On its website the Falcon claims to be ‘a Clapham pub beaming with cheery charm,’ and would you know what? It may be a boastful statement, but it’s actually not all that far off.
Tucked round the back of Clapham North station and Clapham High Street, The Falcon takes on an almost village pub feel, with its yellow, freestanding building masked by a front beer garden. It’s been a little neglected over the years and could use a bit of a spruce and perhaps some additional foliage, and with passing traffic, the front garden doesn’t take on the kind of charming appeal it may otherwise have. Luckily, a rear beer garden is much more welcoming, lit up prettily at night time with mood-enhancing, purple-hued fairy lights.
Indoors is a more muted and traditional affair, where moss coloured walls meet wooden floorboards, with a more formal dining area to the left complete with red leather and velvet banquette booths, while to the right of the bar and round to the back is a more relaxed table and chair arrangement for casual drinkers. The bar has an impressively large service area to allow for a big audience at peak times.
The crowd at the Falcon is predominantly at the more youthful end of the young professional scale, as you may expect for Clapham. They can make this quite the lively spot come evenings and weekends, but that doesn’t preclude a quiet catch-up in the corner with friends, if that’s what you’re after. Bar staff are pleasant enough, but not an exceptional example of that ‘cheery charm’.
Although the food offering here is nothing out of the ordinary, those of a simple pub grub disposition will enjoy tucking into fish and chips (£10), burgers (from £9.75) and sausage and mash (£9.50). Slightly more dainty options with a gastro lean include whole baked sea bream with lemon and herb butter (£13.50) and a warm lentil salad (£9.25). Starters can be bundled together into groups of three for £12.50, for group-friendly bar-snacking, while nachos (£8.50), a vegetarian board (£14) and a meat platter (£15) fulfil the same purpose.
Ales and lagers are well represented at the Falcon’s bar, with Leffe, Erdinger and Sierra Nevada as well as Sharp’s Doom Bar and St Austell Tribute all making an appearance on draught. Wines are beyond the norm too – ask the bar staff for a dry white wine and you may be surprised with the list of options thrown back your way from Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand and Chile to oaked and unoaked Chardonnays.
The Last Word
For what is for all intents and purposes a station pub, Clapham’s Falcon has an inviting, community feel on the inside and although it has plenty of competition in the area, it definitely makes a good effort to stand up to other options.