Read on for some of Rosanna’s highlights, for the week ahead and for the autumn…
Belgravia is just as renowned for its world-famous florists as its flower-festooned streets. This September, it’s taking that reputation and adding a fun, fabulous twist with the theme of Floral Fairground for Belgravia in Bloom (20-26 September). Expect a floral helter skelter tower, a carousel complete with fairground horses and even giant candy floss!
Tucked away close to the Grosvenor Gardens is this absolute treat of a florist. Opened last year, their first flagship store bursts with fresh, seasonal flowers arranged in cornucopia vases. A joy to behold. Head downstairs for silk flowers and luxury accessories that beg to be seen up close. Are the unfurling petals real? Impossible to tell. This florist is rich with heritage and the true purveyor of the style I love most: an English country garden.
Yearning to develop your dinner arrangements from simple posies to full-floral centrepieces? Judith’s academy is famous for its expert courses. From an evening class on the hand-tied bouquet to a one week diploma, expect one-on-one guidance in a creative, welcoming environment. Don’t miss the school’s floral Punch & Judy over the festival too – puppets and posies in store for spectators!*
*11am-7pm on Monday 20 September and 12-7pm Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 September, with special performances at 2pm and 3.30pm on Saturday 25 September
Opening just in time for the week of Belgravia in Bloom, this is tableware of the most exquisite, artistic variety. Founder and creative director Gemma Martinez de Ana brings together luxury brands and artisans for a rich mix that makes you want to host a feast for all your friends. My pick of the plates? The Japanese florals of Granduca Coreana, the micro florals of Oscar De La Renta and the Botanique range depicting primroses and violets, exclusive to the store. A floral swan will be flying outside their store to celebrate Belgravia in Bloom, designed in collaboration with McQueens.
A few steps from Bonadea, right in the heart of the Pimlico Road Design District, you’ll find Fermoie’s showroom. The full spectrum of their fine fabrics – all designed in house and printed in England – is on display, as well as lamps, cushions and furniture. But it’s more than exquisite aesthetics. Sustainability is at the core of what they do: from championing linen woven from local flax (one of the most sustainable materials in the world) to ensuring London deliveries are via bicycle.
This is always a must-visit on Elizabeth Street for me. Famed as London’s oldest and most prestigious florist, pop in at a quiet time for a chat with the florists who will even take the time to teach you their skills and select the flowers for a bespoke bouquet together. If that weren’t reason enough, the store will be transformed into a circus tent for the week with a giant candy floss installation at the door! Pop round the corner to Eccleston Yards too where they have created a helter skelter surrounded by a canopy of flowers and pink clouds of candy floss.
The iconic floral doorway displays of Peggy Porschen’s Elizabeth Street store have no doubt been integral to the neighbourhood’s floral fame. This autumn, founder Peggy is returning to The Lanesborough where she held the pastry chef position way back in 1999! Together with The Lanesborough’s Head Pastry Chef Kevin Miller, they have designed an afternoon tea of fairytale dreams: traditional finger sandwiches to begin followed by pastries including a lemon, raspberry and rose layer cake. To coincide with Belgravia in Bloom, there’s a signature cocktail decorated with edible flowers.
Known for his signature ‘floral couture’, Neill’s exuberant, energising designs burst forth on Halkin Street throughout the year. For Belgravia in Bloom, the ante is always upped! Inspired by everything from Frida Kahlo to the Wizard of Oz, this year, he is teaming up with Judith Blacklock for a floral carousel in Halkin Arcade, complete with fairground horses. Just opposite, he’s also taking over the Motcomb Street phone box with a fortune teller theme, complete with crystal ball!
Colours! Candles! Linens! Lanterns! Step into this shop for table inspiration. Forever my favourite when I want to set a tablescape to make the guests gasp, I recently used their new Le Marche Aux Fleurs for my birthday dinner (pictured). Utter maximalist joy, the linen layers pansies, buttercups and cosmos. Could there be a more perfect setting for Belgravia in Bloom?
For me, florals are year-round both for fashion and the home. I love this Flower Block Print from Me+Em. It makes me think of autumn in all of its most colourful glory, and would be as perfect paired with a chunky ankle boot as a high heel to dress it up for dinner.
Home to beautifully crafted children’s shoes, my daughter has worn their leather Sacha shoes for all of her best occasions (but unlike lots of party shoes, they are comfortable and fasten with nifty velcro!) For autumn, their velvet styles in burgundy and teal make my heart leap. It’s not just shoes in store: if you’re after something floral to celebrate Belgravia in Bloom, it has to be their Liberty print bloomers. One size fits 6-24 months so you’ll get plenty of wear out of them too!
Coffee, lunch, dinner, drinks, the five storey Nordic and Japanese dining of Pantechnicon has it all covered. And that’s not to mention the beautifully curated shopping, from ceramics to chic clothing, the edits on the ground and first floor are as meticulously curated as the menus. The puddings are not to be missed: ‘Meringue, bergamot, raspberry’ is my personal favourite on the roof terrace.
There’s a circular model revolutionising the fashion industry. MyWardrobe HQ is one of the brands transforming the way we dress with a model that not only means we can rent designs but also buy resale (secondhand), as well as offering the rental option to all brands too. I interviewed their chair, Jane Shepherdson CBE about this circular economy and much more recently. It means you can experience that thrill of the new with a clear conscience. This autumn, they partner with Halfpenny London. For the first time, an edit of the brand’s bridalwear and luxury ready-to-wear will be available to rent – perfect for brides, bridesmaids and guests!