Balham – Ugly, Abominable & Unpleasant

balham picBalham – ugly, abominable and unpleasant. Once, maybe. But not any more.

Post Sunday morning church relaxation invariably involves a freshly pressed cafetiere, the Sunday Times and the sofa in the sitting room. Imagine my surprise when turning to the ‘Homes and Gardens’ section I found this in an old copy I’d saved.

Apparently Balham was the second best suburb in which to live in the whole of London. It lost out to Ally Pally (who’d have thought).

This is what was said,

Described by Arthur Ransome as “the ugliest and most abominable of London’s unpleasing suburbs”, this is now one of the capital’s most sought-after addresses. A sure sign of its rise: the gourmet-pizza mini chain Franco Manca has added a Balham branch to its outposts in Chiswick, Northcote Road and Broadway Market. The area’s other middle-class landmarks include Waitrose, Oliver Bonas, Trinity Cafe and Deli, a Rick Stein-owned brasserie, Harrisons (now gone and replaced by Foxlow -ed), and the weekly farmers’ market. Tooting Commons have a lido and tennis courts.

Prices range from £625,000 for a two-bedroom maisonette to £3m for a large detached home. Local primaries include Henry Cavendish, Telferscot and the outstanding Chestnut Grove Academy. The transport links are great, too — Balham station is on the Northern line, and has rail links to Victoria in 15 minutes, Gatwick in 40 minutes and Brighton in an hour.

Why we love it It’s no longer the new Clapham: it’s more serene and the high street doesn’t resemble a drunken stag do.

If a two bedroom maisonette is going for £600K, you might understand why our guys are having to buy in Streatham, Mitcham and Norbury!

But we like it. It’s where church is. And we love who lives here. It’s home. Even though we now live in Streatham!

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