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Moon Under Water, Balham

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user reviews of the Moon Under Water, Balham

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Was here a while back, got stuck into a few pints of Devils Backbone which was a nice drop.

Gone to the bogs for a piss and proper fired one out, fella next ta me says "thats the loudest piss ive ever heard''. Big fart at the end, was not sure if fella was a gay. I'm not, you should hear my loud piss!
pissbehindthecupboard - 21 Jan 2016 14:29
Standard Spoons. Decent beer good service. Nothing remarkable but solid and does what it says on the JDW tin. Not quite sure it's what George Orwell had in mind btw.
terenced - 26 May 2015 08:49
One of the better Spoons I have been in, Manager chatted about the ales and actually seemed to know what he was talking about!
sgstrummer - 3 Aug 2014 23:08
The toilets have recently had a bit of a refurb, which is a great improvement. Tables have been put along the side wall which fold down on Friday evenings when the pub gets very busy. If you want wifi then you ought to sit in the front two-thirds of the pub as it gets very flaky after that. The staff are very good, very quick. For some reason they are all a bit gothy but there's nothing wrong with that, Goths are usually pretty clever people. It is pretty small - but there is lots of seating. In a way it's a good old Irish/Jamaican pub like there used to be 1000s of in South London 20 years ago, and that's a good thing, for me.
I should say that I almost always go there in the hours of noon to six (not all at once!), so I don't really know what it is like after about 8pm.
Being a Wetherspoon's the food is "standard", but it is normally pretty quick, and hot.
BTW, you couldn't do much better for transport! Bus stops are right outside the door. The Tube is about 30 metres away and the Railway about 100m away; you could be at Victoria in 20 minutes from your seat!
offramp - 13 May 2014 10:26
A small Spoons right next door to Balham station. Popped in for a quick pint tonight. The Arundel Old was excellent.

Didnt experience any of the staffing issues mentioned previously. Both staff serving were attentive and I only waited a couple of minutes to be served.
twineyboy - 22 Oct 2012 22:16
Well said cave - but knowing you, I can see what she wouldn't have wanted any eye contact. A lot of people don't like blokes with one eye looking at the other!
tempest - 13 Sep 2012 00:29
When will management and bar staff realise that, without customers they do not have a job.
We are a necessary evil in a pub.
I approached the bar and waited, as one does, I was suitably ignored.
A person with a strange scalp like object protruding from her head deigned to take my order whilst speaking to another member of staff on my side of the bar.
No eye contact with me whatsoever therefore no engagement with customer.
Luckily the pint of Adnams was most enjoyable.
cavernwalks - 12 Sep 2012 20:25
First time in last night.
Nice guinness,nice service.
Small for a wetherspoons.
Fairly packed ,nice mix of people.
Great for a quick one.
rainbowian - 10 Jun 2012 13:35
Mixed views on this pub. Plus points is that the service was friendly and the beer was reasonably priced. Minus points were that is was characterless and a bit of a God's waiting room full of old alcoholics waiting to die. Bit sad really.
thaiscubadiver - 11 Jun 2011 18:56
hahah- the future of Britain in 'trendy' London- not the worst pub in Balham though, in fact, probably one of the better bets as the number of pubs in London South of river decline sharply- Mgahan has made a good review and little to add here- it's a typical Wetherspoons with all the usual nonsense and crass mass-marketing offered by the behemoth of the down-and-out, but goodness this one is a dump- dank, dirty and everything a British afternoon out should be- in that sense, you're neither surprised nor let down, but as you dare to drink from a glass that one of these drop-outs has drank from, consider could be alive in Balham in 20 years time......
alezilla - 20 Feb 2011 20:49
Here is where old folks, and the debris of post industrial Britain come to drink cheaply in their declining years before they die. This is a very small pub and OK for a quick tipple during beer festivals, although the best beers never seem to make it to here, they always seems to be the lower strength ones. Perhaps the managememt do not want to serve strong ales here, doubt if the old folks would care anyway. Perhaps I am just a snob, maybe i will end up here one day trying to eke out my pension. I live locally and it is handy for me!
mgahan - 7 Jan 2011 14:14
I used to venture into this pub some years ago when a good friend worked behind the bar (don't ask me why). There were many incidents involving the "clientele" that spring to mind.

