- Chelsea Flower Show etiquette guide
- Is there a dress code?
- What to wear to Chelsea Flower Show?
- Dress for the weather
- What type of shoes should you wear to the Chelsea Flower Show?
- Are hats appropriate?
- What do men wear to the Chelsea Flower Show?
- Etiquette Guide
- How to dress for the Gala Preview evening?
- Last but not least
- Debrett’s Style Tips: Chelsea Flower Show
- Chelsea Flower Show 2015: an etiquette guide to the RHS floral spectacular
- Chelsea Flower Show 2015 winners
- 1/10 GOLD: A Perfumer’s Garden in Grasse
- 2/10 GOLD: Cloudy Bay Garden
- 3/10 GOLD: The Brewin Dolphin Garden
- 4/10 GOLD: The Homebase Urban Retreat Garden
- 5/10 GOLD: The Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities Garden
- 6/10 SILVER-GILT: Sentebale – Hope in Vulnerability
- 7/10 SILVER-GILT: The Beauty of Islam by Al Barari
- 8/10 SILVER-GILT: The Hidden Beauty of Kranhi
- 9/10 SILVER-GILT: The M&G Garden 2015 – The Retreat
- 10/10 SILVER GILT: Royal Bank of Canada Garden
- What is the Chelsea Flower Show?
- When is the Chelsea Flower Show 2019?
- How is the Chelsea Flower Show judged?
- How do I get to the Chelsea Flower Show?
- How much are tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show?
- Can you take a picnic to the Chelsea Flower Show?
- Is there a dress code for the Chelsea Flower Show?
- Top 5 Spots In Chelsea For Before & After An Opening Reception
- 8 OF THE BEST ALFRESCO TERRACES IN CHELSEA
- London’s best pub beer gardens
- The Albion, Islington
- The Avalon, Balham
- The Captain Kidd, Wapping
- The County Arms, Wandsworth
- The Crabtree Tavern, Hammersmith
- Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton
- The Ealing Park Tavern, Ealing
- Edinboro Castle, Camden
- The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park
- The Half Moon, Herne Hill
- The Junction Tavern, Tufnell Park
- The Magic Garden, Battersea
- People’s Park Tavern, Victoria Park
- Pub on the Park, Hackney
- The Ship, Wandsworth
- The Sun, Camberwell
- The White Horse, Parsons Green
- The Windsor Castle, Notting Hill
- Get A Free Cocktail This At This Cute New Courtyard In Chelsea
- Chelsea Courtyard is a cute little spot for a sunny summer’s weekend.
- Where to Eat in Chelsea
- 1. Friedman’s
- 2. Num Pang
- 3. Takumi
- 4. Mokbar
- 5. Tuk Shop
- 6. Hale and Heart
- 7. Los Tacos No. 1
- 8. Chalait
- 9. Los Mariscos
- 10. Dizen Goff
Chelsea Flower Show etiquette guide
OKA Correspondent | 13 May 2019 | 8 min read Share:
Is There A Dress Code?
What To Wear To Chelsea Flower Show?
Dress For The Weather
What Type Of Shoes Should You Wear To The Chelsea Flower Show?
Are Hats Appropriate?
What Do Men Wear To The Chelsea Flower Show?
How To Dress For The Gala Preview Evening?
Last But Not Least
Is there a dress code?
Held at the end of May in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the Chelsea Flower Show marks the start of the English Summer. Although Chelsea Flower Show isn’t as formal as other events in the social calendar, it is the most prestigious horticultural exhibit in Britain. The Queen attends every year, along with celebrities, the media, gardening enthusiasts and other members of the Royal Family, all of whom are impeccably dressed. You won’t find a dress code for the show on the Royal Horticultural Society website because, strictly speaking, there isn’t one. But it’s a good idea to observe a few things.
What to wear to Chelsea Flower Show?
Your outfit must be weather-appropriate and easy to wear as you will be on your feet for most of the day, though you can pitstop in the show’s many restaurants and tearooms. Day dresses and skirts are popular choices, but trouser suits also tick the style and comfort boxes.
Pay homage to the occasion by opting for floral prints and botanical designs in light and ethereal fabrics. We do recommend leaving your floor-length dresses at home, if they are too long, they will collect dust as they trail along the ground. Steer clear of anything overly short.
Wear whatever shade you like. You will be surrounded by colourful blooms from dawn (well, 8 am) to dusk, and may want your outfit to be just as bright.
Why not complete your look with a floral fragrance? Choose something light and fresh that could be infused with blooms picked straight from the award-winning gardens. You can also accessorise your look with statement jewellery, watches and scarves.
Dress for the weather
The Great British weather can be unpredictable to say the least, especially in May, so we advise packing layers, sunglasses and something waterproof just in case. A classic trench or well-cut leather jacket would be a welcome addition to your Summer Season wardrobe; they can be slung over your shoulder or stored in a bag should you feel hot. Make the most of the cloakroom where you can leave coats and bags to save carrying them all day.
What type of shoes should you wear to the Chelsea Flower Show?
If it’s been raining, the ground will be soft and uneven underfoot, therefore shoes should be sensible to avoid any blisters or stiletto-stuck-in-the-mud-type situations. Trust us, even the most fashionably dressed celebrities will be embracing the sandal, the wedge and the smart flat.
Are hats appropriate?
