One of my friends recently made the move from East to West, giving me a good excuse to tear myself from my NE London comfort zone and head to Chelsea to try something new. On this occasion, we decided to go to the cafe at Bluebird. In addition to the cafe, this stylish establishment boasts a restaurant, bar, courtyard, bakery, and shop - everything you could possibly need wrapped up into one handy package!
It was another of those crisp, sunny autumn days we seem to have had so many of this year, and as my friend happened to have spent the night in Angel, we decided to cycle over to Kings Road together. Cycling is actually one of the fastest ways to get to Chelsea from Angel - on a decent bike you can do it in around 40 minutes (add on ten or so if you're wobbling your way there on a heavy Boris bike!)
The nicest route cuts down to Embankment, and continues along the Thames (with a brief diversion around Westminster) all the way to ChelseaBridge Road, where you can turn back 'in-land' towards Sloane Square. It's definitely a great way to build up an appetite and get some vitamin D on the way - far preferable to a stinky ride on the underground any day!
Arriving slightly windblown after our cycle, we joined our friend in the cafe and placed our orders (just in time for the 11.30 breakfast cut-off). I went for soft-boiled eggs and - inspired by my Modern Pantry experience - asked for some marmite to spread on my soldiers. Yum.
My friends both went for salmon-y options - eggs royale and salmon with scrambled eggs - both of which looked delicious. As a change from my usual English breakfast I ordered a pot of jasmine tea, which was very refreshing, and (while I'm not sure if there is any truth behind this perception) felt healthier than my usual cuppa.
Annoyingly I forgot to take any photos of the food, but did manage to take a few of the venue to make up for it! It really was a very pleasant spot for brunch - light and airy, with plenty of cute, quirky details (arty light installations, a wall of pretty painted plates). The sunny courtyard area is lovely too - I'd love to come back for drinks in the summer (although if alcohol is involved I'll probably have to leave my bike at home!)
After our meal, we made our way down to the food market outside Partridges (I've been before following a trip to Tom's Kitchen, and it's one of my favourites). I'd been trying to save money for the Christmas season with a no-clothes-shopping ban, but unfortunately there are a ridiculous number of lovely boutiques on Kings Road and I ended up buying some (in my defence, heavily discounted!) work trousers in the LK Bennet outlet shop. It's definitely a much more pleasant shopping experience than Central London...
Once we'd managed to drag ourselves away from the shops, we wandered around the market, snacking on free tasters (my favourite was a cube of bread dipped in heady truffle-infused honey) before picking up some dessert at one of the lovely cake stands. I was very impressed with my enoooormous meringue, which had the gorgeously chewy interior which is the mark of a truly good meringue. And if I hadn't been on my bike, I definitely would have taken home a few of these beautiful mini-cupcakes: