The big day is almost here and for the lucky ones who have tickets, Bluebird will be the place to watch the Royal Wedding on the King’s Road. But if you don’t …

… there are other places to watch the event of the year. Entrance to Chelsea Physic Garden will be free on Saturday 19th May to honour this special day. There will be a limit of 600 people and you will be able to enjoy their delicious menu (kids menu too) while sipping on a ‘Minty Markle’ cocktail. There will be a best hat competition and the chance to learn how to make a flower crown.

Image source: Chelsea Physic Garden

If you fancy going to a pub, then somewhere with a big screen is a must. And of course, The Sporting Page is the place to be. Winner of Time London’s Love London Awards for ‘Most Loved Local Bar or Pub’ in Chelsea, you can enjoy a good pub menu here. This was where I watched the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.

And if you are planning to watch the Royal Wedding at home but think you’ll want to go somewhere else to celebrate after, Duke of York Square are opening their green for picnics and live music. There won’t be a screen but with the Fine Food Market and anticipated great weather, I’m sure the atmosphere at Duke of York Square will be lively especially with all the Champagne flowing.

I can’t help but think, wouldn’t it be fabulous if when walking along King’s Road, we could stumble upon Harry and Meghan stepping down these steps? Wouldn’t that be great?

Known names that have done so include Patsy Kensit and Jim Kerr in 1992; Wallis Simpson in 1928; and Judy Garland with Mickey Deans in 1969.

Saying that, Tiffany & Co off Sloane Square has to be the most romantic store in Chelsea; I remember my first visit to the store in New York. I was a student back then and I bought my sister a bottle of Tiffany Eau de Parfum because Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of her favourite films. Today, Tiffany & Co’s paper flowers collection is also making me very excited for next week’s Chelsea in Bloom which will return to celebrate a ‘Summer of Love.’

Across Sloane Square, on Duke of York Square, Partridges will have all you need to celebrate the Royal Wedding; from Champagne (of course) to Harry and Meghan shortbread and tea; as well as …

… Partridges’ Chelsea Flower No.2 bergamot infused gin which has launched to celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

There are also floral cocktails to enjoy at The Ivy Garden Chelsea who are partnering with British bridal queen Jenny Packham in celebration of the Chelsea Flower Show.

So much to get excited about in Chelsea. And if there is more going on that you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Chelsea’s winners:

Most Loved Local Cinema: Chelsea Curzon

Most Loved Local Culture Spot: Saatchi Gallery

Most Loved Local Club or Party: Maggie’s

Most Loved Local Bar or Pub: The Sporting Page

Most Loved Music Venue: 606 Club

Most Loved Local Shop: Green and Stone

Most Loved Local Restaurant: Wulf & Lamb

Most Loved Local Brunch Spot: The Ivy Chelsea Garden

***

Except for brief stints in Israel, the US and France, I’ve spent my whole life living in London. There really isn’t anywhere in the world I’d rather live. London is a city I love. It’s home.

So when Time Out’s Love London Awards are back on the radar I’m always interested to see who gets the votes. And because Chelsea is where I have spent most of my life, I am particularly keen on reading about the local hotspots round here.

When I think about my favourite restaurant I would have to say Sophie’s Steakhouse; it’s a home away from home. The staff are always so friendly and welcoming; their tuna steak salad is a favourite; it’s a great place for cocktails or for a family meal with the little one. In fact the list is endless and I consider Sophie’s to be a local institution.

As for my favourite local brunch spot, while I love Sophie’s, I have to also mention Granger & Co. I could sit here all day, people watching and soaking up the beautiful interior. And when the weather is warmer and the terrace is open their outdoor seating in Pavilion Road’s courtyard is a dream.

But what about coffee spots? That’s an interesting one with more new places popping up. But my vote has to go to The Roasting Party on Pavilion Road for quality coffee and great service. I also love their airy upstairs for somewhere to go to.

Time Out’s Love London Awards have several more categories that include (I’ve added my favourites alongside):

  • Local late-night spot – Brinkley’s on Hollywood Road
  • Local place to drink in the sun – Chelsea Farmers’ Market on Sydney Street. Great music, atmosphere and when the sun is shining, the best place to be in Chelsea.
  • Local bar/pub – Hollywood Arms on Hollywood Road
  • Local music venue – Cadogan Hall on Sloane Terrace
  • Local park – Battersea Park
  • Local club/party – Barts on Sloane Avenue
  • Local LGBTQ hangout – Sadly I think the only LGBT pub in Chelsea has now closed down. I might be wrong; please leave a comment below if you have any suggestions.
  • Local culture spot – Saatchi Gallery at Duke of York Square
  • Local landmark – Sloane Square
  • Local shop – Partridges at Duke of York Square

What I love about Love London Awards is it gives us a chance to celebrate local businesses. The ones I have mentioned are just a few I love. I could have also easily mentioned Rabbit, Wulf & Lamb, Hagen or Bread Ahead. In terms of food and drink the last couple of years in Chelsea have been very exciting.

Voting has already opened and will close on 10th April 2018. The winners will be announced on 2nd May 2018.

So if you fancy supporting your local, you can vote here.

Spring is finally here and as the countdown to Easter begins with the idea of new life being celebrated through endless forms of mouthwatering chocolate, another renaissance has taken place on King’s Road.

The Imperial Arms has had new life breathed into it and one of the last remaining original Victorian pub buildings has been resurrected to a whole new level.

Comfort and style run throughout the pub; making it a very pleasant place to dine. I love the spacious feel and the less awkward layout which I remember from the past.