If the sun is shining, bring a hat. Now, size does matter: you should select a modestly proportioned one because larger brimmed styles obstruct other visitor’s view of the gardens. Fascinators are slightly too formal and best saved for Royal Ascot and Goodwood. After all, the gardens are the real stars of the show.
What do men wear to the Chelsea Flower Show?
Men should also dress for the occasion and wear relaxed pieces such as polo-shirts and chinos. We also recommend jackets, blazers and collared shirts. For footwear, pick styles that are both practical and stylish, like smart boots, brogues or boat shoes. Ties and pocket-squares add a necessary pop of colour. If you’re worried about sunburn, elevate your look with a trilby.
It’s perfectly acceptable to drink at the Chelsea Flower Show. You can’t bring your own alcohol (bag searches are conducted on the way into the event, so leave your wine cooler at home) but there are several marquees serving refreshments, including a Champagne bar.
If you feel like unwinding after the show, head to the King’s Road or Sloane Square, located a ten-minute walk away and home to an impressive selection of cocktail bars and pubs. Aptly-named ‘ The Botanist’ and speakeasy ‘Barts’ deserve honourable mentions. Even if you’d rather forgo post-show drinks, it’s worth exploring the area: nearby stores decorate their shop fronts with glorious floral arrangements in celebration of the occasion.
How to dress for the Gala Preview evening?
The Chelsea Charity Gala is an exclusive event, so exclusive, in fact, that members of the public can only obtain tickets each year by entering a ballot. The official dress code is ‘lounge suit’, which is a cocktail dress or suit with an optional tie.
Last but not least
Meandering along the many walkways, you’ll encounter the latest plant trends and be awed by stunning floral displays; don’t forget your camera and notebook to record anything that sparks inspiration.
Watch television coverage of the show before visiting, this provides insight into the exhibiting designers and what to look out for on the day.
Read our full guide to the Chelsea Flower Show here.
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Debrett’s Style Tips: Chelsea Flower Show
What is your partnership with Bicester Village and why does it work so well?
Debrett’s and Bicester are both champions of British style; Debrett’s as the authority on etiquette, British tradition and formal events, and Bicester through the exceptional partner brands it supports and showcases. For this reason we have collaborated to create the Guide To British Style, exploring all things sartorial with a focus on the comprehensive rules of dressing throughout the Season.
What is the ‘Guide To British Style’?
It is a beautiful pocket guide to style and the Season, deciphering dress codes and exploring the surprising origins of some Britain’s most cherished and iconic items of clothing. It reveals everything that remains central to the British notion of style, from its heritage to both its craft and creativity – qualities that Debrett’s has championed throughout its nearly 250-year history.
Why would you advise Lady readers to visit Bicester Village when looking for an outfit for RHS Chelsea Flower show?
Not only is there a huge amount of choice of occasionwear on offer in its more than 130 boutiques, but a visit to Bicester is an experience in itself. Just under an hour away from London, a combination of world-famous brands and savings of up to 60% have made Bicester a global destination for style lovers. It is also home to a selection of restaurants and cafés, including Le Pain Quotidien and farmshop restaurant & café by Soho House & Co, together with a suite of services that include valet parking, hands-free shopping, and an onsite tax refund and currency exchange service.
What is the dress code for RHS Chelsea Flower show?
A favourite of the Royal Family and a traditional highlight of the Season, the RHS Chelsea Flower show is open to the public Thursday to Saturday where there is no official dress code – other than being prepared for all weathers and plenty of walking! On Monday evening there is a charity gala preview; this includes a garden party-themed dress code, floral dresses for women and a light jacket and tie for men.
What type of shoes are appropriate for men and women?
Plenty of walking is required to make the most of everything Chelsea has to offer, so sensible but stylish shoes are important. For women, flats, mid-heels or wedges are the most appropriate. For men, anything from smart boots to boat shoes are suitable.
Is the modern trouser suit a good option for women?
As mentioned, there is no official dress code for the public when visiting Chelsea, so women can absolutely wear a trouser suit, but a day dress or skirt and blouse may be preferred if the weather is fine. Floral prints and bright colours are also in keeping with the sense of occasion and the nature of the event.
Given the perils of the British weather, how can visitors combine style with practicality?
In case of rain, an umbrella is always handy at the show, and a waterproof jacket may also be a sensible idea.
What jewellery is appropriate for the occasion?
There are no official rules, but simple day jewellery such as pearls are appropriate. Again, you can also pay tribute to the event by opting for floral or botanical themes in your jewellery or accessories.
See more on Bicester Village & Debrett’s ‘Guide To British Style’
Chelsea Flower Show 2015: an etiquette guide to the RHS floral spectacular
Garden enthusiasts from far and wide descend on the highly anticipated RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week. One of the nation’s best-loved horticultural shows, it is the garden event of The Season. As such, there is an etiquette attached – albeit, an unwritten one…
The Unofficial Dress Code
Whilst no one will turn you away for wearing jeans or advise you to cover your shoulders, if you want to be part of the club, there is an unofficial dress code to observe. Lady Celestria Noel, expert on The Season and consultant to Debrett’s, says women should favour (preferably floral) day dresses over trousers, and men should wear a jacket and tie – ‘but not everyone does’. Absolute no-nos are huge view-blocking hats (it is not Ascot) and garish outfits that detract from the gardens. Flats over heels are advisable – it’s a day of walking after all.
