In this series, we will document, film and record the voices of people living in Brixton in collaboration with London’s Stories. There’s a multitude of stories out there and we’re excited to hear them. 

First, we hear from Rosie Lovell, owner of Rosie’s Deli Cafe about her busy life, her love for the capital and the inspiration for her new book…

Rosie Lovell (Photo: Amy Baker)

Interview by Amy Baker, London’s Stories

I was born in Norfolk in a house with no running water or electricity, and was brought up in Newmarket in Suffolk.

I moved to Peckham when I was 18. Brixton was close and I just felt really at home and happy as soon as I arrived off the bus. The streets are always buzzing – completely the opposite to those in East Anglia! Plus I was in love with someone who lived there!

I just really didn’t want to work in an office.  I wanted to listen to my own music and not have to wear heels. I love cooking and opening a shop was a great way of satisfying that need and accessing and getting to know Brixton’s fantastic community.

I love being anonymous and in the thick of it [in London]. I love that I can wander out of my front door and find pretty much any ingredient I need no matter how obscure. The multicultural strength of London and especially Brixton is completely exhilarating.

London makes me feel happy and relaxed, like I can breathe properly. I like the noise and the sense of possibility. I get ridiculous adrenaline rushes when something peculiar catches my eye be it a beautiful doorway; some unexpected wild flowers; a cheeky child; a building crane – it’s all the richness of the capital.

Food was always central to our upbringing from as early as I can remember – my mother is fantastic baker. We had an impressive vegetable patch in our garden, chickens and there was even a goat at one point!

Markets make me really happy – I’ve just returned from Malaysia where we explored loads of them, particularly night markets. Obviously food markets are a favourite but I’m pretty game for any sort really. The fish market in Tokyo is one of my favourite experiences as well as the one in Surat Thani in Thailand. You can’t beat a good old-fashioned car boot sale too!

The one place I would recommend in Brixton Market? There is a fantastic new Mexican, Casa Morita – it’s bloody delicious.

The best advice I’ve received is to take a deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back…but in hindsight, that did come from a woman who was happy to let doves fly around her kitchen!

My favourite place in London is my home or The New Evaristo – a tucked away, speakeasy style bar in Soho.

I thought it would take me years to get the passport to being a Londoner but I’ve been here 13 years and I’ve felt right at home from the age of about 20. I think being a Londoner means firstly, respecting the city and secondly, loving it.

Also, to me it means having searched out your favourite parts independently, irrespective of fashion or hearsay. I recently went to East Street Market (Walworth, South London) and came home on such a high – the butcher sells rabbits!

My new book ‘Supper With Rosie’ is about the inheritance of recipes and how I have been influenced by friends, family and new places. It’s absolutely beautifully photographed and I can’t wait to hold a copy!

You can read an extended version of this interview at London’s Stories