in my quest for AGA World Food to find the world through food in London its amazing what one finds on our own doorstep, those hidden away ‘off the high street’ places. Working in food you never get away from it and lunch with a friend brought me to Harrison’s in Balham. Fabulous food, fabulous service, and a great place for brunch.
Harrison’s, an informal 90-seat neighbourhood restaurant established in 2007, is run by Sam Harrison and co-owned by Rebecca Mascarenhas and Rick Stein. Both restaurant and bar were redesigned by Design LSM (Galvin La Chapelle; Goodman Restaurants; Burger and Lobster; Sam’s Brasserie & Bar) who have created a neutral colour scheme with vibrant turquoise bar stools and dining chairs, whilst rich orange, deep buttoned banquette seating has been added into the front window area. Reclaimed factory pendants with bare light bulbs hang above the bar.
“Downstairs at Harrison’s” is a new candlelit cocktail bar with intimate booth seating and a specially designed bar running the full length of one wall. The design is heavily influenced by Sam’s favourite New York bars and evokes a luxurious feel of times gone by. The bar will be full table service or sitting at the bar (reservations available) with a no-standing policy. All furniture is bespoke with brass-edged stools and tables and black leather seats edged with brass studs.
The raised area at the rear of Harrison’s has been transformed into a private dining room where the team can arrange bespoke menus and events. The room can also be used for drinks parties, gatherings and meetings.
Sam Harrison says, “To celebrate Harrison’s fifth anniversary I decided it was time for a refurbishment, restyling and freshening-up of the restaurant and bar. To match the fresh new look we also have a fantastic new menu devised by myself and our new Head Chef, Ian Leckie. With a new chef and a new look, I predict very exciting times ahead!”
Rick Stein says, “It’s been a great pleasure to be involved with Harrison’s for the last five years. Right from the start I’ve felt that a very local restaurant in somewhere like Balham, with good prices, contemporary cooking and an easy atmosphere was just what everyone living in London wanted. And so it has proved to be as they have a loyal local following. It’s been a delight working with Sam and his staff over the last five years . I am excited by what Sam and Ian have planned for the new menu at Harrison’s and agree it was time to freshen up the style and look of the place. I know that Sam has taken what he has learned from his time at Sam’s Brasserie and also influences from Sydney and New York. Exciting times ahead for Balham.”