Ben’s Canteen, Clapham

  • DATE #The Place on the Hill
  • Written by Emily Eaves (Guest Author)
  • 7 years ago

The Vibe

Describing itself as The Place on the Hill, Ben’s Canteen is right in the hub of the St John’s Hill area of Clapham – the leafy enclave where suits, Sloanes and slackers buy their first flats and drink rosé on a Summer’s evening. Ben’s is the ultimate in smart shabby chic – old school chairs, wooden floorboards, chalk slates and mason jars a plenty. There’s also a constant buzz from Sunday brunching, after work drinking or intimate cosy dinners. Like the rest of SW11, it’s safe and it’s snug- you won’t get pounding music and you’re likely to bump into at least one person you went to school with.

The Order

Food at Ben’s Canteen is heavy- they serve 5 different kinds of chips. The Po Boy and the Pulled Pork Bap are the finest of their kind but it’s not a place to dine if you want to leave feeling sexy. The best bet here is to stick with the creative and well presented drinks, and if you just happen to stumble across this gem on a Tuesday you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find 2-for-1 cocktails. There is an English Gins section on the drinks menu which shouldn’t be ignored and Meantime London Lager is expertly pulled by good-looking barmen. If you’re craving something sweet, venture to the dessert menu and feed each other the naughtiness that is a Jaffa Cake Trifle (served in a jam jar) or the Upside Down Cheesecake.

The Game

You need to arrive early or reserve a table. The front of the restaurant is great for being in the midst of the local action (with top to toe glass windows onto the aforementioned hill) while the back part is more intimate and secluded. Go for cocktails, share a bottle of wine or use it just as a stop off for dessert and a nightcap before heading back to theirs (with any luck just off the hill). If you’re desperate to try their vast dishes of un-seductive (but delicious) fare, go back the next morning for The Big Ben Brunch.

The Faults

You’ll need to be content to spend the whole evening here as the surrounding area is relatively dry in its offerings – think bike shops and authentic Italian trattorias.

Sex Factor

0-5 – this place is flexible and will lend itself accordingly to romance, as long as you don’t overdo it on the carbs.

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