint with the average house price figures*. But as a Londoner, I’m actually not disappointed to see this because this is the kind of stuff that gives Brixton its character. The multi-ethnicity of the people on the streets going about their daily business, the blaring of a preacher speaking through a loud speaker, all the traffic and many buses jostling for position on the busy road, and the £1 shops and market stalls gave it an unorganised, grungy but vibrant feel.

Woo Woo Brixton Village London
Woo Woo boutique in Brixton Village London

Although not all pretty and neat, it’s is not to say Brixton hasn’t come upwards in leaps and bounds (in real street feel rather than on paper). On this occasion I am specifically referring to Brixton Village or Granville Market as it was formerly known. Previously a set of run down, grimy covered streets with ropey shops and stalls, these have given way to a wonderful mix of interesting new bars and eateries serving food hailing from around the globe for varying budgets. Trendy new homeware shops and hip clothiers are also present and most importantly in true local London or Brixton style, you will find hardware shops, fruit and veg, fish mongers and the ethnic goods that still remain. If you are looking to experience London off the beaten track and perhaps see how a real inner city Londoner might experience London, why not head down to Brixton for a spot of lunch and while away a few hours in Brixton Village and Market, a true diamond in the rough.

To get a better flavour of what you are likely to find if you venture there, scroll down for more of my photo log.

Mural of the late John Lennon painted onto the shutters of a store in Brixton Village
Mural of the late John Lennon painted next to the image of David Bowie (top image) who was famously born in Brixton, the two where known to be close friends
Bibs Konsult
Bibs konsult selling catering equipment and general ware
One of many lanes or streets to explore at Brixton Village
One of many lanes or streets to explore at Brixton Village
Circus boutique Brixton Village
Circus Boutique on 5th Avenue with its memorable cardboard tube exterior
Fruit + Veg
Fruit + Veg at Brixton Village. Not really sure if this is the name of the store or just a description of whats being sold!
The Wig Bazaar Brixton Village
The Wig Bazaar
A handmade bag using traditional African textiles from The Wig Bazaar
The Wig Bazaar: branching out into handmade bags using traditional African textiles
Mama Lan Dumpling Restaurant at Brixton Village
Mama Lan Dumpling Restaurant at Brixton Village – one of many, many different cuisines available at Brixton Village
Okan restaurant
Okan restaurant – the flags that hang above and all around Brixton Village are a reflection of the cultural diversity that can be seen and experienced here
Brixton Village Santa Fereno
Brixton Village Santa Fereno
Brixton Village Rachel and Malika Homewares store
Brixton Village Rachel and Malika’s homewares store full of beautifully tactile objects
Woven baskets from Rachel and Malika
Woven baskets from Rachel and Malika’s
Beautiful outdoor rugs
Beautiful outdoor rugs
Table candles
Table candles in lovely shades of blue and red
Kokoo Artisanal Chocolate at Brixton Village
Kokoo Artisanal Chocolate at Brixton Village
Saucisson from France at Brixton Village
Saucisson a taste of France at Brixton Village
Green Banana Chips and other exotic snacks
Green Banana Chips and other exotic snacks
Anything goes at Brixton Village
Anything goes at Brixton Village
Organic Caribbian Groceries
Organic Caribbian Groceries
Wooden crates of filled with fresh produce
Wooden crates filled with a more familiar kind of fresh produce
Jeffreys fishmongers fish
Jeffreys fishmongers, one of many establishments selling fresh fish
Sough dough bread and fresh eggs on sell at Brixton Village
Sough dough bread and fresh eggs on sale at Brixton Village
Yum-D Thai Street food
Yum-D Thai Street food – sorry about the sound boom getting into the shot!
Seven At Brixton
Seven At Brixton
Rosie's Cafe
Rosie’s Cafe
Curry One Japanese Curry Restaurant
Even Japanese Curry is represented here at Curry Ono
Chicken Liquor
Chicken Liquor from the same people as Meat Liquor
Mexican food at Casa Morita
Mexican food at Casa Morita
Express cafe English greasy spoon
Last but not least in my photo log (but not in Brixton Village) is Express Cafe – a typical English greasy spoon.

How to get there

Brixton is located in South West London and can be easily reached using various forms of public transport including a multitude of busses, mainline train routes and the London Underground or Tube.

Brixton Underground station is on the Victoria Line and in Zone 2.

*Average house prices in the London Borough of Lambeth during March 2016 according to UK Land Registry was £608,415 – higher than the London average house price of £534,785 during the same period.

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