Showing posts with label brixton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brixton. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Chateau Marmot: a British affair at Beehive Place by Sam Hodges

Living in Brixton has been nothing short of an extraordinary experience. Nine years ago there was nothing to shout about the area. A few local places to eat and drink that were acceptable and some not so much. Things have changed beyond recognition with the inevitable touches of gentrification that comes with evolution and regeneration.

Brixton  has become a foodie destination, rather the tube station getaway into town. My next adventure took place very near the station, easy to find in a narrow, empty street around the corner from the buzzing  market street.  We found ourselves in front of a bright yellow door and a very welcoming front of the house greeting  guests. 

We arrived at Beehive Place Kitchen and Bar, where British chef Sam Hodges and Chateau Marmot are having a busy pop-up.  Beehive Place is an old spacious Victorian hay loft with Jessica Albarn whose wonderful work covering one wall. Mismatching tables and chairs, bare brickwork, grey painted plastered wall and wood panelling.
making cocktails at Beehive Place
 This pop-up  is a joint force between highly praised  temporary restaurant Chateau Marmot and inspiring chef Sam Hodges, whose impressive CV includes St John and Soho House.  The menu is a very British affair. They’re have created a series of one-off dining experiences between November 2014 and March 2015,  with a fully licensed bar serving signature cocktails, craft beers and wines from independent suppliers.

bar area

Above: bar area and  a-beery-cano cocktail (£8): a British take on classic Americano, Blackdown gin, homemade blackberry and lavender shrub, Kamm & Son's (aperitif,45 natural botanicals) topped with English Sparkling wine.
Hot crab apple toddy (£7),  Lambs Navy rum, dry cider, crab apple, London honey, pickleback (pickle brine), spices, served warm,  very delicious!
The cocktail menu (£7-£8/cocktail)  features innovative and very creative concoctions including infusions, wild and  forage elements. Spirits and very local craft beers (draught and bottled) are available as well as soft drinks.  They have researched the length and breath of the country to find small, ethical, sustainable and niche suppliers to both the bar and restaurant. The food  menu varies every week, so it's always a surprise in store.

 The meal

we started with a small pot of very hot to handle  roasted chestnuts from Kent followed by Pine fired Cornish plumb mussels in cider and for the non-seafood eater a basked of fried salsify, an acquired taste.
The eating area

The second course was organic venison & juniper sausage from Devon, Norfolk cauliflower, wild rosemary flowers and a wonderful sweet and sticky venison reduction with walnuts. That was seeved wth Colacino Savuto Rosso, a red Italian wine from Calabria, an intense  and concentrated ruby red with cherry notes and blackberry on the nose, slightly anise on the finish. Very appetising course.

above: Sam Hodges in action

 The third course: was a delightful salted baked beetroot from Suffolk, cow's curd, a tasty garlic grass and olive oil sauce, and grated horseradish from Sussex.  Simple and very flavoursome. The wine match was South African, Franschhoek Cellar Semillon, a fresh, pale gold and citrousy and peachy white wine. Smooth and lengthy on the palate
 The fourth course: a rich densely-textured, but very tender and juicy meat goose breast from Bedfordshire that was cooked to perfection!  Potato, Norfolk Jerusalem artichoke, a sweet and tangy Devonshire cranberry sauce and goosefoot (green foliage). My favourite dish  of the evening.  Wine pairing was Willunga 100, 2013 from Australia, a Grenache bright red, light body and fine tannings. It was spicy with raspberry aroma. 

Dessert: Blickling pear (dessert pear) white, slightly gritty, coarse, juicy flesh with a very sweet flavour, it was served warm, it was a bit hard  but the taste was lovely, topped with Kentish cobnut crumble, and a creamy textured and sweet-nutty to the palate clotted cream ice cream. Wine pairing: Rialto, a sweet  aromatic and soft Moscato from Veneto, Italy. The Dessert was nice and not too heavy - Perfect finish, if you like pears.
I attended a previous Chateau Marmot dining experience last year and enjoyed immensely, you can read about it here,  so I was looking forward to the Brixton dates and again it didn't disappoint.

