Unlocking Belgravia with Open Garden Squares Weekend

Experience four historic Belgravia gardens like never before as part of this London-wide event.

The event is mainly staffed by volunteers who help promote the event and work at the gardens over the weekend. Those wishing to visit the gardens can buy day tickets for £12 or pay to enter individual gardens separately.

Belgravia garden party

The four Belgravia garden squares included in this year’s event are Wilton Crescent, Belgrave Square, Eaton Square and Chester Square.

“In the two smaller gardens, Wilton and Chester, there will be a walk or information leaflet for people to take,” explains Kathryn Samuels, Compliance Administration Manager at Grosvenor.

Belgrave Square will feature food and drink stalls set up with help from the local, historic Grenadier Pub and music throughout the day provided by acclaimed British flamenco guitarist Sam Hardy.

The largest of the Belgravia garden squares – Eaton – will feature a wide array of things to see and do, designed to appeal to everyone from art lovers to families looking to enjoy a refreshing day out.

“We have a Punch and Judy show by John Stiles, who is a bit of a national treasure – an expert on Punch and Judy, magic and various other traditional entertainment,” says Samuels.

Sculptor David Harber – who this year picked up the Best in Show Trade Stand prize at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – will also be displaying his work, which is inspired by nature.

Live music at Eaton Square Gardens will feature courtesy of the Master Butchers Band, a brass band made up of butchers who specialise in feel-good nostalgia.

“We’ve also got Everbean in Mayfair hosting a small bar with teas, coffees and cakes,” adds Samuels. “They’re based opposite 70 Grosvenor Street, just off the little side alley. There’s also going to be a collection for charity.”

It’s proved a winning combination in previous years. “People come from all over the place,” says Simon. “We probably get a few local people, but it’s often people coming from across London and further afield to see some of the gardens.

“It’s quite a nice facility for local people as well, because not everybody’s allowed in Eaton Square or some of these other squares, so it does give people a chance to look inside.”

A historic setting

Each of the Belgravia garden squares has its origin in the 1820s, when master builders first laid the plans for green spaces that provided an area of calm amid bustling city life. The gardeners responsible for maintaining the high standards set nearly 200 years ago will also be in attendance at Garden Squares Weekend, providing some continuity.

“The gardeners are available for people to ask questions,” says Samuels. “The gardens get judged in early July. So, from three or four weeks ago right up until the end of June, there’s a build-up of work and it’s the gardeners’ peak time. They aim to have the gardens looking their best by 19 June and then following on into the next month. So it is the time to see the gardens.”