1. Fashion boutique Harvest is inviting customers to come and celebrate ‘Independent Retailer Month’ with them and would like to encourage shoppers to buy at least one item from an independent store in July. Independent Retailer Month is a “Shop Local” campaign that runs throughout July and Harvest are offering all customers 10% off all non-sale collections.

Harvest have been on the King’s Road for 20 years and it would be amazing if they could last another 20. So please support the indies because after all, they are the ones who bring character to Chelsea.

2. If you’re going to celebrate 4th July, there really isn’t anywhere you should go on the King’s Road, except for The Big Easy. Have you booked your table yet?

3. The Olympic Torch will be making its way through Kensington and Chelsea on 26th July. It will start by crossing over Chelsea Bridge at 1.30pm and head to Sloane Square and along the King’s Road. The torch will arrive at High Street Kensington around 2.30pm and will make its way through Holland Park where there will be celebrations taking place. The torch will then carry on to Westminster via Notting Hill.

4. ‘Go For Gold’ with The Cadogan Arms and The Botanist and you could win a complimentary meal for six people, strive for silver and nab four tickets to any wine event at city hotspot The Jugged Hare, or battle for bronze and walk away with a Champagne afternoon tea for two served at The Botanist on Sloane Square or Chiswell Street Dining Rooms, Barbican.

How can you win any of these prizes? Join The Gastro Race which is taking place between these ETM venues. To take part, you have to pick up a race card from one of the gastro pubs on this list and make your way round any of four ETM establishments. You have from Friday 27th July until Sunday 12th August 2012 to do this. And don’t worry if you’re not quick enough, all competitors who finish, regardless of their qualifying time, will be awarded with a drink on the house for simply being a good sport. You can keep up to date with the race on Twitter, here.

5. And finally slightly off-piste but close enough to the King’s Road, the Picasso & Modern British Art exhibition at Tate Britain ends on 15th July. I don’t know why I always leave it so late with exhibitions which I want to see, especially given that I’m a Tate member. But I really want to see this one! (Oh dear, is this a Don’t Miss note to me or you?)

So last night, I tried the Black Velvet cupcake at The Botanist. But it wasn’t made of Champagne and Guinness, which you might know is one of my favourite cocktails. This cupcake contained Marmite and cream.

Marmite, you say? I know, I know. I used to love Marmite but haven’t had in the last few years. I think The Botanist’s Jubilee Afternoon Tea idea is genius but I didn’t dare step up to give it a try – until now.

Last night at the Jubilee cocktails tasting, I was curious to taste the Black Velvet cupcake. Admittedly, at first I thought that the cupcake’s ingredients did include Guinness and Champagne but when I found out that it didn’t, I stuck to my guns and tried it anyway.

Hand on heart, I was so pleasantly surprised. It was so delicious. There was someone at our table who didn’t even like let alone love Marmite. But she loved the cupcake, which was actually sweet – not too sweet – and not savoury at all.

That’s the thing about The Botanist, they always tend to surprise me – in a very good way. Did you read my post on their Red Velvet cupcake? Here it is, if you haven’t. It also includes a link to the recipe which was seriously amazing: the best red velvet I’d ever had.

So I’m about to go back on myself and I am going to be trying The Botanist’s Marmite Afternoon Tea over the weekend. If the cupcake is anything to go by, I am very excited! And I’ll be reporting back, of course.

*UPDATE: Unfortunately I didn’t manage to try the Marmite Afternoon Tea this weekend (2nd/3rd June 2012) – but if you do get to have a taste, do let me know what you thought.*

*UPDATE* So, apparently Battersea Park’s Diamond Jubilee Festival is now sold out but there are other ways you could spend your Jubilee weekend. To add to my original list  …

1. Duke of York Square will be holding their very own luxury tea party on Sunday 3rd June. And you’ll be able to watch the Queen’s Flotilla and Thames River Pageant on the big screen. More information.

2. Local pubs are holding their own celebrations. The Hollywood Arms, which has a gorgeous screening room upstairs, will be holding a street party and live screenings throughout the Jubilee weekend.

The Chelsea Ram also has Jubilee plans …

The Jam Tree will be holding a garden party on 3rd June and an all-day barbecue on 4th June, with DJ Marble and Rob Marmot hitting the decks at 11pm – 2am.

3. The Botanist will also be offering special Jubilee cocktails, which I will be writing about in more detail when I try them next week. 😉

4. La Brasserie on Brompton Road will be adding a sense of Britishness to their menu including British fizz, cheese and the culinary classic, Beef Wellington.

