Brixton Village

The taco man is a forerunner of the alternative scene in Brixton.

In South London is this gem of a food market that gets you the moment you walk in through its portals. Now Brixton Village Market ain’t your corner if you are looking for posh dining and drinks. It has a homey vibe. It is the kind of place where you where you relax with friends, browse in boutiques, eat, walk, browse some more and nosh to your heart’s content from a potpourri of cuisines. It ticks off the essential ingredients that make a food market piquant. Cornucopia of colours, kiosks and eateries enticing you with edible goodies and just enough street fashion to keep the style diva in you hooked.

It is a sensory experience in every sense of the term.

On the first sunny Saturday of December, we went into this neighbourhood in the southern borough of Lambeth with a friend. It is after all the happy month when everyone seems to be in the mood for some Christmas lovin’. Warm coats, boots and snoods, steaming cups of hot chocolate, spiced up coffees, red noses and carefree laughs – life is rosy in December. Nothing sits better in this frame of mind than a saunter through a food market. All you have to do is worry about which stall got a miss – then make a mental note that you’ve got to get back to it the very next weekend.

Brixton is a story of revival and survival. In the ’80s and ’90s, it was rife with racial tensions and economic problems and hardly anyone would think of venturing into the area for the day, like we were doing now. But it has been turned around and the proof of it is in the popularity of the market with foodies on a budget day out.

As you get out of Brixton Tube, you turn right and walk straight till you hit the railway bridge. Take a right into Brixton Road Market and another right into Pope’s Rode Market. Or, like us, you do it the short way. Just turn right into Atlantic Street once you get out of the tube.

You will find this small arcade entrance.

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Bright eyes, bright gills, firm flesh. Check. The fishermongers of Brixton.
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The arcade was rundown till it was transformed to make way for modern boutiques and shops alongside old timers such as wig sellers, grocers and the like.
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Spotted. Miles nerds in Brixton.
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Brixton is home to the Caribbean community 

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The owner of this store, a bit of who you can see in this frame, is Aradhana. She took the name given her by her yoga teacher because she liked the sound of it on her tongue.
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Aradhana makes chocolates that hit the spot. They are not too sweet and she uses quality cacao. The 85% cocoa bar at her store was a jolly good nibble.
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Waiting for jerk chicken 
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A nice place for jerk chicken and conversation. The sauces are riddled with the fierceness of scotch bonnet pepper. From the shop next door, we had a portion of fried plantains, the sweetness of which went exceedingly well with the hot sauces.
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Jerk chicken and rice at Fish, Wings & Tings
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Sweet plaintains
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Prawns ready to be devoured with fiery hot sauce

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Because Blake lived in Lambeth for a few years of his creative life.

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Sake at Okan
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Fried aubergines in miso at Okan
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Yaki Onigiri. Japanese grilled rice balls served with sea weed.
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Squid and prawn noodles topped up with fish flakes at Okan.

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Butterfish or white tuna (the pretty ones in orange)

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Pop Brixton

Then we turned into Electric Avenue — one of the first streets to get electric light. We walked past the street market that goes back to the year 1880 and came across a rectangular structure, iridiscent with neon hues. Pop Brixton.

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Pop Brixton is constructed out of shipping containers, festooned up with fairy lights for the festive touch.
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Vintage kilo sale where winter furs and vintage clothing can be bought in half kilo sacks
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Brownies

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Now, why should you go to Brixton, right?

Just let the informality of the affair do the works because Brixton cuts through pretentiousness and gets right down to business. The business of good food and fun.

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