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Harpers catches up with Boundary's Christopher Delalonde MS

Published:  14 December, 2012

There's no standing still for Christopher Delalonde MS, who was named UK Sommelier of the Year in 2010. We find out what he's been up to at Boundary Restaurant.

Delalonde says: "I'm currently doing what I do best and that's spending my boss's money on buying a lot of wine. We're trying to firmly establish Boundary on the food and wine map. It's been a good 13 months here and I have already been promoted to overseeing the entire wine offering for the business, which means I'm in charge of Lutyens, too. I could pretty much do with a clone presently as it's difficult to be in two places at once, but I'm keeping a good eye on the range. We have 25 pages on the list - around 750 wines. We've created a list of 35 wines under £35, which helps in Shoredich as the clientele ranges from the arty crowd in their early 30s who don't necessarily know much about wine, but are always very talkative, approachable and eager to learn more; to the city crowd wanting to find somewhere away from the men's clubs, and they will spend.

"Our priority is not to upsell, we have three sommeliers and all are there to just help people find what they are looking for, regardless of spend. However, people are still quite protective of the money in their pockets. December has been good and we have opened for lunch and have seen high demand. We are always looking ahead but know the first week in January is always a disaster, so we tend to use that as the lowest benchmark. The most important thing is to make sure people are getting value for money. Even though the nation is still experiencing tough economic times we still need to be positive. Owner Peter Prescott is great at seeing the bigger pictire and there is a lot to look forward to in 2013, including another restaurant opening upstairs from Boundary, as well as the continued success of the wine bar that he opened three months ago at Lutyens, which has been really well received. It's a good feeling to be part of that movement," he adds.

Christopher Delalonde joined Boundary Restaurant in 2011, having previously worked at the Square for 10 years, including six years as the head sommelier, and as head sommelier at Claridge's. Before moving to London, he worked at several restaurants in Paris, including two years as head sommelier at Alain Passard's three Michelin star restaurant L'Arpège.

The new-format Prescott & Conran Boundary building includes three restaurants and bars; 12 individually designed guest bedrooms, plus five suites; a small British food store; and a bakery.