After nearly a year living in Balham I think I’m pretty qualified to talk about my fave bars and pubs – many of which have been discovered this past couple of months as the sun has been out and there’s been a heavy urge to drink outdoors with mates.
Best for cocktails
Lost and Found do a fabulous happy hour 5-9pm (so good). From gin specialities to my favourite and all time classic cosmopolitan, there’s something for everyone on the menu – plus there’s a northern bar man which is always a bonus.
Simmonds is a new-ish addition to the balham cocktail scene, although I have to say my most recent experience, had good drinks but unfortunately not the atmosphere you’d expect on a Saturday night. Worth a visit during happy hour though.
Update on Simmonds – it’s not closed and will be replaced with a new place called “Brunch & Booze” – take a look at the end of the post!
Best for gardens
The Devonshire, secretly big and with a lovely beach themed beer garden. Little huts named after famous beaches from around the world line the side of the spacious garden area. At 10pm when the garden closes there’s plenty of seats indoors to accommodate everyone too. Hagen & Hyde has an awesome garden reached by either going up or downstairs – long benches, and was notably lively out there whilst the World Cup was on! Balham Bowls Club my new favourite pub spot does have a lovely garden area out back, plus it’s such a big pub too there’s always somewhere to sit.
Best for a boogie
My all time favourite place to dance on a Saturday night, commercial & RnB tunes for boogeying to on the dancefloor – it can only be The Exhibit. So many floors of activities during the day, but on a Saturday night you just gotta hit the ground floor and throw some shapes. Just down and across the road is the Bedford, a classic pub but with that secret back room for comedy, gigs and of course dancing – it’s recently closed for a huge refurbishment, so very much hoping it maintains the classic Bedford vibes!
Where else do you like to hang out in South London?