The Chelsea Flower show may be a long distant memory especially now it is autumn. But that doesn’t mean Chelsea is a barren land.

Take The Botanist on Sloane Square. Most nights are guaranteed to be buzzy with a crowd of people spilling out onto the street. Normally when I go there, I hang out in the bar area but last week I tried their restaurant for the first time and what a discovery it was.

The art deco inspired dining hall with its atmospheric lighting and elegant botany themed art at the back create exactly the type of environment I love: stylish and warm.

I had half a dozen juicy oysters for my starter and for my main I had the duck with foie gras ballotine. My main was given an interesting and delicious twist with the Muscat grape purée and star anise jus.

Instead of pudding, I decided on a Martini and had the King’s Robe: fresh watermelon with rhubarb liqueur and vodka with the rim of the glass sprinkled in rhubarb sugar. My kind of dessert. So far, this cocktail is at the top of the leader board in my search for the signature Chelsea cocktail. It was simply yummy.

Later in the week, I popped into the Cath Kidston AW fashion show on the King’s Road. In keeping with this season’s trends, the Nelson Tweed Coat is perfect for something military. In a shop full of floral, this coat is one example of Cath Kidston balancing its signature style with fashion.

I really can’t wait until the winter lights dress the trees of Sloane Square. This is my favourite time of the year!

Mina Zaher

Follow her @kingsroadrocks

I am a firm believer in having cocktails at midnight to kickstart my birthday celebrations.

So as the hour approached, we stepped out onto the King’s Road and headed for Beaufort House Brasserie. But as we turned up, the man on the door kindly directed us to the members club and said we could make our way to the 1st floor. They weren’t letting anyone else in downstairs. Result.

But when we arrived at the members’ door, we were told that we weren’t allowed in. The shame. So off we went to the Bluebird instead. There, I decided on a margarita to toast in my new year and enjoyed every sip of my delicious cocktail.

The funny thing was that on our way home, when we passed Beaufort House again, we saw a small crowd of people from the brasserie being sent into the members club. The man on the door who initially turned us away even waved over in a surprisingly friendly manner and invited us in. Perhaps they were trying to fill the place up.

Nonetheless, I decided that I had spent way too many birthdays crawling along the King’s Road in broad daylight because of a deadly hangover and so I walked on, shrugging off the fact that I had been messed about in the first place.

Kicking off my daytime celebrations the next day, I started at Riccardo’s on the Fulham Road for lunch. Riccardo’s was the perfect venue for such a crisp autumn day and the food was delectable as always, especially the lemon sorbet in vodka!

Sunday wasn’t about hiding under the covers either. A wander around Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair at Chelsea Town Hall and my ritual Sunday lunch at Sophie’s Steakhouse were both perfect ways to ease me into my *coughs* year!

Last week was one big fashion faux pas.

Firstly, I couldn’t make Ghost’s Autumn/Winter showcase at Juju’s on Tuesday night. Instead I was celebrating my third anniversary with my wonderful boyfriend at Tom Aikens restaurant. I’m not sure what to say about Tom Aikens.

Technically, the food was cooked to precision and the presentation was elegant. But there was something missing. The atmosphere was quite cold – the antithesis of The Wolseley, my favourite London restaurant. Also at £150 per head I was forced to remember my heavenly experience at Gordon Ramsay’s Royal Hospital Road. The morning after my Ramsay experience I was reluctant to eat anything because my mouth was still celebrating the sensations from the night before. The day after my Aikens experience, my tastebuds were unaffected. It was as if none of it had actually happened apart from the dent in my boyfriend’s wallet. It was as if Ramsay had served from the heart and Aikens from the head.

After our meal we were off to Sophie’s Steakhouse for a Whispering Ted, aka Appletini. This drink was wonderfully refreshing and contained a perfectly subtle kick required of a fruity martini: the perfect end to an evening. The Whispering Ted didn’t fall into the trap of over sweetness, which some Appletinis do. In fact, this drink is a definite contender for the signature Chelsea cocktail. Although, I hear that Sophie’s also do a Cucumber Martini, which I am now intrigued about.

After much indulgence, I decided to escape to the country the next day to nurse my hangover and needless to say, this was my biggest fashion faux pas of all. I missed Vogue’s Fashion Night Out!

Lulu Guinness’ party would have been perfect for me. Clinique were in the shop applying glamorous red lips to shoppers whilst Lulu signed bags and spoke to customers.

My only consolation is that London Fashion Week begins in a few days and what with my birthday weekend fast approaching, the next post could be quite exciting indeed.

Mina Zaher

Follow her @kingsroadrocks

The other day I took a walk around Chelsea and King’s Road to see what was in the shops and found my top picks. Here they are:

Well, everything in Fifi Wilson. No, really. OK, to narrow it down, I was enchanted by Colenimo’s wonderful designs: the ones that hadn’t flown off the rails yet.

This Colenimo cardigan and top for example:

I also discovered this Autumn Cashmere Leopard Scarf in Mimi, which is perfect for this season’s obsession with the fifties.

The black makes its fashion statement a little understated; just the way I like it.

Other items that caught my eye included the Tweed Hanging Jacket from Brora and a Helmut Lang Jumper from The Shop at Bluebird.

But stepping into autumn isn’t just about fashion.  For some it is about going back to school and for others it is about returning to work after a summer break.

In relation to the latter, I would like to say welcome back to Love Bakery which re-opened last week following a summer refurbishment. I popped in on Friday and their cupcakes were already fast disappearing off the shelves. So I think it’s safe to say that I’m not the only one who has missed their red velvet cupcakes.

This is one happy Chelsea Girl.

Mina Zaher

Follow her @kingsroadrocks

My plans for the Bank Holiday weekend are up in the air because I can’t decide what to do. If I decide to stay in London then I must drop by Notting Hill Carnival. I usually end up at Norman Jay’s Good Times Sound System taking all the back streets possible. It’s not about getting stuck in a gridlock of people traffic.

To carry on with the party, I’ll probably head back to the King’s Road. I’m thinking of going to Embargo 59 on Sunday but I need to decide quick because reservations are essential for this popular night.

There’s also Ibiza Reloaded at Crazy Larry’s on Sunday night. This goes on until 6am and is the after-boat-party for the promoter Love To Groove.

I’ll also need to do some shopping. The other day, I popped into Penhaligon’s for the relaunch of their fragrances Zizonia and Jubilee Bouquet and I’ve fallen for the latter. I’ve also fallen in love with the Bluebell solid fragrance. I know summer’s pretty much over but this scent is timeless and the case, divine. I can’t believe I have just discovered this place.

Thanks to the weather, I’ve been wearing boots this past week and now all I can think about is my autumn wardrobe. Saying that, I do love some of items that are still in the sale at Austique.

So maybe I’ll just try and hang on to the summer for a tad bit longer and enjoy the carnival fever. I don’t want to let go of the summer fragrances and fashion just yet. Looks like I’m staying local.

Mina Zaher

Follow her @kingsroadrocks

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