Jimmy’s Secret Garden Pop Up, Clapham
Fake grass, a touch gimmicky and fun English Country Garden vibes, Jimmy’s Secret Garden is just a minute from Clapham North tube and the perfect spot for lazy Claphamites who don’t want to travel to Hackney for a novel eating experience.
Walk in and you might assume that it’s a style over substance venture. It’s not. The exceptional service is a precursor for a very high standard of food in a setting where couples are a little more drunk than they planned, having propped up the bar downstairs waiting with a large glass of white wine.
I imagine the Deluxe Picnic is what most flock here for – a combination of sliders, scotch eggs and crab/chicken sandwiches to recreate a picnic session, minus bugs.
However, the stand alone menu items are too tempting so we ended up with a divine char-grilled octopus starter and a hearty roasted lamb rump with mash and smoked aubergine that was punchy, delicious and very filling. No room for dessert but enough for another large glass of wine and a fond farewell to the peppy team.
Meet in the pub downstairs 20 minutes before the reservation and order two beakers of wine to kick things off. This is perfect for a date with a friend who you’d like to be more. They also happen to live in Clapham, so bonus points for picking somewhere convenient. Go upstairs tipsy and start with a Negroni, followed by a swift bottle of wine. Don’t overdress but make sure that you have layers to shed as things heat up. Roll out of there and just before you think it’s over, suggest one more beaker of vino downstairs and wake up on their couch. Did you kiss? Didn’t you? It’s hard to say.
The grass is a tad silly but no doubt vital to the concept. Darker lighting?