Saturday 8 June 2013

Chelsea Flower Show and The Antelope, Chelsea

As the grand old age of 32 edges ever closer towards to me, I have recently started to dabble into more mature activities, as I start to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life. It's for this reason that I recently visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the first time. I figured I could see some fantastic flowers and gardens and learn more about the wonder of nature, as well as chugging down as much champagne and Pimms as I could get into me without vomiting up into some poor sods gold medal roses display.

The quaffing of champers and Pimms was pretty much what every other gentleman was doing at the show, while also desperately convincing mature, wealthy old ladies that they know something about flowers and botany and other fruity stuff. However the crucial difference between them and me was that they were old and rich while I am young and although doing alight for money I am a bit tight. With champagne at £12 a glass and Pimms at £6 a go, in the end I eventually just went for a half of Wells Bombardier at an eye watering £2.20. Adding to the depression of the high price was that the beer was served from keg into a plastic cup. Then again even the champagne was served in plastic cups, presumably to stop disgruntled punters outraged at the prices from going mad, smashing the glass and cutting up the staff. Or, more likely, to stop them cutting up the flowers.

To be fair the Bombardier was OK, but anything would have tested refreshing after all the walking I had done that day - although I probably would have drawn the line at a Fosters. My companion and I were flagging after four hours of the show, while elderly guests fuelled by booze were outpacing us with ease. Hopefully one day I'll earn enough to drink my way throughout the entire show.

Despite the extraordinarily high prices for booze and food the flower show was a very pleasant experience. The gardens were pretty impressive, so impressive that I even remembered to take photos, reproduced throughout this blog post for your viewing pleasure. If you can't see any photos it's probably because the Royal Horticultural Society have asked me to take them all down. I wasn't a huge fan of the Australian garden which won the top prize, with my favourite garden being one done by the Alzheimer's Society. Well I think it was them as far as I can recall. Of course it being my favourite I completely forgot to take a photo of it.

But you don't read this blog to learn about my adventures looking at flowers. And if you do then I apologise for the lack of flower related activity in any of my previous posts you loon. I had arranged to meet up with my friend a couple of hours before visiting the show and being in Chelsea I was terrified were we would end up going for a drink. I had resigned myself to having to go to a boozer filled with braying moneyed chaps, dolled up yum mums and horrific music. The only comforting thought was that as it wasn't half term I wouldn't have to deal with dreadful parents who use pubs as a glorified crèche.

Luckily my fears were unfounded and we ended at a pleasant little boozer near Sloane Square called The Antelope. Featured in the Good Beer Guide, this small hostelry offers a decent Fullers range. I opted for the Gales Spring Sprinter, a pleasant light ale which was in excellent condition. The pub is divided into cosy nooks and crannies with a central semi circular bar. The prices were expensive but not eye watering for the area, and the atmosphere was genteel enough for a Wednesday lunchtime. The food menu had a selection of tasty dishes and the chips I stole from my companions plate were pretty good. But food always taste better when it has been swiped from another's plate. Probably best to make sure you know the person you're stealing food from though. Overall this pub is a handy spot if you're trapped in the area and fancy a pint.

With summer approaching I'm hoping to visit more pubs over the coming months and actually have some content for my blog. I appreciate your patience as you wait for the next thrilling instalment.. Ta-ra for now!

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