The Bedford Pub
- Tel: 020 8682 8940
77 Bedford Hill, Balham, London, SW12 9HD
11:00 - 23:00
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The Bedford is a well-known live music and comedy venue with something happening every night of the week.
Services and Products
- Live Music
- Comedy Night
- TV for Sporting Events
- Outside Seating
- Vegetarian Dishes
- Real Ale
Provided by The Local Data Company
If you are willing to wait though you will be treated to the most amazing maze of corridors and rooms, including a globe theatre...
Staff are usually great, although you do sometimes get a few snooty customers in who are set on making a scene. Perhaps they are drawn in by the Thespian vibes...
All in all, one of the best pubs in London and definitely worth a visit if you live anywhere near by, even if it doesn't become your favourite regular watering hole.
But as a place to go for a drink?
The Bedford is invariably packed. You wait for hours to get to the bar and to get served (which is understandable. It's a big bar and there are loads of people. Were it not for the army of shoddy, surly bar staff) only to find there is no beer on (or worse, it's foul). On one terrible, terrible night I got to the bar to discover they had nothing but fosters on. I wept salt tears. And went elsewhere.
It also boasts, in my experience, a heavy gender imbalance and every one is invariably absolutely rat-arsed.
There is a bar round the back which I've ventured into on occasion. Much more of a proper drinkers bar. You don't go in there to be frivolous, you go to sit and drink. Seriously. And maybe play darts. And I like that. But again, the absence of anything half decent to drink and, more especially round this side, anyone to serve you said drink makes it a wasted exercise.
I really want to like The Bedford. Independent, great variety of activities, great proper pub feel to it in terms of décor, no brewery or chain has managed to get their insipid branding mitts on it yet, has the facilities to serve 4 ales, the menu looks good, it just should be a brilliant, brilliant place to go but it isn't.
I keep giving it a chance and I keep getting disappointed.
I'm sorry, but I really just don't get it.
I felt immediately at home within the first 30 seconds, it has a really relaxed feel with a good mix of customers. We wandered through into the round music room which I can tell would be a very romantic date place. It's really intimate and fairly dark. We stayed for a bit and saw one act who was pretty good so I'll definately go for the music one night.
We ended up upstairs at the comedy night (£3). The compere was brilliant as were the majority of the acts. It was a new acts night and there were 8 different acts. The room is pretty small but I sort of prefer it that way. Myself and 2 friends probably made up a quarter of the audience! Overall, it was one of the best nights I've had in a while and I've been raving about this place to everyone I know so try it! :D
the simplicity of it all make it very welcoming and not daunting like some venues in London can seem, giving you a variety of people.
If you like your music and like a relaxed, cool scene then you'll love the bedford.
Ground floor at the front: a big bar with long wooden tables, sofas and a log fire (well it could be gas but it's nice). Piano, often a musician playing. Tasty food at great prices which you can see the chefs cooking behind the bar. Things like chunky chips with home made hummous and olives. Nicely worn in, not a chain pub.
At the back is another, totally different room. It's circular in shape like Shakespeare's Globe. Thursday is a great free night where you can see 5 upcoming bands play 2 songs each. Fridays and Saturdays you can see top comedians.
1st floor they have dance classes on different nights like Lindy Hopping, Salsa, jive and pole dancing (honest it's a new craze!)
Top floor is the red room. It's very atmospheric with a little bar and small tables. Wednesday night is Acoustics night which goes out to the world on a webcast. Like Thursdays in the globe but not a band, more like a singer and guitarist playing together. Sometimes the evening ends with an impromptu jam session by an established musician playing... Compere is really enthusiastic.
have fun :)