The Potters Arms, in the picturesque village of Winchmore Hill was packed full of keen locals ready for another evening of good food and entertainment.

The quaint country pub holds these comedy events on the last Thursday of every month and have proved incredibly popular in the two years they’ve been running.

Pub manager Richard took on The Potters Arms in March 2012 and worked tirelessly to turn the pub into a thriving hub of fine dining and comedy.

The Potters Arms is the first business he has run by himself, but has a successful 17-year history of managing independent restaurants as well as running the Brasserie in Harvey Nichols in Manchester.

October’s comedy night kicked off with a warm up set from Jeremy O’Donnell. The London-based comedian has entertained audiences as far away as Bahrain and Zurich. His engagement with the audience was second-to-none and had them laughing throughout with his witty remarks, particularly when regaling the story of his ‘epic’ long train journey from London to Winchmore Hill. Sometimes certain audience members didn’t play along when he asked them something, but he knew just how to deal with them in a way that even they were laughing by the end of it.

Next up was Stephen Grant, a comedian, comedy writer and radio presenter all the way from Brighton. In 2010, he won a two-year legal battle which allowed him to joke about his divorce, and his routine took full advantage of that freedom. His gig consisted mainly of slating his ex-wife and his struggle to become a father with his new wife, which doesn’t sound like it would be a topic to induce laughter, but his nonchalant attitude and offhand comments had the audience giggling along anyway.

If all the laughing in the first half had worked up an appetite, The Potters Arms have got it covered with a boxed meal at the interval. If you are expecting an average pub fish and chip meal, you will be pleasantly surprised.

At the door we were given a choice between Prawn Thai Green Curry and Beef Bourguignon. I went for the Bourguignon, while my friend chose the curry. The food comes in a box which you can pick up during the break and take back to your seat - I heard many people likening it to a picnic and there was a great atmosphere as people seemed to enjoy the novelty of the meal.

I didn’t quite know what to expect from a boxed meal, but I have to say, I was impressed. My Bourguignon had lots of great quality beef which was well cooked. There were lots of potatoes and vegetables and the sauce was full of flavour. There were a great amount of prawns in my friend’s curry and he commented on how tasty and fresh the ingredients were.

Once the interval was over, it was back to the comedy and time for the headline act, Scottish Comedian of the Year 2013, Larry Dean, to make an appearance. The comedian, who has previously taken to the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, had the audience in stitches with his incredibly funny stories of being a gay man with a lesbian sister and a priest brother in Glasgow and a rather odd but hilarious dinosaur impression. He even had the audience genuinely confused when he did a very convincing English accent.

Overall, the evening had a great atmosphere, the pub was warm and friendly, the drinks were flowing, everyone enjoyed their meals and the quirky L-shaped seating plan maximised the audience engagement.

All of the comedy routines were a little blue in places, which is perhaps part of the charm of small venue gigs like this and the audience seemed to love every minute of it, but I wouldn’t advise bringing your children along.

The next comedy event at The Potters Arms is Thursday November 27; with headlining act John Fothergill, MC Erich McElroy and opening act Gordon Southern.

To book tickets call Richard on 01494 726222 or buy online at