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16 Balham Hill
020 8675 8613
Part of a group of south London hostelries that includes The Abbeville and The Stonhouse, this archetypal gastropub suits the bright young things who live on the Clapham/Balham borders. Like its
relations, Avalon ticks all the boxes, whether you’re here to drink or eat. Those after a tipple inhabit the attractive huge front bar, where there’s a commendable choice of real ales and wines.
Diners can eat in the bar or one of the dining rooms, tucking into the likes of salt and pepper squid, lamb steak with fattoush and harissa, or fish & chips. But the real draw is the
enormous back garden: ideal for summer Sunday afternoons. A second garden, smaller but nonetheless very pleasant, is available for private parties and comes with its own barbecue and chef.
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16 Balham Hill
020 8675 8613
Clapham South Tube Station 210m
Balham Station 839m
Wandsworth Common 1km
Clapham Common 1km
Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Thurs -12M Fri-Sat -1am Sun -10.30pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 2
We have been several times but maybe because it is close to Christmas that the quality just wasn't there! Food very disappointing in fact apart from a regular OK burger, the rest really wasn't good at all! Salmon gravalax - greasy, crayfish cocktail/avocado - all sauce, sea bass overcooked. Need to completely overhaul the menu in terms of quality and presentation. Until then will keep going only to their sister gastro pub the Abbeville which is consistently good infact, the food just gets better!
Food + drink: 4
This time we ate very good liver and steak, charming service, great atmosphere. We have been a couple times before and will certainly keep coming back… need I say more!
I'm a local Balham-ite and absolutely have to recommend The Avalon as one of the best local watering holes. What was previously a run-down local boozer has been taken on by the team who run The Bollingbroke and The Abbeville and it's unrecognisable compared to its former self.
The pub itself is a cosy, relaxed yet trendy place during the day, good for watching sports and with a good selection of nibbles but it's the outdoors that really sets it apart. There's a front terrace with awnings for shade, heaters for warmth and plenty of seats, a side garden which is small and private – PERFECT for nabbing in the summer with a group, you can pretty much take it over and it's like a private room. The back garden is definitely the best beer garden in South West London. It's decked, pretty, a good size and you really could be miles from the noise and bustle of Balham High Street. The BBQ in summer is really good although they could do more with the salads, perhaps by adding a salade nicoise or a seafood salad.
The restaurant does excellent gastropub food which changes seasonally (crab linguine for starter followed by roast quail?! YUM) in a really smart, 1930s style setting. Sunday lunch is a real winner and the restaurant is child friendly, although they could do with more high chairs for busy periods. I would definitely recommend booking in advance though; we wandered in on a Thursday in January and the place was packed!
Finally, the private room, aka The Blue Room. I've hosted two events there now, a baby shower and a 30th birthday party and both were very successful. There is no charge for the room, no mimimum spend, and the chef will work around your budget for food.
For the 30th b'day we had a three course lunch for £27.50 a head which included grilled halloumi with spiced aubergine salad or ham hock terrine with quince jelly and pickles for starter, followed by steak & chips, grilled whole mackrel with potato and beetroot salad or spinach & ricotta tortellini for main course. Desserts were sticky toffee pudding, chocolate pot or apple crumble. We had lunch while watching the 6 Nations on the 100 inch screen in our private room and everyone had a fantastic time. It was excellent value and really good food – all our guests were delighted. The only issue was when we moved downstairs for the evening and were right beside the DJ which was very a bit of a conversation killer.
For the baby shower we had champagne and canapes for about £15 a head, the staff were really helpful and couldn't do enough to help me get the slideshow with embarassing pix of the Mum To Be up on the big screen, sort out the iPod with music for the party, organise the furniture as appropriate, etc.
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