This pop up finishes in March 2015 - don't delay and get a ticket for next year as they are almost fully booked this year! 

Cost : dinner of 5 coursers at £35, wine flight from £23, cocktails from £7. Other beverages were available to purchased on the night at very reasonable prices. Highly  recommended.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Chateau Marmot, all opinions are my own. 
For more info: Chateau Marmot

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Hot&Chilli : 10 places I like to eat and drink in Brixton

It's been a while since I've written about Brixton, where I've been living for the last 9 years. So much has changed since then. Recently I've been eating and updating myself with new and old favourite places around Brixton, there are places popping up everywhere, some have change owners, some have just moved on,  some have just changed there names and consequently their menus. 
Some are more successful then others and many have come and go. In no particular order my favourites at the moment:

Carioca Brixton
Run by two Venezuelan brothers with Portuguese heritage. Carioca,  was known as Prima Donna until recently,  is  located in Brixton Market Row. The menu is a mix of English breakfast/ brunch, which I was told is delicious, with some Brazilian dishes. Things to look out for are: pao de queijo,  nice homemade coxinhas, chargrilled spare ribs, espetinhos (Brazilian skewers) and the wonderful Brazilian inspired cakes. They make nice caipirinhas too. Cash Only.
Carioca : 25 - 27 Market Row, Brixton, SW9 8LD 
great cakes at Carioca, salted caramel cheesecake and banana cake with caramel sauce

A small and well formed cafe on Atlantic Road. It has just open about 3 weeks ago. Spyros, the owner is hands on serving and making sure customers are happy. Great service with a smile. The Cafe focus on the quality and unique flavours of homemade and handmade products, like croissants made in the premises,  and embracing a diversity of recipes from around the world. Great cakes and tarts.
79, Atlantic Road SW9 8PX

lovely Cafe - Parissi

Fujiyama Japanese Noddle Bar: Brixton
It's been my favourite place for some sushi-love since moving to Brixton. They also serve bentos, soups, rice and delicious noodle dishes. Fresh and tasty Japanese fare at great prices. They also, have a lunchtime deal menu. I am addicted to the spicy tuna roll. Cash and CC accepted.
Eat in and take-away delivery within 3 miles.
5-7 Vining Street
t: 0207 737 6583

Fujiyama Japanese Noddle Bar

Le DeliCorner
Small, clean and stylish cafe located at Upper Tulse Hill. Great coffee, sourdough breads and small but well formed deli.
Fantastic and friendly service with WiFi. Good variety of freshly made sandwiches, continental breakfasts, soups, light lunches and it will be open till late from April. A hidden gem in Brixton Hill! Cash and CC accepted.
21 Upper Tulse Hill, Brixton, SW22SD 

t: 020 8671 3330

The Deli Corner

The Caribbean restaurant Negril has a variety of curry, rotis, platters, burgers dishes as well as the ever popular jerk chicken. The place has been nicely refurbished, and there's a great outside area. Look out for the Negril Platter for 2 people is a treat! Cash and CC accepted.
132, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RS
t: 02034170674

Negril platter

Duck Egg Cafe (Closed)

Tucked away just outside Brixton Village lies Egg Duck Cafe a small cafe serving great coffee, tea, excellent breakfast and brunch dishes. The portions can be quite big and the service is very friendly. Duck eggs are the selling point at this place. A Thai cafe selling good grease-spoon fare,Illy coffee and Innocent juices and good tea.  Get there early to avoid queues at the weekend. Worth the wait thought. Cash only.
424 Coldharbour Lane London SW9 8LF

Duck Egg Cafe

One of my favourite places for a decent glass of wine and sparkles in Brixton. A vibrant bar, shop and tasting place (£25/head) with an small outside area. Interesting and off-the-beaten-track wines and champagnes with some good spirits on sale too. I love the glassware too, which they also sell in the shop. The menu changes all the time, according to what's been sourced. Charcuterie and cheese from Borough Market. They have a small a cute outside area. It gets quite busy on Fridays and Saturday evenings, so get there early. Cash and CC accepted. Check their site for opening hours.  
1 Vining St, London, 
Brixton SW9 8QA
t: 0203 302 1617

