A property developer turned popular food blogger has set himself a challenge to eat at every restaurant in Balham to support its businesses post-lockdown.
Stephen France, 55, a Balham resident for over 30 years, deeply missed dining out during lockdown, and after discovering his neighbourhood’s thriving restaurant scene decided to make it his mission eat out at every single one.
He set up a personal blog, ‘eatmywayroundBalham’, to document his experiences, provide restaurant reviews and encourage the local community to get involved.
France said: “When I arrived in the early 90s, Balham was a very different place.
“I’ve seen it develop and lots of things have come and gone but I was amazed to find how many restaurants we now have.
“It forces me to go to things I wouldn’t otherwise attend. I’ve been quite surprised by some of the places that have been way above my expectations.
“The community itself is a young thriving place, as someone who is 55 I like the fact the majority of people are 25-35, it keeps you young and interested in going out and living life in days when it’s quite hard work really.”
The blog was set up just two weeks ago and has gained over 970 followers already.
France has enjoyed becoming a friendly face amongst Balham’s diverse range of restaurants and encouraged people to contribute their own reviews to his blog, push momentum and support restaurants in a challenging time for the hospitality industry.
Trap Kitchen, a Caribbean style seafood restaurant, is the favourite so far, earning a five-star rating in every category: food, value for money, ambience and staff.
Feature image credit: Stephen France.