The Times on Brockley: The Hampstead of the South East

The Times has followed the Guardian with a review of Brockley, getting in ahead of the East London Line opening in May.

It's a pretty glowing tribute to SE4 and it's nice to see some local favourites like Jam Circus and Degustation get a mention. Here's an excerpt:

Today, leafy and laced with quirky bars, the area is described as the “Hampstead of the South East” — and for the price of an indifferent apartment in the real Hampstead, buyers can secure grand, seven-bedroom family homes and a commute little more arduous. But the famously arty locals are braced: the East London line extension — to open within months — will alert buyers to this secret pocket in reach of the City Where is it?

56 comments:

ppp said...

LMAO- The Hampstead of the South East, has the person who coined that phrase been to Hampstead or Brockley for that matter?

Michael said...

Hooray!

This is a fantastic bit of press, it's far more specific to the area than the Guardian's piece and is more generous too.

They've way overpriced the housing market though. There are loads of 2 bed conversion flats for less than that. Bit odd, I think. A great article all the same though.

Newbie said...

I moved from Hampstead to Brockley last month - have already learned to treat Nunhead Cemetery as the Heath. Main thing I miss is a great greengrocer. Or any greengrocer.

I at first read that as Frank Burnside from The Bill being in charge of Brock Jack theatre. And I boggled.

Anonymous said...

Hampstead is not a very a nice area. Too many rich foreigners and no real sense of community. It could be lovely if it had a more genuine feel with less atmoisation.

Brockley Kate said...

Yay! See, Guardian, this is how it should be done. Take note, slackers.

Brockley Jon said...

Although as Michael says, they could have got the prices closer to the mark - £250k is much more realistic for a 2 bedder.

Tamsin said...

A bit off beam on the Farmers Market too - surely she means Second Saturday rather than First Sunday (or is there another one I was not aware of....)

Tamsin said...

At Michael and Brockley Jon - presumably briefed by the Estate Agents who want to get these over-priced items off their books to Hampstead types who will know no better.

Brockley Kiwi said...

I'm happy to sell my flat for £389k if there is a queue of excitable north London yuppies at the local estate agents on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

@anon

If you've found Nunhead cemetary try the greengrocer on Evelina Rd. The shop looks a bit grotty but the produce is great. And the bakers there is fabulous too.

M said...

Hampstead? Brockley is clearly the Stoke Newington of the south! Great review apart from that and the overinflated property prices though.

Bea said...

"The Hampstead of the South East" is how my family described Lewisham when they first came to visit me in Brockley. I think they were thinking of housing stock and green open spaces with views.

Of course, the Heath is much larger and I’ve heard lots more posh shops have opened in the 13 years since I lived there.

But agree with another poster the community spirit in Brockley is very different and, in my opinion, preferable.

Would disagree with the writer “and a commute little more arduous”! The commute from Brockley is a thousand times better than struggling with the Northern Line despite our complaints about overcrowded trains.

Moira said...

Great that a number of places were mentioned including Brockley Max, whose first public meeting is this Tuesday (9th) from 8pm at the Orchard. (Sorry about the plug). email info at brockleymax.co.uk if you'd like to be on the mailing list.

Anonymous said...

Hi Newbie, try the Broca supermarket on the Westside, great organic & local produce. Fresh herbs and quite a good selection to choose from. Fresh organic meat too, when available. No more M&S at London Bridge for me anymore!

drakefell debaser said...

The grocers in Nunhead is good as is the Broca Food Market which is only up the road from there.

I think Kilburn shares more in common with Brockley than Hampstead - more edge, and not so prone to being up its own fundament.

Saying that, the last time I went to Hampstead I found myself in an illegal basement bar run by dodgy Bulgarians.

Anonymous said...

The Standard of English is appalling.

The Oracle said...

Wait for the Evening Standard's coverage.

Tamsin said...

It's a different language - journalese. I find myself writing it in e-mails and suchlike.

welcome to 2010 said...

Well oracle last time you predicted it was going to be the telegraph that wrote about brockley. so instead of the standard should we be waiting for the metro? ;)

Brockley Kate said...

