What's My Weekend: Alex Proud

The founder & director of Proud art galleries shares his weekend

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FRIDAY

I’ll usually round off the week with the staff of Proud Camden, (The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH, 0207 482 3867, proudcamden.com), with a few jugs of Pimms at our terrace bar. It sounds obvious, but I love my venues. I craft them into places where I would want to go to unwind - and I very often do.

We’re blessed with one of the best views in Camden, the sun sets over the Roundhouse and Chalk Farm Road, and you can feel that unmistakable Camden buzz settling in as you watch the pavement traffic build up for Friday evening.

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I usually go on to Proud Cabaret (proudcabaretcamden.com),the burlesque restaurant within my Camden venue, for dinner – the food is ridiculously good, we really pride ourselves on it. I often have a drink with the performers between gigs. Showgirls always have some interesting stories to tell – tales of faulty tassels and coughed–up clouds of glitter, never fail to make me roar.

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I really admire our Cabaret performers: that image of a showgirl dragging her bursting case from venue to venue is just as vivid and alive as it was a century ago. They’re all so self-sufficient and creative: most make all of their own outfits, work till the early hours, while also holding down a day job.

I’ll get a taxi from Camden around the time the club closes and be absolutely shattered. The driver, always the same, knows not to attempt conversations with me, as I’m utterly spent by this point. We have something of a silent understanding... This is a rare moment of calm and a good opportunity to reflect on the week.

SATURDAY

I’ll usually be woken by three incredibly excited children at around 7am. I’ll then be rescued by my wife (never too soon) and sleep until noon.

We go for lunch at J, our lovely local Italian (148 Regent's Park Road London NW1 8XN, 020 7586 9100). This is undoubtedly one of the best breakfast / lunch spots in town. A small place: they have their speciality dishes perfected. My favourite is eggs benedict, while my wife has some vegetarian aubergine- related thing and the kids are always on for a pizza. The staff will all get to know you if they like you - after a couple of visits you’ll feel like one of the family. Definitely the best place in London to get a full breakfast for just over £5!

I am usually having breakfast when the kids are eating their lunch. Of course, they think this is hilarious.

In the afternoons we often go to London Zoo, (Regent's Park, Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY, 0844 225 1826, ZSL.org) our memberships there are by far the most used in town. It's as interesting for adults as children and without the worry of cars (our children are 5,4 and nearly 2) the kids can run about without us constantly telling them to slow down, stop, wait for their parents.

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After we've put the kids to bed, we’ll go out for dinner. I always like to see what the Bistroteque boys are up to, and haven't been disappointed yet! Shrimpy’s in Kings Cross (The King's Cross Filling Station, Goods Way, London, N1C 4UR, 020 8880 6111, shrimpys.co.uk) is great. another new favourite is The Grain Store (Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, London, N1C 4AB, 020 7324 4422, grainstore.com) a new bistro from Raymond Blanc's protegé Bruno Loubet, whose unpretentious French provincial cooking is a real treat. My wife loves the décor there, by her friend, the interior designer, Russell Sage.

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SUNDAY

Sundays are delightfully lazy for me; I like to catch up on sleep.

My wife, Danielle, is an interior designer, so by the time I meet the children in the afternoon, I often find they have been rummaging around 60s specialist Planet Bazaar in Camden Market (The Stables Market, London, NW1 8AH, 0207 485 6000, planetbazaar.co.uk) or been to Emily Chalmers's treasure trove, Caravan in East London ( 3 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DJ, 020 7033 3532,caravanstyle.com), after she's met some friends in Shoreditch House (Ebor Street, E1 6AW? 020 7739 5040, shoreditchhouse.com. Caravan is packed with cool decorative pieces and vintage finds, all hand-picked by one of the coolest stylists around.

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