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This pub’s been serving south Londoners since 1877, and has recently re-opened after a little facelift.

The scene The new look sees smart reds and oaky-browns taking prominence, with curtains adding elegance to the separate dining area at the rear, and the high Victorian ceilings accentuating the spacious feel.

Situated off Balham High Road, it’s a tucked-away little boozer that offers a more mature and quieter evening than the louder establishments up the road. 

The grub An American vibe inspires the bar menu’s dogs and sliders, with a ‘pub grub’ atmosphere in the main dining area.

We sample mussels and fish cakes for starters, followed by the roasted half chicken (generously sized, to say the least) and the pub special Balham Burger, a towering and gluttonous cheese, pickle and bacon artery-clogger.

We try some courgette fries, too, just to be healthy.

Behind the bar A varied wine list impresses – we try the full-bodied and spicy Aussie Highwood Estate merlot.

A selection of ales and lagers, including Greenwich’s Meantime Pale Ale, means there’s plenty of choice for vino-phobes.

There’s also a range of spirits from around the world and London’s Sipsmith vodka.

Bill please Sides from £3; starters from £6.50; mains from £9.50; desserts from £5.

Wine from £4.30/£16.40 per glass/bottle; lagers and ales from £3.60 a pint.

Verdict Simple but solid out of the way local. 

39 Oldridge Road, SW12 8PN  
grovebalham.com  
Tube | Balham


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