Brixton, London, SW2

Our 10 day stay in Brixton was all about catching up with Adam and meeting his beautiful fiancée, Jacque, in person for the first time. The added bonus was meeting Jacque’s mum and stepdad, Deb and Tom, who traveled over from Denver at the same time. Tom’s cousin Frederique even made a day trip from Paris to join us for lunch. We felt very lucky to meet and spend time with our new family over a few days.

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Sue, Dave, Deb, Tom, Jacque, Adam

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Adam, Jacque, Deb, Frederique, Tom

It was important to us that we find accommodation close to Adam & Jacque’s Clapham home and after searching on airbnb we finally decided on this Brixton flat. Just a 10 minute walk to their place and brilliantly close to everything in the village and the underground station. We were very satisfied with this flat, and we’d happily stay there again.

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One great advantage of staying in a self catering flat is just that – self catering.

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Most of our days were gloriously clear.

Brixton is a great town crowded with markets, cafes, music and colour. We found fascinating marketplaces with fresh produce, clothing, junk, cafes. Incredible food options, and cheap, that had us almost swooning.  We thoroughly enjoyed the edgeiness and culture. It seems to be a multi-ethnic community, the people we saw on the streets and markets were from Caribbean and African regions. Lots of vibrant colours, amazing smells from the restaurants & markets, music and noise. Fabulous intricate hairstyles on women and children, sometimes the men. We felt safe and relaxed all the time and tried to immerse ourselves in our surroundings.

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There were several fish stalls like this

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An intriguing variety of meats, lots of different cuts and offal.

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Lots of cheap fruit & veg. No junk food required.

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In Christchurch we saw how shipping containers were utilised as cafes and offices when the place was destroyed by earthquakes. Here in Brixton, shipping containers define quirky arty retail and cafe spaces. We got caught up in the heady aromas of coffee and spices, sounds of steel bands and Caribbean accents. Loved being here, it just felt great.

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For a 2-3 day visit to a major city it probably makes sense to stay in the city, close to all the major sites. We try to look for fringe areas of a city, stay a bit longer wherever possible. For one thing it is often (but not always) cheaper and we can get about the streets and shops like everyone else without the tourist traps. As long as we’re close to pubic transport we’re happy. We usually walk everywhere so we get to feel part of the place. Not necessarily “like a local” but connected nonetheless.

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Bike hangars in many of the suburban streets.

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Amazing wall murals in the Brixton overground train station.

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Unfortunately this part of the station is very dark and uninviting so not many would get to appreciate this art.

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Chalk wall art. No introduction required.

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This was our fourth visit to London and each time we’ve stayed in a different area around the city. I recommend to people to give areas like Brixton a go, check out airbnb, try not to rush around too much to see all the major sights. Sit in local cafes, walk the streets and observe the surroundings, if time permits.

We’ll be back in London early December, to house sit a little kitty in Peckham, another “interesting” area of edgy London. It will be wonderful to be close to Adam and Jacque again with the opportunity to celebrate birthdays together, something that hasn’t happened for years.

 

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