One of the last remaining original Victorian pubs in Chelsea, The Imperial, is launching “Eden” a garden pavilion with Perrier-Jouët. This unique space will accommodate 14 people seated, and can be booked exclusively for private events or shared with fellow hedonists as communal dining around a long white oak table and planted with live flowers.
Conceived by French-born London artist and designer Henry Chebaane the “Eden” pavilion is a multi-layered narrative. Embracing Perrier-Jouët heritage since 1811, the space also focuses on the work of Victorian botanist Robert Fortune (a long-time Chelsea resident) and the history of the local area that orchards and gardens covered for centuries.
The unique dining area has been created to reflect the elegantly natural style of Perrier-Jouët with a fresh and floral mood. A backdrop of white bricks and timbers is accented with a multitude of vintage gardening tools and wire boxes in soft shimmering gold. Vintage artefacts include a French willow basket for the harvest of Champagne grapes and a Wardian case used in Victorian times to transport live plants during long sea voyages. Reminiscent of Henry Chebaane’s inventive use of decorative pieces to tell a story at his Flora Indica project, here he uses the similar theme of botanical and exploration inspirations.
Live plants are used in an abundance to provide accents of greens and white. These fresh botanical include Tea bushes (Camellia Sinensis), Convolvulus Cneorum and the Japanese anemone: a flower emblematic of the house of Perrier-Jouët since first painted by Art Nouveau artist Emile Gallé in 1902.
Plant hunter Robert Fortune was known for bringing back many species to Britain, including the anemone. First introducing this beautiful plant back in 1847 on a return journey from China, where he has also managed to smuggled out live tea seedlings to plant in India thereby terminating China’s monopoly on the tea trade. The anemone was then brought to Eastern France where it spontaneously evolved into the magnificent white cultivar “Honorine Jourbert” that so captivated Emile Gallé and Perrier-Jouët.
The Imperial is a local Chelsea icon; built in 1870 in the style of a grand villa, it has been a social meeting place on the King’s Road for nearly 150 years. Situated in a conservation area, this historically significant building is currently undergoing interior renovations that will see it re-emerge this winter as a total experiential destination. Its new features will include a cocktail bar, bistro, deli, café, takeout, events and outside catering delivered in a distinctive style blending Victorian industrial heritage and botanical discoveries with a dash of Kings Road’s late 20th century irreverent youth fashion.