One in particular involved us sitting down to eat the famous Weather burger when one local sidled up to our table, fag in mouth spitting ash all over the place and announced he was in the 'forces'. He then went on to say he was from Newcastle, as our friend also was. Heartended by meeting a fellow geordie, the man stepped up his efforts and spat ash and smoke all over our food babbling nonsense about the 'forces' and refusing to move away.

Then there was a 11pm rendition of Rod Stewart's Maggie by a local who clearly survives on neat Captain Morgan and if you watch football in there be warned.

Overall the place is worth a visit just to see the state of the people and say to yourself "that will never be me"
baronmau - 13 Sep 2010 15:38
This place is grim- in fact it's put me off ever going back to Balham. Me and my girlfriend went there one Saturday (afternoon I hasten to add) and without exception every patron of this establishment was stranded between middle age and senility, had at least six teeth missing, and was staring vacantly into space or talking with their friends whilst using as few consonants as possible. We had our share of baleful, yellow-eyed stares as we cautiously took our seats in the corner.

It was like a halfway house or day care centre without the carers.

To top it all, several of these delightful characters started swaying and singing and leaning against each other in the opposite corner.

It was like being on a pirate ship, no I mean a real pirate ship, not the Hollywood stereotype.

Don't go to the dark place.
followedthrough - 9 Sep 2010 22:32
A typical Wetherspoons. You know what youre gonna get. Not the worst pub in Balham though. For that cross the road and go in the Blithe Spirit.
totting - 29 May 2010 10:47
A below average Wetherspoon although the staff are more friendly than many. Have you ever met anybody that has participated in the “Award-winning Training”? Although it doesn’t seem so, the clientele are mostly friendly.

Ideal if you want to consume copious quantities of reasonably-priced beer. As usual, stay well clear of the Guinness - where do they get this stuff from?

Unfortunately, your consumption of copious quantities of the reasonably priced beer means that sooner or later a visit to the toilets is necessary.

Alas, if you thought the pub was bad you shouldn’t be too surprised by the state the toilets. Tim Martin publishes a bloody great magazine each month praising Wetherspoon’s wonderful toilets - does he need to piss? Or is there a private one for Tim?

I probably don’t need to tell you this but somebody has to counteract Tim’s ‘spin’. They are dreadful! How often they are cleaned is anybody’s guess. The staff manage to avoid this onerous task by not bothering to inspect them. For some reason it’s nobody’s job.

Manager, it’s your job - get it sorted!

meict - 10 Feb 2010 16:41
This is just a normal London pub. It's just all the oversensitive suburban mummy's boys and girls who move to Balham when they finish uni who cant handle it because it is a big dose of reality and isnt full of pretty, happy smiley friendly polite people.
mike25 - 16 Nov 2009 20:00
A very average Spoons. I was waiting patiently at the bar for my turn to be served and three young ladies walked in. The barman walked past me to serve them first. Yep, yet another graduate from the Wetherspoons academy of highly trained alert bar staff.
The choice of guest ales was not wide. Apart from the predictable Ruddles Best, Abbott, Directors and Pedigree there was just one 'guest' being Brewsters Decadence which, to be fair, was in excellent condition, and with 50p off with my CAMRA voucher was just £1.39.
Not a pub to dally in.
Grailhunter - 24 Sep 2009 16:52
Breakfast is pretty good for £2 but a lot of the regulars smell of stale tobacco or worse. An excellent choice if you don't want to bump into your friends. 9am drinking is available for the determined alcoholic.
TauntonHeat - 30 Jul 2009 23:29
Few points are reading the other comments:

1) Its not "just like other 'Spoons", compare this to Wimbledon or Cross Quays?
2) It smells of piss, they must swap carpets once a year with the one in tooting broadway
3) its always got some nutcase outside who I have to swerve to avoid on my way to any other pub in balham
4) yes its cheap but i'm not going to tolerate everything else
5) its usually a tip, yes served quickly but i image the staff dont want to go anywhere near the customers or their "mess".

