The garage was first built in 1923 for the Bluebird Motor Company, designed to the very latest style by the architect Robert Sharp. It was Europe’s largest motor car facility at 50,000 sq ft, and was selling petrol, servicing automobiles, and every provided accommodation for motorists and their chauffeurs. The land speed record breaker, Malcolm Campbell was connected with the Bluebird garage for many years, where he stored his racing cars and franchise. Malcolm Campbell and the Bluebird car (on 17th July 1964) broke the land speed record with 403.1 miles per hour! A pretty momentous occasion we’d say!
Campbell drove four Blue Bird cars culminating in the 1935 Campbell-Railton Blue Bird. This car had a 36.7 litre supercharged Rolls-Royce R V12 engine producing 2,300hp. The car was so powerful that double rear wheels had to be fitted to stop the wheels spinning.
In later years, from the 1970s- 80s, the building known as Carlyle Garages, and used by the Ambulance Service. The building came into generally poor condition.
A few years later the space had a new use. The garage and the two buildings on either side were re-purposed for retail and leisure space known as ‘Fashion Arena’.
But in 1997 the building was converted by Sir Terence Conran’s Conran Group into the ‘Bluebird Gastrodrome’, that we know and love today. This included a Restaurant, Bar, cafe and private dining rooms.
The garage area was occupied by the then Sainsbury’s Market. The space acted a demonstration kitchen for Sainsbury’s, complete with a chef, and also storing fresh fish and meat and a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Sainsbury’s later withdrew from the space which made way for ‘The Shop at Bluebird’, a high end clothes, furniture and book shop.
In 2006, D&D London bought Conran’s Bluebird and developed it into the modern restaurant that we know and love now. D&D London are a collection of 40+ diverse restaurants, bars and one hotel based principally in London, but also with locations in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Paris and New York.
The Restaurant & Bar underwent a complete refurbishment in 2016, at the hands of Sagrada, designers of Sartoria and The Arts Club, who brought in mature trees and bespoke Celia Birtwell textiles.
At D&D London, we are fully committed to minimising our impact on the planet. We are addressing a range of specific issues, including the ethical sourcing of food products, reducing food waste and maximising recycling, whilst reducing our energy and water consumption.
We are proud to hold a three star Sustainable Restaurant Association rating!