Spring and Summer activities in blooming beautiful Chelsea

The flowers are blooming and the trees are at last in leaf. It would be a fabulous time of year to visit the King’s Road area even if it wasn’t hosting the most famous botanical fair in the world: The RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21-15 May 2013). Attracting the very best garden designers, growers and flower arrangers, plus a bevy of celebrities and the world’s press, this year is all the more special as it’s the Show’s centenary.
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All this botanical activity is echoed on the streets of SW3. Chelsea In Bloom sees top local retailers compete by creating floral displays in and around their shops. Take a free rickshaw ride around the entrants before stopping off at the champagne pop-up for a glass of bubbly.

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Chelsea flower show Large image

Spreading our net a little further, Chelsea Fringe (18 May-9 June) is a London-wide gardening festival which takes in exhibitions, tours, walks and much more, like drinks and nibbles at the Chelsea Gardener.

Floral Fancies

SWS 1 British Plant Nursery Guide. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Beauty: The Anthropologie gallery is transformed into an old-fashioned apothecary by uber-cool LA brand Royal Apothic. Head to Richard Ward for a ‘floral blowdry’. Lush’s Spa Kitchen Garden shows off the plants they use.

Culture: Head to the Chelsea Physic Garden for its ‘living botanical bar’. And when the flower show isn’t on, you can tour the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

GPB1 5 Canterbury College. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Dining: The Botanist will be hosting a tasty little pop-up in Sloane Square. Feast At Peter Jones, tuck into the Chelsea Flower Show centenary tea. Slightly further afield, The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington also has a Chelsea Flower Show tea while its high-end restaurant Min Jiang is offering exquisite floral cocktails.


Family
: Get your little ones’ brains working with the Chelsea Tree Hunt. Find trees in various stores on King’s and Fulham Road on this alternative treasure trail.

Fashion: You can’t beat Cath Kidson and Laura Ashley for beautifully printed clothes and homeware, while Jigsaw’s romantic floral print dresses are to die for.

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…And another thing (or two): Top live music venue 606 Club is celebrating 25 years in Lots Road from 22 May 2013. I have been there a few times in the past and they honestly play the best jazz in town. It is certainly not a posh location but if you like jazz it’s the place to be. More than 40 bands will show why fans of jazz, blues, soul, R&B, Latin and gospel have been returning to this venue since the 1970s.

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PopUp Britain offers the chance for boutique online retailers pop-ups at a time to see what it’s like having a retail space.

Oh, and check out Proud Chelsea – they’ve got a phenomenal show of rare Bowie photographs. It’ll be far more exclusive than The V&A show.

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