Restaurants Now: Lutyens

Sir Terence Conran, Britain’s reigning design legend, transforms a former Reuters headquarters into a headline-worthy dining spot.

Most commentators thought the catering game was over for Sir Terence Conran when he sold half his shares in Conran Restaurants in 2006. Not so. In January of this year, Sir Terence—along with his wife, Vicki, and business partner Peter Prescott—opened the remarkable Boundary, an ambitious mix of multiple restaurants, bars, and hotel rooms in a former Victorian warehouse in Shoreditch. But Conran’s love of classic French food, elegant design, and impeccable service can be experienced at its best at Lutyens, the second project for Prescott & Conran Ltd. The imposing Fleet Street building was designed by architect Edwin Lutyens in the 1930s, and for many years was the HQ of Reuters. Now, the typewriters and telex machines have been replaced by crustacea and charcuterie bars, a rotisserie, and a sharp-suited staff. The menu (available Monday to Friday) is neither trendy nor preserved in aspic: Steak tartare, snails, or fish soup might precede main courses—priced around $25—of suckling pig, skate, or a traditionally buttery entrecôte à la maître d’hôtel. The sommelier is equally at ease picking out good bottles for bargain hunters as he is at helping city financiers spend their bonuses.

Lutyens 85 Fleet Street, London (020-7583-8385;

Subscribe to Gourmet