The Bedford information

The Bedford is spread across two bars on the ground floor, with a ballroom and two theatres. Live music nights feature regularly as well as comedy show and club on the weekends.

Ranked #355 of 2091 pubs & bars in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours
Mon-Thu 15:00-00:00
Fri 14:00-02:00
Sat 11:00-02:00
Sun 12:00-00:00

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What did you think of The Bedford?

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The Bedford reviews

By Sarah W.

As a reviewer below stated this pub has gone extremely down hill. The bar staff are rude and seem to have no management. The music in the main bar is loud and on loop .. Not ideal!. Used to love this pub but won't be back along with many others in the Balham area.

By Samantha W.

Have been here a few times, and always had quite an average experience. The bar staff are always slow and never equipped to serve the number of patrons. My last experience was particularly bad... Having heard the Wednesday night quiz was back, we checked on the website and lo under the 'What's On' for that day, the quiz was listed. We arrived at the bar, stood at the bar for the typical lengthy wait, to ask where the quiz was being held. We were told abruptly, by a staff member who looked greatly put-out by patrons daring to interrupt her night, that there was no quiz tonight. When pressed she told us to 'check the website', when we told her that is exactly what we did, she shrugged and walked off. We then thought we might make the most of the night and order something to eat... we went to the bar again to order the Share Platter that was prominently displayed on the middle of the menu. After waiting an interminable time.. yet again... we were this time told that they didn't have meal. No apology, no explanation. At this point we were obviously fed up, and walked out, vowing never to return again. Such a shame that this is my local.

By Kelly H.

The Bedford has an illustrious history filled with live music and comedy from the likes of Al Murray, Harry Hill, U2, Paolo Nutini and James Morrison. Who knew that ‘Saaf Laandon’ had such star appeal?

The Venue
The Bedford is hardly the O2 Arena, but it’s certainly a lot more sizeable than your bog-standard boozer. The sprawling, corner-positioned building cuts an impressive figure and is very well located, spitting distance from Balham tube station.

On the ground floor, The Bedford could be any one of a thousand British pubs with its wood-heavy décor, trendily battered furniture, granny lamps, beer garden and homely appeal. It’s not until you scratch the surface that you start to uncover what sets this place apart. First, there’s the downstairs live music venue, which is sparse, dingy and firmly focussed around a decent-sized stage (well it would have to be given the stars who have performed here in the past!). Then there’s the comedy area complete with a wall covered with the faces of famous comics who have performed here in the past. And it’s an impressive mix.

The Atmosphere
Make no mistake, The Bedford is a legendary pub – both in the music and comedy worlds. The legends who have performed here are among the best the world has seen and for a little pub in south London to have drawn them in is nothing short of incredible.

These days, the regular comedy nights and live music events don’t often attract Glastonbury headliners but they still have a strong focus on quality acts, so you may end up watching the Amy Winehouse or Robin Williams of the future starting out in their career. On top of this, The Bedford has branched out with the entertainment that it offers and you can also get active mid-week with Zumba or swing dance classes. Of course, this is a fully functioning pub, so if it’s just a pint you want, that is perfectly acceptable.

The Food
There’s a simple menu available at The Bedford, covering pub classics at £10-£15 a dish. Fish and chips, burgers, pie of the day and steaks mix with slightly more inventive options such as butternut squash and baby spinach lasagne. It’s certainly not gastro fare but isn’t the sort of sub-level stomach-lining grub that has you reaching for a pint just to drown out the flavours.

The Drink
The Bedford has a huge selection of draught pumps to choose from, covering most of the main high street lagers (such as Heineken, San Miguel, Red Stripe, Kronenbourg, Stella and Carling) alongside draught cider and ales. The ales include a mix of Sharp's Doombar, Itchen Valley Pure Gold, Courage Director's and a particularly nice Caledoinian Deuchars IPA. If you prefer the grape to the grain then there’s a small list of bottles covering all of the main commercial grape varieties and starting at just £14 a bottle.

The Last Word
The Bedford is a great pub in its own right with a cosy, lived-in appeal and fantastic range of draught beer. Beyond that, this place is legendary – and that’s not a word to be thrown around lightly.

By Alan B.

Not too bad really, gets busy and the staff seem to struggle coping, but all in all exactly what you'd expect from a busy pub. Always sems to be something going on inside. Not everyones cup of tea but still, what is?

By Tom S.

This pub has always been a quality night out, even on a Tuesday it's got dance classes live music and two bars to choose from - spit n' sawdust round the corner, or a nice saloon (overlit though). I've taken mates from the other side of the world here and said this is why London pub's are famous. Clubnight on fridays and saturdays is a laugh too.

By Sonia C.

Its alright in here, I've been here during the day time and I spotted an actress who was in Eastenders years ago, Gita.

By James W.

The main reason i go to The Bedford is for the Banana Cabaret comedy shows on Fridays and Saturdays, they have a really good mix of up and coming comedians as well as the odd established name every now and again. Definitely worth heading down for a few pints after dinner on a Friday night and enjoying some good comedy. I know they also have some good live music in the week but I'm yet to check this out, though I am tempted as the place is generally really friendly with an enjoyable atmosphere in the evenings.

By Welsh S.

Simply the best pub/club south of the river!

Cracking atmosphere, great music although abit more 90's dance wouldn't go amiss, security is good and not too overbearing.

Girls everywhere, place to be if your young free and single! rock out with your clout out trevor garmin!!!

By C.

To anonymous... What did I expect? I expected to be able to enjoy my friend's hen night without my ears bleeding and to have a place to sit! :-)

By C.

I went to a friend's hen night at The Bedford on a Saturday when the Banana Cabaret was in effect. The four comedians at The Bedford that night ranged from the fairly dismal (a chap who referred to everyone as fucker) to some quite clever material.

I nearly fell off my perch when I saw the price of the drinks, although this may be that I'm simply not used to London prices! However, the worst thing that happened was that the whole lot of us were dumped off our table by the staff trying to clear the floor for dancing. It was rather rude, especially as we had spent a substantial amount of money at the place (3 bottles of champagne plus food, drinks and entrance fees for a party of 12) and the table hardly infringed on the floor at all.

We were left standing around without even the uncomfortable chairs we had to put up with during the show. Plus, they turned the music up so loud I couldn't talk to anyone. My friend and I made our excuses and left.

By E.

Service at The Bedford was so poor I left!! The manager came after me and offered a free drink - I said keep it. He would be better off managing his staff.

By B.

Had high hopes due to positive reviews on various websites like this one - was sorely disappointed. Went on a Saturday night (29.01.2005) and spent the whole evening standing with my friends in a line as we were passed by a constant stream of people winding their way through the packed out pub. Am surprised they don't ask everyone to stand still - then they could reach maximum standing capacity and break EU rules on conditions under which animals can be kept! (In short - would be far better if they let in about half as many people, it was stupidly rammed).

Though some seemed to enjoy the resulting condensation and menopausal temperatures, I passed on the opportunity to pay £5 to enter the club. At 11.30 I was grateful to be hit by the coldness of a January evening and make my way home where I am more able to swing a cat.

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