LONDON: The Boundary

Sir Terence Conran is sitting in a lounge chair on a stylishly accoutred rooftop beneath warm London evening skies, smoking a cigar and sipping a Negroni. He looks relaxed, and not a little proud. No wonder. Conran may be Britain’s most famous contemporary designer, but he was also largely responsible for London’s current reputation as a great dining capital, opening an amazing series of restaurants large and small over the past two decades-plus. In 2007, though, he sold 49 percent of his restaurant empire to two former employees, keeping full ownership only of his flagship Bibendum. Now he’s starting all over again, with a spectacular complex called The Boundary in East London. The rooftop includes a robata grill (the steak frites looked delicious) and bar, while on the two floors below are 17 guest rooms done in a variety of design themes (Shaker, Bauhaus, Eames, etc.). A street-level café and bakery called Avalon bustles day and night (“British café food done right,” says Conran), and in the basement, the main restaurant offers honest, old-style French fare. The oysters are perfect; the chariot of pâtés and terrines is like something you’d find in your favorite Parisian bistro; the Dover sole meunière is impeccable; and there are roast meats served with panache from a domed cart. The Boundary isn’t Conran’s swan song, by any means; in a few weeks he opens yet another place, Lutyens, in an historic building on Fleet Street.

The Boundary 2-4 Boundary St., Shoreditch, London (44-020-7729-1051)



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