Proud Archivist

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
11 Love It
© Luke Hayes
© Luke Hayes
© Fazz Project
© Fazz Project
© Fazz Project
De Beauvoir Town

It’s unsettling to walk along the Regent’s Canal towpath to find loiterers grinning at you – until, that is, you’re close enough to see the quality of their funk-goth nail polish, admire the luxuriance of their bandido moustaches and be warmed by their solar-flare strength hospitality, for they are this new bar-café’s greeters.

The Proud Archivist seems out of scale with its setting, and buzzes with dressed-down fashionables. A short brunch menu of pumpkin hash or pancakes with maple syrup and caramelised apples was being prepared in an open kitchen on our weekend visit. Drinks covered an appealing range, from lattes to mulled wines and ciders.

The food wasn’t yet up to the mark: only the cucumber of the trio of trendy pickles that accompanied our sausage bagel had any bite, while a fragment of shell was found in our eggs florentine. Still, we’ll return for an events programme that runs from ‘wine clinic’ to a performance by legendary guitarist John Etheridge.

Weekdays: Breakfast 8-11.30am. Lunch noon-3.30pm. Dinner 6-10pm. Weekends: Brunch 8am-4pm; Dinner 6-10pm.

Venue name: Proud Archivist
Address: 2-10 Hertford Rd
N1 5ET
Transport: Haggerston Overground
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Pick a date

  • Film events Sunday October 11 2015
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  • Stand-up Monday October 12 2015 - Wednesday October 28 2015 Free
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  • Stand-up Sunday November 1 2015 - Sunday November 15 2015
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Average User Rating

1.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:12
1 person listening
naomi thompson
4 of 4 found helpful

The proud archivist is joke of an establishment. They are completely confused about what they are trying to do. They never change the exhibition despite selling themselves as an art space. They charge £3 for a badly brewed cup of tea and treat their staff really badly. Don't go there! The pompous pretencious nature of the place is bound to put you off your over priced, tiny plate of food.

Sarah R
3 of 3 found helpful

Sometimes, in my deepest and darkest hours, when I can't imagine anything being worse than my inky black soul, I come here. I take solace in the experience; no matter how often I fail, nor how vast the some consequences of my inadequacy and ineptitudes as a pedeatric cardiac surgeon may be, I will never, ever be as awful as the proud archivist.

Gavin C
3 of 3 found helpful

Unfortunately another case of style over substance. I run past The Proud Archivist at least twice a week on my regular route.Each time, I’m quite eager to check out this café as it looks great from a design perspective.Unfortunately I won’t be returning in a hurry. On arrival, we had to wait outside in a queue to enter, only to find out it was half empty inside.. It seems this was done to create ‘hype’!You can only get away with this model if the food is great, and the service is prompt and organised, none of which applied to this café.

Once seated, we waited for 45 minutes just for our drinks.The waiters ran round like headless chickens consistently delivering wrong orders to us (I would hate to imagine what it’s like if it’s actually busy!).  I ordered a simple fresh pink grapefruit.. which was neither fresh, nor pink!  If I wanted carton grapefruit I can go to Tesco's and drink it on the canal outside!  It was no surprise that our bill was incorrect too.

The location is fantastic and the interior design/layout make it a very attractive establishment.. however it is let down by poor service/management and cheap ingredients with premium prices.

Toby K
3 of 3 found helpful

This is a pricey restaurant with a small and familiar menu (hamburgers, pork belly - gastro pub fare). Its selling point is that it overlooks Regents Canal, which is by far its best asset.

The dinner was a disaster for us - slow service, a lukewarm main course, followed by a mint tea served in a bizarre kettle that exploded over my Mrs., scalding her hands. When we asked for the tea to be taken off the bill, an interminable fuss ensued - eventually an unapologetic manager came over to tell us the food couldn't possibly have been lukewarm and implied that it was our fault that the kettle had exploded. He offered no reduction or goodwill gesture other than an invitation to one of their events, which as far as I can tell are free anyway! By the time we left, we had been there for 2 1/2 hours, about 45 minutes of which had been taken up with taking the wretched £2.80 mint tea off the bill!

If you desperately want to visit the place, just go for a drink. If you want dinner there are now so many good restaurants in East London, all of which beat the Proud Archivist on price, food and (their non-existent) service, that you really have no reason to go anywhere near it.

