MUST DO: Balham Literary Festival


The Bedford pub transforms into a bookworm’s dream



Thomasina Miers will be discussing her career. Photo: Caroline Irby.
Balham is embarking on its second celebration of some of South London’s best literary talent. This year’s festival will lay its focus on the concept of home, touching on a wide range of issues from war to home cooking, migration to swimming.

Talks will be given by Thomasina Miers, the MasterChef winner turned founder of Wahaca, and Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the former ambassador on Britain’s role in the Iraq War, to name but a few.

The broad scope of this year’s festival allows for a celebration of a range of literary works. Discussions and talks include insights into improving mental health and explorations of real-life and fictional accounts of fatherhood. These will be held in conjunction with the Palestinian Festival of Literature (Palfest) where award-winning authors will discuss the cultural and ethnic histories of borderlands.

The event will take place in The Bedford, a venue that, according to Susie Nicklin, the owner of Dulwich Books who are sponsoring this year’s festival, has provided a “home from home for all Balhamites.”

The pub will play host to a range of pop-up bookshops and will be abuzz with music and poetry from Mercury-nominated singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams among others.

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Balham Literary Festival will run from June 8th-11th. Tickets available here. 

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