The Complete Guide to the Chelsea Flower Show

A good guide to the Chelsea Flower Show will always start with the history of the event:

Since 1912, this famous flower show has been attracting visitors from all over the world to Chelsea in order to admire the avant-garde show gardens across a range of styles from artisan to fresh gardens, as well as other, smaller but equally impressive features.

Fast forward 100 years and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is still one of the most elaborate and colourful spectacles to be enjoyed in London. In 2016, the show is taking place over five days, starting from the 24th of May, in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea – just a short walk from the Draycott Hotel.

Chelsea Flower ShowThe selected theme for the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show is “Health, Happiness and Horticulture” which aims to promote the benefits of introducing greenery to otherwise empty urban spaces. While this can be seen throughout the show, it is perfectly captured in the RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden designed by BBC presenter, Ann-Marie Powel, which provides ideas for visitors to implement in their own gardens.

With so much to see, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by choice. To help you make the most of your time at the Chelsea Flower Show, we at the Draycott Hotel have put together this helpful guide:

The Draycott’s Guide to the Chelsea Flower Show

You can’t visit the Chelsea Flower Show without taking the time out to marvel at the magnificent show gardens, and there are many to choose from. Like previous years, there will be some true show-stopping features in 2016 that you simply have to see – these include:

  • Celebrations of the Queen’s 90th Birthday captured by a floral arch and photographic exhibits
  • The RHS Garden for Health, Happiness and Horticulture designed by Ann-Marie Powell
  • Phillip Johnson’s poppies tribute at the entrance to the show
  • The Acoustic Garden inspired by world-leading percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie
  • The British Eccentrics Garden, created by Diarmuid Gavin
  • An interactive features by Coventry University, “healthy gardens, healthy gardeners”

Make sure that you plan your visit to take in all of these highlights in full, without having to rush around and miss out on anything else in the show.

Once the main event is over, don’t go away, as there is an after-hours evening of jazz with the iconic Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. It is recommended to purchase tickets in advance, which are separate to the standard entry tickets, and be at the bandstand promptly at 8pm for a glass of fizz and some jazz.


Planning Your Chelsea Flower Show Visit

In order to make sure that your visit to the show is a real success, here is a quick checklist to follow:

  • Book your tickets – this is a very popular show and as such, tickets sell out quickly. Make sure you book your tickets in advance (here) to guarantee your entry.
  • Find accommodation – why not turn your visit to the flower show into a mini-break and book a luxury hotel in Chelsea? This will guarantee that you have ample time to truly appreciate the gardens. At Draycott, we have a special Chelsea Flower Show package to ensure you really get the most out of your weekend.
  • Travel – if you haven’t been to the Royal Hospital Chelsea before then it is a good idea to know how to make your way there. The postcode for the venue is SW3 4SL, but the event will be well signposted throughout the area, making travel very easy.
  • Food and drink – there are plenty of facilities available to provide you with a wide array of food and drink at the Chelsea Flower Show, offering everything from the quintessentially British fish and chips to a gourmet three course meal.
  • What to wear – there’s no dress code at the Chelsea flower show, but its best to opt for something smart. Gentlemen typically wear blazers and trousers, while the ladies don dresses with jackets or cardigans, everyone should be wearing shoes that are practical and comfortable, as the flower show tends to involve a lot of walking.
  • Bring cash – you’ll find plenty of opportunities to purchase items here, from drinks and food to flowers and decorations, however many places don’t accept card payment so it is a good idea to bring cash with you.
  • Take an umbrella – it is always a sensible idea to prepare for the British weather, so if it looks like you could be in for a spot of rain then it’s best to bring a brolly.
  • Have fun

If you’re planning on staying at the Draycott throughout this event then please book online, alternatively you can call us on 020 7730 6466 and our friendly booking team will be happy to arrange your stay with us.



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