Balham is growing up to become the cooler, decidedly more understated little brother to nearby Clapham. Although it still oozes its own sense of character, evident in quirky mainstays like the Balham Bowls Club, the polished wood of Harrison's and draw of its Waitrose risks losing its hip factor. The happy hour at Tacuba Bar soon makes up for it. But if we have to go to another friend's 30th at The Avalon, we might have to up sticks and go elsewhere.
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