Visiting Chelsea’s Blue Bird Restaurant

Sir Malcolm Campbell drove his aircraft-engined Blue Bird to a record speed of 301.337 mph in 1935. The wealthy British ex-Grand Prix racer and diamond merchant was the first human to experience the bright side of 300 mph.

Upon his return from the colonies, he was honored with a fete hosted by none other than His Royal Highness George V (the king of England) at a posh private club in Chelsea. Today that location is a sprawling complex of restaurants and stores, the British version of an in-town strip mall.; It’s the perfect place to enjoy lunch while the fleet of Lamborghini convertibles screams past, where you can also witness remnants of Sir Campbell’s life and times.; The men’s club is now a private reception room used only on special occasions. The adjoining foyer proudly displays a 1/10th or so scale model of his 300-mph racer, a lovely framed portrait of the man, and a copy of the combination invitation, program, and menu for the celebration of the speed record coming home to England. Just down the Kings Road street from the Blue Bird restaurant lies Sloane Square, the gathering site of the elite Sloane’s Rangers–Lady Diana’s former partners in late night crime.; The serious traveler and speed nut will surely want to add the Blue Bird to the destination list for any London visit.

Words by Don Sherman
Photos by Martyn Goddard