it needs a refurb and some door staff.
thomasgx1 - 17 Jun 2009 17:16
Dropped in here for an all afternooner with a bunch of mates, the place was packed but the service was still pretty good, wasnt that impressed with the choice of ales on display and after a few abbots swapped to being a lager lout, typical spoons really - 7/10
Nurke - 8 Apr 2009 16:27
This bar is not that bad, ok some of the clientelle may not be well kept, but its dirt cheap and the staff are good. Anyway does anyone really enter a Wetherspoons expecting high Society?
HENDO - 19 Jan 2009 15:57
This place is anywhere near as bad as the other reviewers on here would have you believe. It's probably not the venue for you if you're looking to create a big impression on a first date with a glamorous lady, but it's perfectly OK in a london wetherspoons way.

I go in here for a quick pint or two maybe once every couple of months, and in its favour it's very cheap, is clean, has sport on TV, the bar staff are usually good, and there's a perfectly decent range of well kept beers & lagers.

Motley crew they may be but I've never once detected even a faint hint of menace from any of the patrons in here, even on the one or two occasions that I've [shamefully] snuck in & out without buying a drink after going for an evening in the centre of town and arrived at Balham station bursting for the gents.
TFP - 16 Jan 2009 15:47
A grim pub, really grim! Did get a cooked breakfast for about £2 one saturday morning after the rugby though.
monteiths_nz - 22 Nov 2008 18:36
Could this be britains worst pub??? It must be close
The_Pub_Inspector - 12 Nov 2008 17:20
It is an experience, on that I think everyone is agreed. They doo a variety of ales in varying conditions. Watched three police cars and a mob truck pull up at about 1pm one Saturday to take away one man. Brilliant. Up until about two years ago you were lucky if a urinal worked. Oh yes, there is despair, mobility scooters, toothless old man, scrotes, chavs, scumbags, deadbeats, men who will bleat for hous about the 'bitch who ruined their life', ex-cons, tag wearers, the smell of death and stale piss - but I'll tell you what, staggering off the northern line at 11.30pm after eight hours on the beer and thinking you want a closer and finding only £1.85 in your pocket and not sure you can operate a cash machine, this place is your only hope. Having read all this, I'm off to the Tooting spoons. Rock on.
djpk - 21 Aug 2008 14:01
Lovely blonde barmaid in there on sunday
superseagulls - 21 Aug 2008 00:06

A complete and utter shitehole.
anonymous - 23 Apr 2008 12:19
Ok a lot of reviews talk about the less than repreable clientel. Well it's true taht the snatcehs of over heard conversation I've heard include talk about 'time inside' and 'people shoiwing me respect' etc. Yeah the inside still reeks of smoke despite the smoking ban being in place for months. Yeah it does do wine on tap (never a good sign) yeah most of the guys inside have only one black tooth left and the only women you'll find inside look like guys so it's not the best. BUT it's a weatherspoons for god's sake what do you expect? The bar staff have never been less than friendly to me, whilst the guys who come into the bar look like they might stab you or collapse at any time they've always been pretty friendly too and a lot less likely to look down their noses at you if you didn't go to Eton. The Sunday roast is cheap and tasty with a good portion of meat too. This place makes a refreshing change from the other places in Balham as it does add a little variety to it. OK I wouldn't go in on a Friday or Saturday night after 9 but overall its cheap, good selection of beers and provides exactly what it says on the tin.
theoneandonlyjoe - 11 Feb 2008 11:37
Expect to see three or four "mobility scooters" parked outside at 10 in the morning.

feltz13 - 5 Dec 2007 13:56
Went there and was confronted by a man with a solitary tooth and another wearing homer simpson slippers. I would rather have bowel surgery in the woods with a stick than go there again. Cheap drinks though. I recommend strong spirits if you intend to stay.
ed81 - 3 Dec 2007 11:23
Does it have Setanta?
lukemarson - 29 Nov 2007 18:18
a fairly friendly place.
bebackpacker - 6 Oct 2007 05:27
This place just gets worse - it's started opening at 9 in the morning and judging by the state of affairs earlier today there's no shortage of punters willing to take advantage of this

anonymous - 1 Sep 2007 10:36

Well a Wetherspoons is a Wetherspoons. There's certainly a latent menace in the place but it's changed completely since the smoking ban when you couldn't see from one end of it to the other.

