First things first – this is not the secret south-of-the-river head office of the British Broadcasting Corporation. No, when locals say they’ll ‘meet you at the BBC’, they mean the Balham Bowls Club. And no, it’s not a bowls club either. But… it was. Once.
That’s the USP of this neighbourhood pub – it’s not just granny chic, it’s granny bowls club chic. All the best bits – the scoreboards, the frilled-edged lamps, the upholstered armchairs – are still in place, dusty and marvellous. And don’t even get us started on the wood panelling and vintage mirrors.
But don't expect to find grannies at the bar. Instead, it’s a friendly crowd of twenty- and thirty-something locals, sipping the likes of Tusk IPA from nearby Twickenham, or guest offerings such as Calif-Oregon Amber ale from the Belleville Brewing Co, a US-style microbrewery just around the corner. For something more mainstream, try the likes of Amstel or Meantime’s London Pale Ale, or a glass of something from the quaffable, affordable wine list. Bar snacks are decent – think warm sausage rolls or burger and fries – though if you’re here for a proper meal, head to the dining room, where the accomplished, grown-up cooking is a real find.