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  • Bars and pubs
  • Brockley
  • price 2 of 4
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Photograph: Joyce
    Photograph: Joyce
  2. Photograph: Joyce
    Photograph: Joyce
  3. Photograph: Joyce
    Photograph: Joyce

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A beer and wine taproom in a former funeral parlour.

It was just after payday and Brexit Day, plus Dry January was finally behind us, but even so, the staff at Joyce were surprised with it being so busy on a Tuesday night. But socio-economic factors aside, there’s nowhere as stylish to drink in Brockley – a bar with a living-room feel occupying a former funeral parlour. Launched by the owners of nearby Salthouse bottle shop, Joyce focuses on small producers – many of them local to the area – across 12 taps pouring natural wine and craft beer, plus a concise supporting cast of spirits from all over the UK. The line-up includes botanical spirit Escubac from Edinburgh, wine from East Sussex’s pioneering Tillingham vineyard and IPAs from Deptford’s Villages brewery. For snacking, it’s more basic – Wotsits, Mini Cheddars and Cheeselets – but you won’t hear me complaining.

By way of decoration there are just a couple of hard-to-decipher tapestries (a cute crab next to an egg and an archway?). Otherwise it’s just sandy-coloured stone, creaking floorboards and a fireplace with a ‘funeral’ sign on its mantelpiece. The focus of the room is definitely the bar: shiny white tiles backing the taps and making them pop. The staff manning them were easy to talk to and clued-up on their neighbourhood. And they even chucked in a free almost-glass of wine when supplies of a juicy chianti were too low to produce a full glass.

It was chilly enough on the night we visited to suggest the venue’s previous macabre incarnation. But otherwise, Joyce seems to be a lovely local full of delicious craft booze and – ironically – life.

Written by
Laura Richards


294 Brockley Road
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