Brixton on a Budget
Save to Collections
Ask any Brixton resident - or non-local know-it-all - and they'll tell you the word that best describes SW2 is 'community'. This is the cultural superhub of South London, with live music, food and nightlife scenes all flourishing happily alongside more established communities.
All this means there is plenty to explore; you could spend a day just following interesting sounds, smells and sights, but could you do it for less than 20 big ones? Let's find out.
CHILL - 2pm
Duck into Brixton Village and make a beeline for this charming little coffee spot. You might have to wait a hot minute for a table, especially if you want a window seat (which you do), but that's only because caffeine here is of the highest quality: the beans are roasted round the corner and made with skill by some seriously charming staff.
Grab that coveted window cotch and watch the market as it buzzes around you, knowing that you'll be entering the horde shortly.
Spend so far: £2.70
BROWSE - 3pm
Once you're suitably relaxed, throw it all out of the window and join the masses of the Village. Historically a place for Afro-Caribbean food stuffs, Brixton Village has grown in recent years to include a range of excellent restaurants, vintage clothes, and trickety places alongside the butchers, grocers and exotic foodstores that made this place a place.
Peruse at your leisure - we've been tempted by a (probably overpriced) blood orange and chilli marmalade and set ourselves back just under a fiver.
Spend so far: £7.45
EAT - 4.30pm
All that (unsuccessful) bargain hunting has worked us up an appetite, so from a traditional market to a far more modern affair, we're heading to Pop Brixton for some shipping-container-contained street food offerings. There's plenty to choose from, but it's ramen for us.
Quick, cheap and delicious, this is how ramen should be (minus the paper bowl). The rich miso broth and fatty pork is enough to fill us up, but the punchy pickles and crunchy veg keep things fresh. You can add an egg for 50p, but we're demonstrating our self control in the name of the budget.
Spend so far: £13.95
SEE - 5pm
This mini photo gallery couldn't be more inconspicuous if it tried. First you've got to locate the small glass door with the tiniest of signs amongst the bustle of Electric Lane, then you need to buzz up and ask to come in, then you need to get past the initial confusion of walking into what appears to be a Snappy Snaps/chemist.
But swing a quick 180 and you'll find a small-but-bright area that holds regular displays of interesting and inventive photography. The space loops round into different sections, with the curved walls providing an interesting display space for the pictures.
Spend so far: 13.95
Swipe for more
Popcorn on Reliance Arcade
You might have noticed the smell of popcorn when you left the station, and you'll be glad to hear that you're not having a stroke, it's just this humble popcorn peddler at the entrance of Reliance Arcade. Bag a small cup for the walk.
Spend so far: £14.45
DO - 5.30pm
When someone said there was an actual windmill in Briccy, we laughed right in their face. But, turns out they were right (sorry, Brian). Now, it's a bit of a trek, so you might wanna get the bus four stops, but our travel card has expired and we wanna walk off some of that ramen.
After a 15 minute bop it was a bit of a disappointment, what with its sails being down. But the park itself is pretty nice, with a little community garden and some well-meaning folk doing tai chi. If you get here for 4.30pm you can catch a free tour - but we didn't so it's a 5/10 from us.
Spend so far: £14.45
DRINK - 6pm
Luckily the big old walk to this end of Brixton wasn't in vain, because it's landed us right next to an iconic, ramshackle music venue/boozer, perfect for us thirsty folk (it's almost as if we planned it).
The Windmill has long been a place to come to spot up-and-coming bands alongside some names your coolest uncle might have heard of. We're here pretty early so it's quiet, but grab a pint (they're all £4.50 which is the kind of streamlined pricing system we admire) and celebrate a day well spent.
Overall Spend: £18.95