Chelsea’s in bloom once more, and we’ve asked local expert Mina Zaher to help us pick the top places to see and things to do for a bloomin’ good time…
There’s nothing quite like London in the summer, and even more so when the city’s loveliest suburbs are covered in beautiful blooms. Chelsea in Bloom is the annual floral art show which coincides with RHS Chelsea Flower Show, now in its 13th year. This year from 21 – 26 May, Chelsea’s best retailers, restaurants and hotels compete against one another to win the much-coveted awards for the best floral displays.
The theme for this year’s Chelsea in Bloom is ‘Summer of Love’, inspired by the Royal Wedding and the cultural revolution of the 60s and 80s. Local expert, social media editor for Duke of York Square and Pavilion Road, and the Chelsea girl behind King’s Road Rocks Mina Zaher has helped us out with an insider’s guide to making the most of Chelsea in Bloom – including the most Instagrammable spots. It is her area of expertise after all…
The Best of Chelsea in Bloom 2018
The first stop on the Chelsea in Bloom trail has to be Sloane Square, which has been beautifully transformed to include a wedding breakfast setting and a stunning floral heart for its backdrop (it’s perfect for selfies). Here you’ll be able to pick up a Chelsea in Bloom guide to all the displays as well as in-store and restaurant offers available all week. You can also write a congratulatory note to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which you can post through the floral heart letterbox on Duke of York Square. All the hand-written messages will be sent to the royal couple.
Next stop? Pavilion Road, a side street off Sloane Square. Pavilion Road is picture perfect and the place to visit for eye-catching Instagram posts. You’ll find a giant floral engagement ring adorning the top of the road. As you walk towards the artisan stores and fantastic restaurants, including Granger & Co and Wulf & Lamb, you’ll discover enchanting displays belonging to Chelsea’s finest boutiques which include Sarah Chapman, Olivia von Halle and Moyses Stevens.
Duke of York Square
An oasis in the heart of Chelsea, Duke of York Square is pure escapism just a few steps away from the King’s Road. You can dine al fresco in a traffic-free setting with flagship stores such as Aesop, Boden and Monica Vinader all in one place. After a wander around Saatchi Gallery, you can experience Gallery’s Mess’s Chelsea In Bloom set menu on the terrace with a view of the green, which feels a million miles from the main road.
Chelsea in Bloom extends along the King’s Road from Bluebird to Peter Jones. Great places to eat include Kurobuta and Rabbit, which are both taking part in the festivities. And for something new, Lucas Hugh’s The Fitting Room is the new kid on the street with its ultra-luxurious sportswear that incorporates technical performance and high fashion in its design.
Beautiful floral swans stand outside La Perla, while Rag & Bone’s ‘Summer of Love’ floral display provides the perfect selfie opportunity as you step off Sloane Square.
Hans’ Bar & Grill
Hans’ Bar & Grill opened its doors on the first day of Chelsea in Bloom and is named after Sir Hans Sloane whose legacy includes providing the grounds for the Chelsea Physic Garden. Here, you’ll discover seasonal menus while indulging in another of Sir Hans Sloane’s legacies – chocolate. Sir Hans Sloane introduced drinking chocolate to England and this is certainly a place for chocoholics to visit, and indulge…
KXU Pop Bouquet
If walking off the fantastic menus on offer during Chelsea in Bloom wasn’t enough, you can also work out with KXU’s Pop Bouquet themed cycle ride. KXU is a boutique pay-as-you-go gym located in Pavilion Road’s courtyard and its luxurious showers and Medispa are also great ways to unwind in Chelsea.
There are complimentary rickshaw rides during Chelsea in Bloom, which you can book from the information point on Sloane Square. This is a fantastic way to soak up the atmosphere and see the displays as you sit back and relax.
Throughout Chelsea in Bloom you can support Sentebale, a charity founded by Prince Harry. Sentebale works to help children affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and you can donate on Sloane Square while dressing the beautiful L-O-V-E installation with flowers.
The Best Displays
My favourite displays include Monica Vinader on Duke of York Square, Hackett on Sloane Street and Sarah Chapman on Pavilion Road – but go and explore for yourselves to decide which you think deserves the top prize.
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