Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Things get wild at Chelsea Flower Show

Jimmy Choo on Sloane Street

Every year, the events around Chelsea Flower Show seem to get bigger and bigger, from with events in local (high-end) shops, floral cocktails on local bar menus... and near-lifesized model elephants in Sloane Square, thanks to Chelsea in Bloom.
Duke of York Square
The free floral festival takes place in the area around Sloane Square. Shops decorate their windows and doors with some impressive flower displays and arches, and floral sculptures on a certain theme pop up in public spaces. Naturally, there's a marketing element to the whole thing (#cynical) with special events going on in store and branded hashtags to use on Instagram if you're so inclined. Otherwise, it's just a pleasant, unusual, photogenic (and free!) thing to do for a week in May.

Duke of York Square
This year's theme is floral safari, a theme which succinctly combines two of my favourite things; wild animals and floral displays.

Kiehl's, King's Road

If you're heading out on your own floral safari, it's worth downloading yourself a map from the Chelsea in Bloom website. It'll give you a rough idea of where to head - but don't rely on it for 100% geographical accuracy.
Symons Street
Following the trail on the first evening of the festival, I found it to be very hit and miss. Some stores had gone all out, while others had a paltry flower or two in the window - and others still seemed to have nothing special at all, despite being marked on the Chelsea in Bloom map. It's probably best going when the shops are open, but as the festival's only on for a week, that's not an option for many Londoners.
Symons Street
Numbers 6 (Jimmy Choo) and 40 (Annoushka) are marked in the wrong place on the map and take some persistence to find, and I didn't manage to find number 51 (11 Cadogan Gardens) at all.

Pavilion Road

The trail is quite spread out - fine if you've got plenty of energy and time, but if you're short on either, cut out anything west of Kiehl's (#37) on King's Road), and don't head north of the zebras on Sloane Street - it's not worth it.
Pavilion Road

If you're really short on time, I'd recommend sticking to Sloane Square and Duke of York Square, making a quick detour up King's Road to Kiehl's, and briefly hitting up Hackett and Jimmy Choo on Sloane Street.
Sloane Street
The shop windows are hit and miss, but the centrepieces of the festival are the giant floral animal sculptures. An elephant, a crocodile and a hippo sit slap bang in the centre of Sloane Square, while a pair of zebras cause drivers to do a double take on Sloane Street. Lions take pride of place in Duke of York Square, and a wooden rhino stands proud on Pavilion Road (again, don't rely on the map to find the rhino - in reality, he's right behind Peter Jones).
Hackett, Sloane Street

Sloane Street
It's worth pointing out that Chelsea in Bloom is raising money for charity, with the large floral sculptures being sold off in aid of conservation charity Elephant Family.

Sloane Street

Sloane Street

Sloane Street
Corner of Sloane Street and Sloane Square

Sloane Square

Sloane Square

Sloane Square

Sloane Square

Sloane Square

Lower Sloane Street

Chelsea in Bloom 2017 takes place 22-27 May 2017, and it's free to take part in the trail.

Scribbling Lau is now on Facebook. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

No comments:

Post a Comment