John W
2 of 2 found helpful

We arrived at 12.15 with 4 kids. Staff was stress and busy so, we waited half an hour, always looking at staff hoping to be served. It wasn't before 30 minutes they told us kitchen wasn't serving ant food cos brunch had finished and lunch not started yet. Since we had booked we asked to rectify the issue and serve something at least for kids, also dishes were still going of kitchen. Manager refused and unhelpfuly and rudely pretended nothing was wrong. Never going back.

Kirsten B
2 of 2 found helpful

I'm not sure why I keep coming back here. Maybe it's the fact that the venue is lovely and is located on a great spot on the canal. Other than that, it doesn't have much going for it.

Go for a drink, but certainly not the food, or the service. All the staff act as if you are a nuisance for being there. On top of that, the food is consistently bad. I had a chicken BLT, but kept thinking I could have gotten something a lot tastier at Pret, for half the price. I didn't both to finish it!

Rebecca T
2 of 2 found helpful

Absolutely appalling customer service and experience at the Proud Archivist. Took three attempts to actually have my booking with them, given that on two occasions they 'hadn't had their delivery' so couldn't serve the menu, plus incompetent staff dealing with the bookings. On the occasion that we did visit, our experience lurched from one disaster to another, mostly concerning the most arrogant and unpleasant chef, whose actions ranged from saying he couldn't give us dishes on the menu, cooking our steaks incorrectly and giving us completely the wrong orders for dessert, thinking that we wouldn't realise. I have since written to complain to the Proud Archivist, but had no response

Yani B
1 of 1 found helpful

AverageAverage quality coffee at £3.15. Very pushy with ordering more and more. The only advantage is large space. Junior staff are very friendly though. There are smaller coffee shops around with better food and much better coffee.
Trendy 'art' on the walls and 'East London style' decorative paraphernalia, t-shirts etc. all over. It's definately not about creativity and community, it's about colonising a creative area to cash in. 

Food hedonists go to Barge House, coffee lovers to HER, community supporters to Trew Era.

Beth Alexander


1 of 1 found helpful

I had brunch here which took a long time to arrive despite having numerous waiting staff. The food was basic when it arrived

Larysa O
1 of 1 found helpful

This place is THE event horizon for service, and an exceptionally exquisite fallacy of nomenclature. It is neither an archive, not does it boast much to be proud of. In fact, try as I might, 

I don't think any scientific experiment, no matter how far fetched, could discover a single thing it could be proud of. (Except perhaps, it's exceptionally beautiful, and devolutionarily below unskilled, no skilled staff, resplendent in unsuited-to-task Acne attire). 

I mean, it's statistical improbable to genuinely fear death by dehydration while staring at a cocktail bar. (We needed  to leave before our cocktail could be molecularly-restructured then make the heroic trip from the bar to our table. DON'T JUDGE US, we only have 80 earth years left to live). 

Rare as this event may have been, they doubled down on their statistical improbability by providing the exceptionally bespoke service of taking longer to remove said undelivered cocktail from our bill, than we had waited for the actual non-arrival of the cocktail. We then had to leave the poor waiter with a portion of the bill (we'd received a tea, which may have been due to a rare tear in the time space continuum, as service there is a genuine metaphysical anomaly). 

The poor waiter stared at us tearfully, panicked in his beautifully draped garments, but we simply couldn't wait any longer, mortality has its temporal limits. It took us over an hour not to have a cocktail.... at a cocktail bar. 

I suspect that's more rare than fleeting glimpses of dark matter.

Sophie G

Do not go there for breakfast or brunch! The food is ridiculously overpriced and the staff if not very accommodating. I went there on Sunday with 3 friends for brunch. I got a £9 poached egg & avocado which was the saddest poached egg & avocado I've ever seen. The eggs were hard-boiled eggs and not runny, the bread was not toasted. It was definitely not worth £9. One of my friends got the £7 sausage buttie and again, it consisted of 3 small sausages in a bun, nothing else (no onions, mustard, etc). 

We arrived a 1:30pm, 30min after the breakfast menu closed. One of my friend is vegan and asked for granola (which is only on the breakfast menu) and the kitchen refused, which is not very helpful. 

The staff was nice and seemed to be trying its best but did not seem to know what they were doing.

