Spending time in a London prison is no longer something reserved for criminals or Monopoly players. Next week sees the public opening of The Clink restaurant in HMP Brixton, and you can now book your time at Her Majesty’s pleasure without worrying about release dates.
A charitable initiative that’s proven successful in prisons in Surrey and Cardiff already, The Clink restaurant is staffed entirely by prisoners (who are usually coming towards the end of long sentences), and aims to teach them about the hospitality industry and equip them with skills that will help get them back into employment upon release. The ultimate goal is to reduce prisoner reoffending rates, which is currently as high as 49%.
The restaurant opens for lunch only from next Thursday 27 February, and we’re told that the menu will be largely in the same vein as this one from the Surrey restaurant, serving modern British dishes with a seasonal focus, priced between £5 and £15. The Surrey restaurant has also received some fairly decent reviews. Normal opening times will be from 7.15-9.15am for breakfast, and from 12-12.30pm to be seated for lunch, currently just Monday to Friday.
You can reserve a table via the charity’s website, though as it’s in a prison there are some security checks and guidelines to be aware of. You’ll have to leave your phone at the door for a start, so there’ll be no Instagramming your food. If you try it out, do let us know what you think in the comments below.
This isn’t the first foodie initiative at Brixton Prison. It was the setting of Gordon Ramsay’s Gordon Behind Bars programme over a year ago, and you can buy breads and cakes made in the prison from the brilliantly named Bad Boys Bakery at selected spots across town.