Leafy and relaxing are two words often associated with Brockley. And, while true, they don't do the South London neighbourhood enough justice. Ever since the introduction of an Overground line, those living in Brockley have enjoyed excellent connections to the rest of London.
With great connections comes more interest from businesses. The last few years have seen a wealth of artsy cafés and independent shops pop up in the SE4 postcode, offering a different side to a postcode known for its conservation area.
These days, Brockley joins other creative neighbourhoods like Deptford as an area with a little bit of something for everyone.
Jones of Brockley
If you’re living in Brockley and looking for a local food store, head to Jones of Brockley. The family-run shop stocks a broad range of well-made products. Some of which include fresh bread, cheese, wines, beers and ice creams.
Make sure you try the ice cream sandwich, no matter the season — summer or winter! Most neighbourhoods offer a local Tesco or Sainsbury’s. But in the case of Brockley, you can enjoy homemade delights on a daily basis.
Brockley is well known for its outside spaces, and Hilly Fields is a favourite with the locals. Dedicated to the public since 1896, Hilly Fields is the ideal spot for a day out in the sun or a brisk autumn walk. Go for a stroll and enjoy impressive views of the City of London.
Relax at the designated picnic area and enjoy a monthly local farmers’ market. For sports enthusiasts, there’s a cricket pitch, three tennis courts, a basketball court and football pitch. Round your visit off with a trip to Pistachios in the Park, the local café at Hilly Fields.
Find at London SE4 1QA
Jack Studio Theatre
Set inside a local pub, Jack Studio Theatre is an intimate performance space and local community leader. Led by Kate Bannister and Karl Swinyard, who were awarded best venue directors by the Fringe, Jack Studio shows a range of cutting-edge performances.
As well as great plays, there are regular writers’ workshops that help new talent hone their skills. While the Scratch night takes place every two months and hosts six performances over 90 minutes. Each show is 10 minutes or less during Scratch.
The Orchard Bar & Kitchen
Brockley’s gastropub contribution comes in the form of The Orchard Bar & Kitchen. Relax in the lounge and get to know other residents living in Brockley while sipping back on a few craft brews. Or head to the dining room for a three-course meal.
The Orchard Bar & Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as its legendary Caravan coffee. The interiors are light and bright, with a splash of rustic decoration that goes well with the leather chairs and wood tables.
Browns of Brockley
Espresso lovers, get ready to embrace your new favourite coffee shop. Browns of Brockley enjoy a legendary reputation as one of the best places to get a hot brew. The light and airy coffee shop also has a selection of homemade sandwiches and cakes.
But it’s all about the beans at Browns. With some of the best coffee in South East London, it’s easy to see why people keep coming back. There’s a real community feel at Browns too, and the homemade cookies aren’t too bad either!
Most areas only get one great coffee shop if they're lucky. Those living in Brockley, however, are spoilt for choice. The Broca is an artsy coffee shop serving up delightful coffee such as the soya flat. There's also a selection of homemade snacks.
If you're feeling peckish, go for the sourdough toastie or try the gluten-free brownie. Many local artists hang out in The Broca. You can find your own inspiration with quirky settings and sugar-free muffins.
Quaint and cosy, The Gantry is one of the top dining spots in Brockley. Relax in front of the fireplace during the winter as you tuck into nibbles, finger foods and full-course meals. Or head there during the summer and enjoy a drink or two in the hidden garden.
The Gantry caters to a range of needs, whether you're popping in for a solo snack or trying to impress on date night. Stone floors and a mixture of marble and wood tables add to the vibes, which helps create a quirky atmosphere at The Gantry.
The Rivoli Ballroom
Step back in time at The Rivoli Ballroom, which is an elegant venue in the heart of Brockley. It’s one of the last remaining intact 1950s ballrooms and was designed by Henley Attwater in 1913. The maple dance floor means you can dance the night away without worrying about heavy feet.
The venue has a 1950/60s vintage look and has previously hosted gigs from Kings of Leon, Florence and the Machine and Noel Gallagher. The Rivoli Ballroom is your chance to live the lavish life in Brockley for a few hours.
Living in Brockley
Brockley residents won’t shy away from telling you great the neighbourhood is. And it’s that strong community spirit that makes living in Brockley so appealing. If you’re into independent shops, local bars and extensive open spaces, then it might just be time to move to SE4.