Wednesday, May 25, 2016

London: An evening at Chelsea in Bloom

One of the big events happening in London right now is the Chelsea Flower Show.  I've been a couple of times before and adored it, but this year my schedule didn't have a whole day spare to go along so I didn't buy any tickets....and subsequently got some major FOMO as friends and acquaintances started to share their pictures from the show.

Luckily, life conspired to give me a dose of floral wonder to enjoy and to help to ease the envy. Alongside the flower show, lots of businesses in Chelsea come together to celebrate Chelsea in Bloom, with flowers bedecking several of the shops, hotels and bars around Sloane Square and beyond.  So when the delightful Emma asked me if I'd like to pop along to take a tour with her, I immediately said yes!

So many local businesses have got involved....

....making walking around the area...

...a real treat.

Both inside and outside, the shops and restaurants looked stunning! There was also some very cute streetstyle on display (see above).

As we head towards the excitement of Rio, the theme is Carnival. This handsome fellow, outside 11 Cadogan Gardens, was such a vivid, stunning piece, designed by Larry Walshe (be warned, if you love flowers you will spend quite some time getting lost in beautiful arrangements on this site!). This hotel looked so beautiful, and their Chelsea in Bloom afternoon tea sounds wonderful (we all know by now that I am a sucker for a good afternoon tea).

All across the area, the feeling was one of a fiesta, with bright colours and amazing arrangements abounding.

In the dappled early evening sunlight the streets and lanes away from the main drag looked so serene and lovely.

I adored the range of pieces, arrangements and ideas on display - from huge, vibrant displays like the above at Hackett, to a window full of lavender...

The Liz Earle store in Duke of York Square had got well and truly involved and I loved their 'Carnivearle' display. They have events running all week long, as do many other businesses in the area - full details can be found on the Chelsea in Bloom events page.

As well as walking around the area, Emma and I also took a quick tour by rickshaw. This was great fun, if a little white-knuckle in certain spots (we travelled at rush hour!). Nevertheless, we enjoyed the ride and our pilot was as cool and collected as can be.  As was his co-rider, Mr Parrot. The rickshaws were festooned with carnival and floral doodads, and if you'd like a complimentary rickshaw tour you can book one from the information area in Sloane Square.

After our trip, we went on a little walk around some of the smaller streets. We were admiring this fabulous headdress at Sarah Chapman (the headdress and accompanying peacocks were designed by the team at Little Lake Flowers) when we heard one of my top ten favourite sentences ever from the doorway. "Would you like a free glass of prosecco?"

Yes, yes we would.

Emma and I had a lovely time at Sarah Chapman - we both had our skin analysed (verdict - not too bad, actually), and were shown some amazing products. The morning facial smelled like a dream and was so good on my always temperamental sensitive skin! It's now firmly on my 'to try' list, along with the overnight facial product and the eye recovery cream.  We also got to try on the amazing headdress the shop has for photos while sipping our prosecco.

I kind of want to wear this everywhere now...

And yes, I wore florals to a flower event. I'm nothing if not a fan of a theme.

Emma looking splendid in the headdress too.

Now I just need someone to make headdresses fashionable year round, because the look is fierce, no?

And with that we repaired to Comptoir Libinais for drinks and dinner, after squeezing in a last minute picture of the elephant outside The White Company!

Chelsea in Bloom runs all this week until the 28th May, and I'd heartily recommend a visit. There's so much to see and do, with so many people and brands in the area involved. I may even pop back to experience the Floral Food Market Partridges have planned. West London is looking lovely right now!


  1. Oh my gosh, how amazing is this? Some seriously beautiful flowers and I'm seriously jealous of that headdress!

    Musings & More

    1. So beautiful, a really lovely way to spend an evening!

  2. That headdress on you is so good, I love it!

    Erin xxx

    1. Hee, thank you honey. I'm thinking I might make them a theme for a party at some point!

  3. It all looks beautiful! I was actually planning on going but, like you, my schedule didn't allow it!

    Jess -

    1. It can be so hard to fit things in - I'd definitely recommend a quick wander around Chelsea this week though, gorgeous!

  4. That was SO much fun - I never want to rickshaw with anyone else 😃

    1. Oh my goodness, that's a vlog series, surely? Claire and Emma go rickshawing....

  5. Love the theme and you evening looks so fun!

    1. It really was, and the company was superb! Are you back in town soon enough to see the blooms?

  6. I was in Chelsea a few nights ago and the flowers are just amazing, some of the skills that went into those displays x

    1. I'm always utterly in awe - each and every display was so clever and well designed.

  7. Awww I've never been before but it looks so amazing! I love the displays!

    1. There were so many wonderful things to take in - such a fun evening.

  8. Oh my god! These decorations are heartwarming. Everything looks very pretty. Thanks for sharing these photos here. Will love to use these ideas in my engagement party next month at a Chicago event space. Really want to have an awesome party!


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Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is:

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