The Wine Palour

Rebranded in 2013, this establishment offers small plates, fantastic crepes and galettes both savoury, sweet and vegan. They also serve one Brazilian dish churrasco (bbq) grilled beef rump steak strip, which is excellent.  They also make their own chilli sauce - delicious! Cash and CC accepted.
Brixton Arcade
41-42 Coldharbour Lane,
London SW9 8PS

Senzala - crepes and food with Brazilian accents

King & Co  and Donastia SC
An independent free house, not quite in Brixton but on the boarders, so I will include this excellent pub. They serve craft beers alongside draft ales and real ciders. One of the highlights is the  pop-up kitchen. At the moment the residency by the innovative street food van, Donastia Social Club is going great guns till 30th November. Their basque inspired food is creative and delectable. Donastia
King & Co
100 Clapham Park Road London SW4 7BZ 
t: 020 7498 1971
(nearest underground: Clapham Common)

Brindisa Food Rooms
Under one of the arches in Atlantic Road, serving the very best Spanish food
inspired by the Catalan Llesqueries. Small plates and excellent wine list are on offer. Nest door shop sells fresh ingredients, olive oil, re-fillable wine bottles, cans, hams and produce from small producers. Last time I was there, they put on a Flamengo show and live music. Excellent!

41 – 43 Atlantic Road

t: 0207 095 8655

Brindisa Food Rooms, Brixton
All images were taken by me. Please ask if you'd like to use them. It's just polite to do so. Thanks.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Top 5 'hot and chilli' places to eat in South London - Guest Post

If you’re looking to add a bit of a spice to your meal out there is plenty of choice for dinner with a kick South of the River.  Whether you’re after Mexican, Caribbean or Indian the variety is there.  To help make the ever difficult decision of where to go the South London Blog guides your through 5 restaurants not to miss.
1.     Wahaca 
Mexican street food from a former Master Chef Champion, Wahaca has expanded South of the River from its Covent Garden origin.  With branches on both the South Bank and in Waterloo already, there’s another opening planned soon in the popular Brixton Village.  

2.     Lahore 
You’ll be queuing out the door at this popular bring your own Pakistani restaurant in Tooting.  But with change from £20 having eaten enough food for a week it’s worth the wait.  A good selection of classic curries and house specials.

3.     Mama Lan 
The beef noodle soup at this Brixton Village staple has a real chilli kick to it, delicious.  The menu is small but all food is excellently done.  Watching the dumplings being freshly made in house is mesmerising, and eating them even more so.  Another branch has recently been opened in Clapham Common, which is testament to its success.  

Mama Lan's beef noodle soup
Mama Lan's dumplings
4.     Mien Tay 
Book ahead for this Lavender Hill Vietnamese, the food is excellent and it’s great value for money.  Stand out dishes include the squid with lemon grass and chilli and the spicy rice vermicelli soup with mixed seafood.  You can also find a branch of this popular Vietnamese in Shoreditch.

5.     Negril 
Brixton Caribbean restaurant Negril has a variety of curry dishes as well as the ever popular jerk chicken on the menu.  Combined with a good sized outside area Negril is a popular spot throughout the week.
Negril Platter
 Guest post by Natalie from The SouthLondon Blog a helpful guide to South London, follow Nat for tips on things to do and places to go South of the River. In particular Brixton/Streatham/Clapham/Battersea/Herne Hill/Dulwich

