Balham is a vibrant, multicultural community filled with the kind of fashionable clubs, bars, restaurants, cafés and patisseries that reflect its recent influx of young professionals - and soaring property prices. Beautifully located, Balham is surrounded by some of London's great commons, all within easy reach, namely Wandsworth Common, Clapham Common and Tooting Common. Whether Dogging or Jogging, or just Badger-watching, Balham is the place to be. Balham offers everything from convenience and specialty shopping to a leisure centre providing swimming, squash, aerobics, sauna, steamroom, sunbeds, massage, beauty therapy and a gym, but as befits an area that claims to house the world's longest-running scout group, it also celebrates the past. The London Sewing Machine Museum in Balham High Road is a fascinating attraction, with one of England's biggest private collections, open for viewing on the first Saturday afternoon of every month (no children under 14). And Du Cane Court, one of the biggest private housing developments in Europe, is renowned for its landmark art-deco buildings.
Where to stay
==========Gateway Hotel, 14 Balham Hill, London, SW12 9EB - Not for nothing is Balham known as England's Gateway to the South, and the privately owned and run Gateway Hotel is set to provide the personal touch. All 20 rooms provide comfortable en-suite facilities, delivering quality and economy without uniformity. Wireless internet access is available in all public areas and rooms. A well equipped meeting room is also available. The hotel is two minutes from Clapham South Tube station with easy access to the city, West End and Wimbledon. It is also situated a stones throw away from Clapham Common with its famous wild Badger population and friendly Rastafarians and within walking distance of many quality restaurants, pubs, clubs and shops.
So to our American readers, don't be strangers!