About The Owl
The Owl might as well have been called The Cuckoo, as its nest is a largely unmodified retread of its predecessor: the basement bar of Balham brasserie Harrison’s. Now part of Hawksmoor offshoot, Foxlow, the venue remains a cosy prospect with its black leather booths and warm wood cladding – like a New York-style neighbourhood late-night haunt. As at all Hawksmoor bars, cocktails are reliably pukka, and always interesting. La Pomme Qui Rit (Calvados, peach, pear, porter and Pont l’Evêque cheese, served straight up) and Nice Shoes (a twist on Sangria that adds fruits and red and white wines to brandy) appear on a seasonally adjusted list alongside Hawksmoor old faithfuls such as Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew (gin, ginger, lemon and London Pride) served in a tankard. Kabanos, nuts and olives aside, no dishes from Foxlow’s menu are available downstairs – inconvenient and not, perhaps, The Owl’s wisest decision.