Drinking before midday is not only allowed, it’s expected
‘All Season events are really an excuse for daytime midweek drinking,’ says Lady Celestria, ‘and the flower show is no exception’. Indeed last year, more visitors were spotted drinking Champagne and Pimms at 11 o’clock than they were tea and coffee. The trick is not to drink too much…
No one likes a know-it-all
It might be tempting to show off your horticultural knowledge by finally putting to good use all those years listening to BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, but don’t. Showing off loudly with Latin plant names is unadvisable, says Lady Celestria. ‘The modest elderly couple standing next to you, are probably fellows of the RHS – and may well have had plants named after them.’
Chelsea Flower Show 2015 winners
10 show all
1/10 GOLD: A Perfumer’s Garden in Grasse
Designed by James Brasson and sponsored by L’Occitane UK (Picture: Getty) Carl Court/Getty Images
2/10 GOLD: Cloudy Bay Garden
The ‘Shack’ on the move across the Cloudy Bay Garden Richard Young/REX
3/10 GOLD: The Brewin Dolphin Garden
designed by Darren Hawkes Landscapes Carl Court/Getty Images
4/10 GOLD: The Homebase Urban Retreat Garden
In association with MacMillan Cancer Support, designed by Adam Frost Carl Court/Getty Images
5/10 GOLD: The Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities Garden
Designed by Chris Beardshaw Carl Court/Getty Images
6/10 SILVER-GILT: Sentebale – Hope in Vulnerability
Designed by the 2014 BBC/RHS Chelsea People’s Choice winner Matthew Keightley Alex Lentati
7/10 SILVER-GILT: The Beauty of Islam by Al Barari
Designed by Kamelia Bin Zaal Carl Court/Getty Images
8/10 SILVER-GILT: The Hidden Beauty of Kranhi
Designed by John Tan and Raymond Toh Carl Court/Getty Images
9/10 SILVER-GILT: The M&G Garden 2015 – The Retreat
Designed by Jo Thompson Dominic Lipinski/PA
10/10 SILVER GILT: Royal Bank of Canada Garden
Designed by Matthew Wilson Mark Thomas/REX Designed by James Brasson and sponsored by L’Occitane UK (Picture: Getty) Carl Court/Getty Images The ‘Shack’ on the move across the Cloudy Bay Garden Richard Young/REX designed by Darren Hawkes Landscapes Carl Court/Getty Images In association with MacMillan Cancer Support, designed by Adam Frost Carl Court/Getty Images Designed by Chris Beardshaw Carl Court/Getty Images Designed by the 2014 BBC/RHS Chelsea People’s Choice winner Matthew Keightley Alex Lentati Designed by Kamelia Bin Zaal Carl Court/Getty Images Designed by John Tan and Raymond Toh Carl Court/Getty Images Designed by Jo Thompson Dominic Lipinski/PA Designed by Matthew Wilson Mark Thomas/REX
Wait your turn
It is a social faux pas of the highest order to shove people out of the way to get to a garden. No one barges at Chelsea.
Take your time
There is a lot to see and often a day isn’t long enough. But if that’s all the time you’ve got, use it wisely. Plan which gardens you want to see first and allow ample time to see them. Then, with the remainder of your visit, wander freely at will. Trying to rush round and see everything is stressful and unnecessary – you’ll end up feeling dizzy and have to sit down.
Selfies aren’t banned – but they should be
Anyone who thinks photographs of themselves should take precedence over those of the gardens, have probably confused actual sticks with selfie sticks, and arrived at Chelsea by mistake. Politely point them to the exit.
‘Manners makyth man’
‘Thank you’, ‘please’, ‘after you’ – these words are top of RHS Chelsea’s vocabulary. General manners are key at this event and one must be mindful of that at all times – especially when offering an opinion. For example, never compare gold medal winning show gardens unfavorably with your own garden, warns Lady Celestria. ‘Praise only and save criticism till you get home.’ Very English, very apt.
Follow Edwina Langley on Twitter @EdwinaLangley
Lady Celestria Noel is a consultant to Debrett’s and joint editor of Debrett’s Handbook; debretts.com
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show is one of the highlights of early summer with vibrant floral displays, gorgeous gardens and A-list attendees, including the Queen who usually visits on the morning of the first day.
This year the annual horticultural spectacular is set to be even more exciting, as Kate Middleton is following in Prince Harry’s footsteps by co-designing her own garden for the first time.
We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
Each year, the RHS release a number of general admission tickets for keen gardeners to snap up in advance, so everyone can enjoy a quintessentially British day out. Oh, and pick up some green-fingered inspiration.
Here, everything you need to know about the RHS Chelsea Flower show…
What is the Chelsea Flower Show?
Jack TaylorGetty Images
The Chelsea Flower Show is one of the most renowned gardening shows in the world, dating back to 1862 when it was known as the RHS Great Spring Show.
Now, the Royal Chelsea Hospital in west London plays host to extravagant flower and landscape displays, created by the world’s most renowned horticulturalists, for five days during the last week of May every year.
2019’s Chelsea Flower Show is set to be seriously spectacular with donkeys, a Facebook garden, IKEA’s eco-friendly exhibit and, of course, the Duchess of Cambridge’s do-designed space.
You can find out more about all of this year’s Chelsea show gardens here.
When is the Chelsea Flower Show 2019?
JUSTIN TALLISGetty Images
The Chelsea Flower Show 2019 runs from 21st to 25th May 2019 at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, Chelsea in west London.
