Thursday Nights at the Beach?

We have something different and extremely exciting for our August Venue of the Month Feature. I have spent a lot of time in London over the past few weeks attending meetings, trade shows and new product launches and I heard a lot of hushed whispers about a Thursday night BBQ beach party! That’s right, a beach party. In London. On Thursday nights. This was something I had to see, for the purpose of work of course!

Thursday night came around and I made my way to the venue, lilo and armbands in tow. The Brixton Rooftop Bar is situated in the heart of Southwest London and goes a long way towards maintaining the modern, affluent and trendy image of the area. The event itself, “Brixton Beach’s BBQ Thursday”, is set on Brixton’s rooftop beach just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Brixton market, making the relaxing, sunny-holiday atmosphere the perfect escape from the sweltering city rush.

Since the launch of Brixton Rooftop in November 2015, the Space Bars team have hosted a number of innovative pop-up events, providing South London with unique and entertaining experiences whilst creating a space that is welcoming for people to simply just have some food and drink. By creating an individual and interesting space for like-minded people to meet, eat and drink on weekends and after work; Brixton Rooftop creates a fun and engaging narrative to inspire high level production, showcasing some of London’s best street food and seasonal cocktails.

I speak to a lot of hospitality venue owners who are looking to do something unique to build up a big buzz about their establishment, but a lack of space always tends to be a bit of a problem. These weekly events prove that you can achieve remarkable things in spaces that you wouldn’t think it would be possible to do so. Guests are invited to the beach every Thursday evening throughout the summer for “Brixton Beach BBQ Takeovers”, where London’s BBQ specialists and chefs take over for one evening filled with mouth-watering food, creative cocktails, Latino beats and Salsa sessions, making for an ideal Thursday evening, spent enjoying the spoils of the British summer.

On this particular Thursday, Brixton Beach welcomed Tim Anderson, MasterChef winner and founder of Japanese soul food sensation Nanban, to host a Japanese inspired rooftop BBQ filled with bold flavours and foreign influences. Tim curated a one-off menu featuring a Yakitori Trio; chicken thigh and spring onion with a sesame glaze; chicken breast with pickled plum and shiso or chicken and shiitake meatballs with yuzu glaze. I have to confess to trying all three (washed down nicely with gin & tonic, then Pimm’s), and each was absolutely exquisite. Those after a meatier feast could tuck in to Teriyaki Ox Cheek served with watercress and a sweet onion salad. Also on the menu is Nanban’s famous Umami Chips, with mushroom-seaweed salt and a miso-parmesan mayo.

There’s another exciting event approaching at Brixton Beach at the end of this month (24th August), when they celebrate their pre-carnival party, in collaboration with Guadeloupean bokits specialists, Bokit’La. For one night, the beach is transformed into a Caribbean fiesta, taking guests on a trip to the streets of Havana, complete with steel bands set to transport guests to a beachside paradise. The Beach BBQ takeover will see Bokit’La serve up a storm with their Guadeloupean special sandwiches, Bokits, filled with chicken, salt fish or their new vegan aubergine.

Every Thursday, Brixton Beach also welcomes Richard Voogt from Dsantos Dance UK to host Salsa sessions on the beach, where beginners to professionals are invited to sashay the nights away while being transported to the heart of Havana by DJ Dennis The Chemist.

As someone who frequents a variety of different hospitality venues regularly, I can honestly say that I haven’t seen anything like this. “Brixton Beach’s BBQ Thursday” is only on throughout the summer, so if you haven’t been yet, add this to your bucket list. The organisers prove that space is not an issue if you want to offer something unique. They serve fresh, sizzling, flame grilled food and refreshing, fruity drinks on a rooftop beach in a busy city. If they can produce something so perfect and unique in a space-limited location, then what is your excuse?