The Red Hedgehog, close by Highgate Tube, opened its doors on Wednesday 7 OCTOBER, 2006.

The name was inspired by the 19th century Viennese coffee house, Zum Roten Igel (which translates to The Red Hedgehog).  Composer Johannes Brahms frequented the place so obsessively he refused to eat or drink anywhere else;  a famous lithograph shows him striding out in his top hat with a tiny red hedgehog at his heels (it might also have been a subtle evocation of Brahms’ increasingly prickly personality in later years).  

Zum Roten Igel  was also a regular watering hole for other notable composers including Schubert, Schumann and Mendelssohn, and the place is referred to in musical correspondence through the years in relation to many a musical figure of the period. There is a reference to Beethoven having rehearsed in the upstairs quarters of the coffee house.  

The Red Hedgehog is grateful to the exceptional concert pianist James Lisney for suggesting the name, which has inevitably already featured in pub quizzes.

The Red Hedgehog (Vienna) evokes food, drink, conviviality and lively conversation between musicians, artists and friends. The Red Hedgehog  (Highgate) adds a fine grand piano and the thrill of top-class live chamber music-making in a setting which provides an especially close rapport between performers and audience.

The Red Hedgehog  (London) is an independently-run intimate music and theatre space situated diagonally opposite Highgate Tube.  

Since opening, on 7 October, 2006, we have presented a variety of internationally famous concert artists, alongside folk roots jazz and world music, in addition to fringe theatre, seasons of comedy, variety nights and musical comedy. Outside promoters have brought a range of social events to the venue, including salsa and jive, speed dating, writing workshops and bric-a-brac markets.  Exhibitions of paintings and photographs have also been hung at The Red Hedgehog  

The Red Hedgehog is a popular choice for adult and children’s parties and children’s classes.

The venue receives no public funding.