Nothing quite says ‘summer is coming’ like the arrival of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Taking place from 22-26 May, it’s one of the prettiest, most Instagram-friendly events of the year. As always, London’s restaurants and bars are getting in on the action, with plenty of flowery fare to keep your eyes entertained, your thirst quenched and your stomach full. We’ve rounded up our favourite floral fancies below.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair
What: High-end Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is serving a set Flower Menu at lunch throughout the duration of the show. You can expect to find dishes such as the blossoming tartlet with herb condiment, while dessert will see an ‘English rose garden’ made up of flower-shaped rose ganache filled with strawberries and chocolate.
Where: The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, W1K 1QA
How much: £65 for three courses, two glasses of wine, tea/coffee and water
What: Michelin-starred Amaya is introducing a selection of limited-edition floral dishes and cocktails to mark the occasion. To eat, guests can enjoy cabbage and noodle salad or a goat’s cheese and yogurt kebab, while floral cocktails include cleverly named sips such as Impending Bloom and Violets Crush – bottoms up!
Where: Halkin Arcade, 19 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8JT
How much: Cocktails, £14.50
Aqua Shard, South Bank
What: Aqua Shard is getting in on the floral action via a celebration of elderflower. A special cocktail makes use of gin infused with elderflower and lotus leaf, while the Chelsea Flower Show dessert is made with elderflower and lime cheesecake cream, white chocolate, meringue, strawberry parfait, burnt butter and almond crumble.
Where: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
How much: Dessert £9.50, cocktail £14
Bluebird Café, Chelsea
What: Chelsea favourite Bluebird has teamed up with bakery Pearl & Groove to launch a floral-themed afternoon tea that celebrates both the Chelsea Flower Show and the upcoming royal wedding. The sweet treats here make use of flavours such as elderflower, lemon and gin in homage to the couple’s planned wedding cake. Gin cocktails will be on hand too.
Where: 350 King’s Road, SW3 5UU
How much: £28.50 per person
What: Brunello is partnering with fragrance brand Acqua di Parma to celebrate the Flower Show’s arrival. Alongside a selection of scones and sandwiches with an Italian twist, the afternoon tea features lavender meringues, and Sicilian cannoli with candied orange. To drink, guests will enjoy teas including mint, or rose and dried lime varieties.
Where: 60 Hyde Park Gate, SW7 5BB
How much: £47 per person
Il Convivio, Belgravia
What: This popular haunt is just a stone’s throw away from the action, and is offering a special menu to mark the occasion. You can expect to find dishes such as seared scallops with rhubarb compote, lavender and toasted almonds, and honey-glazed duck supreme with a beetroot and parmesan croquette. Finish up with elderflower sorbet with plum compote.
Where: 143 Ebury Street, SW1W 9QN
How much: Two/three-course lunch £17.50/23, two/three-course dinner £23.50/29
Il Pampero at The Hari, Belgravia
What: If you can’t make it to the actual show, you might as well toast it. At Il Pampero, guests can enjoy the appropriately named Belgravia in Bloom cocktail, which mixes Blue Curacao, gin, lychee juice, lavender syrup and a dash of grenadine. It helps that it’s rather easy on the eye too.
Where: 20 Chesham Place, SW1X 8HQ
How much: £16
May Fair Bar, Mayfair
What: To mark the flower show, the May Fair bar is hosting a floral-inspired cocktail masterclass on 26 May. Guests will get the chance to make three floral-inspired cocktails, enjoy a selection of canapés and tuck into a four-course meal afterwards in May Fair Kitchen. To reserve your place, click here.
Where: The May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, W1J 8LT
How much: From £60 per person
The Rose Lounge at Sofitel London, St James’s
What: You’re sure to leave this afternoon tea smelling better than when you arrived. Guests can enjoy homemade sandwiches and scones, alongside pastries flavoured with the pleasing notes of hibiscus, violet, jasmine and rose. Wash it down with a special cocktail that mixes lime juice, rose and crème de violette combined with Aperol.
Where: 6 Waterloo Place, SW1Y 4AN
How much: £32 per person
Sumosan Twiga, Knightsbridge
What: Sumosan Twiga has added some knock-out specials to its menu, inspired by the zen gardens of ancient Kyoto. We love the look of the harumaki cones brimming with colourful salmon, hamachi and tuna tartar, and peppered with furikake seasoning. Don’t miss the restaurant’s ‘summer of love’ floral installation either, by garden designer Alexandra Noble.
Where: 165 Sloane Street, SW1X 9QB
How much: Price TBC
Tom’s Kitchen, Chelsea
What: Tom’s Kitchen is celebrating the Flower Show with two special set menus. At lunch, guests can enjoy two courses such as a courgette and pistachio risotto followed by baked rhubarb pie for dessert. Come dinnertime, you can tuck into a five-course menu featuring chicken liver parfait with savoury nut granola, before finishing up with a mango mousse.
Where: 27 Cale Street, SW3 3QP
How much: £29/55
Town House at The Kensington, South Kensington
What: On 21 May, Town House will host a one-off dinner to celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show, in collaboration with Ridgeview English Sparkling Wine. The evening will showcase the best in English sparkling wines, while dishes from the three-course menu will include lamb served with wild garlic, peas and anchovies, and strawberry sorbet for dessert.
Where: The Kensington Hotel, 109-113 Queens Gate, SW7 5LP
How much: £75
Can’t get enough of the Chelsea action? Check out our picks of the best restaurants and bars in the area here.