Be
Connected

With the Jubilee line a mere three-minute walk away, and Waterloo station less than ten, The Boulevard provides easy access to work, or the best lifestyle and entertainment experiences London has to offer.

Location

The Boulevard lies in the heart of London, in Southwark, one of the city’s most eclectic and dynamic neighbourhoods. An enviable leafy location on Blackfriars Road is befitting of the SE1 postcode. From this very central position, the city is yours to explore: its riverside playgrounds and old and new landmarks, world-class culture and cutting-edge arts scenes, incredible dining and ever-expanding café society.

Connections

Travel Times from The Boulevard

Travel

Key highlights

Many of the cultural and lifestyle experiences that define London as a true global giant are within easy reach, such as Tate Modern, The Globe Theatre and Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank, and the National Gallery and the West End just north of the river. Closer still is The Cut, with its twin creative anchors The Old Vic and The Young Vic, and the eclectic Old Union Yard Arches.

Local food & drink

  • Lantana
    This Aussie café on Southwark Street is a good spot for Sunday brunch or coffee and cake. They make an excellent flat white with their famous house blend
  • The Laughing Gravy
    Modern British food in an old foundry on Blackfriars Road. Fresh seasonal flavours, great cocktails and consistently good reviews.
  • The Ring
    An ode to the arena that once stood opposite, this boxing-themed bar has memorabilia on the walls, hot dogs on the menu and craft beers on tap.
  • Meson Don Felipe
    This much-loved tapas bar on The Cut is a cosy spot for a pre-theatre supper. Jamón and Rioja meet Old and New Vics.
  • Numnum
    This Chinese noodle, rice bowl and stir-fry joint is tucked under a railway arch on Scoresby Street. For lunch on the run, or takeouts on speed dial.
  • ’O Ver
    Pizza purists will love this simple but delicious Neapolitan restaurant. Southern Italian street food, pasta and authentic wood-fired pizzas straight from the oven.

Culture & entertainment

  • BFI Southbank
    The crown jewel of British repertory cinema, this is the place to see the best of classic, independent and foreign movies across four screens.
  • Imperial War Museum
    Guns, tanks, missiles and spitfires: Central Hall showcases serious military hardware. The Foster and Partners-designed space is awesome, and the war stories absorbing.
  • Menier Chocolate Factory
    The location for numerous award-winning shows, this unique 180-seat theatre space, with adjoining restaurant, bar and rehearsal space, brings a touch of fringe to the capital.
  • The Hayward Gallery
    Another outstanding cultural space in the Southbank Centre, The Hayward is world-renowned for its contemporary art exhibitions.
  • Union Theatre
    A legendary fringe theatre company in the Union Yard Arches. Founded in 1997 by Sasha Regan, it’s a local institution, famous for its musicals.
  • Young Vic
    The Old Vic’s younger sibling offers a theatrical shot in the arm with an eclectic programme and fresh writing, directing and acting talent. Always an experience.

Outdoors & exercise

  • CrossFit Central
    CrossFit fans can sprint to CrossFit Central for a WOD (workout of the day).
  • Flying Fantastic
    A unique aerial fitness school experience, Flying Fantastic is fast redefining the trip down to the gym.
  • Mint Street Park
    Bankside’s biggest green space, and a great place for an impromptu game of footie.
  • Secret Boxing Gym
    Or hit the Secret Boxing Gym at London Bridge for real rings and fighter-trainers.
  • Thames River Path
    For sport, run the river to Westminster or the Tower of London and beyond.
  • Third Space
    Third Space on the river is fitness at its most slick: it has a vast double-height gym, a sprint track and inky-black underground pool.
  • Schools & universities
  • King's College London
  • Lewisham/Southward College (Lesoco Campus)
  • London College of Creative Media
  • London South Bank University

Lupins

Like its creators, its clientele, and the neighbourhood it lives in, Lupins is unpidgeonhole-able. Owned and run by young female chefs Natasha Cooke and Lucy Pedder, this small, café-style restaurant on Union Street serves seasonal British tasting plates with a ‘Californian’ influence. The pair had visited the West Coast and both liked its casual dining style, and the collision of flavours from Mexico, Japan and the Mediterranean. Their formula is flavours from around the world and great British produce, conjured into an imaginative and ever-changing menu of small plates made to share, like Cornish crab thermidor – a molten cheese and crustacean mash-up – or oysters with fiery Thai Sriracha sauce and tangy lime butter.

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Since opening in 2017, their following has grown on a wave of rave reviews in the national press, led by The Times food critic Giles Coren. “When we came here we underestimated the power of the locals,” says Natasha. “People love coming back, because it’s not super-fancy – it’s somewhere they can come when they can’t be bothered to cook dinner.” So who comes to brunch, lunch and dinner? Book a lunchtime table and you might meet some of those Times readers who moved here when it was just up and coming, City workers, and ad agency people. In the evenings, the local theatre crowd come from the Menier, Bridge and Globe. There’s a devoted local gay fanbase, too. “It’s an interesting dynamic, a real mix,” says Natasha. “It’s always busy and buzzy, but it’s quite cosy.”

restaurant

Greensmith

A long-term Waterloo resident, Chris Smith opened Greensmiths 11 years ago. At the time, he thought Lower Marsh was an interesting street but “needed the glue of some food shops to stick it together”. His idea was to bring a butcher, a baker and a greengrocer together in an unpretentious local shop. “I wanted to provide proper food to customers who enjoyed food and took pleasure in shopping and cooking. You could come and get a coffee and a croissant for breakfast, buy a sandwich for lunch, then pick up your evening meal on the way home.”

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The former chef and property developer refitted the old gents’ outfitters, retaining as much of the historic building as possible. The first floor became a café, its walls taken back to the original brick, with doorway arches still visible and two atrium windows intact. A long dining table was crafted from roof joists, and the outfitters’ chest of drawers was reinvented as a fruit and veg stand. The shop has a higgledy-piggledy layout, with lots of levels, and food tucked into nooks and crannies. It stocks a mix of staples, quality food brands and customer recommendations, There’s a proper butcher who gives advice, a selection of interesting wine, and bread from The Old Post Office Bakers in Stockwell, still warm from the oven when it arrives in the morning.

greensmiths

MC & Sons

Ireland meets Thailand in Mc & Sons, the ‘Thairish’ pub on Union Street. It’s owned by the McElhinney family who come from County Westmeath and live down the road: patriarch Jack, sons Johnny and Ryan, daughter Joanne, and dog Mini Mac. Mc & Sons looks like it’s been here forever, but it actually opened just two years ago. All the furniture and fittings are reclaimed. The walls are festooned with old McElhinney family photos, pictures of the Pope, the Virgin Mary and JFK.

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It’s not possible to be more authentically Irish. On tap is Guinness, served with or without a shamrock, according to legend/taste, plus a selection of Irish IPAs. These include Little Fawn from the White Hag Brewery, which boasts the magic abv of 4.3%, which, theoretically, allows a grown man to drink it all day with impunity. Behind the bar are Irish snacks and drinks, like Kimberley biscuits and Cidona, which are stocked on (the Irish clientele’s) request. There’s a live acoustic set on Mondays, a traditional Irish band on Tuesdays, and a big ceilidh band on Saturdays. The Thai in Thairish comes from Johnny’s wife, Lailar, who comes from Chiang Mai and has brought its cuisine to the Mc & Sons kitchen. The £7 lunch special of “Johnny Rice” is a local legend: a rice or noodle base with an ever-changing selection of toppings.

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