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The Owl (CLOSED)

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Balham
4 out of 5 stars
The Owl

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Dark and bijou basement bar that serves a slap-up cocktail

Please note, The Owl is now closed. Time Out Editors, November 2019.

Worried you might not be looking your best today? Then make a date with The Owl. The lamps at this bijou basement bar below the Balham outpost of Foxlow are set to ‘flatteringly low’ and are supplemented by the warm glow of flickering tealights: you’re guaranteed to look like a movie star. Not that the space has anything to hide – it’s long been one of the slinkiest, sexiest spots in the area, with dark ceilings and classy leather booths giving it the air of a chic bat cave. Sure, the vibe is no different to its previous incarnation (Downstairs at Harrison’s), but it wasn’t broke, so why fix it?

The real stars here, though, are the cocktails: a rotating list from the crew behind Hawskmoor and Foxlow. Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew (a Hawksmoor classic, created by one of their best-loved bartenders) is a must-try: a generous glass tankard that’s part old-fashioned lemonade, part slush puppy, pepped up with gin, fresh ginger and a splash of London Pride. Nibbles – such as juicy fat olives or pairs of kabanos (dry, smoked Polish sausage) – are excellent, but for something more substantial, you’ll have to go upstairs to the restaurant. Leaving the bar to those of us who want to get stuck into some more cocktails. And keep looking really, really good.


Address: Foxlow Balham
15-19 Bedford Hill
SW12 9EX
Transport: Tube: Balham
Opening hours: 6pm-midnight Wed-Thu; 6pm-1am Fri-Sat; closed Sun-Tue
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