Anarchy In Knightsbridge!

As if cocking a snook at the surrounding glitz and glamour, I found this anarchic gem of a window by Gina on Sloane Street. Riffing on the iconic 1977 Jamie Reid “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” album cover, Gina are clearly having a tongue-in-cheek moment with their “God Save Gina”, and “Anarchy In Knightsbridge” tag lines.

What an appropriate way to merge the heritage of the nearby King’s Road and the Sex Pistols’ fashion connection with Vivienne Westwood to Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday. Full marks to Gina for creativity and humour, my favourite combo.

Of course, when the original artwork for the Sex Pistols’ album came out it was hugely controversial. The record sleeve was originally intended to read “God Save Sex Pistols”, but  just before its release Steve Jones – the Pistols’ only functioning guitarist – provided an admonishment he’d overheard from a pair of fans and replaced it with “Never mind the bollocks”, meaning “stop talking rubbish”. Many of the mainstream record stores refused to carry the album, album charts refused to list it, and shops refused to display the artwork in their windows on grounds that the word “bollocks” was offensive.

Eventually the band was taken to court under the antiquated obscenity laws of the day, but were able to prove that in the context of the album sleeve it means something akin to “nonsense”. On trial for indecency and inciting moral outrage, they were acquitted on all counts.

Jamie Reid broke down the conventions of record sleeve design by pointedly not including a shot of the band on the cover. Instead, opting for an acid yellow background as offensive to the eye as possible and crudely cut out lettering. An artist’s two fingered salute to the storied traditions of typesetting and commercial graphic design.

The lurid yellow album sleeve, the ripped and safety-pinned Union Flag poster for “Anarchy In The UK” established an unforgettable visual aesthetic for the punk movement. A design language that was provocative and unsettling at the time has mellowed with age, and has become as comfortable and familiar as a favourite armchair. But it’s worth noting that this most recognisable of brand languages almost never saw the light of day. Amid a storm of controversy the Sex Pistols were dropped by their label A&M on the eve of the album’s release, resulting in thousands of already pressed “God Save The Queen” singles being destroyed. The band were subsequently rejected by CBS, Polydor, Pye and Decca until finally an eleventh-hour deal was struck with Richard Branson. With the ink still wet on their contract with Virgin, the record was rushed into production.

I’m not sure what Jamie Reid would make of the modern day commercial derivatives of his groundbreaking graphic art. Reid was involved with the Situationists, an appropriately left-wing anti-authoritarian movement attempting to critique capitalism. But then again, although shunned by the big retailers, the album sold extremely well through independent record shops in exchange for capitalist money tokens. So perhaps by now he’d regard Gina’s window with good humour and marvel at his design’s long-lived cachet.

Euro 2016 begins this weekend in France whilst Her Majesty The Queen celebrates her 90th birthday with a street party and 10,000 guests on The Mall. With plenty happening are you wondering, what’s the best way to make the most of what’s going on while staying local in Chelsea? If so, here are a few ideas:

*England plays on Friday evening and my favourite places to watch a football match include The Hollywood Arms and The Sporting Page. The King’s Arms on Fulham Road is also a popular place to catch a game.

*On Sunday Duke of York Square will be putting on a special Fine Food Market with The Commonwealth Society to celebrate The Queen’s birthday. Along with this tasty Sunday treat, there will also be a street party style celebration with dancing and live music from 2pm. And at 3pm there will be the cutting of the birthday cake by a very special visitor. 😉

*There is also a street party taking place on Saturday in aid of Ataxia UK. There will be plenty of food and a pop-up bar, live music, street performers, a raffle and much more. You’ll find Chelsea Charity Street Party on Cranley Mews from 2.30pm with the official after party happening at Beaufort House from 8pm.

*If you’re heading down the King’s Road for some shopping and are looking for something a little different, Frock Me Vintage Fair will be returning to the Old Town Hall on Sunday from 11am until 5.30pm.

*And finally (fingers crossed the weather holds out), you can enjoy yoga on Duke of York’s green on Sunday from 10.30am until 11.30am. The sessions are free and are run by lululemon and if it is too wet, there is always next week. #YogaOnTheSquare is running every Sunday until 28th August.

Last week I visited Swingers, a Crazy Golf Club located right next to the iconic Gherkin building in the City.
Swingers The Crazy Golf Club in London

I was with Steph who had kindly invited me and we were the guests of Venue Search London who have Swingers on their list of exclusive places to hire.

