By Tyler Lewis
Header image courtesy of Gruff Limited
Before opening on Christmas Eve, Edmund Bing and Emily Conway promised that their new bar would not be “a carbon copy of The Orchard” and would have “a personality all of it’s own”. This was an interesting statement considering The Orchard, a bright and open restaurant which opened 8 years ago and begun the gentrification of the Brockley area, has been met with overwhelming success and praise. But keeping to their promise, Brickfields, which sits in what the locals refer to as “Midtown Brockley”, sticks out like a sore thumb.
Unlike other restaurants in the area Brickfields is not bright, rustic, or open plan. Instead, the new bar is an intimate art deco inspired space which from the outside would be better suited to Soho then South East London. But for some strange reason the bar makes sense, a breath of fresh air moving away from the coffee shops and avocado loving deli’s which surround it. Plus, it’s a hit!
Packed to the brim with young professionals and creatives in what seems like a scene from The Great Gatsby, every chair is taken and customers hustle around the bar clinging to their espresso martini’s, Aperol spritz, and pints of Camden Hells. There is an unexpected intimacy in the dimly lit hangout with each group isolated in a world of their own. An old book shelf in the corner creates a homely feel and the low hanging lights add to the 1920’s edge. A 3ft gold pineapple construction is placed upon the middle of the wall, beautifully tacky and made better by it’s unnecessary opulence.
At the back of the bar exists a second room which goes completely unnoticed until you find yourself on the way to the bathroom. In here the buzz of the main room disappears and is replaced by a grown up and relaxed mood, pairs sit at tables sipping glasses of wine. It’s as if it’s a secret room that the energetic youth by the bar don’t know exists.
As well as beer, wine and cocktails, Brickfields has a small but intriguing food menu. With nothing costing more than £9 the prices are reasonable and consist of well known dishes all with a fancy twist: mac ‘n cheese croquettes and venison sausage rolls are just a few examples. Maybe they’re slightly eccentric, but as the kitchen nails the taste of all the dishes they’re allowed to be.
As the evening winds down and people begin to leave there’s room to take a seat on a bar stool or at a table. The candle lit room is screaming for you to take a date there and offers a perfect escape from the busy Brockley Road outside.
Brickflields is the perfect addition to a changing Brockley. It adds another a dimension to the town making it both cool and grown up.