Restoring your faith in the very British Sunday pubbing ritual, The Joker of Penton Street straddles a traditional pub get-up and something a little more cool to bring you somewhere to gulf down a roast and enjoy entertainment. Say hello to laid-back boozing and bloody lovely nosh.
Having been blessed with a bright blue sky for our Sunday venture, The Joker was sitting pretty on the corner of Chapel market and Penton Street. Prepared for a dim lit space, I was pleasantly surprised by the bright and airy main room I stepped into. Rustic charm comes in heaps and bounds at The Joker with vintage chesterfield sofas making cosy corners, and furniture reminiscent of an old-fashioned school lunch hall. There’s a giant clock adorning the wall (THE clock from Oasis' 'Be Here Now' tour) as well making the pub fit into some sort of fantastical Disney element. With the open kitchen at one end of the bar as a host to well-known pop-up foodie traders from London, The Joker is as laid-back as they come.
There’s dashings of retro memorabilia owing to the history of the establishment with the nineteenth century Islington fellow Joseph Grimaldi at the centre of it all. As the founder of the modern day clown, The Joker nods to this outfit with black and white pictures of circus entertainers and face-painted raconteurs. With candles on all the tables and dark woods throughout, this place becomes a cosy haven come nightfall.
The Food & Drink
With a roast beaming at the end of our journey, our Sunday was shaping up nicely.
Normally, I'm one to confess that I don't 'believe' in pub roasts when there's a mother up North who can cook up a cracking one. But, alas, having not been home in a while and nursing a hangover, a roast with bottomless Bloody Mary's was the only thing worth pursuing. Also a novice to the world of Bloody Mary's and not much of a tomato juice drinker, we were somewhat apprehensive to the celery garnished libation that landed in front of us. Nonetheless, bottoms up. Whilst it's not my favourite drink, it's worth noting that the bar man did a Bloody Mary proud tailoring the spice kick to our tender palates as well as making one Gin and one Vodka. Well played.
Now for the food. With a choice of beef, chicken or veggie, we were both sold by the sound of the Slow Cooked Beef Brisket for our Joker roast experience. Coming with fluffy roast potatoes, a big fat rustically home made yorkshire pudding and the usual veg trimmings, this beef roast hit the spot. If you're looking for a hearty dose of home cooked goodness, The Joker comes up trumps.
With any Sunday pubbing endeavor, a relaxed atmosphere and good wholesome foods is all you crave. And beer, of course, which is what The Joker served up pretty neatly. There's sofa clad corners to sink into and board games to wile away the afternoon with a spot of Connect 4. Not only does this place satisfy all of your pub needs, but the evenings play host to an array of entertainment from live music to comedy.
Dishing out an ideal Sunday set-up, The Joker of Penton Street is a sound option for weekend boozing or a mid-week tipple. Pop by for their regular comedy, live music and quiz nights and you'll discover a warming new local that dishes out foods from some of London's best street food patrons as well as a cracking selection of craft beers.