The show is open from 8am-8pm from the Tuesday to the Friday (Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd are RHS members days), and 8am to 5:30pm on the Saturday. At 4pm on Saturday 25th May, the plant sell-off begins.
How is the Chelsea Flower Show judged?
Dan KitwoodGetty Images
Both the gardens and floral displays in the Great Pavilion at Chelsea are judged by a seven-strong team of horticultural, garden and design experts trained by the RHS.
They award a number of honours including gold, silver and bronze medals for individual gardens, and special awards for the finest floral displays.
You can find out more about judging at Chelsea here.
How do I get to the Chelsea Flower Show?
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASGetty Images
The closest tube station to the Royal Chelsea Hospital is Sloane Square in fare zone one on the District and Circle underground lines. The showground is a 10-minute walk from Sloane Square.
London Victoria is the closest mainline train station to the Chelsea Flower Show. Transport for London will be operating a shuttle bus from Victoria to the showground in Chelsea.
Bus numbers 11, 137, 211, 360, 170, 44 and 452 stop closest to the showground, while bus numbers 19, 22, 319 and C1 stop at Sloane Square.
Parking in Battersea Park can be booked at the time of ticket purchase.
How much are tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show?
Jack TaylorGetty Images
Ticket prices vary for RHS members and non-members.
RHS members will pay between £35 and £89 for entry to the show ground. Non-member ticket prices range from £45 to £105.
There’s three time slots for tickets on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: all-day, 3:30pm and 5:30pm, along with a ‘Chelsea Late’ on the Thursday and Friday. All-day tickets only are available on the Saturday.
You can buy up to four tickets from the online box office. Children under the age of five and dogs are not permitted. Children five years and older require a full-price ticket to enter.
Can you take a picnic to the Chelsea Flower Show?
WPA PoolGetty Images
Picnics are permitted in the showground, and there’s an area to lay your picnic blanket.
There’s plenty of delicious options for afternoon tea, lunch and dinner, too. They can all be booked through the Chelsea website.
Is there a dress code for the Chelsea Flower Show?
Carl CourtGetty Images
The RHS issues no specific dress code, but most guests opt for smart-casual in day dresses or a blazer and a shirt. Flat shoes are a good idea too.
Leave your hat or fascinator at home! It’s frowned upon to block the view at Chelsea.
Natalie Cornish Natalie is a freelance news and lifestyle journalist.
Top 5 Spots In Chelsea For Before & After An Opening Reception
So, you’re coming to New York’s favorite art district this Thursday for a gallery opening. Whether it’s your own, a friend’s, or you are just an art appreciator in the neighborhood, you’re going to want to pre-game with good food and coffee, and you’ll probably want to wind down the evening with some atmospheric and trendy drinks with friends.
Finding art in Chelsea is easy, but where’s the good food? Where can you get a good drink? Hopefully our guide can help you out with that. Enjoy Agora Gallery’s picks for…
Top 5 Spots in Chelsea for Before & After an Opening Reception
1. Before the Opening: Intelligentsia Coffee
The High Line Hotel – Intelligentsia Coffee
180 10th Ave at 20th St
There is no better place to go to for a great cappuccino than Intelligentsia Coffee at the High Line Hotel. The indoor location is as nice and pleasant as their back courtyard: refined and cozy, a real New York trendsetter. Also, as the High Line Hotel is about to launch a new restaurant, you’ll really want to keep a closer eye on this location!
180 10th Ave at 20th St
New York, New York 10011
Sunday – Thursday 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
When Intelligentsia closes at night, The Bar at the High Line opens Sunday-Thursday 5-10 PM and Friday-Saturday 6-10 PM.
2. Pre-Opening Drinks: A Rooftop Sunset at The Press Lounge
The Press Lounge – 653 11th Ave
The Press Lounge is located on 47th St, so it is not technically in Chelsea, but the view will make it worth going the extra mile. Well, 1.1 miles, if you want to be exact. Here, at one of the premiere rooftop lounges in Manhattan, you will be able to enjoy a drink by the pool with a spectacular view of New York. Bring your cameras for some epic panoramas.
653 11th Ave, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Sunday 5:00 -12:00 am
Monday & Tuesday 5:00 -1:00 am
Wednesday & Thursday 5:00 – 2:00 am
Friday & Saturday 5:00 pm – 3:00 am
3. Dinner After The Opening: Ovest Pizzoteca
Ovest Pizzoteca – 513 W. 27th St.
Whether you’re gallery hopping, or staying put at your own opening, you are bound to build up quite the appetite by the end of the night, and you’ll want to take your dinner at Ovest Pizzoteca. Seriously. Enjoy their authentic Italian cuisine, from the traditional Spritz cocktail to their delicious brick oven pizza, homemade pasta, and authentic panini – all crafted with owner and executive pizzaiolo Michele Iuliano’s masterful dough recipe. The industrial brick walls and high ceilings are packed daily with the art and fashion set, so we suggest calling in advance to make a reservation.
513 W 27th St #2, New York, NY 10001
Open 12 PM – 12 AM daily
4. A Great Cocktail: The Tippler
The Tippler – 425 W 15th Street
If you have been to the Chelsea Market you will be familiar with the urban-trendy atmosphere that runs through the entire location, but you may not know what’s tucked away downstairs. A true hidden gem, The Tippler is one of the coolest places to drink some artfully-prepared, great cocktails. And if you get hungry while drinking, The Tippler has a kitchen – or, you can always run upstairs and enjoy some of the great options in Chelsea Market.
425 W 15th Street, Basement Level
New York, NY 10011
Sunday – Tuesday 4:00 pm – 12:00 am
Wed & Thursday 4:00 pm – 1:00 am
Friday 4:00 pm – 2:00 am
Saturday 4:00 pm – 3:00 am
5. Music With A View: Gallow Green
Gallow Green – 542 West 27th Street
Gallow Green sits on top of the McKittrick Hotel and is one of the best spots to check out in Chelsea. The rooftop season is officially upon us, and you can’t miss this lovely, dreamy terrace from which you will have a regal view of the NYC West Side. After sunset don’t be surprised to see brass bands playing, actors weaving between the tables, and trees lighting up. It’s all part-and-parcel of the Gallow Green charm.
542 West 27th Street
Monday – Thursday – 5:00 – 11:00 PM
Friday-Saturday 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Sunday 11:30 AM – 11:00 PM
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of best food & drink options in Chelsea. While you’re out eating and drinking, don’t forget to stop by the many gallery openings in the neighborhood. Check out Agora Gallery’s exhibition calendar for upcoming reception dates, and subscribe to our e-mail invitation mailing list to make sure you don’t miss any of our exciting events.
Have your own favorite picks for eats & drinks in Chelsea? Let us know in the comments!
8 OF THE BEST ALFRESCO TERRACES IN CHELSEA
197 King’s Road SW3 5ED; theivychelseagarden.com
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
2 The Phene
Dating back to 1853, The Phene has a classy interior, which is matched by its beautiful outdoor garden where you can drink and relax all year round. The serene atmosphere is completed by a natural colour scheme, an array of lounge sofas gathered around tables, and a trellis arch with flourishing greenery. Another reason to come is for the quality seasonal dishes; the Phene’s signature lobster and chips is a must.
9 Phene Street, Chelsea SW3 5NY; thephene.com
The Phene provides everything from a casual drink to a formal dinner in its conservatory
3 The Jam Tree
With one of the best pub gardens anywhere in London, The Jam Tree Chelsea has alfresco drinking covered with its expansive space, outdoor BBQ, cocktails and outdoor heaters. There are even free hog roasts that run every second Thursday from 4 June until the end of August. Your main problem will be trying to secure an area so make sure you get here early.
541 Kings Road, Chelsea SW6 2EB; thejamtreechelsea.com
The Jam Tree is a Chelsea institution
4 The Chelsea Courtyard
Tucked between two beautiful Victorian buildings, metres from the King’s Road, The Chelsea Courtyard Bistro and Bar is a tranquil oasis offering alfresco drinking and dining. A showcase for The Chelsea Gardener flagship store, the courtyard is a lush, botanical escape, brimming with plants and foliage, providing both sunny spots and cool shady areas to relax. Do try the cocktails, which have a particular focus on botanical ingredients.
151 Sydney Street, Chelsea SW3 6NT; thechelseacourtyard.com
The Chelsea Courtyard provides both sunny and shady spots
5 The Anglesea Arms
This is a charming, traditional pub with an easy-going feel – it’s extremely popular for good reason. In addition to a constant rotating array of ales and servings of Pimms in the summer, the Arms’ historical connections are another great pull – Charles Dickens and DH Lawrence reputedly frequented many evenings here. Come on a warm evening and you’ll find the garden packed with South Kensington locals and young professionals, making it a fantastic choice for post-work drinks.
15 Selwood Terrace, South Kensington SW7 3QG; angleseaarms.com
The Anglesea Arms was a favourite haunt of Charles Dickens
Always popular with Chelsea denizens and tourists, Bluebird has upped its game since its summer terrace was stylishly renovated, elegantly clad in grey paved flooring and green shrubbery. It’s an excellent choice for food and cocktails – and people watching.
350 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5UU; bluebird-restaurant.co.uk
Bluebird’s terrace has been spruced up with a recent renovation
7 The Imperial Arms
Set in a stunning Victoria building, The Imperial Amrs garden is an elegant space inside and out. During the summer, the setting becomes a suntrap during the day but as the sun sets, it’s also a lovely place to enjoy an evening meal. The décor is Ibiza-style and the atmosphere is chilled – you certainly won’t think you are just off the King’s Road. Food is seasonal and locally sourced, and there are plenty of sharing-style dishes. The garden is also dog-friendly should you want to pop in with a furry friend.
577 King’s Road SW6 2EH; the-imperial-arms.com
The Imperial’s garden is a suntrap during the summer
8 The Waterside Bar & Kitchen
Only a stone’s throw from Chelsea Harbour is The Waterside Inn, a great outdoor setting furnished with comfy rattan sofas and bright-coloured cushions that overlooks the River Thames. The pub is part of the Young’s family so the food and drink choices are fairly reliable. There is a modern British menu, plus a good range of stone baked pizzas on offer – it makes a great choice for a leisurely Sunday afternoon catch-up with friends.
The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf, SW6 2SU; watersidelondon.com
The Waterside has the perfect alfresco space to admire the Thames from
London’s best pub beer gardens
London might not have the most reliable weather, but when the sun does come out to play we know how to make the most of it.
And as ways of enjoying the sun go, it’s hard to beat settling into a superb beer garden for the afternoon.
Here are London’s best, shown on the map below and also listed in alphabetical order.
The Albion, Islington
This stylish but understated gem of a pub is a Georgian masterpiece located on a leafy Barnsbury backwater just off Angel’s Upper Street. The pretty walled garden has wisteria-covered wooden pergolas – ideal for an alfresco lunch. It does a great Sunday roast, too.
