A Safari Themed Chelsea in Bloom for 2017

When I snapped my first London doorway from this visit to the capital yesterday afternoon, I didn’t actually fully realise what was going on. It was Jimmy Choo on Sloane Street, and I couldn’t resist the beautiful floral archways that surrounded the front and entrance. Wandering around Kensington I noticed a few others, but it wasn’t until I was actually in Sloane Square that I put two and two together and realised this week is Chelsea in Bloom 2017, and the Chelsea Flower Show.

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

The fabulous flowers of Jimmy Choo made sense, and so did the others that I’d been blissfully snapping away without thinking about it. A closer look at the signs around the area of Sloane Square and King’s Road told me that the theme this year, which is also the 12th anniversary of the Chelsea tradition, is ‘Floral Safari’. The giant flower lions I spotted near the Saatchi Museum confirmed it.

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

Chelsea in Bloom

I spent most of the afternoon finding the others along the few roads that make up the trail, all of which have thrown themselves into it. But it’s not just a case of decorating shop fronts and hotel entranceways in line with the theme. At the end of the day this floral art show is a competition, with each participant fighting it out for the flower crown of ‘Best Floral Display’, as well as the ‘People’s Champion’, ‘Innovator’ and ‘Highly Commended’.

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

The retailers and hotels are judged on their creativity and their interpretation, basically how well they weave the theme of the year into their own displays reflecting their business. Throughout the course of this week, 22nd – 28th May, you can vote for your favourite displays via the official site between Tuesday and Thursday, with the winners being announced on Friday.

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

The displays are there all week for everyone to enjoy, and I certainly did despite just coming across it and taking so long to realise what I was seeing. I tried to do the full route, to see as many as I could. Having said that it was the Sunday before the official start, so some of the participants were still putting their displays together covering African animals, the jungle, nature, and manipulating it to fit their own goods on display.

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

The Chelsea in Bloom Walking Route

I got off the tube at Sloane Square, as it was the nearest of the two tubes that would cover all the streets taking part. The other one is Knightsbridge. Getting off at Sloane Square the first things you’re going to see are the giant elephant and hippo in the middle of the square. It wasn’t set up yet, but there is also a Safari Lodge which will be host to people providing information and guidance, and a pop up Botanist bar in the square too.

 

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From here, I went down the left hand side of the square, heading for King’s Road, but just before I got there I hit Lower Sloane Street, where Club Monaco and Hampton’s International are located, both on the Chelsea in Bloom map.

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

Further along, the next stop is the Duke of York Square, where you’ll find the contributions of Boggi Milano, TM Lewin and Rigby & Peller. Trilogy and Dubarry are next to each other with theirs, but the most impressive is definitely the centre piece of the Duke of York Square, the lions.

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

Coming out onto King’s Road you can’t miss Khiels Since 1851, before turning up Codogan Gardens to see what is up there. Annoushka’s have a lovely doorway, which will be on your left. Then turning right off Codogan Gardens and onto Symons Street there are a good run of shops all taking part. There’s Poetry, Brora and The White Company to name a couple. The big displays are very impressive, but I do really love the little independent shops efforts too.

 

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Half way up Symons Street turn left up Pavillion Road, and you will come across the floral delights of many more, including Heidi Klein and Natoora. Heidi Klein have taken the theme inside as well as out the front. Retrace your steps back down to Symons Street and keep going until you’re back on Sloane Square.

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

This time take the main Sloane Street road, which will lead you all the way up to Knightsbridge. There are plenty along there, including Smythson…

 

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Rag & Bone…

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

Hackett…

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

I didn’t walk all the way up to Knightsbridge, instead I came back to Sloane Square and found one more little street with some extra participants, and the Sloane Square hotel which had a fabulous safari entrance.

 

Chelsea in Bloom 2017PIN IT

 

What else can you do during Chelsea in Bloom?

