I arrived in Chelsea earlier than I'd intended, but too early to wait for MOH outside the station, which was a good job as t was chaos there with people arriving on trains trying to find their way to the Chelsea Flower Show and those that had already had their fill looking for trains home. I decided a wander was in order, I quite quickly found Sloane Square with it's pop-up drinks tent but decided to carry on and see what else I could discover.
Just opposite Peter Jones I saw this grand entrance, so without too much thought I ducked into the alleyway leading to the Duke of York Square. And what a discovery that was.
The florist in the archway was a sign of things to come, and as signs go it was a pretty good one.
I started to think I might be discovering something special when I saw this tribute to Princess Charlotte outside the jewellers; although Kate was faceless the rest of the details amused me. Ahead of me was a Comptoir Libanais and if there'd been a free seat outside I'd have been tempted to stop, especially as the chairs were so pretty.
Many of the shops around the square were taking part in Chelsea in Bloom, an alternative floral art show produced by the Cadogan Estate in association with the RHS. The theme this year was "Fairy Tales" and each shop interpreted the theme in it's own unique style. During my visit I only saw a few, but they were spectacular.
The Liz Earle entry caught my eye, and it was popular among the visitors for photographs. I had to smile at the sign inviting people to make use of one of their selfie sticks - surely a sign of the times!
Mary Quant also had a swing, but they had less shopfront space than Liz Earle but I liked this one too.
Others like Dubarry and LK Bennett chose displays inside their shops.
Back to the square and I was now being temped by more restaurants - and with the lovely warm weather, they were definitely an option for a post-flower show food stop. I love Polpo - we've been to the one Soho several times and we've never had a bad evening. And well, it seemed rude not to try this Chelsea version - for the record it was just as good!
At the end of the square is the iconic Saatchi Gallery. I didn't get much further than this as it was time to head back to the station to meet MOH as we had a Chelsea Flower Show to visit, but another time this is somewhere to come back to and visit.
And remember in my last Chelsea Flower Show post I mentioned the Pimms tea pot and hadn't made the Alice in Wonderland connection - well here's a photo of that. It was quite eccentric and I'd just put it down to that - and no, I didn't get a "tea" from here either!
On my way back to the station I walked back through the square, this time pausing to admire some topiary box balls and thinking that this would be a great square to visit even if Chelsea in Bloom wasn't taking place. The shops here are pretty high end so I'm not sure quite how much I'd spend, but it'd be a great place to browse and perhaps make the odd purchase or two.
And then I was back at the Comptoir Libanais and before I left I spotted one last display in the corner of a shop window - and while this may not be my best photo, I love the reflection of the cafe and those pretty chairs at the top of the window.