Why I live in Brockley: Supper club host Rahel Stephanie on why she swapped Hackney for south London

·4-min read
Supper club host Rahel Stephanie  (Matt Writtle)
Supper club host Rahel Stephanie (Matt Writtle)

I was born in Jakarta, grew up in Singapore and I’ve lived in London —mostly Hackney — for nine years. This is my first time in south London and I’ve never lived in a place as residential as this.

After lockdown we wanted somewhere with a bit more space and our own garden, and we couldn’t find anything in Hackney. We were very lucky to have found somewhere that meets our requirements in Brockley. We’re really blessed with a lot of greenery and it’s a lot more calm and quiet.

Best places to eat and drink

My favourite place is Malaysian Deli on Brockley Road, a family-run Malaysian restaurant I’m so lucky to have as my local. Everest Curry King on Loampit Hill is a no-frills canteen-style Sri Lankan place; really affordable, very unpretentious.

Joyce on Brockley Road is a wine bar with a nice selection of natural wines— they also have an affiliated shop on Coulgate Street called Salthouse Bottles. Fishy Business at Harefield Road is my favourite chippy as they use very fresh ingredients and Nu Spice on Coulgate Street is a great Caribbean spot. At Brockley Market, my favourite stall is Chubby Dumpling run by a father-daughter duo doing delicious dumplings.

Brockley Market: Rahel Stephanie’s favourite stall is Chubby Dumpling run by a father-daughter duo (Daniel Lynch)
Brockley Market: Rahel Stephanie’s favourite stall is Chubby Dumpling run by a father-daughter duo (Daniel Lynch)

Where I work out

I generally work out in my garden. I also live right next to Hilly Fields and it’s such a beautiful park. I’ve never really taken up running before but it’s so green and the views are so beautiful it’s really enjoyable doing laps around it.

For a culture fix

The Brockley Jack pub on Brockley Road has a theatre — it’s really cute and it’s been around forever. There’s also the Rivoli Ballroom where they have dances, film screenings and other events. It’s still got its original décor and fittings from the Fifties, it’s just gorgeous.

For green space

Hilly Fields is so nice I can walk over and watch the sun set if I want to. It’s got a cute café called Pistachio and sitting there enjoying the views over a cup of coffee isn’t something I’ve experienced in my neighbourhood before in London.

Berouz Bashir and Mateusz Nalecz of Marvellous Greens & Beans (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
Berouz Bashir and Mateusz Nalecz of Marvellous Greens & Beans (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)

Grocery shopping

You’ve got your usual Sainsbury’s and Co-op on the main road but I love cycling over to places like the Vietnamese stores in Deptford or Longdan in Lewisham for all my Asian food needs, stuff for my supper clubs and for my own Indonesian cooking as well. Deptford Market is only a 10-minute cycle away and it’s amazing for fruit and veg and the boot sales are super fun. Marvellous Greens & Beans in Brockley Rise is a sweet family-owned greengrocers and Brockley Market has a wealth of items by independent sellers.

Getting Around

A lot of people get the impression that Brockley’s quite far out but it’s extremely accessible. I’m blessed with the Overground because I can visit my friends in Hackney, Dalston and Shoreditch in 20 minutes. There are also trains from Lewisham and St Johns to central London. My partner recently introduced me to cycling to Lewisham station and taking the train to Charing Cross, which gets me to Chinatown in under an hour.

Malaysian Deli, a family-run Malaysian restaurant, on Brockley Road (@malaysiandeli)
Malaysian Deli, a family-run Malaysian restaurant, on Brockley Road (@malaysiandeli)

Dream street

I’m currently living on Tressillian Road and almost every time I’ve shared this with other residents they say, ‘Oh my gosh everyone wants to live on that street.’ It’s a gorgeous long street and extremely green. I’ve never lived anywhere as beautiful and residential as this.

Something you only see in Brockley

The views from Hilly Fields north to the city and south to the hills of south London are unique and it’s a luxury to have that next to you.

What’s the catch?

It is very residential, which can be a pro or a con. I’m not used to having to walk 10-15 minutes to a shop or the station but the streets are quiet and I’ve taken up cycling. It’s really safe but also hilly.

In three words

Green, peaceful, scenic.

What it costs to live in Brockley

Buying

Average flat price: £434,100

Average house price:£769,872

Renting

Average flat price: £1,545

Average house: £2,386

Source: Rightmove

Schools

John Stainer, Gordonbrock and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham Temple Grove are all outstanding-rated primary schools with other local primaries rated good. Secondary school Prendergast gets an Ofsted outstanding rating, too.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting