But last Tuesday was without a doubt the best Tuesday evening I've had since moving to London. I wasn't planning on blogging about it, but then it was just so fabulous that I couldn't resist.
I scurried away from work a smidge earlier than usual and shimmied my way over to Chelsea for my first visit to the Chelsea Flower Show.
Like most ladies, I love a good flower, but I'm by no means a gardening aficionado. However, I was really excited. For the gardens, for sure, but
So with that in mind, we'll get to the flowers and kick off with a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne, as any Tuesday evening should.
And it's their first pop-up ever actually as it's so hard to take the whole kitchen, all the staff and the Dorchester quality and service out of the Park Lane hotel.
The flower arrangements are, as you'd expect, stunning, designed by the Dorchester's amazing 28-year-old florist, Philip Hammond (no, not that Philip Hammond). Tbh they're exactly the sort of flower arrangements I'd want at my wedding. And yes I am very single right now.
So, finger sandwich time!
I often find with finger sandwiches that the bread is a bit dry on the outside, almost as if the sandwiches have been sitting around for a little while. Not these ones, ma dears. These babies were well, soft as a baby's bottom.
My friend Alicia from the fab About Time Mag and I asked for more of the chicken and cucumber ones. This arrived:
I am in love with the chicken sandwich. If you like pesto (and who doesn't like pesto?) you're going to be a fan. So great.
And with the savouries aside it was time to move on to the sweets.
Before the pudding, we were brought a pre-pudding. Duhh.
I mean, the creativity! It was ingenious! It was so detailed! But most importantly, it was delicious.
And now on to the main sweets. Scones first, of course.
The Garden Basket - created in a chocolate shell with salted caramel sauce, a chocolate cremeux and roasted peanut top. Dressed with a green butter cream decoration, three sugar flowers and a chocolate lady bird. I know.
A strawberry rhubarb cheese cake with Marsala cream - crunchy biscuit base, strawberry cheesecake, rhubarb strawberry jelly and marsala vine mousse, decorated with a crystalized flower, wild strawberry and puff pastry crisp. And you thought it couldn't get more elaborate...
The Dorchester and the Giant Peach - a spherical peach mousse with peach and verbena insert on a rice crispy biscuit. (In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl).
A lemongrass praline - lemongrass shortbread and almond praline mousse with white chocolate lemongrass cream.
We'd stuffed ourselves silly with deliciousness and with just 45 minutes until the show was to close for the day, we hot-footed it round the gardens. Here are a few of my faves:
I loved the new Princess Charlotte flower:
What are your thoughts on Chelsea Flower Show?