Seven’s Facebook page describes it as a ‘new food, drink and art concept’: don’t worry, though, it’s really just a vaguely Spanish-style bar in one of Brixton’s covered markets, and a rather nice one too.
It joins the likes of Franco Manca and Rosie’s in Market Row as one of the new independent ventures that have set up among the Caribbean veg shops and hair salons in the area.
Opposite the intriguing-sounding Original Products Ltd (‘candles, cushions, statues’), a basic unit has been fitted with mismatched furniture and a bar; a tangle of flexes above supply the bare-filament bulbs.
Up a rickety staircase, a giant Anglepoise lamp illuminates one of a series of rooms decked out like a surrealist gallery stuck in a squat.
Cocktails are straightforward and made with care – from a neat menu printed on a luggage tag, we chose a strong, honeyed Old Fashioned and a Bramble, served in a vintage teacup with a little cake on the saucer. Beers are Iberian too, and among the compact wine list there’s a very passable cava by the glass for £4.
All the staff seem young, incredibly enthusiastic and uncommonly friendly – although not even that could warm the place up on the chilly December night we visited. Like most of the premises in these Brixton Markets, it has a big open front and not much heating – best wrap up.
Conveniently for any visitors with woollen mittens on, much of the food here comes on sticks – it’s of the Spanish pinchos variety. From an array that includes anchovy, chilli and tomato, or chorizo and manchego, diners help themselves and pay by the skewer at the end; prices soon add up, so the hungry might be better choosing one of the sharing plates or a bigger dish, like the simple prawns with garlic and chilli.
It’s open in the day, too, for brunch, lunch and coffee, serving items such as churros and hot sandwiches. Seven feels very DIY and suffers not a bit from it, ‘concept’ or not.