Compile a list of London's major arts and entertainment venues and the Blackheath Halls won't immediately spring to mind as being one of the most high profile or prolific. Located on the outskirts of the capital this vibrant venue is, admittedly, off the beaten track. Considered by many, however, to be the oldest purpose-built concert hall still in existence in the capital, a rich history, varied programme of events and a host of big industry names have all combined to make this live performance space one of increasing merit and acclaim. Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Simon Rattle and (no doubt) soon to be Sir Jamie Cullum have all performed here, lured by the venue's rich history and growing reputation for live music, ranging from pop to jazz, classical to world music. While its acquisition by the Trinity College of Music has only served to cement its association with musical excellence, a growing programme of dance, drama, art and film is also emerging. You may not feel that it's worth venturing out of the centre for a concert here when there are many more central venues, but if you are in the area, spot a favourite performer on the bill, or are willing to travel a bit (it only takes 12 minutes on the train from central London) to support a community-focused arts enterprise rather than mainstream complex, Blackheath Halls is a good bet.