Post number 1 of my one woman mission to put Streatham back on the map. And I’m referring, unsurprisingly, to a bar.
But this ain’t just any bar. No siree bob. This is a bar, live music venue, community hub and a hostel – all with a particularly awesome beer garden complete with squishy sofas and murals.
The gigs are free, it isn’t crowded, and it’s comfy. Plus the loos have plenty of music adverts and posters plastering them to entertain when one is voiding the bladder. Makes a change from the usual ‘Call 07895****** for a GOOD TIME. Girls and guys!’ (I always wonder if someone genuinely wrote that, or if it’s a prank with a mate’s number. Usually I go for the latter but you never know) or the ‘M luvz K 4evaz 2005’. I’m just dying to buy some of these people a dictionary.
Yeah. I much prefer the band photos and posters plastering these particular cubicles.
The inside is a little shabby, but in a comfortable way. Big cushions, corners to hide in. A small stage in the corner where the bands play. The drinks behind the bar are particularly interesting, in that they’re stored in shelves made from old guitars…
Novel use for them, right?
The whole thing is run by a charity called ‘Music4Children’. They began working with children in Nepal, who had been orphaned by the civil war, but then in 2009 they founded The White Lion.
It’s in a (rather beautiful) Victorian building, that at the time had fallen into disrepair. But with volunteers, donated items and lots of good luck – they managed to put together something really special. As well as being a bar and music venue, they have a workshop space in the back where they put on educational, creative and fun events for children…for free!
The charity is also known for staging the world’s highest gig in the Himalayas, raising huge amounts of money for the cause. It was kind of cool to sit and drink in a pub that does so much good for the world. Made it feel even more special.
In other words, it’s definitely worth a visit. And it’s a place to stay for those holidaying or stopping in London…Streatham isn’t central, but hop on a train and it’s only about 15 minutes away from Victoria. It’s 10 minutes from Brixton on the bus, maybe about 20 to Clapham. In other words you’re well connected.
Plus you’re doing a charity a favour.
So kudos to Music4children and The White Lion. You got a new fan in me.