The prestigious Chelsea Flower Show is a staple in the summer calendar and this year it is extra special as it is the centenary. Happy Birthday! Hundred years old and still looking great, we salute you. With Chelsea in bloom, venues are celebrating the centenary with a whole host of events, The Handbook has selected some of its favourites for all to attend, whether you are a gardening connoisseur or not .
A spa treatment followed by afternoon tea? Sounds good, but The Aromatherapy Association Rose Hydrating Cocoon followed by a floral afternoon tea? Sounds brilliant. Including essential oil of Damask Rose, Evening Primrose Oil and Shea Butter, the 60 minute treatment, will leave you feeling restored and uplifted, if you are after a strronger pick me up you can have a rose and lychee martini afterwards. For tea expect scones with rose and strawberry jam, violet macaroons, carrot and jasmine cakes and rosewater éclairs. With a tea this good, the Chelsea Flower Show should happen more often.
Being an important birthday for the Chelsea Flower Show it seems only right that there is a party, which is exactly why Juju on the Kings Road are throwing a party on Tuesday 21st May to mark the start of the show, with award winning florists, Hayford & Rhodes. And as no party is complete without cocktails they will also be serving complimentary floral inspired cocktails such as the Centenary Chelsea Martini and the Ju Fleur – yippee!
The Park Lane
There is another reason to celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show, love them or hate them, garden gnomes have been allowed back after the Royal Horticultural Society imposed a rather long ban. In recognition of their return, Palm Court at The Park Lane are serving up a wonderfully kitsch edible garden gnome as part of its afternoon tea, which also sees a marzipan garden with chocolate rockery, as the setting for a chocolate hanging basket with spiced chai tea and chocolate soil and a rosewater and raspberry mousse with crystallised rose petals on a rose macaroon. Afternoon tea has never been so picturesque.
The Chelsea Flower Show whilst not only being about beautiful flowers and gardening expertise is also about encouraging sustainable living concepts, as is The Orange on Pimlico Road which has been rated as one of the most sustainable restaurants in the UK . To celebrate, their Executive Pastry Chef has been inspired by all things green to create two floral puddings: raspberry rose jelly with rose meringue cream and strawberry and elderflower trifle with elderflower foam. Definitely two of the prettiest puddings we have ever heard of.
Daphne’s Chelsea Flower Show menu sounds so delicious, that we suggest if gardens and flower shows aren’t quite your thing but you still want to get involve, you skip the show and head straight here for lunch. Say yes to the burratina with fried zucchini flower and smoked tomato dressing, char-grilled swordfish with violet aubergine and roasted baby peppers. For pudding, it’s all about the fresh fruit summer tart with Amalfi lemon and mint. It is a testament to using seasonal ingredients when cooking!
Forget the notion of a humble cup of tea, The Cadogan on Sloane Street have joined forces with Partridges, Royal Warrant holders as grocers to the Queen, to create a truly elegant tea, the Chelsea Flower Blend. A China blend, the tea is mixed with fragrant marigold flowers, mango and apple. Refreshing and light, it is the perfect tea to accompany their afternoon tea which also feature Green jasmine and Rose Pouchong blends. And a light tea is exactly what you will want when there are mighty Chelsea Buns on the menu too.
Heard of The Big Green Egg? No? Nor had we, it is in fact a unique ceramic barbecue and it is Tim Allen, the head chef at Launceston Place’s choice of cooking equipment. Throughout the Chelsea Flower Show, Tim will be serving up his Spring Vegetable Salad at both the show and Launceston Place, and it sounds good, truffle cream cheese, pickled carrot, salt baked vegetables, grain mustard, honey with peaflowers, borage and watercress flowers. We know, seriously good.