Swingers The Crazy Golf Club in London

Before last week I’d only held a golf club on a course in Majorca (Disney clubs for toddlers not included). And so I felt slightly wary about what to expect. Thankfully when we walked in, the crazy golf course looked more fun than intimidating …

Swingers The Crazy Golf Club in London

… and with some bubbles to help us along the way, I had so much fun trying to putt like a pro.

Swingers The Crazy Golf Club in London

On top of the course, the buzzy atmosphere and the flowing drinks, there was also the amazing food to enjoy. Putty & Bun, Pizza Pilgrims and the newest guys on the block, Le Bab.

Swingers The Crazy Golf Club in London

In my humble opinion, Patty & Bun serve the best burgers in town.

Swingers The Crazy Golf Club in London

And upon hearing the story behind the Michelin trained founders of Le Bab, I had to try their gourmet kebab which was truly amazing. Succulent meat and so tasty.

Swingers The Crazy Golf Club in London

Sadly, I didn’t get to try the pizza and I confess have yet to try Pizza Pilgrims. But there were plenty of satisfied looks from folks who were indulging.

Swingers The Crazy Golf Club in London

The evening flew by and as we left our clubs behind I knew this place was a winner. Recently opened in the City, it’s definitely one to try after work or to get a party of folks along to. It’s a lot of delicious fun!

Swingers The Crazy Golf Club in London

Swingers, 8 Brown’s Buildings, London EC3A 8AL

It’s that time of the year again when the stores of Chelsea come alive with floral displays that bring vibrance and character to the streets. That’s right, Chelsea In Bloom is back!

Chelsea In Bloom 2016

And Monica Vinader’s gorgeous display (below) should give you an idea of this year’s theme if you don’t know it already.

Chelsea In Bloom 2016

The theme is Carnival and I love how T.ba on Pavilion Road have been inspired by Carnevale di Venezia. This is such an exquisite display, I love it.

Chelsea In Bloom 2016

And there are the Carnival animals of course, like The Little White Company’s beautiful elephant.

Chelsea In Bloom 2016

Or No. 11 Cadogan Garden’s fantastic parrot.

Chelsea In Bloom 2016

Last year’s Chelsea In Bloom winner, Sarah Chapman, has created yet another stunning display.

Chelsea In Bloom 2016

And Liz Earle’s ‘Carnivearle’ makes you feel like you’re at a fairground when you see its wonderful spectacle. The attention to detail with all these displays is astounding.

Chelsea In Bloom 2016

And to top it off, Sloane Square has been turned into a Carnival beach where you can dress up in a headdress; grab a free rickshaw ride to go round the displays; and enjoy a Bloom Gin cocktail at The Botanist’s pop-up bar.

Chelsea In Bloom 2016

The pop-up bar will be open from Wednesday to Saturday (until 8pm everyday except Saturday when it closes at 5pm). Or, you can step into The Botanist for a Chelsea In Bloom cocktail. I’ve had a sneak taste of Bloom Gin’s cocktail that will be served outside and it is utterly gorgeous.

Chelsea In Bloom 2016

So with apparently the hottest summer this century round the corner and the Rio Olympics too, a cocktail on Sloane Square’s beach is definitely something not to be missed.

Chelsea Girl

The Ivy Chelsea Garden are getting ready for RHS Chelsea Flower Show with their beautiful floral display, which is also getting me in the mood for next week’s Chelsea In Bloom.

The Ivy Chelsea Garden flowers

This display reminds of last year’s beautiful fairy tale Chelsea In Bloom designs, which you can take a look at here.

The Ivy Chelsea Garden flowers

But this isn’t the first time The Ivy Chelsea Garden has stopped passersby with their stunning exterior.

The Ivy Chelsea Garden flowers

For Easter, we were stopped in our tracks thanks to this gorgeous display:

I love flowers and I especially love it when Chelsea comes to life each year with Chelsea In Bloom. And with this year’s theme being Carnival, exciting plans for Sloane Square afoot and a 4-metre tall parrot planned for Duke of York Square, I have a feeling that this year’s Chelsea In Bloom is going to be bigger than ever – and I can’t wait to see what the stores and restaurants are going to surprise us with.

Roll on Chelsea In Bloom, I’m so excited!

Chelsea Girl

Page 4 of 123
1 2 3 4 5 6 123