Clapham is the cool, older brother of West London. It may be laid-back, but it’s certainly not sleepy. Gigalum is firmly established as the best party going in Clapham. Summer is all year round at this Ibiza-inspired garden terrace bar – with huge awnings and outdoor heaters. This place has seen the likes of Nicky Romero, Sister Bliss and Judge Jules on the decks, attracting punters from far and wide. SO.UK is another swanky number in the uber-trendy Clapham Common. It’s all new-age with a Pan-Asian food menu, a premium cocktail list and magnums of vintage champagnes. SO.UK also won Best DJ Bar in 2015 – and that’s reason enough to join the lively bearded, checked shirt and ironic trainer wearing crowd on a weekend. Close to Clapham Common, lies the vinyl-clad Venn St Records. This rock and roll high-flyer is one for the music lovers - with records lining the exposed brick, neon splashed walls. Even the men’s toilets are covered in retro album covers – and you can sup drinks called AC/Daiquiri and Pedro Ximenez sherry, whilst you attempt to look artfully cool and hip.
Down the road from Clapham lies notorious Brixton. With the massive hipster movement in 2015, Brixton has raised its game – and is now an epicentre for all things music, food, drink and all-nighters. The Dogstar is a Brixton institute with a strong and loyal following. Dating back to the days when Brixton was the new kid on the block, and this three storey corner pub still exudes that urban authenticity. The music encompasses everything from hip hop to drum ’n’ bass to funk – make sure you get there early and bag a top spot next to the pool table. The Grand Union Brixton boasts one of the best beer gardens in the capital, dubbed The Pleasure Garden. It’s a wonderland of lights, al fresco drinking and quirky tables - this is where you want to settle down for the night.
Balham, set in the rowdy triangle between Clapham and Brixton, has long been thought of as under the shadow of the former – but has come out fighting. The area, renowned for comedy nights, has become a hugely popular spot to start your night in the capital due to its close proximity to the Underground and National Rail Stations. It has also cemented its reputation as one of the hippest areas in South London. The Bedford is imprinted on the heart of every Balhamian, with a packed crowd every night of the week. It serves traditional pub ales, cracking pub grub and a seriously friendly atmosphere. The Exhibit is also well worth a visit in Balham. It’s a bar / diner / cinema and private venue spread over three gigantic floors – a party heaven.
Battersea is another vivid area in South London - it’s not just the power station on the cover of Pink Floyd’s album, Animals. The bars in Battersea are out of this world, but none quite compare to Lost Angel. Dedicated to Old Britannia, there’s a picture of the Queen on the wall and a typewriter in a phone box. They also have Bloody Mary Sundays for a spot of Hair of the Dog after a long weekend – this is our kind of bar.
The South London party is unlike any other – it’ll be a late night of celebrating your stag weekend in the madcap capital. Find out more about South London nightlife with our London Bridge bar crawl, and the wealth of activities and accommodation on our stag weekends page.