Actually, Blackheath is more like Hampstead really. They have a heath and everything.
I'd be happy to settle for 'the Stokie of the south-east' instead.
New Cross - the Camden of the south-east?
Dulwich - the Belsize Park of the south-east?
I could go on ...

Brockley Kate said...

But who's the Muswell Hill of the south-east???? That's the real question ...

Brockley Nick said...

One day, Hamstead will be described as the Brockley of the North. Then our work will be done.

Monkeyboy said...

I was brought up and schooled in muswell hill. Nice cinema.

Anonymous said...

Is this article in the newspaper itself, or just online?

It's much better than the Guardian one - though a shame to give misleading prices for the flat - and what's this nonsense about a harder commute?

Have any big houses sold in Brockley recently? The Red House has just gone back on the market at a reduced price, and the one on St Margarets Rd has been on at the same price for many months. Nice of the Times to give us a boost, but I'm not holding my breath about it being the new Hampstead....not sure I want it to be, either.

Danja said...

Heh, Nick. I am surprised you haven't had more incoming for that (yet).

John said...

So where are all the 'arty' locals hiding?

M said...

Try the Open Studios weekend John. It's on every year.

Brockley Nick said...

@John that's a curious question, given that the lead story on this site currently is about a local dancer in the semis of a national dance competition and given that arts festival organiser Moira has posted about the Brockley MAX in the thread above you. But click on the "art" tag in the tag cloud to see dozens of stories about the local arts scene...

patrick1971 said...

Funny to read about Brockley as "the Hampstead of the south". I don't live in the conservation area and very rarely pass through it, but the other week I did walk up from Crofton Park across Hilly Fields to meet a friend at the Talbot. I was struck afresh at the richness of the Victorian architecture and the wide, open streets, and it did at the time put me in mind of Hampstead.

I'm clearly wasted in banking; I should be a property journalist!

Anonymous said...

So what's the sex life like on Hilly Fields compared to Hampstead Heath?

Anonymous said...

John, you can't move for artists, actors and musicians round here. Where have YOU been hiding?? :-)

Daaaahling said...

Not to mention the multitudes of other media luvvies, some of whom are responsible for this marvellous blog.

tyrwhitt ali said...

The big house on Tressillian Road has gone under offer in the last week or so. That was on for over a million.

And I believe the local teenagers make use of Hilly Fields of an evening. Or that's what Monkeyboy tells me.

Tamsin said...

But to get some gen on the next big art event you would have to hit the Telegraph Hill tag. For some reason (Nick?) Hillaballoo, the Equiano Plinth and the Telegraph Hill Festival (every March) do not warrant an "Art" label.

Brockley Nick said...

Hillaballoo has a tag of its own. The Telegraph Hill festival is, I think, tagged Telegraph Hill.

The Equiano plinth story probably preceeded the introduction of the "art" label.

Plus, of course, it's a all a conspiracy to deny Telegraph Hill's artistic contribution ;)

Monkeyboy said...

At like rabits they were, and on public funded benches.

Anonymous said...

oh no this means it's going to be even harder to buy somewhere now - there are way too many people looking to buy as it is

drakefell debaser said...

So what's the sex life like on Hilly Fields compared to Hampstead Heath?

We should get George Michael to pay us a visit and tell us.

Anonymous said...

Nice piece. The cat is slowly being let out of the bag. Once that line is up and running I think we'll see accelerated progress in the area.

Tamsin said...

@ Nick - indeed and that is where I found them. But can't items have more than one tag so both "Telegraph Hill" and "Art" might be appropriate.
Except then I wouldn't be able to enjoy my conspiracy theorising...

ppp said...

Sorry I am somewhat off message, what does national newspaper hype do for this area?

love detective said...

house prices?

Mungdifference said...

About as much as 'upmarket' shops - supposedly something, in actuality nothing really!

Anonymous said...

Whereas the 'downmarket' shops provide betting slips and chicken bones.

Anonymous said...

The drip-drip-drip of this type of publicity raises awareness of the area, making it less likely people will confuse us with Bromley or a type of vegetable.

