On Friday I was very excited to head to London as a guest of St Martin’s Courtyard and Mercer Walk, a stones throw away from Covent Garden, to celebrate London In Bloom as part of this week’s Chelsea Flower Show. From flower arranging classes at the Academy of Flowers, fragrant scents from The White Company, floral cocktails at Dalla Terra and dreamy craft supplies from London Graphic Centre, St Martin’s Courtyard and Mercer Walk are in one of my favourite areas of London to visit. I’ll show you my highlights below. For those of us who are unable to make it to Chelsea this week, I thought i'd include some also take home floral tips too. As usual, all links will be at the end of the blog post.
I used to walk through Covent garden every day for years when I lived in London, but I haven’t been back in the city, for anything other than a really busy styling job with no downtime, for months and months. I also haven’t taken myself shopping for pleasure, in over a year! So spending a rare morning shopping making and drinking cocktails was flipping lovely.
I think London in May might be my favourite of her incarnations. The sun is out, but it’s not too hot; the air is as fresh as it gets in London. It isn’t heaving with tourists like it is in the summer months. Shops vie for floral fame in a bid to woo some of the Chelsea Flower Show pomp. Flowers explode out of every nook and cranny- scattered across dresses in window displays, in architectural floral arches above doorways, or on posters and billboards around the city.
So, back to Friday. A baby free morning wearing a pretty dress (shock horror!) on a beautiful sunny May day. My date, Kayleigh, and I began our day at The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers in St Martin’s Courtyard for a contemporary floral masterclass. I really liked the way this class was taught; we were very much encouraged in our individual creativity and told to follow our instincts, rather than a set of rigid rules. We were given a black cube and lots of foliage and plant leaves to play with- ingredients I wouldn't normally choose. Our teachers encouraged us to think about the flow of the arrangement, and the contrasting shapes of the leaves and branches.
Take home tip: You don’t necessarily need loads of flowers to create a gorgeous display. Combine branches and lush foliage for a simple, contemporary floral arrangement that still feels really summery and gorgeous.
Next up, we went shopping around St Martin’s Courtyard and Mercer Walk. It is home to my very favourite shop in the whole of the city, London Graphic Centre. I was thrilled that so many people shared my stationary geekery on instagram stories on Friday! Look at the washi tape! The pens! The clips! The rows of art supplies I don’t need but want to buy anyway! Oh my.
Tip: I am planning on using my washi tape to tape up a collection of floral postcards, greetings cards, and art prints in my bedroom. Washi tape is much less likely to mark walls and is one of my styling tool kit essentials.
We also popped in to The White Company. I have a bit of a soft spot for the White Company. My dad and Step mum have been buying their room sprays and candles to mark birthdays and anniversaries, for as long as I can remember. We also opted for White Company cotton sheets as our wedding list linen. It lasted for over 10 years before it perished; many impressive years of service! So I treated myself to a pair of beautiful pillow cases, and also a scented candle called Vine Tomato which I admit sounds unusual but is absolutely gorgeous. It's mossy and fresh and reminiscent of the Mediterranean somehow.
Take home tip: A pair of Simple White Egyptian cotton pillow cases are such a lovely simple Summer bedroom update. They are cool and soft to the touch too.
I am really into my home smells, and try to have stuff that smells gorgeous all year round. In summer, I love fresh floral scents; whether that’s from actual flowers, an essential oils or a scented candle.
We rounded off our morning with lunch and cocktails at Dalla Terra, sat outside in the courtyard with the sun’s gentle warmth on my face. What a treat. Its an Italian restaurant I was a wee bit concerned that I might not be able to eat anything as a (nearly) vegan gluten free awkward type, but my lunch and cocktails were truly truly delicious. They cater for the carnivores and gluten lovers wonderfully too, mind. Look out for info on a competion at the end of the post where you and a friend/date can win lunch here.
Take Home Tip: Our cocktails were incredible but it was such a showstopping, yet simple touch to add some edible flowers on the top! Viola’s and pansies are particularly lovely. There are a few companies who will deliver them now too. If you can’t use up a full punnet, use them in salads or freeze them in ice cubes for insta worthy cold drinks all summer long!
So thank you, St Martin’s Courtyard and Mercer Walk, for an absolutely gorgeous morning. It was also a very lovely end to a rather funny week in which I ended up at A&E with weird heart palpitations, so it felt extra lovely to spend some baby free time with a friend, shop for pleasure (genuinely a rarity!), and eat an al alfresco lunch with cocktails. I mean. Wow.
Italian bar, Dalla Terra is offering one lucky reader of Seeds and Stitches a complimentary lunch from the express menu, with a glass of wine each (2 people). T&Cs: to be used before 4pm between Sunday and Thursday. To enter, leave a comment on my instagram post telling me who you would like to take for lunch! I will choose a winner a week from now. Instagram is in no way involved with this give away.
Shopping event TONIGHT with discounts and freebies!
- Taking place today- THIS VERY EVENING, The courtyard is hosting an event. There will be free fashion, beauty & wellness workshops, exclusive retailer discounts, plus seasonal food & complimentary cocktails to take Londoner’s from work to play.
- Snap up exclusive discounts from a handpicked mix of shopping, dining, grooming and lifestyle brands including 20% off summer fashion at & Other Stories, H&M, COS, Barbour, Eileen Fisher, Pretty Ballerinas, Jack Wolfskin and Jack Wills (more to be announced). Plus, 10% off Smashbox and gifts with purchases made at luxury homeware store The White Company.
Links to explore:
To explore some of the places we visited, see links below.
This post is in collaboration with St Martin's Courtyard and Mercer Walk. As always, all opinions are my own.