The Bedford in Balham has been a much-loved pub and cultural hub for as long as most can remember. Last year it was taken over by the Three Cheers Pub Co – a small chain of well-known pubs in south London, including the Rosendale (West Dulwich), the Tommyfield (Kennington) and the Avalon (Balham). The previous owner had made a success of the pub over many years, but it was in serious need of a makeover. After a thorough re-furb Three Cheers hosted a re-launch party.
I know the Bedford quite well as I’ve been to a number of events there in recent years so I was really interested to see the difference. Well, there’s a definite ‘wow’ factor now – I can’t imagine how much has been spent on this makeover! Downstairs there is the main bar, the club room – a wonderful space for music and comedy, and the lounge bar – a particularly attractive area with lots of posters and art everywhere.
Upstairs is even more impressive; the ballroom and bar are stunning, as is the newly created cocktail bar and private dining room. This is a perfect area for any private function such as weddings. The Bedford now also functions as a boutique hotel with fifteen rooms available on the upper floor. I was given a guided tour and again was really impressed with the standard and tasteful decoration of the rooms. With room rates from £89 – £139 depending on date and size, The Bedford is very competitive on price for accommodation of this standard.
The pub was always famous for its music and comedy nights (Amy Winehouse and Ed Sheeran played here in their early days) and Three Cheers have ensured that this legacy is maintained, with an extensive programme of live events. There’s no shortage of drinks and food on offer too with a menu of sharing plates, mains, burgers and pizzas ranging from £6 – £22 for the rib-eye steaks.
So its three cheers for Three Cheers; they’ve made an absolutely brilliant job of this listed building, and in an era when so many pubs and music venues are closing, it’s great to see a place like The Bedford in safe hands for many years to come.