Starting tomorrow, May 20th until May 24th, the Royal Hospital Chelsea will play host to the iconicRHS Chelsea Flower Show and welcome a crowd of over 157,000 to this highly anticipated event. Said to be the London Fashion Week of the horticultural world, green fingered trend setters can expect to see inspiring show gardens, extravagant floral displays and a sneak peek into the newest gardening trends. With so much going on you’ll want to make sure you’re at the venue early, know exactly what exhibits you want to see and of course where you’ll be spending your lunch hour. That’s where our convenient little guide to the Chelsea Flower Show comes in handy, so keep reading for a few hints and tips that will help you make the most of your day!
Getting to the Chelsea Flower Show
As the country’s capital, making your way through London during a busy event can be a logistical nightmare. To help you navigate the crowds and reach the showgrounds on time, here are just a few of the transport links you may want to consider for the Chelsea Flower Show:
Just a ten minute walk from the showground, Sloane tube station is perfect for city commuters. This station can be accessed on both the District and Circle Lines.
If you decide to travel by the iconic London Bus, then make sure to hop on numbers 11, 137, 211, 360 and 452 as they provide the closest stops to the showground.
Cycle racks can be found opposite the London Gate entrance in Burton’s Court, perfect for those who wish to travel light and help look after the environment.
There is a public car park available outside of the Transport for London congestion zone, in Battersea Park which is around 20 minutes’ walk from the showground. Please be aware that parking is on a first come first serve basis at this car park.
The organisers of this year’s Chelsea flower show have really outdone themselves with a whole host of displays, stalls and show gardens. To help make sure you don’t miss out on 2014’s best bits, we’ve listed a few of the shows highlights below which should definitely be at the top of your to do list!
From the Moors to the Sea
Celebrating his 50th year in horticulture, Alan Titchmarsh is marking the event by designing a special garden for RHS Britain in Bloom. In his first design project for the Chelsea Flower show in almost 30 years, Alan promises to deliver a beautiful garden celebrating the floral heritage of the UK. Not to be missed, ‘From the Moors to the Sea – a celebration of RHS Britain in Bloom’ is sure to draw in a large crowd this year.
Hope on the Horizon
Help for Heroes are supporting a stunning garden designed by Matthew Keightley called “Hope on the Horizon”. This beautiful garden will be in the shape of the Military Cross which is a medal awarded to individuals that have shown extreme bravery. With many gardens being designed to celebrate the centenary of the First World War, Matthews garden was inspired by his brother, who is due to make his fifth tour of Afghanistan next year with the RAF.
Peter Rabbit Herb Garden
With three distinct areas, the “Peter Rabbit Herb Garden” is sure to be a big hit, not only with children but with the older generation who have grown up with Beatrix Potter books stacked on their bedside tables. With the combination of a natural garden, a greenhouse garden and of course Mr McGregor’s vegetable plot, this very special garden is sure to lift your spirits and encourage your imagination to run wild!
Facilities, Food and Drink
When attending a large event, you never quite know what to expect and the Chelsea Flower Show is no different. Luckily, this popular event has a whole host of fantastic facilities on offer, not to mention an array of eateries! To help you get to grips with the showground environment, we have listed some of the key facilities you will have access to and our opinion on the best catering options.
There are many great facilities available to you at the Chelsea Flower show all designed to help you make the most of your day. The key facilities to look out for on the day are as follows:
- Cloakroom – There is a small cloakroom available in Ranelagh Gardens, please be aware that bags may be searched when handed in.
- ATMs – For the use of all major debit cards ATMs are available within the show grounds at a small extra charge.
- Bandstand – There is a bandstand and a picnic area available in Ranelagh Gardens, ideal for alfresco dinning; enjoy a light lunch whilst a variety of bands entertain you.
Please be aware that there are no pets allowed in the showgrounds (with the exception of guide and assistance dogs) and that children under the age of five, babes in arms, push chairs and prams are not permitted into the showground for safety reasons.
Food and Drink
There is a wide selection of catering facilities available at the Chelsea Flower Show offering a range of delectable dining options from sandwiches to a three-course meal. We have put together a short selection of our favourite catering options that you must try whilst at the show:
- Champagne & Seafood Restaurant – A very popular restaurant where you will be served fresh seafood in a wide variety of flavours. Accompanied by Laurent-Perrier Champagnes, this restaurant is sure to provide you with a decadent lunch time meal.
- Plateau Picnic Area – Nestled within the trees, this area offers a real ale bar, wood-fried pizza, strawberries and cake! Perfect for a light lunch, this area would be ideal for large groups.
- Rock Bank Food Court – A delicious facility offering pulled pork and rotisserie-style chicken along with a deli counter, coffee and Pimm’s bar.
We hope that everyone attending the Chelsea Flower Show this year has a fantastic time. If you’re unable to make the event then be sure to catch BBC two‘s coverage where they will be bringing you the very best of this year’s show along with all the behind the scenes action!