10 Thornhill Road, N1 1HW; the-albion.co.uk
The Avalon, Balham
A Balham Hill stalwart, the classy Avalon caters for long leisurely lunches and big groups. It boasts a sprawling decked garden perfect for some alfresco sampling of their top pub grub.
16 Balham Hill, SW12 9EB; theavalonlondon.com
The Captain Kidd, Wapping
One of Wapping’s oldest riverside pubs, this local favourite has a whopping outdoor area boasting plenty of seats and spectacular vistas. You can almost smell the sea breeze wafting in, but that might just be the scampi.
108 Wapping High Street, E1W 2NE
The County Arms, Wandsworth
The shady patio garden of this gastropub is spacious enough to make getting a bench a reality, and less busy than many others in the area are on a hot day. Come the weekend you’ll often find a barbecue in action, too.
345 Trinity Road, SW18 3SH; countyarms.co.uk
The Crabtree Tavern, Hammersmith
Sitting on the stretch of river between Hammersmith and Putney bridges, this grandiose Victorian pub has several outdoor spaces, and views across the Thames to Barnes and the London Wetland Centre. Try and grab the seats under the weeping willow and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon watching the rowers breaking a sweat on the water.
Rainville Road, W6 9HA; thecrabtreew6.co.uk
Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton
Tucked away from the main Brixton bustle, this lovely local with a truly enormous (by London standards) garden creates enough atmosphere all of its own. The paved courtyard is wonderfully leafy, and White Men Can’t Jerk are in residence providing excellent jerk chicken and other Caribbean-inspired dishes.
204 Ferndale Road, SW9 8AG; dukeofedinburghpub.com
The Ealing Park Tavern, Ealing
This neighbourhood boozer boasts an impressive outside space kitted out with fake grass, bunting and some colourful furniture plus some covered booths to provide either shelter or shade. The centrepiece is a ping pong table, so watch out for stray balls.
222 South Ealing Road, W5 4RL; ealingparktavern.co.uk
Edinboro Castle, Camden
Afternoons easily slip into long evenings at this lovely little bolthole, tucked away behind Mornington Crescent. It has a good-sized garden covered in welcoming foliage, with the added bonus of a convenient mini-marquee, heaters and fairy lights for when the evening chill descends.
57 Mornington Terrace, NW1 7RU; edinborocastlepub.co.uk
The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park
This lively Irish pub may not have the largest beer garden in town, but it might be able to claim the cleverest use of space. When faced with the difficulty of a small yard, the owners took the only option available to them and decided to build upwards. The effect is a cosy, but surprisingly spacious, split-level affair with a range of decking and tables. An early afternoon suntrap just a stone’s throw from Finsbury Park station.
19 Perth Road, N4 3HB; thefullback.co.uk
The Half Moon, Herne Hill
There’s an outdoor bar, barbecue area, a central fire pit and plenty of seating in this Fuller’s pub’s spacious garden – plus a supersized Connect Four and other outdoor games. The food is good, too.
10 Half Moon Lane, SE24 9HU; halfmoonhernehill.co.uk
The Junction Tavern, Tufnell Park
The Junction Tavern’s beer garden is all chipped wooden tables and bare-brick walls with a kitchen boasting some superb best grilled meats in north London. Grab a bench, eat a steak and sip on a pint of Junction Ale in the sun.
101 Fortess Road, NW5 1AG; junctiontavern.co.uk
The Magic Garden, Battersea
With fairy lights, plump sofas and a giant teepee all on hand, a visit to this pub is a bit like going to a festival. There are regular live bands, decent pub food and the beer garden is open until midnight.
231 Battersea Park Road, SW11 4LG; magicgardenpub.co.uk
People’s Park Tavern, Victoria Park
The sprawling garden at this leafy venue is filled with brightly-coloured tables, and even some small huts for sitting in if you can manage to nab one. There’s good gastropub grub on offer, while the People’s Pints — pulled straight from the pub’s in-house micro-brewery — are a highlight for beer fans.
360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT; peoplesparktavern.pub
Pub on the Park, Hackney
This east London local boasts what has to be one of the most conveniently placed beer gardens in the capital. Sitting just inside London Fields, Pub on the Park’s tree-lined garden spills out onto the park, with punters not short of grassy space on which to spread out and relax. While it can get very busy when the sun visits, the festival atmosphere makes it a great bet for a chilled-out afternoon.
19 Martello Street, E8 3PE; pubonthepark.com
The Ship, Wandsworth
This busy pub makes the most of its glorious riverside location, with space to sit and drink in the sun on all sides. There’s good food, great burgers and plenty of beer from pub owners Young’s and beyond, while on the sunniest days you’ll find an outdoor grill and extra alfresco bar to help keep up with demand.
41 Jews Row, SW18 1TB; theship.co.uk
The Sun, Camberwell
Set on Coldharbour Lane between Brixton and Camberwell, this pub boasts a big selection of beers, an impressive selection of food and – best of all – a lovely big beer garden for eating and drinking in.
61-63 Coldharbour Lane, SE5 9NS; suncamberwell.com
The White Horse, Parsons Green
Sitting on the corner of Parsons Green Road, the garden of this buzzing Fulham local is well positioned for sitting and watching the world go by – hence its popularity with the well-heeled residents who gave it its ‘Sloaney Pony’ nickname. It is also renowned for its superb range of 150 bottled and 20 draft beers.
