This week’s London is our locAL location is Balham, brought to you by Vari from our marketing department. She's an adopted Londoner but now calls Balham home.
19th August 2020


Vari O’Neill

Marketing and Communications Executive

Balham is compact, but it’s brimming with restaurants, pubs, cafés and cocktail bars. So much so, my must try list keeps getting longer and longer. I can’t vouch for the one’s I haven’t tried, but here is my list of Balham favourites. There’s bound to be something up everyone’s street.

For me, the best pub in Balham is The Balham Bowls Club (BBC). It’s no longer a bowls club, but the experience of visiting the BBC is truly like stepping back in time. It has floor to ceiling wood panelling, covered in scoreboards, trophies and other bowling paraphernalia. The pub also has that really familiar stale beer smell that I reckon everyone secretly likes. I’d recommend grabbing a drink in the sun-trap beer garden or booking ahead on a Sunday for a roast. It’s one of the best I’ve tried since moving to London 2 years ago.

In terms of restaurants, there is such a variety in Balham. My go tos are; Bucci, an authentic Italian with all the chaos and liveliness you’d expect from a Southern Italian family run restaurant. Leaving room for the tiramisu is a must. Just a couple of doors down is Firefly, specialising in craft beers and Thai food -they also do great cocktails! Not very adventurous, but I’d highly recommend the Pad Thai. Lastly there’s Seventeen, it’s a chippy but it’s a little bit “posh”. It has a small seating area, but if the weather is nice, I’d recommend taking away and walking to nearby Wandsworth or Tooting Common to enjoy outside.

Hildreth Street is a great shopping spot in Balham. It’s a small pedestrianised street lined with cute cafes that spill out on to the street and some bars that can get quite lively towards the weekend. Milk Café is my favourite for brunch or just for a coffee and a cake – their Lamingtons are amazing. Hildreth Street hosts an outdoor market Monday to Saturday- a great place to pick up fruit and veg or some fresh flowers.

Just 5 minutes’ walk from Hildreth Street is Heidi, a small wine bar with a selection of over 60 wines. The wine is served by the glass by an electric dispenser, so it’s perfect for the COVID-19 environment. Aside from the novelty of how the wine is served, it’s a wine bar with a cool atmosphere and some very interesting wallpaper – take a close look if you ever pay them a visit. They also serve great food!

I’m still to find out that one interesting fact about Balham that I’ll always remember, but I look forward to finding that out with time.

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