The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the most well-known horticultural show in the world, attracting more than 150,000 visitors to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea every year.
This year’s event will be no different, as gardening aficionados head to West London to enjoy floral displays, show gardens, flower-arranging demos and new gardening tools and gadgets. If you’re going this year, here’s an etiquette guide to all things Chelsea.
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:
If it’s your first time, it’s a good idea to go to Chelsea armed with some knowledge of the show. So here’s a potted history:
Despite its regal outlook, food and drink is a big part of a Chelsea Flower Show experience. Last year, 6,000 sandwiches were served, 43,447 cakes and pastries were consumed and 23,823 glasses of Champagne were drunk! There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a drink in the sunshine, including restaurants, Champagne lounges, food courts, picnic areas and vendors.
Astound your companions with some fun facts they probably didn’t know about the event...
The 2018 Chelsea Flower Show is held Tuesday May 22nd - Friday May 25th from 8am to 8pm, and on Saturday May 26th from 8am to 5.30pm. The nearest tube station is Sloane Square, buses 11, 137, 211, 360, 170, 44 and 452 all stop near the show and the nearest mainline train station is London Victoria. Tuesday and Wednesday are RHS members days, so you’ll need to be signed up to the Royal Horticultural Society to attend the event. Ticket costs range from £35 to £82, depending on the time you go. Both members and non-members can attend on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with prices for the public starting from £39. The cost will depend on the time you go. Full ticket prices can be found here.
If you’re looking to make your Chelsea Flower Show experience that extra bit special, these hotels are all close to the flower show grounds: