A successor to the wildly popular Bluebird in Chelsea has been on the cards for a while. Rumour has it that D&D London just couldn’t quite find the right nest for it to hatch in. Enter the newly revamped Television Centre in White City, a rather attractive megaplex comprised of luxury flats, a members club, a hotel, work spaces and, of course, a handsome lineup of restaurants.
has pride of place in the site’s newly built wing, which opens out onto a minimalist and contemporary public space – all angular lawns and stone seating. Indian small-plates specialist Kricket is next door and Homeslice is offering NYC-style pizza around the corner. A decent balance of happening options, then.
Is the newly hatched Bluebird much the same as the King’s Road original? Well, sort of. The brash, Ab Fab rainbow palette is in place, as are the hallmark red iron girders. The food, too, is a paean to the Chelsea original’s modern European menu. What’s different is its attitude. It feels a little more millennial than its SW3 parent: by which I mean busier, more attention-seeking and, vitally, more camera-friendly (@bluebirdcafew12
). If we had a pound for every time the word ‘Instagram’ was used in the design meetings…
A mishmash of interior styles traverses everything from kitsch geometric prints to multicoloured mid-century furniture, via a brassy art deco bar. Elsewhere, there are artworks from young British talents on the walls and plenty of plants dotted about the place, somehow making it feel more of a daytime location than an evening destination. Indeed, a new partnership with PetsPyjamas sees the launch of ‘doggie afternoon teas’ this month, when guests can bring their pooches along for a scone.
No shrinking violet, Bluebird’s events calling is for lively exclusive-use parties (for up to 250 standing) or informal celebratory eating (more like 130 seated guests). Apparently, ‘bar parties’ are another option, with space for 30 revellers. There is no private dining room, though – serious business destination this ain’t. Smaller groups may want to take the long table in the middle of the room, which has the benefit of being surrounded by those red beams, creating space between you and other diners.
It’s easy to imagine the attractive terrace being put to good use for a summery cocktail reception, where guests can sup on White City old fashioneds before heading inside to eat something colourful from exec chef Simon Gregory’s easy-to-process all-day menu. Insta-friendly salads will please veganistas; otherwise de rigueur small plates reign supreme. The Calabrian nduja-crusted yellowfin tuna with grilled onion and green sauce thoroughly deserves its reputation as the signature dish, while Bluebird classic spiced Atlantic king prawns with lemon yoghurt and pistachio was another stand-out.
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