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?).
Details: 2 -4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch E2 7DD (Ph 020 7729 1051) Tube: Liverpool Street