Nestled under Waterloo bridge an expansive new cabaret venue has recently opened its doors. Proud Cabaret, Embankment, now the largest Cabaret venue in Europe promises to be a strong contender for the best West End night around. The restaurant and cocktail bar are top quality making this venue as much about the food and drink as the entertainment. Riffs on traditional cocktails include the Proud Goose and a Cabaret Old Fashioned as well as the delicate Pan Asian cuisine on offer at this opulent venue make this a transformative and intoxicating experience.
1. Why did you choose Embankment as the location for your new venue?
Owner Alex Proud spent 6 months looking for the right venue and when he viewed Embankment it stole his heart. The standard of the interior, the scale and drama were made for the unique mixture of circus, cabaret and acrobatics that define Proud. It has a capacity of up to 750 people – quite unique for the location and fabulous transport links.
2. What can customers expect from a night at Proud Cabaret?
A night unlike any other in London. Proud Embankment is located between Somerset House and the Savoy Hotel, directly under Waterloo Bridge, in an iconic two-storied building. It is the largest cabaret restaurant of its kind in the UK. Combining design elements from East and West – the gilded opulence of contemporary Singapore and the illicit sensuality of Paris in the 1920s – it boasts an original Art Deco interior with an enormous, grand double-height atrium and sweeping staircase, the space is capable of accommodating spectacular aerial performances and has a first floor mezzanine viewing platform. You have to enter the space to really appreciate just how uniquely beautiful it is.
3. Where do you find your acts and perfromers from?
We source from all over the world and choose the best talent and nurture them when they are first starting out so they grow with us. Robert Pattinson’s girlfriend FKA Twigs is a good example – she first started at Proud.
4. We love the themed drinks, how did you come up with these?
We have an experienced specialist team of mixologists and bar staff who have a passion for curating cocktails that match the elegance and unique style of our venue.
5. The menu looks delicious, who came up with it and has it gone down well?
We were conscious that moving to Proud Embankment placed us on the West End circuit, where the quality of the restaurant offering would be of crucial importance. We made the menu a key priority, and worked with our kitchen to craft something fresh, healthy and contemporary. The Pan Asian menu caters for all dietary requirements – with consideration for vegans and gluten free diets. We have had fantastic reviews and feedback and I’m really proud of the team for upping their game for our new flagship venue.
6. Do you have a typical clientele at Proud, who would they be?
Anybody and everybody is welcome at our venues. Proud has always about inclusivity – but with the aim of making every customer feeling like a VIP – it’s all about having fun, watching our incredibly talented performers and enjoying a moment of pure escapism. If you haven’t been to a Cabaret night, you should seriously give it a try.
7. What acts have you got coming up in the next few months?
Our in-house choreographer, Claira has produced a fabulous new show for Proud Embankment. Exploiting the height of the double atrium to showcase the jaw-dropping talent of our aerial performers, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats with a mixture of acrobatic acts, our signature bathtub burlesque show, and a variety of burlesque and circus acts. Secret Burlesque Society is on every Friday and Saturday night, with new shows being announced from September … watch this space!
8. What makes Proud different from other Cabaret shows in London?
First of all, quality of food and excellent service. We aim to be more like a mainstream restaurant than nightclub and hope guests could eat alone without performance and still have an excellent night. We believe we have a unique show, with a contemporary twist on classic Cabaret and we aim to be the best in London in terms of service, food and performance. Best of all, when the show ends, the tables are removed and the dancing begins. We have London DJs playing every Friday and Saturday night from 11-5am, so no need to wander off into the night in search of a new venue – it’s all under one iconic roof.
9. Do you have plans to expand elsewhere in London?
Not necessarily in London but I’m interested in exploring new cities. Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow are all under consideration over the next three years.
10. Finally, when you’re not entertaining the crowds in Embankment, what are some of your favourite hangouts in London?
Outside of a busy schedule, I spend time with my family or go to local restaurants. I still love Camden, but the opening of Embankment is enticing me to rediscover the West End and the Northbank where we’re based – London is always changing which is what makes it such an exciting city to be a part of. Favourite local hangouts, Regents Park and Albany.
Have you recently been to Proud? Let us know what you thought in the comments below…