Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Albion Cafe at the Boundary - Feb 2012

 After spending his career building up the chain of upmarket eponymous stores and restaurants that brought (relatively) affordable design to London, you'd forgive Sir Terence if he wanted to kick back in his favourite Eames lounge chair, puff on a trademark cigar and enjoy his retirement. The fact that he doesn't is testament to what must be an absurdly driven personality. This isn't someone you'd want to play Scrabble against. 

The Boundary feels like a successful attempt to present a flagship project exactly as he wants it with elements taken from across his varied career. It's a Victoria sandwich of a place featuring a swanky design hotel sandwiched between a lean cut basement restaurant and a rooftop bar cum BBQ, the latter ideal for Sir Tel's cheeky post dinner stogie. On the ground floor, tall post-industrial windows open onto the regenerated street scene (it's hard to be too edgy when you're opposite Shoreditch House) and there's a bakery, deli (with local goods for local people) and open plan kitchen with a diner. 
Come the zombie apocalypse, I'm barricading the windows and hunkering down here - assuming you can spot the difference early enough in the vacant asinine Sho'ho hipsters that crowd the streets outside.

The deli upfront is a twee affair, like a picture perfect village shop that's had a makeover from, well, someone like Sir Terrence Conran. Laid back brunch / lunch / dinner are all served in that ground floor diner. One recent visit delivered porridge with sticky damson jam from the deli, another gave me phenomenal bacon, served on thick slices of fresh white bloomer straight out of the twittering bread oven (follow @albionsoven if you want to know what's coming out next). The predictably golden yolked eggs that came perfectly poached with it were, less predictably, almost entirely tasteless however.

I like the Albion Cafe. It's got more than a whiff of pretentiousness, but does some good food, with a decent level of service and appears to know exactly what it is. Well worth popping in for breakfast or brunch if you're in the area.

Albion at The Boundary Project on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Hmm. I agree with you, the bread's great, but I've had two appalling fry-ups there in the last two years. Really bland, verging on unpleasant. Scrambled eggs whisked to oblivion, uncooked mushroom, crappy bacon, floury tomato. Glad to hear you had a better experience!