Still, £2.50 for a pint of Stella and a really quite good English Breakfast for £2.10 - can't complain really.

I think in all the times I've ever been in there I've only seen about three females, this really is the denizen of the older Balham males. Go in there under about 30 and you will feel out of place.
asnootyfox - 25 Aug 2007 08:37
I thought places like this were stuff of legends, it is so bad I thought I was on the set of Shameless. You only go to a place like this to spend your war pension, get murdered, murder someone else, get food poisoning, trip out on the toxic smells in the gents or to find that last minute inspiration to top yourself. You have been warned.
TheWizard - 21 May 2007 14:34
This place is amazing.
All you ponces and snobs forget that this place houses all the dredgery that you don't want in the pubs you drink in.....and you call yourselves clever?
monkeyboysupreme - 14 Dec 2006 17:22
As an ex-Balhamite, just had to visit it once, just to see if all these ghastly reviews were true... And by golly, are they spot on the mark! Absolutely awful. Felt like I needed a shower as I walked out.
hotrods - 4 Dec 2006 10:17
This is without doubt the worst pub in Balham, populated by low-life scum. It's also one of the worst pubs in Greater London. I think a campaign should be started to have the place closed down.
Steve44 - 20 Nov 2006 15:01
Wonderful pub filled with charming customers and keen attentive staff. Ale is good and reasonably priced and there is an extensive and innovative cocktail list which always provides a nice surprise. Food menu is limited but quality is excellent and won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Only joking. This is a total sh1thole and not fit for humans to eat/drink in. If you ignore this warning and decide to go then make sure you wear a stab-proof jacket and have eyes in the back of your head. Full of losers, alcoholics and general scumbags. The only thing that would make me return is if I owned a flamethrower.

Stay away at all costs!

9/10 - Good Pub Guide (p1ss soaked tramp edition)
TrickyG - 14 Sep 2006 12:53
Nice place for a fair priced drink, lots of regulars, good atmosphere and great food
anonymous - 25 Aug 2006 02:31
Typical wetherspoons. Smells of old men, pis, satle bber, and terrible service. Avoid like the plague.
tomario - 7 Aug 2006 11:11
Pikey paradise - a motley collection of drunks and lowlife. Never actually seen any violence in here but always seems to be bubbling just under the surface.

Beer's cheap but that is outweighed by the awful ambience
murgatroyd - 20 Mar 2006 10:21
I've been here a few times over the years for a cheap quick one on the way to somewhere else, but it never gets any better, only worse. If you like starting fights with complete strangers for no particular reason, then you will find many like minded enthusiasts here.
BobbyV - 9 Mar 2006 20:57
I decided to chance it the other day after a bad tube trip. When I opened the door the reek of despair was palpable.(The Tooting spoon, by comparison, has only a whiff of hopelessness).
Loud and rowdy I can deal with.. quiet menace, on the other hand...
To be fair, I didn't stop for that drink and almost longed again to be shoe-horned back onto that tube with the more familiar smell of B.O.,wet wool and city girls.
beeker - 8 Mar 2006 14:35
I opened the door, and looked in. I closed the door, and went on my way. Enough said there I think.
psychonaut - 4 Mar 2006 16:10
Some harsh reviews I feel. I rather enjoy it in here. Especially when your not by yourself as most of the reviewers seem to have been. When you just want a drink, an honest to goodness simple drink, and you dont want to spend £3+, its the place to be. For my own part I rather like the Dickensian feel to the place, guys doing the rounds with dodgy dvd etc. and a rowdy chatter replacing the elevator jazz you get in many bars round here. I could imagine Bill Sykes sitting in the corner with Fagin. I'm not going to celibrate my birthday here, bring any family member here or become a regular, but sometimes you just want a bloody drink.
anonymous - 21 Feb 2006 22:59
I agree with Pigman. It's the only place I've ever been to where other customers call you a bastard just for being there. Also, the only pub to lock the fridge, then lose the key. It is an awful place, only saved by the friendly banter and atmosphere
VMan - 26 Jan 2006 11:50
By far the best place in balham to make friends that you never wanted and to be sworn at by people that you dont know
pigman - 28 Oct 2005 13:54
Absolutely rancid place, but as with all Wetherspoons, at least they do nice + well-priced beer.
lwk198 - 25 Sep 2005 22:11
A spectacularly crap pub; that said, I'm afraid it's pipped to the post of doom by the car-crash that is the Tooting spoons.
Truly a pikey paradise.
The Moons, however, is a mess none the less. Possibly based on the fact that they'd serve someone with a dead cat under their arm and no shoes.
One of my lasting memories of the golden days was a drinking sesh in the Eclipse (now Blithe Spirit) when we were suddenly invaded by Moon regulars asking if they could come in "'cause someone had been stabbed and the ole' bill closed the bar........." Nice.
Do yourself a favour and resist the tube/overground proximity. All the other pubs in Balham are better and you really can't be THAT thirsty!

