The Fish is Freshly Caught – So’s the Staff…
The late Michael Winner – film director and I-don’t-take-no-prisoners – ever – Sunday Times restaurant reviewer – visited HMP High Down’s Clink Charity fine dining eatery in 2011. He raved about it. Sensible man. Mr Winner was absolutely charming – but a terrible name dropper.
|The author outside The Clink|
Before arriving for my latest visit I had that morning been interviewed on Good Morning Britain by Piers Morgan – he wanted to know why I thought our prison system is not doing very well. I told him. He nodded. Sensible man.
As I told Mr Morgan on the telly-box of our horrendous reoffending rates – and the lack of purposeful activity in our prisons, Bob Neil MP – Chairman of the Justice Select Committee – sat next to me nodding. Sensible man.
|The Clink, Brixton (exterior)|
banged-up (that’s a prison phrase – it translates as banged up – think about it) 23 hours a day watching Jeremy Kyle? (punishment in itself).
During his tragically brief tenure as Secretary of State for Justice, I hear Michael Gove MP was a regular at various Clink eateries. He saw the light – and potential – in getting prisoners working – and chucking encouragement at them – whilst they were serving time. Sensible man.
|The Clink, Brixton|
|Slow-braised British beef|
Folk who have been through Clink’s scheme have a collective reoffending rate of only 6 percent. Have I got your attention yet? Food for thought?
|Tronçon of turbot chowder|
|Goat's cheese & beetroot ravioli|
Comments from the potential future Jamie Olivers ranged from “It’s brilliant. I’m out in two weeks and they’ve got me a job” to “I’ve learnt so much. It’s sorted me out. I’m so grateful.”
|Blackberry & plum clafoutis|
As well as HMP Brixton, The Clink Charity restaurants can be found in Cardiff (ranked by Trip Advisor number 3 out of 887 local restaurants), Cheshire (ranked by Trip Advisor number 1 - !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – out of 63 Wilmslow restaurants) and the previously mentioned High Down (ranked by Trip Advisor – yes you guessed it – number 1 out of 120 restaurants in Sutton).