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Monday, 28 July 2014

Pub grub, south of the river!

South of the river you say?! Contemplating my journey down the Northern Line on a hot day would have been so much more bearable had the lingering hangover from the night before not have been quite so uncomfortable. I braved the shakes and sweats though, surfacing in Clapham South for a friends birthday celebrations at The Grove. Now, this is apparently the posh part of Clapham and I could easily be persuaded to think so too, having endured Clapham High Street on a Friday night a couple years ago (still etched on my poor brain I'm afraid!). I soon discover though, that this particular boozer is more Balham than it is Clapham South, but who cares about post code when the spot is so utterly lovely?! Let them both claim it I'd say!

Located on Oldridge Road, tucked quietly away off Balham High Road (equidistant between Clapham South and Balham, just incase you're still contemplating who infact the righteous flag bearer might be!), this is a Victorian drinking hole at it's near best I'd say, ideal for a lazy lunch! I'm not sure what it's like on a regular evening, but I must say, I was somewhat disappointed to see it so uninhabited between the hours of 13:00 - 18:00 on a Saturday afternoon. Where was everyone and why did all the hoards appear to be gravitating toward local rival, The Avalon? Had more of my faculties been present, I would have ventured for a drink into the latter to get to the bottom of it...instead though, I could think of nothing more appealing than a box set, a vat of Diet Coke and my bed.

Two pints of the aforementioned Diet Coke later, I found myself admiring the fabulous duo of copper tanks, housing what I can only assume was an impressive amount of ale! Young's and Meantime Brewery have paired up to spread the word about craft beers and how delightfully novel it was to see these pristine dispensaries in all their shiny glory! The sofas were comfortable, the skylight in the dining room made it all so bright and inviting; the d├ęcor throughout was thoughtful and immensely pleasing, the outdoor terrace was lovely (I saw a BBQ too, which always indicates promise!), and the menu consisted of good, solid, staple pub grub, presented and priced well enough to be labelled "gastropub-grub" maybe!

Food was good (but not earth-shattering, owing to my over-charred burger and mussels-in-white-wine-cream envy mainly), the pub looked awesome (tick!), and service was attentive, but slow (shame). Another mixed bag, but would love to go when busier to see how the vibe changes...

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