This May two Unique Venues of London (UVL) members will play key parts in one of the most famous events in London’s calendar – the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The high point of the summer season, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will once again be held in the grounds of Royal Hospital Chelsea, with Fortnum & Mason providing luxurious hospitality between 22-26 May.
The Grade I Listed Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to the Chelsea Pensioners, plays host to the show every year in 21 acres of its extensive grounds. Over the five day event the venue will welcome over 25,000 visitors a day all of whom can explore 16 show gardens, 100 floral exhibitors in the Great Pavilion and the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s own Ranelagh Gardens. The 2012 show will also be transporting visitors around the world through gardens inspired by Australia, Italy, Corsica and Korea.
2012 is the first time in Fortnum & Mason’s 304 year history that it will provide hospitality at the show. London’s oldest established retailer will host the Hospitality Village in association with international event caterer DO & CO, with an emphasis on supreme levels of service for which both brands are renowned. Fortnum’s will manage the private Chelsea Pavilions, the Chelsea Club official shared hospitality suites and the President’s Marquee, which will be set up for the Queen’s visit to the show before being offered for exclusive hospitality.
The Fortnum & Mason team will operate from onsite kitchens serving a range of refreshments throughout the day, including breakfast, Champagne lunches and a special Queen’s Diamond Jubilee afternoon tea.
The Royal Horticultural Society will also provide corporate entertaining during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the Great Hall and State Apartments, making further use of the venue’s extensive event spaces.
Laura Mayes, Operations Manager at Royal Hospital Chelsea, comments: “We are proud to have had the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in our grounds for the past 99 years. With our skilled team and knowledge of the show we look forward to illustrating to all visitors our beautiful events spaces and experience of hosting such a large scale, high profile event.”
Kate Hobhouse, Chairman of Fortnum & Mason comments: "We are excited to bring 181 Piccadilly to the RHS Flower Shows at Chelsea for the very first time. It is a fitting partnership of two great British brands. Our chefs are relishing the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and provide guests with a day to remember."
Moya Maxwell, Head of Commercial Programming at the Royal Opera House and Chairman of UVL adds: “We are proud to have such a wide range of fantastic venues within our consortium, and even more so when they join forces on one of London’s most popular events. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a British institution and a fantastic platform to showcase the quality of the UVL portfolio. In particular it highlights how versatile the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Fortnum & Mason are, alongside their commitment to quality and service.”
In 2011, staff at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show served 24,191 cakes and pastries, 1,128 seafood platters and 5,567 glasses of Champagne.