There is a certain pleasure to be had in living in an area that is described from time to time as "London's best kept secret", and I'm in two minds as to whether overall it's a good thing or a bad thing. I like the quietness of Brockley, and would rather keep that than have a greater choice of amenities locally but be fighting over them with a load of exiles from more up-market areas who've fallen for the "Hampstead of the South East" tag! We do need to be careful what we wish for.

John said...

M, I have tried the open studios and very interesting it was too. However, none of the artists that I spoke to lived in Brockley. Perhaps Brockley is the new Hollywood owing to the Brockley Jack Film Club??

Nick, I accept your point about the local dancer but I'm sure there's a civil engineer living somewhere in Brockley; does that make it a haven for civil engineers? As for the Max festival...well Nunhead has an arts festival. Haye-on-Wye has a book festival; is it full of authors?

Anon, I hold my hands up! I've never met an artist/musician in Brockley.

Listen guys and girls, don't get upset by my comments. I know it's 'cool' and 'hip' to have artists living in the area. I just don't see or meet them except when I visit studios.

Tamsin said...

@Anon 17.06 - quite. Arguably the only people who want to talk an area up are those who want out.

And although an infux of those with disposable incomes is good for the independent local busisnesses there can be too much of a good thing, and then the whole nature of the area changes.

@John - that's odd. My impression has always been that most of the artists exhibiting lived "over the shop".

John said...

The reason why these articles are good for the area (in some people's eyes anyway) is that it will attract people to the area which, in turn, will increase property prices. This means that wealthier people will move into the area with wealthier tastes. Those people who moved into the area before it was expensive will then benefit from the upsurge in certain types of shops and facilities and they can then feel content that they now live in an area more akin to the one that they were raised.

BaronBrockley said...

Talking up an area is a personal thing, for a whole host of reasons and not just the one constantly displayed here (often by some who live outside Brockley?); property prices, like-minded people, more investment in shops, restaraunts and bars, etc. (The walks over Hilly Fields on a cloudy or sunny day are rarely mentioned. Or the myriad of simple things that make it so unique.) Talking it down is personal too - but with an interest in keeping all of the above out - because you can't afford the changes.

Anonymous said...

Lots of the Open Studios artists DO live 'over the shop'. Some may just have studios here but that doesn't make them any less valid as Brockley artists, does it? It's not like they swan in from foreign parts just for that weekend.

And there are many local venues that provide a platform for local musical talent, at Brockley Max time and throughout the year.

I'm a professional working in the City, so don't tend to hang out in arty circles, but I've nevertheless met loads of artists, musicians and actors in Brockley. Seriously John, maybe you just need to get out more! :-)

Abanker said...

Hello. I believed from the Times article that I could get a 7-bed house for my family for 'below 750k', but Findaproperty indicates the cheapest at £1.2 million! (Only £450k difference I guess) How misleading can a report be? Not all bankers are wealthy. Either Brockley has already 'arrived' or the reporter has been truly - megabucks -sloppy.

Moira said...

John, come and volunteer at the Brockley Max. I'll introduce you to loads of musicians and artists who are living in Brockley. (This is a genuine offer and not a sarky comment!)

The Cat Man said...

I believe many people would think even 750k is a large expensive price tag for a house, not all bankers are wealthy? You sure about that?

Tamsin said...

Agree with you John, but it depends how far the upsurge goes. It all depensds on the commercial property values rather than the residential ones. When the rent reviews come in and places like Sounds Around, the hardware shop, Sids and Costcutters close to be replaced by Starbucks and boutiques where a t-shirt costs thirty quid the process has gone too far.
By all means let the word be spread naturally by those already here telling our friends and colleagues what a great place it is. But I am a bit chary of people whose interest is only aroused by what they read in the broadsheet papers.

Tamsin said...

Sorry - meant to on to say - and presumably what is in the papers will have an impact on those who advise the (largely absentee?) commercial landlords when rent reviews are being negotiated. If it is publicly said this is the "new Hamstead" etc. they will look for a commensurate return. And it is the little guys that will suffer (again).

John said...

Moira, I may take you up on your kind offer but please understand that I'm not 'artist hunting' per se!

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