1-3 Parson’s Green, SW6 4UL; whitehorsesw6.com
The Windsor Castle, Notting Hill
This Holland Park venue has a real rustic charm and a huge heated beer garden – ideal if the sun proves elusive. Inside its all wood and cosy, candle-lit alcoves, outside the ivy-clad garden creates a peaceful idyll for whiling away those long summer evenings.
114 Campden Hill Road, W8 7AR, thewindsorcastlekensington.co.uk
Get A Free Cocktail This At This Cute New Courtyard In Chelsea
Chelsea Courtyard is a cute little spot for a sunny summer’s weekend.
Now re-open for summer 2019, this sunkissed square, just off Kings Road, now boasts the by-now de rigeur floral glow-up.
The bar/bistro has unveiled some new botanical cocktails to celebrate the season, and this weekend only (Jun 28-30) you’ll get a free Courtyard Punch on arrival – a juicy little gin number with Aperol, grapefruit, elderflower and peach that’s summer in a glass. A nice start to a lazy afternoon, then.
The all-day bar-bistro has a colourful, casual menu from breakfast-to-dinner – you can check out the menus here. The cocktail list, meanwhile, has ten terrific tipples to choose from, and the refreshing Chelsea Gardener, named for the chic garden centre just up the road, is a tasty combo of vodka, mint, cucumber & ginger beer perfect for when the temperatures rise.
There are shady spots, sunny spots, and generally everything you need for an afternoon of booze, snacks and chat. Give it a go and tell them we sent you!
Don’t miss: West London’s biggest beer garden is back with a whole new look
Also published on Medium.
Where to Eat in Chelsea
Chelsea is home to an exciting array of restaurants that are perfect for dining after a day at the Highline, a night at the Joyce Theater or in between gallery hopping. Here are some of our favorites.
The sun-tinged, all white, all fresh restaurant arm of the ABC Home juggernaut, from a Michelin-starred chef. Come for the sofas, stay for the scallops.
35 E. 18th St., 212-475-5829, abchome.com
Among a sea of creative burger chainlets, this one stands out for its huge variety of options, which include habanero-topped and black-bean-vegan versions.
153 8th Ave., 212-414-2273, bareburger.com
They make their famous flagship cheddar right onsite at this large corner fromagerie. And for lunch, you can grab a grilled cheese or a bowl of mac that features it. It’s also hiding a post-work-drinks wine bar downstairs.
900 Broadway, 212-466-3340, beechershandmadecheese.com
A nouveau diner scene that’s great for those still hoping to arrive into Sex in the City-era Manhattan. You can’t go wrong with any of their three types of mac ‘n’ cheese.
119 7th Ave., 212-414-1717, cafeteriagroup.com
Corkbuzz Wine Bar
A charming vino spot that’s a respite from the Chelsea Market crowds. Let the staff make recommendations for you, and try the sausage sandwich.
Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave., 646-237-4847, corkbuzz.com
An outstanding spot for farm-to-table deliciousness from Mr. Top Chef himself, Tom Colicchio. Don’t neglect the excellent wine list.
43 E. 19th St., 212-780-0880, craftrestaurantsinc.com
The best of a handful of excellent donut options in the area, you’re going to brave a long but efficient line for pudding-filled chocolate donuts and square-shaped coconut ones.
220 W. 23rd St., 212-505-3700, doughnutplant.com
Mario Batali and the Bastianich’s gargantuan Italian food center. Stock up on rare cheeses and meats, and make sure to grab a prime rib sandwich on your way out.
200 5th Ave, 212=229-2560, eataly.com
An old-school neighborhood standby for tuna melts, pastrami sandwiches and egg creams, this spot is the platonic ideal of the classic bustling lunch counter.
174 Fifth Ave., 212-675-5096, eisenbergsnyc.com
Foragers City Table
A charming neighborhood spot that shares a space with a farm-to-shop grocery store, from which is culls all its ingredients. An excellent brunch destination.
300 W. 22nd St., 212-243-8888, foragersmarket.com
The Frying Pan
Just north of Chelsea Piers you’ll see a large lightship by the name of The Frying Pan. Along the deck of that ship, you’ll have burgers and beers on the Hudson. Open from May-October only, weather permitting.
530 W. 26th St., 212-9896363, fryingpan.com
A solid neighborhood breakfast and brunch spot tucked away on a residential street. A place where you can have both pancakes and craft beer and feel just right.
242 W. 16th St., 212-229-2345, thegreydog.com
The Manhattan outpost of the legendary Brooklyn coal brick oven pizzeria. You’re bringing friends and family, and you’re getting a pie. No slices, ever.
Limelight Shops, 656 Ave. of the Americas, 646-484-5665, grimaldis-pizza.com
Hainanese chicken with sweet rice is the specialty at this unassuming Malaysian spot. The chef here has the equivalent of a Michelin star for reasonably priced restaurants. A lunch must if you’re around Union Square.
15 E. 17th St., 212-206-8989, lautnyc.com
The Lobster Place
As NYC’s lobster roll craze has settled into its adolescence, you see more places like this, which pulls fresh lobster straight from the fish market next door and puts it in Connecticut and Maine Lobster rolls. Not a bad thing.
Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave., 212-255-5672, lobsterplace.com
The Meatball Shop
Walk in, have a drink at the bar while you inevitably wait, pick out a base, a type of meatball (the spicy pork are the way to go) and a sauce. It’s a meatball shop called The Meatball Shop.
