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.

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.

: 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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