anonymous - 10 Aug 2005 17:26
A regular tells me that some of the more violent customers have been barred but it's filling up with under-aged drinkers. So I called in last weekend. It's true! - Some of these people can't be more than 14 and they all seem to get served. I had 1 pint and left .

It remains - by far - the worst pub in Balham. Might be worth a visit just for a masochistic laugh.
ianbeer - 1 Apr 2005 20:10
ooooh yeah,..done this one too,..when the sutton bound train conked out round Balham,...Was brilliantly depressing for a sunday night i can tell ya, looked like it had experienced a minor earthquake when i walked in,..more horizontal glasses than vertical ones,......3 fruities and a few people kipping if i remember rightly. It up there with the shittiest of "the spoons" that i have experienced
kmcs - 31 Mar 2005 14:01
absolutely despicable place...went there once to escape the GF....never again. seen police meatwagons turn up there in the middle of a weekday afternoon to arrest punters for fighting
tanderson7 - 31 Mar 2005 12:12
In an age full of over-priced drinks, the Moon is a welcome relief. As long as you can get over the dingy toilets, strange named own-brand drinks and stressed staff you can have a good night in an old style feeling boozer with money left in your wallet at the end of the evening
peter_m_keogh - 9 Mar 2005 16:47
Its what a local was like years ago keep an open mind. not just full of drunks. a few locals as well, If you want a sad pub try the balham tup around the corner full of bahamites drinking warm beer in plastc glasses
anonymous - 24 Feb 2005 23:33
I tend not to believe other users' comments about pubs - but in this case the below are absolutely spot on. I don't know about rough - just full of sad old drunks. Avoid.
Nick - 16 Oct 2004 16:41
The only redeeming feature of this pub is the beer prices. There are so many drunks inside that it is really intimidating, and there are now a group of drunks outside on a bench as well. Add to this the occasional kid crying outside as his parents have been in there all day, and you've got an example of why some councils don't want to encourage Wetherspoons!
anonymous - 28 Sep 2004 18:02
its great! love a good old swag with the drunks and is not full of wannabes
john read - 25 Aug 2004 16:05
Full of drunks, loud music and, plasma screens. I can't take it for more than 1 pint so miss the action - of which there is quite a lot. Have seen the blood being cleaned off the floor a couple of times though. Amazingly, they seem to continue to serve the combatants! Beer range not quite as good as many Wetherspoons. Overall, it's ghastly. Certainly the roughest house in Balham.
Ian - 8 Jul 2004 21:44
I used to frequent this place ten years ago - but stopped around 1996 when the ultra-low beer prices meant it just filled up with drunks. (The staff were pretty surly back then as well...) Be interested to hear what folk think of it now?
Jez - 4 Jun 2004 10:20

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