A few weeks ago, Yelp teamed up with the local community in Brixton to host a week-long event – Secret Brixton. The event was all about encouraging both locals and those who live in other parts of London to explore what Brixton has to offer.
If, like me, you grew up in or around London, you will have seen Brixton go from that place on the news you’re not allowed to go to without adults, to the place you go to get your hair did, to the place you go to visit family, to the place that suddenly has fancy-looking new build apartments, to – now – the place where your friends who move down to London from other cities are living(?!). Regardless of your thoughts on the major gentrification of Brixton, it’s undeniable that there is a real sense of community there, and there are lots of business – new and old – which are well worth a visit. Yelp’s Secret Brixton event gave us an opportunity to acquaint (or reacquaint) ourselves with some of them.
This was the meeting point for each of the Secret Brixton events. Pop is Brixton’s answer to Shoreditch’s Boxpark, but it is much more focused on the local community. The vast majority of businesses based in Pop are run by people who live or have previously lived/worked in Brixton or Lambeth. The council provides support to allow Pop to hire a number of spaces at a rate 10-50% lower than the market rate, making a real commitment to support the local entrepreneurs of the future. There’s lots to explore at Pop – from food to yoga – and you should definitely ‘pop’ over to World of Wurst to try a Root 56 cocktail – only £3.50 if you check in on the Yelp app!
Sugar + Style
This women’s boutique is a gem that I hadn’t come across before. If you’re a fan of crop tops, summery prints and co-ords, you’ll love this store as much as I did! They have an online store but to see the full range, you’re better off going in store. Their vast range of sunglasses especially caught my eye – and I had to bag myself a pair in addition to the pair they kindly gifted to us Yelpers!
Three Little Birds
This was our final stop for the Monday event – a Jamaican restaurant and bar. For any fans of The Apprentice, it is also the brain child of April Jackson (the feisty former Miss Jamaica) and she was actually there getting fully stuck in! We had a cocktail made exclusively for the Yelp event…and it blew our heads off! The cocktail was really tasty and very strong – all cocktails have Jamaican rum in them. However, the most memorable part of the cocktail was the taste of scotch bonnet rubbed around the rim of the glass 🔥 For food, we tried the Jerk burger – a beef burger with a twist. It was reeeeaaaal good. Three Little Birds serves food at all times of day, so I would love to go back and try the brunch. Another awesome new discovery thanks to Secret Brixton!
Brixton Food Court
This is a new addition to the already booming foodie scene in Brixton, and it’s a good’un! Yelp’s Friday event was focused on this food court which has a very international array of food trucks – everything from Peruvian to Jamaican – and a vibrant collection of street art. Most of the food we tried was pretty damn good but my favourite has to be Hot Chip – mainly because the ladies who run it are so fun! There are a couple of bars at the food court and some seating so it’s a great choice for dinner and drinks into the night.
Very much in keeping with the theme of the whole event, we ended Secret Brixton at the end of the week with a party in Brixton Pound. This shop is at the heart of the community, providing a space for local events and meetings, and is an outlet for the exchange of Pound Sterling to the Brixton Pound. B£ is all about keeping money flowing through the community and supporting local business. It’s an idea that has seen success in other cities as well, including Bristol and Liverpool, and apparently it will be coming soon to Hackney!
Yelp organised a brilliant event for rediscovering Brixton! I met some other Yelpers, found some new haunts and had fun times all round. To see what other events are coming up on the Yelp calendar, check out the site here.
What’s your favourite place in Brixton? Let me know in the comments!