Friday, 7 December 2012

Hibiscus flower in syrup and tea

It's quite hard to find fresh hibiscus flower in London so I was delighted to find some at Brixton Village last weekend. They are also known as sorrel and according to the market sellers, the fresh flowers are only available on sale in the UK at end of November to mid-December.  However, you find them dried in bags the whole year round. They are very pretty with a deep red colour. I usually make tea with them by adding fresh ginger, cinnamon bark, cloves, orange peel and sweetened with honey. A Caribbean lady in Brixton Village has also suggested to serve it very cold with a splash of rum - that's the way to drink it during the Summer!  I also heard of hibiscus jam, but I haven't tried it yet. 
 This time I decided to find a  recipe for hibiscus in syrup. It can be quite expensive to buy them in jars from the shops or online. They are about £8-9/ jar for approximately 11 flowers.  Well, at the market I bought 40 fresh flowers for £1 (yes, One British Pound). The whole recipe cost me around £1.50 and yield 40 flowers in syrup. They will keep well in a  airtight container in the fridge for ages. Add them to your glass of bubbly and celebrate the festive season!  Cheers!

Here is the recipe I found at downunder blog Morsels and Musings
Recipe from Wild Food by Juleigh Robins
Hibiscus in Syrup
Hibiscus flower in syrup
2 cups cold water
2 cups caster sugar
2 cups fresh hibiscus flowers, washed and chopped
40 fresh hibiscus flowers, whole , washed


1. Place the water, sugar and chopped flower in a wide stainless-steel saucepan over medium heat.

2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the volume of liquid has reduced by a third.

3. Remove from the heat and strain to remove the solids.

4. Return to the pan, add the flowers and bring to the boil.

5. When it starts to bubble, remove from the heat and pour into sterilised jars.

If anyone have a recipe for hibiscus jam do let me know please. 
Have a  good weekend. Cheers!

Sunday, 2 December 2012


People keep asking me for suggestions where to go and what to do in the ever changin Brixton Village after last November #BrixtonVillageSafari -  a tour around Brixton Village and surrounding arcades with a group of twelve twitter mates.  Here is a small guide and an update. 
I moved to vibrant and multi cultural Brixton over seven years ago.  I have since witness a massive improvement in a borough with chequered past.  The street names surrounding the underground  reveals the history of Brixton and its community. Immortalised by musician  Ed Grant, Electric Avenue was the first street to be lit by electric energy in London.  Windrush square refers The Empire Windrush's voyage from the Caribbean in 1948 which brought in the first set of Caribbean immigrants to the UK. Coldharbour Lane makes reference to the basic accommodation offered to rough travellers in the 1800s.
Brixton is a mix bag of contradictions. The wonderful and the weird walk hand-in-hand. When you leave the station you are welcomed by the mixed smells of burning incenses and popcorn in the air and sometime you hear a street preacher trying to convert passers by. Walking down Coldharbour Lane you find the arcades: Market Row, Brixton Village and  the Brixton street market that spreads from Electric Avenue to Atlantic Road .  Further down Brixton Road is the brilliant Ritzy, one of the oldest cinema in London, which houses a bar called Upstairs at the Ritzy with  live music, from Reggae, Afro-beat  and swing to Jazz.  

Brixton Village and surrounding areas sells a wide range of foods from all over the world, but perhaps best known by the Afro-Caribbean goods, which reflects the diversity of Brixton and surrounding areas of the borough of Lambeth.  Reliance arcade, adjacent to  the underground,  is a small pedestrian passage that links Brixton Road to Electric Lane. There you can find very small stalls selling everything from batteries to textiles to dried fish head.

Built in the 30’s Granville Arcade, a building of historical significance,  was re-branded as Brixton Village in 2009. This indoor market building had fallen into hard times so the arcade’s owners, local community and business  funded the regeneration of the arcade by organising pop-ups cafes and restaurants, a tiny cinema, theatre and community projects. Nowadays, it houses a plethora of colourful cafes, vintage,  eclectic shops and restaurants on long leases, from Afro-Caribbean to South American to Asian selling everything from giant live African snails, dried fish heads, exotics fruits and vegetables, pig's trotters, heads to ethnic fabrics, colourful wigs and bric-a-brac.  Expect free events at Brixton Village they are organised by The Brick Box, a community arts hub.
They have extended opening hours to 11.30pm from Tuesday to  Saturday.

Excellent Colombian food at Santafereno
Honest Burgers
One of the best burgers in London can be found at Honest burgers, which is always busy so expect to queue at weekends.  Elephant is a  little restaurant selling flavoursome colourful Pakistani curries.  Mama Lan, French & Grace, both began as supperclubs and food blogs, now they respectively sell Beijing street food and Middle Eastern fare.  You can find a couple of butchers, very good variety of  cafes including Federation Cafe, Burnt Toast, a delightful little corner bakery which the concept is DYI toast,  the smell of toast coming from the table takes over the corridors of the arcade. Next to it is  the new addition The Joint, they serve bbq pulled pork, corn and chicken wings, looking forward to trying it. Cornercopia uses locally sourced ingredients in their cafe/restaurant. You will also find LAB G, an ice cream parlour serving very good artisan gelatos.  Coeliacs can find gluten-free goodies at WAG Free. Etta's Seafood offers Caribbean seafood plates and punchy homemade Caribbean ginger beer and hibiscus juices. Relay Tea Room is a sweet little tea room and they bake their cakes at the premises. Kaosarn is a family run Thai restaurant offering big flavours and heat on a plate! Okan is a small Japanese street-food cafe serving pancakes from Osaka called Okonomiyaki. In between these places there are other vintage shops and art galleries like Studio 73. Everyday there's a new stall, shop or event opening at Brixton Village. 


Franco Manca

Crossing the road you find the other arcade, Market Row, was built in 1928, has three entrances on Atlantic Road, Coldharbour Lane and Electric Lane (via Brixton Market) Some of my favourite places to eat and drink in Brixton are here. Franco Manca famous sourdough pizzas are made from slow-rising sourdough and baked in a wood burning brick oven.  Seven at Brixton is great for breakfast, snacks,  great cocktails, pinxtos at early evenings and good beers late night.  Next door is Casa Morita run by a husband-and-wife and serves hearty Mexican food.
Nour, a non-frills cash & carry selling supermarket products and fresh produce at very reasonable prices. Canon & Canon specialises in British cured meats and cheeses and it is hosting supperclubs in their premises. Next door is the small and quirk Market Row wine shop, selling small selection of ever changing wine list. Wild Caper is a great place for freshly baked breads homemade salads and vegan products.  Rosie Deli cafe  is great for light snacks and good coffee.  There is a Thai, Yum-D  and Japanese, Curry Ono restaurants that I still need to try . There are so many choices! There is  something for everyone. The new addition to Market Row is Wishbone, delicious modern take on fried chicken with some heart stopping fare choices. 
Wishbone - Salt n'Pepper and Asian Mayo
On Fridays, Brixton Market, corner of  Brixton Road with Brixton Station Road, serves Caribbean and Guyanese street food on the go for less than a fiver and and other stalls selling kitchen paraphernalia. Friday Food market offers more choices of deli-cafe style products and ingredients from all over the world.

Every third Saturday of each month, Brixton Market,hosts the Vintage & Retro Market, this market is fast becoming a retro paradise for good quality retro and vintage finds.  Almost every Saturday there is a different event happening like  swap shop, catwalk shows showcasing local designers, Brixton High tea  and flea market or a fun car boot sale. On Sundays Brixton Farmers' Market takes place on Brixton Station Road between 10am and 2pm.  You will find more ready-to-eat snacks and for fruit and vegetables straight from the farm, cheeses, flowers, meat, poultry, artisan bread, cakes, and jams. It’s a feast to the eye!
The raw vibrancy and edgy feel of Brixton together with the funky laid back attitude to life instill curiosity and attracts people from far afield.  There are other restaurants and pubs around Brixton Market.  Upstairs in Acre Lane is a good alternative for a special occasion .  For more pictures click here - NO LONGER EXISTS
We also have a Chocolate Museum, which opened yesterdayEnjoy Brixton! 

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