After what has been a somewhat tumultuous week, filled with shock, bewilderment and total confusion (to put it lightly) a trip to The States right now is perhaps not top of everyone’s to-do lists (the exchange rate certainly doesn’t help matters) but the good news is that we can get a slice of America without actually having to go to cross the pond by hopping on the Victoria Line and heading south to Brixton where you can find Big Apple Brixton.
Over the Summer it was better known as Brixton Beach, but now they’ve turned the rooftop space into a scene from New York in the 1970s; drawing inspiration from iconic venues such as Studio 54 and the Harlem Apollo. Now you can go back in time with a selection of themed bars, a night club, private rooms and New York inspired street food.
The venue has a capacity for 1000 people, which is huge! Throughout there are a selection of themed bars, club rooms and private areas available to hire for up to 20 people, and each has a specific theme based around 70’s era NYC, telling its own story. They each have a lockable door and your own server ensuring you and your guests have the best time possible. Of course these rooms can be multi-booked should your party exceed 20 guests. But this isn’t a place just for private bookings, and there is plenty of seating available for small groups of friends looking to enjoy drinks, food and music four nights a week.
I went along last night with the TimeOut Tastemaker (search #TOTastemaker on Insta & Twitter for pics) crew that I am a member of (I write reviews for them, check those out over here!) and we were kindly given some lovely vouchers for a few freebies – a selection of drinks (though tragic loser that I am, I’m not drinking this month in preparation for a heavy December so my vouchers went on Ginger Beer) and a delicious dish from one of the street food stalls. The selection of New York themed street food options isn’t vast, but it is very New York-y, with pizzas, burgers and the carb based star of the moment, Mac n Cheese!
Mac To The Future firstly win the award (in my own personal awards ceremony for all things brilliant) for the best branding of any street food vendor, EVER. Back To The Future is one of my all time favourite films (as it should be everyone’s!) so naturally I was drawn to the concession which was showing the best bits of the franchise on a small screen, giving you something to watch while the team (complete with the shiny holographic caps from the 2015 of the future) freshly cook up your order.
The menu celebrates all elements of the film, with each dish named after either a different character or a feature of the film. They’ve missed a trick not called their Mac n Cheese Sourdough Toastie the Marty MacFly, but the rest of the menu is pretty spot on. The DeLorean with Chorizo (pic above) was a popular choice amongst my fellow diners but I couldn’t resist going for their special of the evening, The Blue Great Scott, with a sprinkling of parmesan and nutty breadcrumbs for added texture. It was creamy, with a deep, rich and intense blue cheese flavour; the nuts in the breadcrumbs gave the occasional sweet pinch which contrasted beautifully with the saltiness of the blue.
For cold, winter nights, there is little more comforting than a steaming, delicious bowl of Mac n Cheese to wrap your hands around, and it’s a big serving too, perfect for the hungry and/or greedy! But what can you do to make this more comforting, you ask? Perhaps a sweet, steaming cup of spiced mulled wine or cider, available from the bars situated beneath the covered rooftop. If a hot cup of something mulled isn’t your thing, there are also cocktails available, as well as beers and ciders on tap.
The space is open Thursdays through to Sundays (you can find opening times here) and will be open to visitors through until the 1st January 2017 (so you don’t actually have long to check it out for yourself!) Though there are patio heaters dotted around and there and a canope stretching out across the seating area, this place IS outside and it is chilly, so make sure you wrap up warm, or order enough drinks to warm you up from the inside to avoid losing the feeling in your extremities! And a word of advice to my fellow ladies – the toilets are chilly. You’re going to want to perfect the art of squatting to avoid plonking your cheeks down on the freezing cold seats!
Brixton has become such a wonderful hub of fantastic eating and drinking opportunities that, thanks to the night tube, can stretch well into the early hours on a weekend, and Big Apple Brixton has added to this. It is a real destination for fun and delicious nights out and the team that run this space have done well to ensure that it has been able to morph seamlessly into the colder winter months. And if it gives us a chance to experience the Big Apple without having to get too close to a particular personification of a fart, all the better!