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The Apple Blue
Photograph: The Apple Blue

The best of Balham as picked by a cool local

Explore this south-western hub of drinking, dining and strolling through green spaces

Georgia Evans
Edited by
Georgia Evans
Written by
Ellie Muir

Lisa Loebenberg, is co-owner of The Exhibit, a bar, restaurant, event space and cinema. She has lived in Balham since she was 18 years old. 

1. The Apple Blue

‘It’s a very cute indie patisserie. Staff are superfriendly and make the most incredible cakes. The Russian honey cake is the best thing I’ve ever had; it’s out of this world.’ 212 Balham High Rd, SW12 9BS.

Photograph: Ed Marshall

2. Milk

‘There’s always a queue all the way down the street on the weekend: Aussie brunch worth the hype. I get the sweetcorn fritters with halloumi then add burnt -butter hollandaise. It shouldn’t work but it does!’ 18-20 Bedford Hill, SW12 9RG.

3. Heart of Balham

‘A proper family-owned caff. In my early twenties, we locked ourselves out and went to HoB for a fry-up. They were so nice and gave us free coffee. They were laughing at us the whole time!’ 113 Balham High Rd, SW12 9AP.

4. Heidi

‘This is a selfdispensing wine bar owned by a local called Steve. It’s a very beautiful, small venue. It does a £1 oyster deal every Tuesday; there’s nowhere else in London where you can find that.’ 1 Balham Station Rd, SW12 9SG.

5. Tooting Common

‘When I have my little dog with me, we walk down to Tooting Common. There’s a pet store called The Dog House. I usually get my Jack Russell, Molly, a treat, and they’re always very friendly and give her a free one.’ Tooting Bec Rd.

6. The Polish White Eagle Club

‘The main donation hub for Ukrainian refugees. People are working tirelessly to step up. It’s been amazing to see the community coming together.’ 211 Balham High Rd, SW17 7BQ.

Photograph: Ben Rowe

7. The Bedford

‘This is the cultural hub of Balham. It has outstanding music and comedy events. The best thing is Banana Cabaret. There will be established comedians but it’s also for emerging talent.’ 77 Bedford Hill, SW12 9HD.

8. Hayman’s Gin Distillery

‘It’s recently been opened up to the public for tours. It’s a beautiful family-owned distillery, in a big warehouse with a tasting room where you can try all the botanicals that go into the gin.’ 8a Weir Rd, SW12 0GT.

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