A sizzling slice of Spain came to chilly Brixton last night when Gremio de Brixton opened in the unlikely location underneath St Matthew’s Church just off Windrush Square.
Their opening night poster promised “the taste of Spain in the heart of Brixton” and it delivered, with an authentically Iberian flavour in the crypt of the church’s rib-vaulted underbelly.
Formerly Babalou, the tapas bar and club now features an exclusively Spanish wine list (with bottles of vino tinto starting at around £15), Spanish beers such as Mahou from Madrid and tasty tapas including tortilla. Even on a sub-zero midweek March night, the cosy, candle-lit room was buzzing contendedly with cosy chicos y chicas.
A more extensive menu and live music will follow soon, but for now, punters can expect an atmospherically candle-lit room with framed vintage photos of matadors, flamenco dancers and Catholic imagery, vases of fresh flowers, old fruit crates re-purposed as counters, friendly staff and a Spanish soundtrack of folk songs and covers.
We can only expect the fiesta to get more fiery as our overly long winter thaws and a Spanish summer takes hold in the heart of Brixton.
Review & photos by Sophie Lam. You can follow Gremio de Brixton on Twitter @GremioBrixton.