Sunday, 1 May 2011
Federation Coffee - Brixton SW9
My trip to check out Federation Coffee today reminded me of my early days living in London in 1999 when I shared a house in Streatham Hill with three really good friends, Beth, Steph and Paul. I had forgotten how fast the Victoria Line tube trains go between Vauxhall and Stockwell (seriously folks, it's like a roller coaster), then as the escalator took me up towards the rowdy reality of Brixton, I was suddenly a wide-eyed 29 year old Aussie again (please don't calculate how old that makes me now - it's just cruel). Turning left on to Brixton Road and then left again on to Coldharbour Lane, I gave a friendly nod to the good old Ritzy Cinema and as I walked I remembered late night adventures on this very thoroughfare, trying to look cool and "street" and then ending up with a cling film wrapped piece of tree bark, or a baggie of chamomile tea. It has really changed very little in 12 years (although no-one offered me spliff today) and my old haunts, Club 414 and the Dogstar are still there. What wasn't familiar was Brixton Village Market - or at least it's current incarnation as a home for various funky eateries. I seem to remember this as a pretty uninspiring and slightly dodgy shopping arcade but it is really cool now. Inside is Federation Coffee - dispenser of fine caffeinated beverages to SW9 locals (and coffee tourists like me).
Friendly Kiwis behind the counter, cool little shop, delicious looking brownies and a really great flat white (made with Nude beans) - this is a cracker of a place. After my coffee I had some scrambled eggs on toast at a really cute little cafe just down from Federation called the Relay Tea Room and felt very content with the world. I am keen to come back and check out more of the food on offer in the rejuvenated Brixton Village Market - sounds like there are lots of cool activities going on as well, apparently Felix from Basement Jaxx was DJing in the market the other night. I'm sure if you live anywhere near SW9 you already know about Federation Coffee and Brixton Village Market but for you others I would definitely recommend a trip down south to check it out.