Burlesque in Your Kitchen





- The good, the bad and the not so ugly...

My experience at Proud's new dining innovation "Burlesque in your kitchen" was one of peaks and troughs. As we walked into The Horse Hospital in Camden and encountered the first ball-dropping juggler, a sceptical eyebrow was raised.

Once inside the space, with its exposed wooden beams, gargantuan disco ball and colour filtered lighting, our intrigue only heightened; "is it a restaurant?", "is it a club? ", "is it cabaret? "

All of the above, apparently.

As we were shown to our seats and ordered drinks, acrobats pranced along the tables, sporadically launching themselves into the heights of the room, live acoustic music intermingling with clatters from the kitchen. The atmosphere was one of confused excitement. On our bench-like table however, we soon complained "too loud", "too crammed", "too hot". Making light of a sweaty situation, we began to chat to those packed in next to us, the event becoming unexpectedly yet pleasantly social.

When our food promptly arrived, my date and I immediately shut up, turning our attention to a "beer battered hake fillet and chips" and "summer vegetable rustic lasagne"- enjoyable, good-sized portions, but nothing profound- gastro pub level.

Then! Suddenly! Midway through my meal, out struts Beatrix Von Bourbon and I swiftly drop my fork. So this is where the burlesque was hiding? The beautiful Beatrix stole the room's attention with her striptease, as did the following act, "Kiki Kaboom". Needless to say, the more wine drank, the more the performances were appreciated.

Generally, diners responded well to the show, which was risqué, but not nearly too offensive to accompany dinner. As guests began to leave, the consensus seemed to be that the night is enjoyably eclectic, but falls short in certain areas. Which lead me to wonder, whether Alex Proud, like his entertainment, is attempting to juggle too many balls.

2 courses for £18, 3 courses for £33

- Amelia Abraham