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.