On top of The Imperial Arms’ impressive makeover the pub’s food, which includes classic dishes, a vegan menu and a breakfast menu, it has James Barlow at the helm of the pub’s team of chefs. Barlow’s experience includes London’s Soho House and Fig & Olive restaurant in New York.

When I popped in for lunch last week I started with the crab and crayfish samosas with mango, chilli and coriander which I absolutely loved.

The OH had the veal carpaccio with mustard caper emulsion, pine nuts and basil.

For main and probably because I was recovering from a horrid cold, I decided to go for a classic; beer battered cod and chips with minted pea purée and tartare sauce which I really enjoyed. There was a lovely twist to the fish which made me feel I wasn’t being too predictable.

The OH also felt like having a classic for lunch so he went for the prime beef burger with raclette cheese, chipotle mayo and beer candied bacon with fries and slaw. He also added a fried egg to his burger. I admit I couldn’t resist a bite and it went down very well.

For dessert we shared the rhubarb on shortbread which was the perfect way to end such a lovely meal.

I’ve visited The Imperial Arms under various ownerships since starting my blog and I do think the new owners have got it right with the food, interior and their very lovely team.

The Imperial Arms, 577 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW6 2EH

We were guests of The Imperial Arms.

A couple of the greatest pleasures from blogging are the wonderful folks you meet and the experiences you may not have considered if the blogosphere hadn’t introduced them to you. Both coincided a couple of weeks ago when Emma invited me to join her along with Angie and Jen for lunch at Aqua Kyoto.

Located on the fifth floor of a building on Regent Street (its entrance is on Argyll Street) I would never have happened upon Aqua Kyoto by accident.

Its beautiful interior immediately made me feel I’d happened upon a hidden gem in the West End; this definitely isn’t a place you stumble across by accident. And meeting up with three fabulous bloggers isn’t something I get to do every day, so this lunchtime felt like an absolute treat.

We were there to try Aqua Kyoto’s Go Zen lunch menu which won me over instantly. Go Zen is a traditional Japanese meal which includes a selection of seasonal dishes. Aqua Kyoto’s Go Zen bento boxes included 12 meat, fish or vegetable dishes while their Shojin Ryori vegan selection is something that Buddhist monks in Japan are traditionally known for.

After the miso soup, which was very good, the Kyoto Go Zen bento boxes arrived and included wagyu beef, black cod, sushi and seasonal vegetables. To experience the vegan bento box, the four of us shared the Sohjin Go Zen. It’s difficult to say what I enjoyed the most because the whole meal was pure delight. Each dish was beautifully crafted and their flavours were both rich and satisfying.

Dessert was also very special. We had ordered the Chokoraito Delisu and Foresuto Froa between us for a taste and I enjoyed the surprising bursts of flavours from each dish. The Chokoraito Delisu involved smoked chocolate delice, sesame praline, kaki fruit, sorbet and ginger wafers while the Foresuto Froa was created from a ‘forest floor’ yuzu oba leaf cream, almond praline, chocolate and azuki bean paste with sour cherry sorbet.

Japan is a country I hope to visit one day but for now I could happily eat Japanese food all day. And as for the wonderful ladies I dined with, I could catch up with them every day too. So if you’re looking for something new to try Aqua Kyoto’s beautiful Go Zen bento boxes are quite special.

Aqua Kyoto, 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, (Entrance 30 Argyll St, W1F 7EB), London W1B 3BR

We were guests of Aqua Kyoto.

When I think about Chelsea various neighbourhood nooks spring to mind; from Sloane Square to ‘The Beach’, close-knit communities are dotted throughout the borough. One of my favourite spots is Walton Street which runs parallel to Brompton Road from just past Sloane Avenue and towards Knightsbridge.

Walton Street has changed quite a bit over the years but there are a few features that remain the same; The Enterprise Bar & Restaurant is one of them. I’ve always walked past this gastropub meaning to go in but the idea of ‘next time’ is something that springs to mind because there’s always tomorrow, isn’t there?

Then one day I was invited to review The Enterprise and when I read the email I realised that ‘tomorrow’ still hadn’t happened and like exhibitions I’ve missed or movies in the cinema I had missed too, it was so easy to take something that is so close by for granted.

And that certainly was the case for The Enterprise.

So the OH and I set a date without our little munchkin and we stepped inside a pub that was buzzing with locals.

With the lively atmosphere and the very welcoming staff, I felt we had come across a local gem.

For lunch we chose the main restaurant menu although by the looks of it, there were plenty of folks enjoying the set lunch menu which did make me wonder what I was missing out on. The hearty looking fish and chips seemed a very popular choice and I now feel like I need to try them.

Returning to our lunch à deux, the OH ordered The Enterprise’s classic tempura of calamari and courgette with a soy, ginger and honey dip which I wish I had ordered. A taster didn’t seem enough.

Instead I had the tuna carpaccio and niçoise salad which was light and delicate.


My starter was followed by the parma wrapped hake and spiced aubergine that came with a red pepper and chorizo purée which I enjoyed alongside french fries.

As for the OH, he ordered the Chicken Milanese that was served with spaghetti pomodoro, slow roasted tomatoes, rocket and parmesan.As for dessert, the OH couldn’t resist the treacle tart with rum mascarpone and raspberries and upon hearing his order I asked for the mini dessert and coffee, which arrived with a quarter slice of the tart and my espresso. I loved it!

Overall, the OH and I had a fantastic time and we both enjoyed our lunch. Meeting Robert, the owner, was also a delight. Every now and again I love indulging in the nostalgia of what Chelsea used to be like; and given The Enterprise has been here for so long, it certainly has stood the test of time. Next time I won’t leave it so long before I visit again and order the fish and chips.

The Enterprise, 35 Walton Street London, SW3 2HU

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