Chelsea Flower Show: 10 Ways To Eat FlowersBy Angelica Malin
We did question for a second, Dear Reader, whether anyone actually eats floral things during Chelsea Flower Show – it’s like Wimbledon, as much strawberries and cream you throw at us, sometimes all you want is a damn good burger. But in the name of good journalism, and to please all those who like to get their face stuck into a bunch of petunias this time of year, we bring you the cut-above-the-rest of Chelsea Flower Show-inspired menus in London. If you’re going to eat all the flowers, you might as well do it creatively – here’s 10 ways we suggest you do it:
1. In a Swanky Sun Trap: Special Flower Menu at Gallery Mess, Chelsea
What: One of the prettiest spots in town, Gallery Mess, by the lovely leafy surroundings of the Saatchi Gallery on the Kings Road, is offering a stunning floral menu, designed by rhubarb, to celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show. The special menu is made up of seasonal produce; start with cured salmon with apple jelly, followed by lavender honey duck breast with flowers and peaches, and finish it all off with rose scented panna cotta. Heaven. If you don’t fancy the whole nine yards, they’ve also got a wonderfully light Chelsea Flower Show inspired summer risotto with courgette flowers. We’re not sure if that counts as a real flower, but hey ho.
Flower Power: There’s also a sunshine soaked outdoor terrace where you can eat lunch, but it’s our little secret OK.
Where: Gallery Mess, Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York HQ, Kings Road
2. In a Trendy Restaurant: From Soil to Plate at Tom’s Kitchen, Chelsea
What: Just a stone throw away from the show, in the serene surroundings of St Luke’s Gardens lies Tom’s Kitchen. In celebration of the flower show, for one week only, the very best seasonal ingredients from the British Isles, have been selected for their delectable spring flora inspired menu. This is the type of grub that is almost too attractive to eat; that said, you must tuck into the crab, basil, cucumber and nasturtium starter, which is guaranteed to bring a gurgle of summer excitement to your belly.
Flower Power: Wash it down with Tom’s Garden Sharing Cocktail for two; a refreshing wack of gin mixed up with hibiscus, lemon juice and a little violet syrup. This cocktail is the sociable way to propel your mind to the far-flung regions of the tropics, but be warned, one might just lead to two.
Where: 27 Cale Street, London SW3 3QP
Price: Around £32 for three courses
3. In a Cone: Bee Pollen Ice Cream at Gelupo, Soho chelsea flower show
What: We’ve spoken about this one a lot. A lot a lot. In fact, you can read about it here. To celebrate Chelsea Flower Show, our favourite artisanal gelateria and deli by chef Jacob Kenedy has created a selection of incredible edible flower flavours. Try the limited edition petunias, pansies, rose flavours or a special vanilla & lavender flavour.
Flower Power: Tucked away in the heart of Soho, the shop will also be donning a big beautiful floral window display for the season.
Where: Gelupo, 7 Archer St, London W1D 7AU
4. In a Scone: Le Tea En Rose at Sofitel St. James, Piccadilly chelsea flower show
What: We’ve very much spoilt for choice in the afternoon tea department, but we love this one by the Sofitel St James. Their Head Chef Vincent Manager has created a range of Parisian floral pastries, think chocolate dacquoise (if you can think what that is), jasmine mousse and a white chocolate tart with a rose creme. The tea comes with an amazing flowery cocktail – it involves champagne, rose and lychee, that’s all we’re saying.
Flower Power: Every year the hotel turns the aptly named Rose Lounge into a secret garden with flower displays and hanging baskets. If you can’t get tickets to the show, maybe it’s the next best thing…
Where: The Rose Lounge, Sofitel St James, 8 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5NG
5. In a Bottle: Del Sol Juice at Canyon Juicery chelsea flower show
What: You’re going to need a boost after all that sweet stuff. Now’s the time for Canyon Juicery’s special Chelsea Flower Show juice; sunshine in a bottle, it uses Hibiscus flower as a base blended with young coconut, lime, vanilla bean, pomegranate and orange and is inspired by sunny southern California.
Flower Power: Each juice contains 2 kilograms of raw vegetables to supercharge your nutrient intake, oxygenate the bloodstream and deliver immediate health benefits to combat stress. It also tastes damn yummy.
