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Review: Jam Circus, Brockley
Strolling down a fairly nondescript street in Brockley, I found myself feeling quite deflated and uninspired one night last week.
Deciding drink was the only way forward, we headed into the nearest boozer and suddenly my miserable mood was transformed dramatically.
Twinkling fairy lights and plush red velvet curtains draped theatrically over a mysterious nook swept me from Brockley to Paris and the Moulin Rouge – minus the dancing girls but not without a sexy redhead.
We’d stumbled into Jam Circus to discover there’s never a dull moment in this provocative parlour of cocktails, 1920s music and vintage leather armchairs.
And if there is you can make your own fun.
For £5 a pop this charming place will lend you a variety of games including dominoes, Uno and cards – or you could even play everyone a song on their ukulele.
To rid myself once and for all of the blues I went for a gin and tonic and my friend chose a perfectly chilled pint of Heineken (£7.70 in total).
We retired to romantic candlelit table and from the comfort of an oldie but goodie leather chair I bid ‘good evening’ to the pretty doe mounted on the floral wall.
Hints of modernity, like the funky mirror ball and stylish fresh flower arrangements clash with vintage chandeliers and aged paintings (including one of a very, very sad clown).
But despite some furnishings obviously having seen better days, everything fits perfectly together.
For beer lovers, there is an exciting variety of bottled nectar on offer including Floisgaarden Fruit in different flavours (£3.70), Peroni (£3.10) and Purity Ubu/Purity Mad Goose England Ale (£3.50).
The cocktail list is even more lovely with wonderfully named weekly specials.
Mouth-watering food made from scratch with, where possible, local ingredients is described so incredibly on the menu I was devastated we’d already eaten dinner.
Wild boar and apple sausages with grain mustard mash and sherry gravy (£8.50) in particular got my head in a spin.
But there’s plenty going on to busy your mind and fend off hunger pangs.
With a quiz on Tuesday, live music on Thursday, DJs on Saturday and roasts on Sunday there’s plenty to stick in your social diary.
And if none of that takes your fancy there are books everywhere for you to stick your nose into.
The arty punters are a colourful bunch as well, a few wearing shirts which would do any circus proud.
My runner up was one psychedelic chick’s multi-coloured tie-dye top complete with peace sign – how on earth her boyfriend managed to concentrate on her face with that going on underneath it is beyond me.
But my favourite of the night was an elderly gentleman’s white shirt decorated with cacti, guitars, red musical notes and song lyrics.
This coupled with his John Lennon style round glasses, cheered my evening up no end.
They really know how to light up a room in Brockley.
I’ve no plans to run away with the circus, but I’m thrilled to know I can spend the evening at quite a sultry one whenever I need to lighten up a bit.
Address: Jam Circus, 330-332 Brockley Road, Brockley, SE4 2BT
Decor: ****(Moulin Rouge meets vintage book shop – very quirky and charming)
Drink: **** (great choice of beer on tap and bottled and cracking cocktail list)
Price: *** (a little pricey)
Atmosphere: **** (very warm, relaxed and romantic)
Staff: **** (happy, helpful and beautiful)