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Source: © Dominique Ansel Bakery London
One of my favourite places to stay in London is Belgravia. Oozing style and class, Belgravia has a charming village ambience, with its handpicked selection of shops, restaurants and cafés; a combination of unadulterated luxury and low-key
Dominique Ansel Bakery in full bloom! A gorgeous floral display inspired by The Secret Garden. Flowers by @phillipcorpsflowers
I like to stay at The Jumeriah Lowndes, and request room 311, overlooking the square. The Lowndes is smack-bang in the middle of Belgravia, which also happens to be a 4-minute stroll from Harvey Nichols. As soon as I arrive, I drop off my bags, and head straight to Waitrose (straight out the back of the hotel), to pick up some blooms for my room. This branch of Waitrose is on Motcomb Street. So, once I’ve purchased my flowers, I take a table outdoors at one of the delightful artisan coffee shops, and watch the beautiful (and weathly) people go about their day (most of them stop for a chat). Residents of Motcomb Street affectionately refer to it as “the village”, and – with its cobblestones, pretty little courtyards, charming, low-level Georgian architecture and intimate clutch of shops – it’s easy to appreciate why. I could happily sit in this quite little street in Belgravia, for hours.
The villages of London are, without a doubt, my favourite aspect of this amazing city. Each has its own personality, community, hubs and secret corners. Much of Belgravia is still owned by the Grosvenor Estate, and every year, to coincide with The Chelsea Flower Show, Grosvenor organises a series of floral installations and themed events, which turn this already glorious part of London into a floral feast… in every sense of the word! There is NO better time to visit, than when in bloom.
Sloane Square’s Kate Spade.
Wild At Heart, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’.
This year, the ‘Belgravia in Bloom’ displays were inspired by children’s classics, such as The Secret Garden, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, A Bear Called Paddington and The Jungle Book (so delightful).
Dominique Ansel Bakery pastries created for #BelgraviainBloom
In addition to the 55 floral installations, there were floral-inspired menus and afternoon teas, such as Dominique Ansel Bakery ‘pull-apart flower cookies’. 'COMO - The Halkin' provided Paddington Bear 'Elevenses', at The Halkin Bar, and there was a Floral Afternoon Tea at Ametsa. The Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel had Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 'toot sweet' cupcakes… you get the idea? There were also Roald Dahl chocolate bars, made by Rococo Chocolates, the names of which, Willy Wonka would have been rightly proud! You could even get a Chocolate Library, if you fancied a selection.
As for the floral displays, they were simply gorgeous, dripping style - and money - out of every leaf and petal.
Vogue writer - Jo Rogers - was particularly enchanted by the Peggy Porschen window, and writes, “During the Chelsea Flower Show, the shops and restaurants in our neighbourhood celebrate with their own trimmings and events, and it's my favourite time of year to be a local.”
As a slight aside – though still floral – Peggy Porschen recently collaborated with Jo Malone, for her new fragrance brand, Jo Loves, by creating ‘The Jo Loves x Peggy Porschen Rose & Lemon Cupcake Experience’.
Customers can indulge in fragrant and moist tangy lemon sponge cupcakes; all customised, by you, with edible flowers, citrus sugar dust, rose spray and – at the risk of sensory overload – a wrist sprayed with Jo Loves perfume, to compliment the cupcake flavour… wow! If you fancy this, booking is essential, through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Belgravia looks especially magical, right now. So if you do get a chance, have a little meander over… And do say hello from me.
Have you ever seen ‘Belgravia in Bloom’, or visited the Chelsea flower show? What’s your favourite part of London? Let me know, in the comments, below