Where: Online here
Price: Del Sol Juice – £10 for 500ml
6. In a Dirty Glass: The Rozanne Cocktail at The Goat, Chelsea
What: Round up round up, The Goat DRINK and DINE in Chelsea has gone flower crazy. Owner Steve Manktelow has created the Rozanne in honour of the stunning purple Geranium Rozanne; a mix of gin, jasmine syrup, plum bitters and egg white. Also on offer is Blossom Negroni with floral gin and an edible flower. If you’re hungry, they’ve also got floral pizzas. Yes, floral pizzas. Cooked in a wood-fired oven and topped with home-made tomato sauce, mozzarella, goat’s cheese, zucchini slices, rocket and flowers this is an edible garden on a plate.
Flower Power: Cheeky tip – bring your Chelsea Flower Show ticket to GOAT during 20-24th May and receive a complimentary floral cocktail for a friend when you purchase one.
Where: The Goat, 333 Fulham Road, London SW10 9QL
7. In the City: City in Bloom at Sauterelle, Royal Exchange
What: Sauterelle, in the amazing setting of the Royal Exchange, is running a City in Bloom menu – a floral-inspired tasting menu priced at £55 for four courses with paired wines, which will be available from 19th – 23rd May. Dishes include Heritage beetroot with Bocconcinin mozzarella, pickled fennel and violet flowers and a deconstructed rhubarb crumble with Hazelnut praline crumble, rhubarb sorbet, and wild primrose flowers.
Flower Power: There’s also lovely garden-inspired cocktails, if you haven’t had enough of the green stuff.
Where: Royal Exchange, London EC3V 3LR – book
Price: £55 for 4 courses with wine
8. In a Japanese Dessert: Miniature Mayfair Garden at UMU, Mayfair
What: UMU in Mayfair has created the coolest summer dessert for the show. Head Chef Yoshinori Ishii brings a clever and fun concept with a version of the archetypal Mayfair garden – complete with flower pot and watering can. Under edible earth – actually a very thin chocolate crumble – lies a deliciously light spring berry mousse. But take the watering can and pour…this contains a sparkling Sakura sake infused with cherry blossom. The Flowers and micro-shoots sitting pretty a top the crumble are also edible. It’s almost too good to eat.
Flower Power: You pour the watering can on your dessert people.
Where: 14-16 Bruton Pl, Mayfair, London W1J 6LX
What: A stone’s throw from the show, Barts is a great place for drinks after a hard day’s work flower-gazing. They’re running a special cocktail inspired by the show; The Chinese Lantern is a mix of homemade Hibiscus flower and Rose jam infused Tanqueray Malacca, apple juice, lime juice, egg white and sugar syrup. The cocktail is served in the perfect summer garden accessory, a giant, glowing – that’s right, you guessed it – Chinese Lantern, filled with Violet Essence. Too cute.
Flower Power: Just in the time for the Chelsea show, Barts will also be re-opening its very own Cuban garden where guests can sip their drinks surrounded by lush foliage and exotic plants.
Where: Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Ave, London SW3 3DW
What: If you really want to do Chelsea Flower Show in style, then this one’s for you. The beautiful St James’ Court hotel, a Taj hotel in Westminster, is offering guests an overnight stay, a vintage car chauffeur to the show and a floral afternoon tea all in one. You choose your car from a fleet of vintage beauties; including a Rolls Royce or a Jaguar limousine, before being taken to the show. Super cool.
Flower power: The tea includes orange blossom scones and rose macarons. Naturally.
Where: St James’ Court Hotel, 54 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E
Price: £384 for two, including breakfast at Bistro, three hours of vintage car use and a floral afternoon tea for two
But don’t forget, it all starts with the perfect bouquet…
What: Hosted by Ricky Paul, owner of Ricky Paul Flowers, the flower arranging master class is set to be a highlight of the week. Guests will discover the secrets behind creating stunning bouquets whilst sipping champagne and feasting on the Chelsea Flower Show
Flower Power: There’s also a pop-up flower stall in the hotel, so if you don’t make the perfect bunch, you can at least buy it.
Where: The Ampersand Hotel, 10 Harrington Road, London, SW7 3ER
Price: 6.30pm – 8.30pm, 20 May 2014, £44.50 per person, including a glass of champagne