BY PALOMA LACY
There are those pubs which hold a special place in your heart. For me, it’s The Regent in Balham.
It was THE meeting place for my friendship group around a decade ago and the scene of many life changing events – early dates, hen weekends arranged over a glass of wine, and best woman’s speeches written here.
It’s the warmth of the pub that creates an ambience of both comfort and conviviality, in one fell swoop.
The massively high ceilings of this Victorian great dame gives privacy unknown in so many joints that see you seated cheek by jowl.
The Regent is homely, with cosy banquette seating in contrasting leather and velvet, and is pretty much the ultimate local.
It’s that add on to your own patch, a stumbling distance from home, we all dream of.
Two minutes’ walk from Balham Tube station, but located on a side road – Chestnut Grove – it’s yet another haven created by The Livelyhood Group.
What’s good on draft? Shipyard American Pale, Meantime Pale Ale and local drop, Brixton Low Voltage – an easy drinking session pale ale.
There are also three non-alcoholic beers and ciders available.
The pub’s wet offering takes in a decent selection of wine and a cocktail list befitting the current renaissance.
Pleasingly, this includes several unknown to most – Irish Smoke, Choc Orange Martini and wonderfully sustainable, Discarded Daiquiri – made using banana peel rum.
We are sadly in different times, with pubs closed for those keen to whet their whistles.
We entered Lockdown 3 as the South London Press went to press – so the weekly quiz, live sports, private parties and bottomless brunch are also on hold for now.
Particularly popular the brunch will hopefully soon again run at weekends – with a choice of free-flowing bubbles, Aperol Spritz or Bloody Good Marys at £23 per person for a 90-minute session plus the cost of a brunch dish.
Keen that it’s not forgotten, The Regent has worked hard to bring some of the pub’s spirit to locals’ homes by continuing to cook up a storm in the kitchen.
Those within three miles are being treated to the full après ski treatment, with delicious Raclette boxes delivered to the door.
Cheese melted on a special grill (included in the box) with seasoned potatoes, alpine meats, pickles and salad, covered by an avalanche of cheese.
Sunday Roast delivered to your door has gone down well and after a short break over Christmas, is back this weekend.
A choice of beef, pork, lamb and veggie, priced around £16 per head.
For those unable to choose – there’s Swingers Roast For Two and you can have it all for £29, including Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables and gravy.
I look forward to being reunited with The Regent, let’s hope that’s not too far away.
The Regent, 21 Chestnut Grove, Balham SW12 8JB.
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