Don’t be put off by the unremarkable drinks selection, or the clashing patterned carpets, gaudy booths and floral wallpaper. The real joy of drinking in the Bedford lies in stumbling across the improbably big and bonkers mock-Tudor ‘Shakesperean Globe Theatre’ at the rear of the pub, featuring black-painted wooden pillars so old they look like they could have been installed at the behest of Cardinal Wolsey and a cavernous domed ceiling so strewn with wooden heraldic shields and canvas hangings you feel like you’re in a ‘Game of Thrones’ battle tent.
There’s free live music (of varying quality, which is all part of the fun) Monday to Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday nights, the Bedford plays host to brilliantly intimate comedy night Banana Cabaret. It also knows how to cater to Balham’s yummy-mummy crowd: babyccinos for 50p and monthly ‘family fun’ raves for parents and kids.
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