Re-visited the Devonshire last night on a crawl of Balham's pubs.
This pub has a nice feel to it - it's relaxed, good crowd, friendly bar staff and really decent food. The low lighting and chirpy chatter from all around means it has a welcoming atmosphere. Not the place for a wild night of debauchery, but you could easily drink a whole bottle to yourself without knowing it!
I like old style decor pubs like this. I like thinking I ought to be wearing a top hat and a waistcoat and playing with my moustache.
The Duke is perfect on a warm day. The garden is absolutely beautiful and huge!! I've been there on a couple of really hot days and have always been able to sit outside. The Pimms cups are amazing and enormous so you won't leave walking upright.
The interior has been redecorated recently to be super comfortable. It's well finished with leather booths, engraved mirrors, chandeliers, carved wood, and stainless steel finishes. But in my opinion it's a bit over the top--maybe simplifying the number of patterns and materials would help.
The food is at the top of the pub scale--it's fresh and hearty and seems a little healthier than most. Although I could be totally wrong on the health front. If you're lucky enough to head in on a warm weekend, don't miss the BBQ in the garden.
Good decor/atmosphere, reasonably priced drinks, disinterested barstaff
We started a night out here for a birthday party and quickly got into the drinks which were served rapidly and poured well. Despite this being a Saturday evening, we were able to secure a couple of tables for our fairly large group and settled in in comfort to get our drink on.
It's a pub and we didn't try the food (although what we saw go past us from the open kitchen looked mouthwatering) so not much else to say.
Would like to add that the staff weren't friendly (they weren't unfriendly...just meh) and the manager refused our request to turn the music down a bit so we could sing happy birthday but I suppose in hindsight that's not a big deal.
I'll go back, I liked the place and it's close to things out in Balham.
They've removed the "Duke Of"... along with their soul.
Another OK but not fabulous pub ruined by the shift to getting people to stand around & drink faster.
Maybe I was just in a bad mood... There was nothing really wrong with it, but it sort of made me itch a bit all over.
As I walked through the doors of this Victorian pub/restaurant, I was surprised by the size of it (from the front it's not obvious that the inside goes back so far). It has an instantly warm feeling, full of comfortable leather sofas and cushioned booths. While chandeliers, low lamps, candles and bacchanalian murals on the wall give the place a lavish vibe, the stucco ceilings are high, the floor and tables are polished wood, and the wall paper is velvet flocked, adding to the grandiose yet trendy tone.
It was a Sunday night when I went, but the bar and restaurant were both still full of groups, conversations in full swing, creating a vibrant atmosphere.
Just past the bar where the main restaurant area is, there is an open kitchen - so you can watch your dinner being made! The chefs all look fantastically professional in their clean white outfits, and the silver surfaces are immaculate. It definitely gives you confidence in the food. As for the prices, all the main courses were over £10 with options like 'Butternut Squash & Rosemary Risotto' (yum) to 'Slow Cooked, Pan Fried Pork Belly'.
Not a cheap night out but you get your moneys worth in this place.
This pub is one of many great balham hang-outs, and being centrally located, I'm there a lot.
Doing the standard pub events like the legendary quiz, and being big enough to house the waltons whilst serving them a good selection of world beers whilst seating them in comfy leather sofas, this place has it all.
A decent enough place, with a good beer garden (if you can get a seat) is lacking in charm - it's a fairly generic 'gastro'. Too expensive for SE London.
The food is good, but again, I would be tempted to seek better value further along the high street.
Beware - they make Spritzers with lemonade as standard (and charge a quid for the privilege) the wine list is poor and pricey.
Awful. Went here in 2009 when I was heavily pregnant and once we had sat down we were asked to move as we were in the 'dining' area, even though we were ordering food! So we found an uncomfortable bar bench (which was 'so' ideal for an 8month pregnant woman!). The to top it off my fiance was given the wrong meal (he ordered beef roast, he got lamb) and the food was not that great given the prices they charge.
To be honest, the minute they asked us to move ruined the whole lunch. The staff weren't even polite about it. We have never been back. Shows how far good hospitality goes.
This pub has changed a little from my last visit to say the least. Having seen the reviews on other sites I was hesitant but I actually like it. Sorry. Very modern and obviously doing well. The back garden looks like a great spot for the summer to hide away from the common.
The dining room is not my cup of tea but I'm sure it will attract the customers they are after.
A great summer pub
Good beer garden...not much else I can say...
This is a great pub, love the decor inside and there's a beer garden at the back. The food is also good, a nice choice of standard gastro pub fayre and they have a great barbecue in the summer.
Definitely the best pub in Balham.
This is an opulent pub! It's not really a pub at all, it's too nice for that name. Amazing food, huge well-decorated space (with chandeliers!) which boasts very comfortable and numerous leather seating. There is a very large garden area which boasts a huge outdoor grill for barbequed food nights and many outdoor heaters. I went here for a private party and the canapes were fantastic, and included caviar blinis and all sorts of other indulgent treats. The reason it doesn't get a fifth star is because it's far too fancy for a pub, and should really just make itself into a restaurant and be done.
Visited the Devonshire for the first time last night. Huge space with a very large beer garden in the back (although way too cold to make use of it last night)
Food was of acceptable quality and good value with the deal that they are currently running (2 mains and a bottle of wine for £20)
There also seems to be a good number of 'events' including a pub quiz that was happening at the same time -- although the place was big enough so that you hardly noticed that there was one going on.
Will defo go back again.
This Pub is now called 'The Devonshire', and is one of my favourite bars in Balham. Very large with a superb beer garden at the rear. Food is not bad, perhaps a little pricey. Lager is great with both Peroni and Kronenbourg on draught. Plenty of stools, leather chairs and sofas to cater for small and large groups. Great atmosphere on Friday and Saturday evenings.
This pub has just had a big refurb and the interior design is beautiful - it really has to be seen. There is plenty of room to sit, eat a light bar snack or you can sit in the restaurant at the back of the pub which has doors onto to an amazing looking beer garden which I imagine will be heaving in summer. After being so wowed by the interior, I was ready for a taste sensation with the food but was sadly disappointed. The starters were such a rip-off (a fiver for thai fishcakes which were tiny and you got just 3) and the aioli dip to go with the prawns had no flavour at all and was actually inedible. The mains were an improvement (pie of the day) and much better value although there was a scanty gravy portion which meant the whole thing was a bit dry. The waiting staff were really unattentive and when I complained about the starters, the waiter said he'd pass that onto the chef, but nothing further was offered. On the plus side, the bar staff were very friendly and welcoming. I'd stick to the Devonshire for drinks.
This is a decent juicer, decent range of beers. The beer garden is fantastic to sit in during the summer months. The cavernous interior is smart and inviting. Chose the fish and chips (haddock) off the menu on a recent visit and wasn't disappointed.
The sun was out so I enjoyed there vast beer garden this weekend! The food was good and the selection of drinks was as to be expected! A great summer pub and probably good for a cold winters afternoon too.
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