The patter of rain slows against the windowpane of the Albion as you snack on Welsh rarebit and sip from a steaming cup of milky black tea, flipping crisp, off-the-press pages of the Sunday Observer. In and out flows a constant stream of café-goers, laughing and greeting each other, umbrellas flapping closed, a rain-damp herringbone cap tossed onto an empty stool. The rain subsides and the Shoreditch streets call to you. You stroll past waifish artists smoking in furs and flannels under a mural reading in giant painted bubble letters, “Let’s adore and endure each other,” then finally make your way to the Sunday upmarket at the end of Brick Lane. All around you are locals, toting shopping bags or chatting over lunch from the food trucks that skirt the market halls, all dressed for a smart Sunday and lit up by the sunlight that’s just breaking through earl-grey London clouds.
THE HOTEL – Housed in a Victorian-era former printing factory, Boundary is a cultural touchstone for East Londoners, a neighborhood trailblazer, and a clubhouse for the thriving arts and fashion scenes that have cemented Shoreditch’s reputation as London’s hippest neighborhood. And this creative kinship shows: Each guestroom pays homage to a great designer or movement of the past, from Young British to Bauhaus, Eileen Gray to Le Corbusier. But man cannot live on art alone: Boundary also includes three award-winning restaurants and bars, including its beloved Albion Café, a bakery and artisanal British food shop that’s become a local institution—the salon-like living room of the neighborhood’s creative beau monde.
"The art community is an essential part of our identity."Sir Terence Conran
Sir Terence Conran, renowned designer, restaurateur, retailer, and writer, took Britain out of the gloom of postwar austerity with his furniture company Habitat into a vision of what the domestic world could be like. His architectural projects include the Michelin House and the Bluebird Garage in Chelsea, as well as the regeneration of the Shad Thames area of London in the early 1990s. Conran designs furniture for Marks & Spencer and others, and his design books have sold over 25 million copies worldwide. In collaboration with Peter Prescott, former operations director of Conran Restaurant Group, the British design guru launched Boundary in 2008. Together, Conran and Prescott are almost single handedly responsible for the fast turn-around of East London’s popular Shoreditch neighborhood.
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