On the plus side (and which explains the 2 stars): the venue is very nice, and the bloody mary was good. It's a shame that the breakfast food is so bad and overpriced. 

Lizzie W

Awesome place to visit along the canal - great view and nice decor. This place is a bit confusing to find but a pretty walk along the canal nonetheless. I was greeted by friendly staff and seated as it wasn't too busy. White wine was good and managed 3 courses which were all good - starter & mains were the best. Beautiful presentation and efficient service. Delicious asparagus and egg starter, gorgeously cooked rib eye and chips and to finish a chocolate fondant which was a little dry. Would definitely return as they seem to hold interesting events. Their brunch menu also looks to die for! #TOTastemaker


I visited TPA twice and my reviews are very different;

First Visit;

Hidden Gem! Right on the canal, great for casual drinks or a comfy soft for the day/night with food and drink. Light, bright space with friendly staff and a relaxed overall vibe. TPA has an events space that has a mix of live music events as well as art exhibitions. I enjoyed my live music night and would highly recommend a visit!

Second Visit;

Why did I go back and corrupt my opinion of this place! I visited with a friend for Saturday brunch but settled for a coffee and cake when my option off the limited brunch menu was no longer available(It wasn’t even 11:30am at this point). The service was the slowest I had ever witnessed and frustrating to watch. The manager seems to be oblivious to this, which adds to the frustration. It was relatively full but by no means busy and watching the staff struggle to accommodate the customers has stopped me from wanting to go back. It’s a great location and has wonderful seating along the canal but waiting over half an hour for a coffee and being told most of the food is finished, I think I’ll try somewhere else next time.  

Javi R

They used to do good coffee, however they have a very demotivated waiters that can't be arsed and they always confused. Cappuccino looks like a flat white. Bring back the girl that use to make amazing coffees!!!

Christina R

Wow. I REALLY wish I'd read the Google or Time Out reviews BEFORE we booked this place. I can't review the food, because we didn't end up eating there. We made a reservation via a link from the restaurant's OWN website to Quandoo.

If you follow Google Map directions you will come to a LOCKED gate with a sign for the restaurant and it's phone number. We rang, no one answered, we kept ringing, still no answer. Finally we asked someone who walked by and they told us how to bypass the locked gate to get to the restaurant (you would *think* that the restaurant, I dunno, might consider putting that info on the SIGN at the locked gate?!?).

When we showed up there was a sign outside that said "closed for private party". So we spoke to a waitress who said she didn't even KNOW that you could make a reservation online, then she made me SHOW her proof that I booked online, then she told me that we arrived too late (20min) so we couldn't have a table. We explained that we had been stuck at the locked gate and trying to get in, but computer said "no".

We ended up eating at the Venuzualan restaurant Arepa which is 1 block away on the canal. The were closing the kitchen but when I told them about what happened at TPA they felt bad for us and quickly got our order in. The food was delicious and the staff was really nice. Go to Arepa, do not even consider going to the Proud Archivist unless you're a masochist who loves bad service.

Staff Writer

 I really disagree with the negative reviews here. I live just up the canal from here and regularly pop in for drinks or brunch on the weekends. The brunch menu is varied and has interesting takes on classic dishes - I definitely recommend the Eggs Benedict which has never disappointed. The real draw for this place is the location - if you’re lucky you can grab a spot out the front right on the canal which feels a million miles away from central London. The place feels like much more than just a café - there is an exhibition space attached which I’ve seen some great art in and there always seems to be a busy schedule of events too.

The Man on the Street

Well I have just looked at all the one star reviews below and wonder if I was in the same place. Tonight I attended the opening of the Acoustic East festival. Five acts performed and each had me wanting more. Highlights were the opening and closing sets from Minnie Birch and Jake Morley. Some of the best live music I have seen in a long time. I found the bar staff to be friendly , but did not eat so can't make comments on the food. One thing is for sure. I am going back to another Acoustic East gig and just hope its as good as tonight.

0 of 2 found helpful

Brilliant food - Especially talking about their evening menu here. Fresh and seasonal ingredients, limited menu with home made dished. No ready-meal. Very friendly staff and great effort in organising different kind of events (quizz, live music, yoga sessions, etc) Overall great place that does not deserve to be rated only based on their brunch. I think.

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