Time Out says
The downside to this trendy Battersea boozer? It’s impossible to describe to your mates without it sounding like some kind of wanky hipster hangout. They’ve got their own micro-brewery. They distill their own gin. They keep an escape game in the basement. There’s even a retro gaming room upstairs that lets you project ‘Street Fighter 2’ across an entire wall. ‘Jesus Christ!’ your pals will probably exclaim: ‘What’s it called? “The Artisanal Sourdough?”’
It is, however, a brilliantly down-to-earth place to spend a night. It’s a beautifully refurbed Victorian palace that’s full of wall-mounted taxidermy, scuffed wooden floors and pretty vintage tiling. Aside from their own-distilled gin, the 45 gins they offer – alongside a range of more exotic tonics than a Chinese medicine shop – means there’s plenty for spirit hounds to explore.
And the games room? We defy you to find a more fun night out in Balham. It’s packed with ping-pong, table football, old arcade games and a totally nutso racing game. Booze and racing? Jeremy Clarkson would approve. Don’t let that put you off, though.
51 Lavender Gardens
|Transport:||Tube: Clapham Junction|
|Do you own this business?|
Users say (44)
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:26
- 4 star:11
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:5
I went to this place with my fiance and another couple. We had a great night, the upstairs was very fun, the arcade was great. We played mini golf, sat in the scalextric and the presenter was brilliant, very entertaining commentating through out.
HOWEVER it all went terribly wrong when we went downstairs into the pub part, we paid for drinks and sat on a table. We decided to go somewhere else to have dinner and before we planned to leave, me and my female friend went to the toilet and left our partners behind on the table. As soon as we got back to our table our partners were out of their seats. They then quickly told us what had just happened. The female manager had rudely came over, (picked a sign up which had fallen on the floor) and very dramatically slammed the sign in front of them and shouted in their face "YOU CAN'T SIT HERE, IT'S RESERVED!" gave them a dirty horrible look and then walked away.... next to this same table was another side of which 4 females were sitting on. The manager never told them to move (it was the same table!).
My partner was very shocked and thought this was bang out of order, we are paying customers, out with friends how dare she shout and be so rude in the mens face. He went over to her and I followed behind. He calmly said "I want to make a complaint, I don't understand why you came over, slammed the sign down and shouted at us, where there's a group of 4 females sitting there and you never told them to move, why only us?". She then shouted "SECURITY" and my partner had two security blokes come over.
I witnessed all of this, my partner is very calm and would never swear or intimidate a women. This female manager has serious serious issues with men, she is clearly a sexist horrible person!! I've put this on my Twitter, Facebook and spread the word as much as possible about this manager. She needs to be spoken to by senior management and urgently needs to go on a customer service course as it is no way acceptable to talk to paying customers like that!!!
I usually write positive reviews but from what had happened at the end of our evening, the level of service and utter disrespect she had shown is unacceptable. The bouncers were fine, they did not touch my partner, my partner told them "Did you know your manager has a serious problem with men, she's sexist" and the guy replied "yeah...",
To me it sounded like this was not a one off and the bouncer knew he had seen this incompetent managers power trip before.
Similar to what lots of people have said here - great place in lots of ways but incredibly rude and aggressive bouncers/staff. Was having a drink outside when someone came up behind me, grabbed the drink out of my hand and poured in down the street drain without saying a word. I confronted him, saying I didn't know drinks weren't allowed outside and I would've happily gone in if he had asked. I asked for a refund and was refused, and when I persisted he told me and 10 friends to leave.
Worst kind of entitled & aggressive bar staff - avoid.
LOVE this place! I'm a kid at heart so discovering the arcade with the racetrack, Street Fighter and, my personal favourite, Dance Dance Revolution, took me straight back to high school. Great range of drinks, some delish food and the perfect place for some friendly drink-fuelled competition among a group of friends. I'll be back!
Went to celebrate a friends engagement but ruined by jumped up security who kicked out 40 people due to one person looking tired do not go to this place!!!! Would give zero stars if I could!!!
Bouncers were horrible. Would not recommend this place. If you are in a group and want a night out do not go here.
The pub itself is big and well designed and the garden at the back is a nice touch - so is the game room upstairs. What works really badly is their door staff policy. They are incredibly rude and militant and the system when we have booked a table or an area of providing guest names at the door, so the "hostess" can come and pick up the guests rather than simply letting the named guests in, does NOT work. We were at a birthday party this past weekend and several of the guests were treated very badly by the door staff and most had to wait outside for a while. And when we tried to go out to pick them up, the staff would shout us down for daring to open the door... You do not expect that when you are invited - as a named guest - to a party. I am usually very easy going and I have never written a bad review for a pub before, but we will not be back and cannot recommend going on the days they have security on the door. Actually, we were treated so badly despite spending A LOT of money that we don't ever want to put more money in their pockets again. Avoid
There is so much more to this pub than first meets the eye, it could so easily be dismissed from the outside as another old man boozer however give it a chance and I can assure you, you’ll not be disappointed! Firstly you can tell it’s been recently renovated and struck me as being much bigger than it appears from the outside, stretching far and wide over 2 levels. I came here with a friend for the Lady Chastity’s Reserve escape room with a twist – but whilst finding out where to go for this poked our heads round the place. We were most impressed and surprised to find the upper level was decked out like an adult arcade! After a self-escorted tour we found our way to the meeting point for our game and after successfully completing was rewarded with a bottle of red wine which we could have in the pub or take home. My friend and I obviously decided it would be best enjoyed in the pub! We stayed downstairs here sipping our winnings and enjoying the quirky yet trendy ambiance, I only wish it wasn’t a school night so we could have stayed later to get the most out of the venue – still it’s an excuse to come back!
Great beers - they brew them right there in the bar - plus loads of quirky entertainment (a games room upstairs and their quiz is like no other). Really interesting place, we never get bored.
Large drinks selection, outside area and a games floor upstairs. Also has a great vibe. Everything you'd want.
This is a fantastic pub, worth the trek to Clapham if you live north of the river. It's more than a pub though. Arcade games, its own distillery and great great DJ on Fridays and Saturdays. Super quirky, good crowd and reasonable prices.
Beautiful garden, spacious venue and an awesome games room for those who need to do more than just sit and drink.
Great atmosphere, friendly staff, drinks are reasonably priced and there is a different theme each night - we're very lucky to call it our local.
Love having this as our local, gin garden in summer is great plus late night opening at the weekend for a bit of a boogie always a fun night!
Every day is different here. Every day is happy here. London's finest gin selection, superb food and more fun than you can shake a ping-pong bat at.
Great food, beers, inside outside garden area, cool decor, whacky events, regular surprise oddities (the Gin Butler?), large capacity, friendly staff and a huge retro gaming room! BEST PUB EVER! Random Dave