As he relaunches Bibendum this week, Sir Terence Conran's flagship restaurant in the iconic Michelin building in London's Fulham Road, Claude Bosi tells Fiona Sims what he has planned for the venue
A corner of Bibendum's iconic stained-glass window is just visible above a large piece of plywood. It has been propped up there to protect it while builders transform the place. In case you didn't already know, Claude Bosi is moving in.
The two-Michelin-starred chef closed Hibiscus, his Mayfair restaurant, last October, and he has upped sticks to Fulham Road, to Sir Terence Conran's flagship, which has been renamed Claude Bosi at Bibendum. He has taken over this legendary South Kensington landmark and flung open its doors on Wednesday this week (29 March), with a fine-dining restaurant upstairs, and a refreshed all-day café and seafood bar downstairs.
Bibendum, which has never had a Michelin star in its entire history, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The building - called Michelin House - was commissioned by the Michelin Tyre Company as its British headquarters in 1909, but it moved out in 1985, when Conran and publisher Paul Hamlyn snapped it up.
"A lot of the stuff we have ripped out dated back to the 1980s," says Bosi, surveying what will be his new, partly open kitchen. Its strategically placed windows look out over that cavernous first-floor dining room and the elegantly stuccoed Pelham Street.