Looking for things to do in South West London? Clapham is the heart of South West London. With Clapham Junction, Clapham Common and Clapham North. It could claim to be the capital of young London, almost like a mini University town. The busiest drinking spots stretch along Clapham High Street. The common itself hosts a number of festivals and music events in the summer months. For an edgy night out head further south to Brixton, for a more chilled out affair sample Battersea or Wandsworth.
1) The Loft
If youre heading to out to Clapham, get off the tube at Clapham North and take a short five minutes walk down Clapham High Street to Clement Avenue, there you will find The Loft. It doesnt look much from the outside, fairly inconspicuous, the only obvious clue being the bouncers. Once inside, youll be blown away by the Lofts post- modern, New Yorky charm; lurking within, is a modern industrial style, stainless steel, exposed breeze blocks, exposed air vents, stylish white plastic seats, exposed brick flooring, all off set set by brown leather sofas and candle lighting– a bit different from the homogenised local alternatives. The Loft, brought to you by the same people as acclaimed Brixton club, Plan B, tends to attract a trendy yet eclectic bunch. Differing from its larger cousin, theres no dance floor, but that doesnt stop the big name DJs, Norman Jay for one, from manning the decks from time to time. Otherwise, music is groovy funk and disco fused with a Latin vibe. One of the striking features of this first floor establishment is the huge glass windows, portraying commanding views of bustling Clapham High Street – why not kick back on a comfortable sofa, choose from over 50 reasonably priced, tasty cocktails and take a look out upon the street; complete with vomiting, bust exposed girls being chased broken healed by kebab wielding men.
Located: 67 Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7TG
For more details visit: The Loft Clapham
2) Sugar Cane
Lets face it, in the UK the chances are its raining, cold or overcast or quite possibly, all of the above. If you fancy a bit of sunshine all year round; gather a group of people, friends, randoms – it doesnt matter, jump on the tube, hop off at Clapham Common and take a short 15 minutes walk to Sugar Cane. Alternatively take the over ground to Clapham Junction. There you will find solace, sunshine and tiki – (tiki is the Polynesian god) which means in real terms, rum, rum and err more rum. An extensive selection of cocktails is available, included rum based tiki drinks, the classics and Sugar Cane originals such as the Grass Skirt; vodka, rum, grapes, elderflower and apple. Yum! You could conclude, with the wicker chairs, palm trees and carved statues, that Sugar Cane is a little tacky but that doesnt matter, its tongue in cheek and cheery. Along with the tat, youll also find a great welcoming atmosphere and, as mentioned above, year round sunshine, a metaphor, of course. Musically, Sugar Cane is a huge miss-mash, expect anything from hip-hop, jazz, funk, rock, old school to the classics.
Located: 247-249 Lavender Hill, London, SW11 1JW
For more details visit: The Sugar Cane
3) Brixton Bar and Grill
Just a short walk from Brixton tube station, just off Brixton Road youll find Brixton Bar and Grill, located under a Victorian railway arch, pretty much in the centre of colourful and lively Brixton market. Accommodated over 3 rooms – the intimately lit front bar, the middle room complete with, oak table and a lone chandelier and the funky cocktail lounge styled with mismatched furnishings. As far as the tunes are concerned, expect house, old school, breaks, that sort of jazz plus occasional live acts. As for the drinks, youll get great cocktails made with premium spirits. All the above pulls in a mixed crowd of locals and young professionals. Brixton Bar and Grills close proximity to Brixton Academy, make it the perfect for pre and post gig drinks – theyve even been know for posting unofficial pre-event parties.
Located: 15 Atlantic Road Brixton, London, SW9 8HX
For more details visit: Brixton Bar and Grill
4) Lost Society
Step off the train at Clapham Common; avoid being propositioned or mildly harangued by those casually cottaging (only joking, was a problem years ago), head down Wandsworth Road and pop into a fantastic experience of decadence and history, step into Lost Society. Set over 6 opulent rooms and a heated secret garden, – perfect for the smokers among us, Lost Society was originally a 2 storey 16th century barn, which once hosted a banquet for Elizabeth I. This heritage, along with the decadent, contemporary art deco decor, sets the foundations for a great evening. Lost Society tends to attract a diverse array of partying punters, reflected by the music policy – supplied by Lost Societys resident DJs. Party on while they traverse breaks, funk, electro, house, disco and punk, stopping at many stations between. A stand out venue in the South West London area, Lost Societys ethos is intelligent drinking, as such the cocktails are exceptional. Also worth checking out is Lost Societies equally cool sister bar, Lost Angel, situated in nearby Battersea Park.
Located: 697 Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 3JF
For more details visit: Lost Society
5) Suburban Bar Lounge
This is a cool little bar offering an impressive range of over 150 cocktails, but you wont just get a drink, youll get the glass juggling and showmanship of expert mixologists with a smile and without the pretension. Based in West Londons upmarket suburb of Wimbledon, Suburban Bar & Lounge is a friendly place – the passageway to the rear garden reinforces this, its covered with framed photos of punters enjoying themselves and the bar. The rest of the venue is smart, chocolate brown, the bar is terracotta tiled and theres even a lounge area with fire. The music is indie, retro and loud.
Located: 27 Hartfield Road, Wimbledon, London, SW19 3SG
For more details visit: Surbaban Bar
6) The Peacock
And now for something a bit different. This Clapham bar and club can claim to be Londons number one burlesque and cabaret club. And thats exactly what you get on Friday and Saturday, followed by DJs playing the best retro tunes from 1970-s/80s/90s. Best thing is, with all this entertainment to be had, it wont cost you a bean, zilch, nothing – fantastic and rare, travel to the West End and youll pay a premium for this sort of fun. The Peacock is a fun place to be, you can tell that from the decor, clever juxtaposition of baroque, retro, and rococo or just a jumble of styles? You decide, either way, its unique, impressive and one of the coolest places to be in South West London, think about this as you relax on achaise longue peering at the free entertainment. Liquid refreshment comes in the form of classic cocktails, fruit beers as well as the usual goodies. Alight at Clapham Junction, its only a 3 minute walk.
Located: 148 Falcon Rd, Clapham Junction, London, SW11 2LW
For more details visit: The Peacock Bar
7) Adventure Bar and Lounge Battersea
If youre looking for something a little more intimate, Adventure Bar and Lounge, Battersea is your place. Just a crawl away from Clapham Junction, Adventure Bar and Lounge is perfect if you want quality, inexpensive cocktails, theyre 2-4-1 before 8, great tunes as long as you dont mind being cramped and sweaty in a hectic environment. The musical offering of this Battersea bar is what sets it apart from others in the area, no house, no breaks, no hip hop but indie and retro by request –perfect for a sweaty, dance and booze filled evenings. And given the packed-in –like an-over-stuffed-beanbag-circumstances, you may come out with a few fun memories and a few more numbers in your phone.
Located: 91 Battersea Rise, Battersea, London, SW11 1HW
For more details visit: Adventure Bar
8) The Holy Drinker
Northcote Road is a veritable Mecca for the trendy bar goer, it is the pinnacle of the Clapham area, inevitably this saturation effects the quality of bar on offer, however The Holy Drinker is a puritanical drinking experience, alchopops have been ex-communicated and only premium sprits are served. Get off the tube at Clapham Common and head down Northcote Road for about 15 minutes, passing, and resisting, the numerous tempting bars on display. Hold out, all expectations are about to be surpassed. This is the original sin, one of the first bars in the area and it sets a precedent. Music is extremely varied and depends on the night – anything from a little light drum n bass to The Doors. The Holy Drinker is usually packed and buzzing but dont worry as there is extra accommodation outside in the form of a canopied and heated outdoor seating area, as it happens its not a graveyard!
Located: 59 Northcote Road, Clapham Junction, London, SW11 1NP
For more details visit: Holy Drinker
9) The Hive Brixton
Beehive Place, Brixton looks fairly inconspicuous – youd never guessed this was the black market capital of London. Bootleg Bill MacDonald moved into the area and turned it into a bootleggers heaven, and due to American prohibition, he made a fortune shipping illicit booze. Style wise, a tribute to this theme has carried over to The Hive today, along with simple, slick elegance two characters peer from the walls, a gun toting American prohibition era gangster and his female companion. Smallish, intimate, this South West London bar is more a cocktail lounge cum restaurant, well it feels much more like a living room to be honest, but that adds to the charm and makes it the perfect place to chat amongst friends with a large range of wine, a great selection of cocktails and live music, what more could you possibly want?
Located: 11-13 Brixton Station Road, Brixton, London, SW9 8PA
For more details visit: Hive Bar
10) The Windmill
And finally, though not a bar, more of a pub, is The Windmill. This legendary Brixton live music venue brings the very best in up and coming bands and artists, in the past well known act such as Biffy Clyro, The Wombats, Plan B, The Rakes, The Magic Numbers and Scouting for Girls to name but a few. Basically this is typical, scuzzyBrixton boozer but with bands, so no fancy cocktails, just the usual fodder served friendly and cheaply. Why not start your night with a band then end with a bang at one of the other nearby bar, as above. To get here, get off atBrixton tube, walk up Brixton Hill after about 10 minutes, turn left into Blenheim Gardens.Yeah, it looks a bit weird from the outside but trust me, youll enjoy it. Especially if youve checked out the listings – from time to time big bands will pop back to the place they started out. Why not check out one the bands; afterwards, if you want to dance, you could head up to one of Brixtons late bars.
Located: 22 Blenheim Gardens Brixton, London, SW2 5BZ
For more details visit: The Windwill