Iconic restaurant Bluebird is ruffling feathers in Chelsea society once again, relaunching last night following a glamorous refurbishment. Perched on the well-heeled King’s Road, the new-look Bluebird comes complete with new Executive Chef Liam Smith-Laing, and his stunning signature dishes, as well as a creative new cocktail list.
The striking Art Deco landmark built was built in 1923, designed by Robert Sharp, as a garage for 300 cars, including the Bluebird racers driven by record-breaker Sir Malcom Campbell, and this rich heritage is woven through the restaurant’s redesign. A pillar of the surrounding community, Bluebird has always effortlessly blended relaxed dining and sensational sips with a striking interior and glamorous clientele.
Newly-appointed Head Chef Liam Smith-Laing’s menus at Bluebird feature simple, fresh and honest dishes inspired by the best of Modern European cooking. Liam built his reputation at a number of leading restaurants including Gordon Ramsay’s Petrús and Marcus Wareing at The Savoy Grill before joining D&D London.
Using only the finest ingredients, the menu offers both small plates and larger sharing dishes, reflecting Bluebird’s sociable and buzzy vibe. Stand-out small dishes include Queen Scallops with Chorizo and Apple and Baby Octopus with Hummus and Piquillos. Main courses are divided into meat, fish, pasta and steaks: the Whole Grilled Turbot with Artichokes and Basil is ideal for sharing, while Daube of Beef with Young Carrots and Celery; or Handmade Gnocchi with ‘Nduja and Fontina makes for a truly indulgent dinner. Steak fans can opt for a Rump, Sirloin, Fillet, or Galician On-The-Bone Rib Eye.
Decadent desserts designed to delight include Blueberry marinated Pineapple Carpaccio, Fresh Berries and Mango; Profiteroles with Salted Caramel Crème, Patisserie and Pistachio Ice Cream; and Hot Molten Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs, Pecan and Iced Milk.
Sip & Be Seen
Are you a Bluebird Legend? Sip your way through the Bluebird Legends cocktail menu, made up of original drinks inspired by the local area and created by Bluebird’s own bartenders, which have become signature serves over the years. Highlights include the SW3 and Chelsea Flower with Hendrick’s Gin, pomegranate liqueur and fresh raspberry lengthened with apple juice. Limited Edition cocktail The 301 is made with Bluebird Gin from Portobello Road Gin is served theatrically in a miniature Bluebird car. Only five of these cars are available each night, so you’ll be savouring one of the most exclusive cocktails in town.
If you’re after all the flavour without the hangover, The Detox mocktail is the perfect choice. The brand new drink blends non-alcoholic Seedlip spirit with fresh ginger and lime, topped with soda water, and served in a coupe glass so nobody but you need know you’re off the sauce.
The wine list has been well considered with an emphasis on Sparkling, English and Natural wines, with a large selection available by the glass, and bottles from the Old and New World divided by style rather than region. Those looking for something truly special can indulge in an extensive list of Champagnes, or enjoy a Chelsea Blonde beer, brewed just across the road.
Very British Style
After temporarily closing its doors on 1st August, Bluebird has undergone an incredible redesign by famed interior designers Sagrada (Satoria, The Arts Club). The industrial steel frame of the airy atrium has been painted a striking red hue and lighting has been updated to be evocative of a 1920s workshop, as a nod to the building’s heritage.
Upon arrival guests will immediately notice the beautifully-illuminated central bar designed from stacked stainless-steel bumpers and topped with marble. Pull up a bar stool and watch Bluebird’s bartenders create the perfect cocktail from tiny bottles of bitters and aromatics, with eccentric touches, like a cocktail served in a kooky copper pineapple. Don’t miss the two mini petrol pumps, serving Aged Old Fashioned and Aged Negroni cocktails.
If you’d rather have a little privacy, take your pick from cosy alcoves and seating areas, upholstered with plush velvet or butter-soft leather. Stunning textiles from British fashion icon Celia Birtwell and intriguing artworks from artists Marco Sanges, Christy Lee Rogers and Raoof Haghighi, will bring a pop of colour to any Instagram snap.
Walk through to the impressive dining room and feast your eyes on mature trees, climbing plants, wildflowers, grasses and herbs, sprouting up across the restaurant. Take your place seat amongst the shrubbery and indulge in a little people-watching over dinner. If you’re having a celebration, a floor-to-ceiling drape can be drawn between the bar and restaurant areas, transforming the space into a semi-private dining space, for exceptional parties and special events.
Those looking to hide away can take advantage of Bluebird’s four private dining rooms. The Mezzanine Room overlooks the restaurant offering a birds-eye view of all the action below. The stunning light-filled Gallery Room can be joined with the Beaufort Room making it ideal for drinks receptions, followed by dinner. Finally, the Bluebird Room, with its own private entrance and dedicated cocktail bar, is the perfect place for cocktail parties or celebratory suppers. A private Chef’s Table is also available for six to eight guests, looking to get a little closer to the excitement.
Whether gossiping over cocktails at the bar or savouring the delicious new menu, Bluebird has once again become the place to be in Chelsea.