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Combining an art gallery, café, deli, bistro and community events space under one roof, this all-purpose venue beside the Regent’s Canal aims to echo and revive the traditions of London’s grand
coffee houses. Entertainment, education, sustenance and conversation go hand in hand here, and the kitchen’s all-day offer takes in everything from Cobble Lane charcuterie or gnocchi with Stilton,
spinach and walnuts to heritage burgers, sea bass with mussels and bouillabaisse sauce or pork belly with rhubarb compote. Breakfast and brunch also cover a lot of ground, from stacks of pancakes
and sausage sarnies to pumpkin hash with black pudding and fried egg. Meanwhile, the deli and ‘tuck shop’ is fully stocked with muffins, cakes, pastries, Vietnamese salads, croque monsieur and more
besides. The snappy, regularly changing wine list also promises lots of appealing possibilities.
Sips on the CanalSo you may or may not have gathered but I am a little bit of a fan of the London hunt. What I am more of a fan of is when somebody else suggests a place to explore. Better yet, when I havenât heard of said place. This exact chain of events occurred a few weekends ago and is what led me to The Proud Archivist in Haggerston.After a tiny jaunt down the canal we arrived at our destination, a collaboration of restaurant, gallery, bar and events space overlooking the water. How can you not be drawn in here?! With the evening light pouring in through the window there was really no way we were going anywhere else!At the bar we were served by a cheery beard after a little umming and ahhing due to being presented with all the perfectly arranged options you see below. Overwhelming much?! Unsurprisingly, it was Hendricks and tonic for me and a Savannah Dry for my fellow adventurer. To our right lay the restaurant with the tables retaining an air of semi-permanence that seemed appropriate since the stairs on the right led to a constantly changing gallery space where photographs and prints were hanging on display for sale.To our left was a large illuminated wall space which we couldn't help but be drawn to like moths to a flame and decided to make it our home for the time being. The intriguing photo/ light/ projected installations fixed to the walls provided much to talk about (come on, who doesnât love a good old bit of visual aid)!A rainbow with an afro casually sauntered past our table followed by wigs and beards galore .. apparently we had missed the memo, later discovering that a performance of the Crucifixion (or a loose version of) was taking place in the room next door... an Easter overflow perhaps?! We chose to focus on the psychedelia around us and pretend everything was as normal as ever.. Drinks drunk, we tipped our caps to the skull in the cage and crossed over to the restaurant to satisfy the oncoming rumbles. Menus presented on clipboards were placed in front of us and we were confronted with the irritating struggle of wanting everything.The food at The Proud Archivist is 'shaped by the seasons' and is locally inspired, swaying towards fresh, creative British dishes. We went for a trio of sliders, poached salmon and chunky chips although in the excitement I got distracted and forgot about the whole visual aid thing! Safe to say everything was delicious and all hit the spot. There is so much going on at the Proud Archivist ranging from theatre productions and book launches to 'sexy yoga'... I also imagine they are hugely open to any manner of suggestion and are committed to supporting the local community so if you have a bright idea, send it their way! They've also made it nice and simple with their life sized clipboard calendar to help everyone on the way to a better planned and consequently a more fun life (I'm totally on board with organised fun)!
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