The Albion

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This weekend I headed over to the Columbia Road Flower Market with my friend Claire.  Hanging out in this area of London sometimes gives me the feeling that I am just not cool enough and much attention has to go on what to wear which is a struggle on a Sunday morning when the temptation is just to stay in your pyjamas.  Posing and flower shopping completed (along with some herbs to replace the sadly deceased batch currently residing in my window box) we went to the Albion Cafe at the Boundary in Shoreditch. 

 

The Boundary is Terence Conran’s venture that opened last year and the Albion is the cheap and cheerful cafe situated on the lower ground floor.  Of course this is Conran so the Albion is not without style and every aspect of the cafe, from the displays of fruit, vegetables and preserves at the entrance to the enamel white water pitchers on the table, has been well thought out.  Full length windows allow lots of light in and an open kitchen allows you to watch the chefs preparing batches of freshy baked bread.  
Be prepared to queue if you get to The Albion later in the day and also be prepared to cosy up to your neighbours at a communal table.  I find the eavesdropping opportunities fascinating so it doesn’t bother me.  On our visit, it takes a little while to get noticed, but once seated service is friendly and prompt.  We order a pot of tea which comes wrapped in its very own tea cosy, a touch which instantly charms me.  You drink out of thick set mugs just like you would at home.  I am feeling slightly hungover and I am not sure what Claire’s excuse is but we both order the bacon sandwiches (£5.50).   These are served on a soft white bun which is spread generously with rich, creamy butter.  As I savour the salty bacon I can feel my hangover disappearing already.  
 
The only disappointment is that the orange juice is bottled rather than freshly squeezed.  Otherwise the Albion is a great breakfast destination and I am keen to try it out for lunch or dinner as well.  On the way out I pick up some of the excellent bread (£3 for a loaf) so I can carry on my Albion experience at home, however I decide to avoid the overpriced fruit and vegetables (£4.50 for a punnet of strawberries anyone?).  
 
Essentials
Details: 2 -4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch E2 7DD (Ph 020 7729 1051) Tube: Liverpool Street
Damage: Reasonable
7/10
 
Links
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my post on breakfasts in London or if you are in the area and it is not breakfast time you should get yourself to Kingsland road to eat Vietnamese and Viet Grill.  

Albion at The Boundary Project on Urbanspoon

8 comments

  1. How adorable is that tea cosy?! I know what you mean about considering what to wear! The place that really gets me though is walking around Sloane Square. I always feel like a right tramp 😉

  2. I love Albion! A perfect stop between Columbia Road flower markets and Brick Lane Upmarket on a Sunday.
    In my experience, the atmosphere and decor help overlook patchy service.

  3. I do love the Albion, but I suspect that’s because it reminds me of Sydney. Not quite sure why, maybe because it’s so light and airy and has communal tables? xx

  4. I had The Albion on my list for a while, but the fact that they don’t take reservations means it’s been hard to plan when to go. Perhaps breakfast would be better than dinner, which was my initial plan!

  5. Have yet to pay Albion a visit. I’ve got very mixed feelings about Terence Conran’s “Gastrodomes”. Pont de la Tour and that Chop House place excellent, Mezzo awful, Bluebird so-so, Quaglino’s, a shadow of its former self. I’ve always felt that there’s a distinct lack of comfort and his restaurants are rather cold places, with harsh lighting and bland food.

    Having said that, perhaps his style better suits cafe’s and delis?

    Isn’t Columbia Road fab?

  6. Helen – I agree re Sloane Square – it is a worry really if neither of us feel blonde enough!

    LexEat – You are right it is almost exactly inbetween there

    Wee Birdy – It does have a little bit of an Australian feel – those open windows, communal tables…

    Helen – I think breakfast is an easy way to sample it

    The Greasy Spoon – I have been to the Paternoster Chop house as well and thought it was great but have never been to Quaglinos and have heard bad things about blue bird – must be hard for him keeping track of an empire! I agree Columbia road is great

  7. your blog is amazing. new follower!

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