Area guide to Brixton: artist Layla Andrews on the best places for live music, good food and drinks

·4-min read
Layla Andrews,  the resident artist of Brixton Village, says the vibrant London area is an inspiring place to live and work (Jacob Hill)
Layla Andrews, the resident artist of Brixton Village, says the vibrant London area is an inspiring place to live and work (Jacob Hill)

I live in a two-bedroom ground floor flat with a lovely little courtyard where my sister and I do a lot of gardening. I am so fortunate to be the resident artist of Brixton Village.

This amazing opportunity has enabled me to be immersed into the community and to meet some fantastic people. It is such an inspiring place to work and there is always something exciting happening. I have been in London for just over a year.

I was somewhat sceptical about ever moving here as I was worried it wouldn't be as warm and inclusive as Brighton, where I was living before.

Being an artist means you spend a lot of time alone. I am a very sociable person so living in an area with an active and inclusive community is really important to me. My sister had been here for years so I was able to dip my toe into the Brixton world before we decided to move in together.

Best eating and drinking

Brixton Village is one of London's most thriving and diverse foodie hotspots so we are really spoilt for choice.

Some of my favourites in the village include Jalisco for delicious Latin American food and top-notch Margaritas. KaoSarn has amazing Thai and is also a BYOB. Danclair's Kitchen has just opened — I have only popped in for a drink but the wine was fabulous.

Outside of Brixton Village, I recommend 400 Rabbits at Brockwell Lido for delicious veggie pizzas. Naughty Piglets is also great for a glass of vino.

Where I work out

Brockwell Park is good for exercise. It is quite hilly though so less ideal for learning to roller-skate as I have recently discovered.

 (@Brixton.village)
(@Brixton.village)

For a culture fix

Hootananny is absolutely joyous. There is a great atmosphere, the drinks are reasonably priced and there is fabulous live music. I also love the Handson Family, the husband and wife DJ duo (Cyndi Anafo and Chris Ellis), who run Brixton Village Lates, a series of weekly free events in the markets. They have been DJing and promoting independent music in the capital for more than two decades and are passionate about south London's black music club culture legacy and the community they were raised in. It's so refreshing to finally hear good music again and be able to dance.

To commune with nature

The Rose Garden in Brockwell Park is peaceful and a great place to read.

Grocery shopping

Again, we are super spoilt in Brixton Village. My favourite is Nour Cash and Carry, which you can access from Electric Avenue or via the markets. I am veggie and this is where I am able to buy fresh delicious veg at a reasonable price.

 (@Brixton.village)
(@Brixton.village)

Getting around

I am really lucky that I can walk everywhere I need to in Brixton. My studio is only 10 minutes from my house, which is so convenient.

Dream street

Chaucer Road is a tree-lined street with some very beautiful gardens. Walking down there in spring was dreamy.

Something you only see in Brixton

The Brixton Village and Project Brixton Instagrams are a great way to stay informed on what's going on locally in the area. What I love about the village is all the amazing cultural experiences they put on. For example, during the pandemic when galleries were closed, I was invited to transform the Brixton Village courtyard into an outdoor exhibition for International Women's Day so people could still see art outside, for free and in a Covid-safe way.

What’s the catch?

There are not enough charity shops. I usually have to venture to Northcote Road or Camberwell to get my fix.

In three words

Warm, inclusive, spirited.

Find Layla at laylaandrews.com

Schools

There are several primary schools in Brixton rated outstanding or good including Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School and Judith Kerr Primary School.

When it comes to secondary education, The Charter School North Dulwich and Platanos College are rated outstanding by Ofsted while City Heights E-ACT Academy and Trinity Academy are deemed good.

What it costs to live in Brixton

Average flat price: £474,519

Average house price: £910,723

Average price to rent a flat: £1,716 pcm

Average price to rent a house: £3,040 pcm

Source: Rightmove

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