Balham (in London, UK) is a very special place to me. For it’s the place I first ventured to when I moved to London three years ago (I’ve just celebrated my third anniversary living here, yay!) and I fell in love.
It’s funny, because just the other day someone asked me: “So [out of the whole of London] why did you choose Balham for where to live?” – Good question.
Sporting my new favourite H&M dungarees, I share my playful side (guest-star, ‘Betty the Bicycle’) and my 10 favourite things about Balham…
Fashion: Dungarees; H&M, striped lace hem top; Dorothy Perkins (buy similar here), checked scarf; Zara (buy similar from their sister company, Stradivarius) and WEMER lace up Oxford shoes; Jessica Buurman.
Photos by the wonderful Christine Newman at C-New Life
When I first moved to London three years ago, I sofa-surfed for three months (thank you to all my beautiful, amazing friends – and their equally beautiful couches – for their wonderful hospitality). OK, I was living out of a suitcase, but I felt blessed to be given the opportunity to explore different parts of London.
What attracted me to Balham?
Well, you’ll smile, it reminded me of home (with the folks, aka ‘The Clarkies’) – aaaah. I’m originally from a little leafy town called Lytham on the north west coast. PLUS there’s an area next to Lytham called, ‘Ballam’ – true story – so it really is like home from home 🙂
A Lancashire lass at heart – it’s all about the people, the community, cute cafés, nice little shops and a lovely local pub.
Yes, I used to say ‘good morning’ to my fellow commuters on the tube everyday when I very first moved here, which went down like a lead balloon (pun absolutely intended) which I quickly put a stop to, but that aside, I felt there was a real sense of community in Balham.
So when they randomly lined the streets with bright red Balham balloons to celebrate Valentine’s Day last month – I fell in love just that little bit more…
The best bits about Balham: Here’s my top 10…
- Bertie & Boo (great coffee)
- M1lk (the best breakfast in London. Big statement, but try the baked eggs or ‘The Convict’ – you will love me forever)
- Franco Manca (there’s a few around London now, you can’t beat a good sourdough pizza and a glass of their finest organic wine). Leading onto…
- The Wine Tasting Shop (Jules is the most knowledgable wine-person I know. She’s magical
- The Postmark for greeting cards for all special occasions (and if you’re feeling a little daring, ask for the ‘under the counter cards’ – Ooh)
- The Balham Bowls Club aka ‘the BBC’ for a drink in quirky, vintage-feel setting or it’s equally quirky sister pub, the Hagen & Hyde
- The Avalon (this is nearer to Clapham South but short walking distance) for the best Sunday roast, and the friendliest staff, who guarantee to bring cheer to your day
- As Nature Intended, (a big) Sainsbury’s, (a big) Waitrose and a mighty tasty Farmer’s market every Saturday – foodies/shoppers rejoice!
- The ace travel connections (overground and underground) AND the 155 bus. It brings you home all the way from Trafalgar Square in one go – the best £1.50 you’ll ever spend
- The Balham Towers aka as ‘my London home’ 🙂 you’ve seen me playing on the rooftops in some of my Style Files…
Come rain, come shine, we completely heart Balham ♡
Moving or live in a big city? What’s important to you on where you live? Tell me in the comments below!