2-4 Boundary St
020 7729 1051
by Moose Lee
The front half of Albion is a deli and bakery – the walls are stacked with iconic brands – Heinz, Colman’s, Yorkshire Tea – and there’s bread boards covered with Chelsea buns, pork pies and sausage rolls. This area – which you walk through to get seated – acts as a kind of portal of nostalgia into an idealised version of the British cafe.
It’s a place where tea comes in big brown pots, each with a knitted tea-cosy. There’s bread and butter on every table. There’s white-tiled walls, an open kitchen and canteen-style seating.
I ordered the Albion Breakfast which, at just under a tenner, is not a bad deal. I got to choose how I’d like my egg. I thought I’d challenge them and ask for scrambled – not an easy thing to get right, on the quick – but they did a fantastic job, walking the runny/firm tightrope with aplomb. The sausages – although not brilliant – were a world away from the terrifying Frankensnags that come with the average fry up. The black pudding was perfectly oaty and crumbly, though it could have been twice as big. The only thing that really burst my bubble was the bubble and squeak. It tasted like baby food, little squidgy bits of carrot in the potato.
The atmosphere is lovely and the staff are relaxed and chatty; our friendly Aussie waiter sat at the table to take our order. It does get very busy on weekends, so best to try and get in there midweek. Albion (and Boundary – the restaurant downstairs) are owned by Terence Conran, which explains why the café has a Maitre D’. He seemed a little out of place, snooping around among the hungover trendies. That’s one thing that separates this place from your traditional greasy spoon: the clientele. One customer’s black glasses were so thick-rimmed and his moustache so prominent, that I thought at first he was wearing a rudimentary disguise.