There’s actually a lot more to this week than just the flower displays and competition. It’s obviously the same time as the Chelsea Flower show, but there are many other events and one off goings on happening too. I’m sad I can’t go to any of them having seen it all, but there’s things like a themed menu at Gallery Mess, a shopping event at Monica Vinader, free gifts in some of the shops, and one of fashion pieces by quite a few places, including Tiffany, Pandora, Bulgari and Miu Miu to name just a handful.

 

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I think it’s such a lovely thing, and something I had never even considered seeing before. It’s great how so many of the shops and businesses get involved, and how much effort goes in to all of the displays for just the one week. London is so often thought of as grey and dull, but the Chelsea in Bloom concept totally transforms the place and it felt like the middle of summer just walking through on the Sunday afternoon before it even officially started.

 

 

If you’re in London this week you really should try find time to have a wander around this area and see it for yourself!

 

Other London posts:

DIY Sightseeing in London

Portobello Road

 

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17 Comments

  • Chloe - New Girl in Toon
    22nd May 2017

    Wow it’s beatiful! I’m going to make a diary note to look up the dates for next year and go!

  • Aina liquiddreams.pl
    22nd May 2017

    Looks so beautiful!! I heard about it some time ago but didn’t see any pics so didn’t realize it was so cool!

  • Sam | North East Family Fun Travel Blog
    22nd May 2017

    Oh wow this is so stunning! I love the Gorilla. I’d love to visit the Chelsea Flower Show itself one year but this is a good way to get a taste of the experience without actually having a ticket.

  • The Saatchi Gallery Selfie Exhibition | Stephanie Fox Blog
    23rd May 2017

    […] wander through London at the weekend not only led me to discover the start of Chelsea in Bloom, but right in the middle of it I found the Saatchi Museum. The free museum is just off Sloane […]

  • SindhuMurthy
    23rd May 2017

    This is such an amazing idea. I m wondering if the floral display could get any more beautiful. I particularly loved the giraffe. Could it get any cuter? My only doubt is, how do they keep the flowers fresh for one whole week when they are put on display in the open. Perhaps, I shall find out when I visit there someday 🙂

  • The Hoopers
    24th May 2017

    I’ve wanted to go to the Chelsea flower show for ages! Looks fab and great how the area gets into the spirit of the event. I want to live in Chelsea too….a gal can dream!

  • Eemma
    24th May 2017

    This is amazing! Love the safari flower theme! So fun!

  • Bhusha
    26th May 2017

    Whoa! This is incredibly beautiful! Too bad I missed it when I was in London. Esp those Poppy Giraffes and monkeys are so so cute!

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    27th May 2017

    The flowers look amazing, and the safari theme looks fascinating. Chelsea has been transformed into a fascinating place, loved all the animals blooming colourfuly. I especially loved the Gorilla.

  • A Sunday Stroll Through Hyde Park, London | Stephanie Fox Blog
    27th May 2017

    […] world of Knightsbridge, I ended up having the most fun window shopping and discovering the start of Chelsea in Bloom, right up to the Saatchi Gallery and the selfie […]

  • Adrenaline Romance
    27th May 2017

    So pretty and colorful! And entering those flower arcs must have smelled really good! The safari animals creeps us out a little bit, but they’re definitely works of art.

  • oursweetadventures
    28th May 2017

    What a pleasant surprise you came across! The lions were amazing!!! I am sucker for anything cats though. I love how the florals and colors really brought the animals/city to life. Who ended up winning?

  • Ami
    28th May 2017

    Now that is a lovely way of exploring a place… So pleasant and springy. Each display is better than the other. And they make the whole place so happy!!

  • Chiara
    28th May 2017

    This is so beautiful, and it’s what I call city exploring 🙂 There’s always something new to see!

  • Swati & Sam
    28th May 2017

    Such brilliant displays and doors. The floral art looks stunning. This reminds me a bit about the streets of Toronto during fall. Lovely pictures.

  • Samantha Sparrow
    28th May 2017

    It was so exciting to see them all! I went to the Show on Tuesday, and we always get off a stop early so we can see all the doorways. I loved all the giraffes, it was such an interesting concept for this year, really imaginative.

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    5th June 2017

    […] Chelsea in Bloom Safari […]

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