Situated within the construction of Waterloo Bridge, Proud is a rather splendid, majestic, prestigious affair, lavish in decor, dimly lit to create an air of bohemian chic. London’s newest super club is a very welcome addition to the sophistication of London’s glittering West End.
Arriving at a preset time of 7.30pm, a lovely peach and fizz cocktail was thrusted into my and my dining companion’s hands and with our coats and hats taken off to the cloakroom, we were escorted to our raised table overlooking the stage. At Proud, to save any wait, you pre-order your food via their website which also enables you to detail any allergies. Opting for the mushroom arancini and tiny cocktail sausages served in martini glasses, nice touch as our appetisers; then the tiger prawns and ribs as starters, miso salmon and the rib-eye steak as mains and finally the lemon posset and apple cake as our desserts, this proved to be a well balanced meal. Here, the organisers at Proud are getting it right, pacing the delivery of each course in around 15 to 20 minute gaps, allowing for their kitchen to cope with feeding 400 people.
With an extensive cocktail and wine list it was easy to decide on what libation to wash the food down with – going for the Lady in Red Cocktail and The Very English Tea which came in a teapot and to my guest’s surprise was served hot; plus a bottle of bubbles and a fab glass of Rioja to go with my steak.
Once the mains were done, the house lights dimmed and the cabaret part of the evening started. Exotic, erotic and with Joe Morose, the dandy prince of cabaret acting as the compère, the flow of the entertainment was seamless complete with fire-eaters, acrobats and general naughtiness, with Didi Derriere being a true highlight as she performed her jazzy twist to a classic burlesque routine.
It is very clear that at Proud Embankment they want people to have a good time, and with very attentive staff I would have to agree. In this very competitive arena of fine dining and cabaret, venues have to offer something a little bit special and at Proud they are achieving this with their current mantra being ‘New dawn, new Proud” and I will certainly chink and raise a glass to that. Check out their website proudcabaret.com for details of their Drag Brunch, special dining offers and events and opening times.