The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton has been ranked number one on TripAdvisor – the world’s largest travel review site‎ – out of 18,113 restaurants listed in London.

One of four restaurants operated by innovative prisoner rehabilitation initiative The Clink Charity, The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton has boasted a five-star TripAdvisor rating since opening in February 2014, with 97% of all reviews being listed as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’.

The Brixton restaurant has joined its fellow prisoner training restaurants at the top spot with all four of The Clink Charity’s eateries currently taking the number one position for their respective areas.

Correct at time of issue: Friday 7 July 2017.

At any one time, the esteemed restaurants each provide up to 30 prisoners full-time work in a professional restaurant and kitchen environment. Trainees also study towards gaining nationally recognised City & Guilds NVQs in food preparation and food service before returning to their cells at the end of their working day. Each diner who visits The Clink Restaurant is helping to create a realistic working environment that is essential for the continued development of the prisoners in training, as they prepare for employment upon their release as part of their reintegration back into society.

The menus at The Clink Restaurant are designed around the changing seasons, offering classic European dishes with a modern British twist. Focused on using fresh, locally sourced produce, many of the ingredients used are sourced from The Clink Gardens at HMP Send in Surrey where women prisoners are training towards NVQs in horticulture as part of the charity’s extended prisoner rehabilitation programme.

Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity says, “One of the biggest challenges we face as a charity is public misconceptions of prisoners and rehabilitation. Having this feedback from our diners provides evidence that we’re combating these views and are helping people to understand how important a part education and meaningful work plays in reducing reoffending rates.

“To receive such positive comments from our diners across all four restaurants encourages the prisoners in training to continue their hard work and commitment to changing their lives for the better. The award-winning Clink model is focused on rehabilitating prisoners in preparation for their release into the community, where they can put what they have learnt into action.”

The Clink Restaurants rely on the support of socially conscious diners to support the continued growth of the charity that will see more than 1,000 trained professionals released from prison and entering hospitality employment every year by 2020. Utilising this untapped source of talent is going someway to combatting the shortfall in hospitality labour that requires an additional 60,000 workers to enter employment in the industry each year, according to the British Hospitality Association.