The Finest Florist
Simon is a world-renowned florist and a Belmond Good Living Experience Maker. He believes that surrounding yourself in botanical beauty is the key to a better frame of mind. Get to know Belmond’s Finest Florist.
Born and raised in Warwick, Simon has been fascinated with flowers since he was seven years old. First inspired by a local town fair, he set his sights on working with nature’s most beautiful art form.
Over his career, Simon has used his passion, skill and imagination to build up an international reputation as one of Britain’s best florists. He has provided floral decorations for the royal wedding of HRH Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank. His blooms has also graced Kensington Palace, the National Gallery and the Royal Opera House.
As a Belmond Good Living Experience Maker, Simon will take guests on a journey through the Gardens of Belmond. His maps will help you connect with the flora and fauna, experiencing the joy of connecting with nature and breathing in the scent of flowers. He has also developed recipes to share his passion for home-made, hand-picked teas and infusions.
Simon will also take centre stage at the world-famous flower festival at Belmond Reid’s Palace in Madeira from 8 - 10 May 2020. Here guests will be able to join a workshop to learn his craft and share his passion for floral art.
What does Good Living mean to you?
Good Living for me means enjoying all of the soft, delicate moments in life; fragrance, scent, flowers, food, beautiful views. Just knocking the rough edges off of life.
What is it that connects you to what you do?
When I was seven, I went to a local town flower show where I was born and brought up in Warwick. Ever since then I have known that all I have ever wanted to do is work with that beautiful raw material.
What does being a Good Living Experience Maker mean to you?
Being part of this project means that I am able to share my passion and love of flowers. I have always enjoyed and noticed the joy that flowers brings to others, and now we can do that throughout the world.
What one thing would you do everyday, no matter where you are, to stay feeling great?
The one thing I do everyday is to make sure that I commune with nature. It might be looking at a flower, enjoying a view, eating a fabulous salad. Anything that has come from nature.
Explorers have a long history of discovering new flowers – what have been some of your most memorable discoveries?
Like the explorers that discovered all of the incredible flowers that we work with, the thing that I’ve enjoyed is visiting somewhere magical. Like the Belmond Hotel Cipriani. A tiny island in Venice where’s there’s a glorious hotel that’s got a garden filled with herbs and roses.
Or walking through a woodland and suddenly being guided by the fragrance to the most abundant honeysuckle climbing up a tree trunk.
You’ve been passionate about flowers from a young age. What sparked that?
I’ve been passionate about flowers since I was seven, visiting that local town flower show. I’m so lucky that that told me what I wanted for my entire life, and ever since then I have been lucky to work with an abundance of beautiful raw materials.
There’s a growing trend of proud plant parents, but keeping flowers can still be intimidating or restrictive for some. Do you have any tips to help people get their botanical life started? What about those living in urban areas?
My tips for anyone who wants to add a bit of floral fabulousness to their life, especially if they live in a city or an urban area, would be to look around you and to see what is growing and thriving. Perhaps it might be a pot of herbs, some mint that you put on your kitchen windowsill that gives you a delicious cup of mint tea each evening. Or find a gorgeous fragrant jasmine to grow outside your window that can scent the night air. There’s always something you can do.
What has been the most surprising outside space you’ve visited?
The most surprising outside spaces that I visit are the garden squares that are dotted throughout London. We catch exciting glimpses of them, through railings or perhaps an open gate occasionally. How wonderful to think that this beautiful city is full of these wonderful lungs. Whenever I’m in a garden I feel relaxed, I feel calm. Even though all of my senses are so invigorated; colour, texture, but mainly fragrance. It’s scent that gets me every time.
Where’s top on your travel bucket list?
My travel bucket list is endless. Venice and Paris are always going to be on there and I’m excited to think I’m going to go to Madeira one day, which is so bursting with flowers. And then again, Myanmar looks magical.Read on for Simon's botanical tea recipe