Sunday, 6 May 2012

First Impressions on Earth

I could say that I have been living here in this city time enough to feel comfortable with it structure, and be able to get a feeling of what to do and where to go easily. It is exactly at this point in which my 'sponginess' for knowledge is used as a base to start collecting 'The best of...'. 

It is right now when I carry my little black book of Greatest Hits and start jotting down ideas and places. And it cannot be denied that feeling comfortable in a place enough to want to come back it is definitely a winning situation. A little coffee place, a restaurant, a favourite dish or drink and just want to take your friends there all the time.

This happened this weekend. After some time wasted spent trying to find something appealing or decent to do around Bermondsey, unexplored area for me, gut feeling told me to go further down South to Brixton. My friend M directed me to Brixton Market. It was 6-ish, time for stalls and stands to be closing down. Remains of wrapping film, fruit skins and washing water on the floor was a clear sign of the end of the trade time. Inside the corridors of the market, after a bit of doubt of where exactly to go and what did we wanted, we ended up in Seven at Brixton.

M had been there before, eating some churros before. I was strangely craving for some cake and a cup of coffee, as unfortunately this spring is not proving very warm. Our first instinct moved us to seat on the booths, next to the working heater and probably thinking about using the blankets that were availble. A traditional paper luggage tag advised us that the table was reserved, so we headed to the bar sitting on the stools, facing the market alleyway. 

While amused by the Menu reigned by Spanish dished and the presence of Tarta de Santiago, again, we instinctively looked back to the main bar, to find a big collection of books carefully  organised by colour, like a colour pencil case, and next to them, a pile of board games. Without not much hesitation, we went for Connect 4. Another clever turning back to explore the place, we found a passage that headed to the upstairs floor. Even though we had just ignored the hint from the amicable waiter about the presence of the second floor, it wasn't until that second that we decided to keep being explorative and see what was in there.

The passage was mystically lighted by dozens of white thick candles, like in a castle. Only lighted by that cosy candle light, but almost in the darkness, we headed up, climbing the narrow and stiff stairs to that second floor. This new area, also barely lit, was the entrance hall to different rooms. A big watch on the wall with all number 7s reinforced the name of the place.

On a very exploratory scan of the floor, the first impression was that the place looked a bit like a squat. However, the quirkiness of the place, the randomness of the furniture and the different decoration of each room removed all oddness that just lasted a couple of seconds.

We decided to sit in one of the rooms that faced the market, with a big window that allowed the bright light from the street to come inside. The room was covered in wall paper with an amusing pattern of blue ink scribbles, sketches, faces, people. As it could be represented on a film, the paper had been ripped off (on purpose) giving the slight impression of a madhouse or an abandon house.

Looking at it closer, it certainly was a very amusing piece of art, that as soon as we sat in, we started to capture on camera. An even closer look gave us more information about the author: Adam Hemuss. It was definitely impressive.

Once sat down, M and I decided that the place was certainly a pleasant surprise and it had been a really good choice us adventuring ourselves into the second floor of this very interesting place.

While catching up, and still amused by all the visual stimulus, we reaffirmed ourselves in our choice of churros with hot chocolate and Tarta de Santiago. The warm cinnamon and sugar covered churros and the very moist Tarta gave us energy to recover from the cold and go back into business: Connect 4. 

Full of joy and full of victory, after finishing our treats, we decided to head home and write down this place's address for future reference in our little black books. We certainly loved it.

Needless to say, I won to M three times. But that's another story.

Follow Seven at Brixton  and Adam Hemuss  on Twitter.

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