5. And if you want to get close to the Battersea Park action but don’t have tickets, there’s always The Prince Albert pub nearby. But if you want to get far away from Chelsea (why??) but stay close to the river, The Oyster Shed in the City looks like the perfect spot.

Don’t forget to add your ideas to the comments below if there’s a Chelsea event I’ve missed out!

*And in case you missed my original Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee in Chelsea post, please read on.*

Just as one Bank Holiday ends, I’m already thinking of the next one. Well who isn’t? I mean, especially given that it’s going to be a four-day weekend (from Saturday 2nd June until Tuesday 5th June).

So I thought I’d jot down a few ideas of what was going on locally, to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

There’ll be events around the country, throughout the long weekend, and on Sunday 3rd June, there will be the Thames River Pageant. To celebrate this extravagant procession, Battersea Park will be holding a Diamond Jubilee Festival, which I have already booked tickets for! There will be plenty going on: from the Diamond Geezer pop-up tent (ha!) to other food and drinks stalls, as well as vintage fashion. And all along, you’ll be able to see the 1,000 ships sail past along the Chelsea Embankment. For more info, click on the event’s website.

Jubilee tea parties will undoubtedly be springing up around the country but if you fancy something a little more indulgent on Sloane Square, The Botanist have put together a special afternoon tea menu with Marmite.

There will be two main menus involved and they will be available from Monday 28th May to Sunday 10th June.

The Botanist Marmite afternoon tea (£18 per person) 

– Marmite and assorted finger sandwiches 

– Homemade cheddar, chive and Marmite scones

– Marmite and cheese straws

– A selection of afternoon sweets and cakes including chocolate cake with Marmite caramel buttercream, Black Velvet cupcakes and Marmite and peanut butter brownies

– Pot of Jing Tea 

Gentleman’s Marmite afternoon tea (£18 per person – £25 with a Marmite Mary)

– Marmite and assorted finger sandwiches

– Homemade Cheddar, chive and Marmite scones

– Marmite and cheese straws

– Marmite rarebit

There will however be a Jubilee Party at The Bluebird on the Sunday and if you want to catch the  Diamond Jubilee Concert on Monday, you can also watch it on The Bluebird’s big screen. But you will have to book because on a normal weekend, The Bluebird Courtyard gets busy as it is. Here’s their website for more details.

 

And if you want to dress like royalty whilst you party, By Brilliant have a new Tiara collection. Prices range from £95 to £125 and the lab diamonds sparkle with brilliance.

 

So what are your plans for the Jubilee? Are you organising something yourself or heading somewhere special?

*As and when more events come up, I’ll be updating this post – so do be sure to check back.*

 

Here are my Top 5 of Don’t Miss in Chelsea during March!

1. Help for Heroes at Embargo 59 tonight (1st March 2012). For more info. on tonight and on Embargo’s St. Patrick’s party, click here.

2. Marco Glaviano: Supermodels at The Little Black Gallery. This is Glaviano’s first UK exhibition and it runs until 24th March 2012. Don’t miss it!

3. Jules Et. Jim at Curzon Chelsea at 10.15am on Sunday 4th March. Classic Nouvelle Vague and romance the French way, this is such a fabulous film! For details, click here.

4. Mother’s Day on 18th March, along the King’s Road. Cocomaya and The Botanist are both fabulous places for Afternoon Tea.

5. If you’re a member of Virgin Active and are keen to enter the London Triathlon 2012 ballot. The deadline for entries is Friday 23rd March 2012.

Virgin has 50 places available to members and staff. The charity which Virgin Active will be supporting is Sparks: a charity which works to fund research into conditions affecting babes.  Here is the entry form. Good luck!

I have just taken time out of my day to have a yummy pancake and cocktail at The Botanist.

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True, my day was so busy that I missed lunch but I couldn’t resist the crêpe suzette because I was curious to try it with the All Fur Coat And No Ricard martini on the cocktail menu.

Pancakes

They went together perfectly because of their tangy edge. Delish!

The martini involves pampero blanco rum, velvet falernum, ricard, rhubarb bitters and fresh lime juice.

Just as I was about to get up and leave, I was asked if I wanted another pancake. So I said, why not? And picked the savoury pancake: poppy seed crêpe, foie gras, wild mushrooms and cauliflower purée.

Pancake

It is SO good! And I wholeheartedly recommend having it with a glass of bubbles. Admittedly I didn’t but I do have to head back to work after this and I wish I did!

So if you’re heading here tonight, it’s easy to say you’ll be spoilt for choice. Enjoy!

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