Renovated and revived by five childhood friends, The Jolly Gardeners, Vauxhall, created as community London pub for its locals, is now open.
The Jolly Gardeners, Vauxhall has opened as a hub for local Lambeth. With an exceptional and eclectic food menu, south London brewed beers, and a beautiful, bright space with outdoor and indoor options, the founders have brought back to life a south London historic site, already a hit with locals.
Located a short walk from the river, on a quiet, leafy corner in Vauxhall, the Victorian high-ceiling pub has seen a lot since it first opened in 1880. Charlie Chaplin Snr could regularly be found playing the piano in the corner, which can still be found pride of place in the dining room, whilst film fans will relish having a pint at the original bar featured in blockbuster Snatch by Guy Richie. Until recently, it was a popular German watering hole, having gone many reiterations in its 140-year history, it has burst back to life with a fresh look and a menu to rival some of the most celebrated dining pubs in the city, and returned to its original namesake, The Jolly Gardeners.
The stunning, original timber bar acts as a centrepiece to the 170-cover site and the room is bathed in natural light from the window-lined walls. Marble Victorian fireplaces, sprawling wooden floors, refurbished, and rescued wooden chairs meld with the smart art deco bathrooms, hanging plants dangling from the ceiling and wall, for this old-meets-new south London pub.
The weekly changing menu is inspired by their diverse location in Vauxhall, bringing together the best from all corners of the eclectic city, with two key elements in common: high quality produce cooked with care. With a focus on sustainability, and less waste, the kitchen work closely with celebrated Lyons Hill Farm in Devon for high grade meat where they ensure nothing goes to waste, while the other half of the menu will be plant led.
Sharing plates begin with the must-be-tried-to-be believed BBQ cauliflower wings with sesame aioli and spring onion (£6.5) and Curried Portland lamb spring rolls (£8) or a mezze plate of favourites to share (£25). From the mains, choose from Iron Age pork chop, spring greens, spring greens and smoked apple jam (£15); Monkfish schnitzel, Jersey Royal potato salad with crispy capers (£15) and Charred aubergine with caponata, baba ganoush, dukkah and Khobez (£12). Decadent beer barrel pressed confit potatoes are inclusively plant based and universally delicious (£6) whilst they play homage to their new borough via desserts with a Lambeth Mess: raspberry, black sesame with vanilla cream (£6). No pub should be without a roast dinner, and the Jolly’s version is already becoming locally loved. Family style versions, plant based ones and even a snack version served up in a bap cater for Sunday bookings for those lucky enough to bag themselves a coveted roast.
Not forgetting the drinks, there will always be an economical option with the fiver house-pints by Adnams (Dry Hopped Lager), but for those looking to experiment and discover a new favourite available on draught is The local latest editions from Kernel and Mondo brewery. Bottled beers in the fridge include, Canopy, Partizan and Orbit. A comprehensive and always-changing wine list is available with partnership with some of London’s leading wine names to be announced soon.
Outside seating wraps around the corner pub, and on closer inspection, a secret garden can be found providing the most perfect of suntraps. Towards the end of the week visitors can expect to find DJs and friends of the founders, bringing the vibes on the decks with closing not until midnight. Sports (including the every game of the Euros 2021!) will be shown for the most popular games on multiple screens and on a pull-down projector, meaning no one will miss this summer’s must-see goals. Luckily for the unorganised, most of the inside space will be kept for walk-ins (as pubs ought to be), with the dining area of the pub bookable for forgone plans with friends to be enjoyed now.