Since we moved into our new store and are officially Chelsea residents, the team at BLANC have been gaining a deeper appreciation of our historic and distinguished neighbourhood.
Chelsea is well known for its fashion and culture, but we’ve also been overwhelmed by its green heritage and accolades! Here are our top inspirations and interesting facts which we’re sure will make you fall in love with our new area too.
Sloane Square was named after an incredible naturalist
Nature couldn’t be more important to us, and so it’s humbling to know that our new address in Lower Sloane Street, as well as Sloane Square, is named after the very impressive naturalist Sir Hans Sloane. Sir Hans also had a lizard and a moth species named after him, and of course as natural dry cleaners, we know all about how to deal with moths!
Not only was Sloane a healer and president of the Royal Society of Physicians, he was involved in setting up the Foundling Hospital, London’s first place to care for abandoned children. He succeeded Isaac Newton as President of the Royal Society, and he somewhere found the time to document 800 new species of plants and gather such an extensive collection of flora and fauna that it helped found the Natural History Museum.
Just 5 minutes walk from our new store is the Chelsea Physic Garden, where Sloane studied rare plants bought in via the river from around the world. They flourished in the unique microclimate created on this stretch of the Thames by warm air currents.
The botanic gardens helped trainee apothecaries in the use of medicinal plants, and has had global recognition since the 1670s… yet for many Londoners, it is still a hidden gem. In the era where many plant species are being threatened by climate change, it’s a reminder of the importance of plants in many modern drugs, and how we must preserve our healing environment.
Chelsea has a rather less secret flower show
Less secret is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the world’s most famous flower show, and the ultimate place to see breathtaking garden design and blooms from the world’s top horticulturalists.
The pavilion where the show is held (on the grounds of Ranelagh Gardens) was only introduced in 2000. Before this, the show was held in the world’s largest tent, as verified the the Guinness Book of Records. When it was replaced, the tent was turned into 7,000 bags, jackets and aprons- amazing! We love this kind of recycling and will recycle any old clothes you bring to us with your washing through our partnership with TRAID.
Gardens also come in squares (and rectangles)
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has over 100 garden squares. Unlike neighbouring European countries which focused on large civic spaces, Victorian and Georgian town planning favoured pleasant oases which act as an important link for wildlife in the green chain between the city’s parks and back gardens.
Our favourite local one is Cadogan Place Garden, which beautifully highlights the contrast of the red brick Chelsea mansions and the perfectly maintained green foliage. If you’re lucky enough to have keys, you can let the children run completely free! Remember that we are here to clean any resulting muddy clothes with our non toxic, skin-friendly detergents.
Art inspired by nature
The famous American artist James McNeill Whistler loved (and lived in) Chelsea and immortalised the substantial Victorian pleasure gardens Cremorne Gardens in a series of paintings depicting the beauty and tranquility of the Thames by night. His painting ‘Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights’ can still be seen at the nearby Tate Gallery.
Nature has always inspired art and design, and it definitely inspires us at BLANC. Come and see our range of specially curated natural home products which are not only ethical but a stylish reminder of how natural, minimal and scandi style can beautify any home environment.
We’re delighted to have discovered natural Chelsea, and hope that Chelsea locals and those visiting the store will relish natural cleaning with us, as well as enjoying all the greenery this verdant area has to offer.
BLANC is an artisan natural drycleaner, tailor & launderer with award-winning concept stores in Marylebone, Notting Hill and Chelsea, and a collection & delivery service throughout Central London. You can find out more and book a delivery.