7 things to do in London during Chelsea week: 25-29 May

If you’re in London for The Chelsea Flower Show 25-29th May, why not make the most of your time in the capital and catch up on a few other floral-related treats.


If you’re in London for The Chelsea Flower Show 25-29th May, why not make the most of your time in the capital and catch up on a few other floral-related treats.


Flower shops
Look out for extravagant floral displays in the boutiques in and around Sloane Square as shops join in the Chelsea floral extravaganza with their own artistic floral themed shop displays and installations. Each display is judged by the RHS (Gardens Illustrated’s editor Juliet Roberts will be among the judges) with the winner gaining the coveted Sloane in Bloom medal.
25-28 May 2010
Sloane Square, Sloane Street, Ellis Street, Pont Street and Duke of York Square, London



Take tea
Indulge in a Chelsea-inspired tea-time treat at the Fifth Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols. Available throughout May is the Floral Afternoon Tea serving a variety of delicious treats such as hibiscus financiers, lavender cup cakes and home-made violet and strawberry jam to be served with refreshing rose petal and vanilla tea.
The Floral Afternoon Tea is priced at £19.95 (or £29.50 to include a glass of champagne). Served between 3-5.30pm. Please book in advance on 020 7235 5250. Alternatively the bar is serving a Botanical Cocktail Flight (£19.95) featuring miniature versions of their classic botanical drinks.
Fifth Floor, Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RJ


Gardens in bloom
Explore some of London’s finest private gardens. Take a boat trip from Tower Bridge to Chiswick visiting splendid riverside gardens en-route: 25 May, £100. Or visit the Arts & Crafts cottages of the Artisans’ Quarter of Hampstead Garden Suburb:
27 May, £90. Run in association with the National Gardens Scheme.
Spaces still available but please book in advance


Catch Chelsea designers
Listen to Tom Stuart-Smith and Andy Sturgeon, both of whom have show gardens at Chelsea this year. The two award-winning designers talk about their experiences of the show and their wider careers. Hosted by the Garden Museum.
27 May 2010, 6.30-8.30pm, £10.
Please book in advance
Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB


Nursery highlights
The delightful Clifton Nurseries, tucked away in leafy Maida Vale, stays open until 7pm until the end of June, making it the perfect place to visit after Chelsea (on your way back to Paddington Station, perhaps?). Tempting selection of plants, topiary, statuary and water features. On 27 May the nursery hosts an evening of food, wine and topical Chelsea chat with designers Mark Gregory and Joanna Herald.
Nursery open 8.30am-7pm.
Chelsea Event 27 May 2010, £25. Tickets available in advance
Clifton Nurseries, 5A Clifton Villas, London W9 2PH


Floral passions
Tucked away in the magnificent Victoria & Albert Museum is a little exhibition of original Flower Fairy images by artist Cicely Mary Barker. Created in the first half of the 20th century, the images became a popular series of stories. Cicely's skill was to combine a world of charming imagination with exquisitely accurate botanical drawings – a skill she shared with Beatrix Potter.
A Fairyland of Flowers: Beatrix Potter and Cicely Mary Barker
Until 14 June 2010
Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL


Perfect pictures
Leave the crowds at Chelsea behind and escape to Kew Gardens. At the moment you can view the wining entries to the International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition. There’s over 100 enlarged images to view including the winners picked from the beset amateur and professional garden photographer from around the world. (Picture left: Magical umbellifer, Carol Sharp)
Runs until 26 September 2010
Exhibition is located near the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Art
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey TW9 3AB


Visit the Cottesbrooke Hall Plant Finders Fair, 25-27 June 2010
previous feature Article
Visit the Gardens Illustrated stand at this year’s shows
next feature Article
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