200 9th Ave., 212-257-4363, themeatballshop.com
If you’re the type who thinks a sandwich filled with tender chicken that’s been fried and coated in buffalo sauce, then slathered in blue cheese still qualifies as “grilled cheese,” you’re going to love this.
55 W. 26th St., 212-447-6358, meltshop.com
Amidst the chaos of the city’s rapidly eroding bagel establishment, Murray’s stays strong with a serious smoked fish game and a firm no-toasting policy.
242 8th Ave., 646-638-1335 murraysbagelschelsea.com
This unassuming bi-level Sichuan spot runs the gamut from General Tso’s Chicken to sautéed pig intestine. But we can’t leave without the ma po tofu.
88 7th Ave., 212-929-1778, legendbarandrestaurant.com
A superior form of Mexican chain. Make sure you get the table-side guac service and don’t be ashamed to love the pomegranate margarita.
9 E. 18th St., 212-533-3350, rosamexicano.com
Tacombi Café El Presidente
A huge Mexican food hall that’s got you covered with poblano cornbread and fresh juices in the morning to al pastor tacos and mezcal Cokes at night.
30 W. 24th St., 212-242-3491, tacombi.com
The mother of all club-restaurants. Expect massive Buddha statues, an enormous staircase entryway, excessive amounts of vodka and, oh yeah, ornate versions of Chinese classics.
Maritime Hotel, 92 Ninth Ave., 212-888-2724, taodowntown.com
Brings a bold interpretation of Mexican food to Chelsea. Creative takes on foods that are a part of daily life in Mexico. Inventive speciality cocktails and a vast selection of tequilas and mezcals complete the beverage program.
198 Eighth Ave. (20th St.), 212-645-2100, temerarionyc.com
Chelsea Market claims one of the most universally recognized names in food; it is arguably the best-known food hall in the world. Around 6 million tourists filter in and out of its old brick walls every year, all with the same intention: to experience the delicious food tucked into countless restaurants and kiosks.
A lesser known fact about Chelsea Market is that the often-overlooked elevators throughout the halls lead to office spaces in the upper levels of the building. This summer I was fortunate enough to intern in one of these offices, and as a result, ate lunch in the market. Every. Single. Day. Much to the contestation of my wallet, I was constantly happy and very well fed.
With over 50 vendors, navigating the chaotic corridor of Chelsea Market can be quite difficult, particularly when it comes to deciding on what exactly to eat. So, this is my gift to the world: an inside, and relatively objective, look at where you can find the best meals.
Friedman’s is the unspoken hero of NYC. Not only does it offer countless sandwiches, salads, and brunch options that are truly out of this world, but it is also the home of arguably the cheapest breakfast sandwich in the city. Ask for an egg and cheese on toast, and it’s only $5. Hot sauce is free.
Insider tip: call to order beforehand so you beat the line.
2. Num Pang
Inspired by Southeast-Asian street food, Num Pang’s menu consists of mouthwatering sandwiches stuffed with pork belly, pickled cabbage, plenty of veggies and enough Sriracha to add just enough heat. A must-try when visiting the market!
Calling all Chipotle lovers who also have a thing for sushi – Takumi is your dream come true. With customizable Japanese-inspired tacos, nachos and burrito bowls, Takumi is always delicious, filling and so satisfying.
Everybody loves ramen, and Mokbar has some of the best yet. The broth’s Korean flavors mixed with the spiciness of the chilies gives these dishes a unique, and truly incredible taste.
5. Tuk Shop
Tuk Shop is one of those places that I overlooked at first, but soon discovered that they offer one of the best salads I have ever had. It is simple, with the base consisting only of kale, but interesting, with a sweet, light, and tangy dressing that has you savoring every bite.
6. Hale and Heart
If you are a fellow soup-lover, then definitely pay a visit to Hale and Hearty. Their soups are out of this world, and the options are extensive. Every flavor I tried had a great texture, and perfect balance of spices.
7. Los Tacos No. 1
The line for Los Tacos is typically very intimidating, but it passes much quicker than expected. Considered the home of some of the best tacos in NYC, this is a necessary stop on your adventuring through the market.
If I’m being honest, I spent way too much time here. Centered around matcha-based food items, Chalait had me instantly addicted. The breakfast smoothie bowl will revive you after a night out, or give an extra spring in your step on any other morning. They also make their own nut milk. This is the type of restaurant I dream about.
9. Los Mariscos
I ate here my first day of work, and it was definitely not my last. With a concise menu consisting of a variety of fish tacos, ceviche, and margaritas, Los Mariscos offers possibly the best lunch options in the market. To make things better, in order to find the restaurant you have to weave behind a wall, removing it from the rest of the market and giving a taco-speakeasy feel.
10. Dizen Goff
If I could rate something 11/10, it would be Dizen Goff. This is easily the best hummus I have ever eaten, and the best pita bread to accompany it. The flavors change on a weekly basis, and are always made fresh, but the classic flavor of tahini and paprika is always an option, and a good one at that. The owners originate from Tel Aviv, so this is some of the most authentic hummus out there.
If these 10 vendors aren’t enough to get you into Chelsea Market, check out some of the other vendors, such as Amy’s Bread, Posman’s Books or l’Arte del Gelato. No matter where you end up, satisfaction will almost certainly be guaranteed.