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The Buzz on Beekeeping at Top London Venues
Tuesday 19 May 2020
While we’re all adapting to a new routine, nature is blooming and taking the opportunity to heal. To celebrate World Bee Day, we’re taking a look at the top London venues creating their own Honey.
Tucked away in a quiet courtyard amongst the bustling Piccadilly, the Ham Yard Hotel boasts a stunning Rooftop Garden blooming all year round.
An oasis in the centre of London, the Rooftop Garden houses two beehives with over 600 bees in residence and the honey produced is a prominent feature of the hotel’s delicious cocktail menu. Surrounded by bee friendly plants and flowers to keep them happy, the hotel is also firmly committed to eco friendly bee management and hive maintenance, provided by their in-house beekeeper, Camilla.
The Rooftop Garden is available to hire for private receptions of up to 100 guests (the bees are kept separate, don’t worry!) with a private bar allowing you to sample all of the honey-based cocktails on offer alongside freshly made, locally sourced refreshments.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Rooftop Garden produces the hotel’s salad leaves, herbs and vegetables along with summer berries for their daily menu specials.
Home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace is a stunning London venue located along the river Thames, just opposite the Palace of Westminster and a short walk from Waterloo station.
In conjunction with Bermondsey Street Bees run by Dale Gibson and Sarah Wyndham Lewis, guests can incorporate a fascinating new element to their events; a Honey Sommelier! From educational talks on urban beekeeping and pollinator plants, to tutored Honey tastings and honey based cocktail masterclasses, the world really is your oyster (or Honeybee to keep to the theme!).
With a capacity of up to 250 guests and many spaces to choose from, including the glorious Great Hall and the summer Garden Marquee, why not make the most of London’s local ingredients and suppliers in the surroundings of a Palace?
Not only do Bermondsey Street Bees bring you fabulous experiences, they pour their data and resources back into global bee research, raising money to train our next generation of beekeepers and running community planting projects to keep the good work going!
St Ermin’s Hotel, Westminster
Located in the heart of Westminster, St Ermin’s bees have the finest pick of the pollen from London’s Royal parks, all within a 3-mile radius of the hotel.
Guests can take a trip to the 3rd floor of the hotel to witness the hotel’s 350,000 friendly Honeybees work their magic behind the glass windows. Not forgetting the wild varieties such as the tree Bumblebee and solitary Leaf Cutter Bee, St Ermin’s provides its very own ‘Bee & Bee Hotel’ – a collection of hexagonal shaped suites and bamboo nesting areas offering a safe and comfy place to stay for a passing Bee or insect.
St Ermin’s have also taken the opportunity to create their very own rooftop kitchen garden with an impressive list of carefully cultivated fruit and vegetables; including tomatoes, potatoes, olives, clementines apples, plums, raspberries, blackberries, spring onions and pumpkin to name but a few!
All fresh ingredients are served in the hotel’s in-house restaurants and event menus so you couldn’t dine closer to the source. While the garden itself is unavailable for hire, St Ermin’s offers a range of 15 beautiful spaces for up to 180 guests, allowing you to sample their fresh produce throughout the day or evening.
It’s great to see some of our top London venue’s using their spaces to nourish their guests and the environment and there are more and more adding to the list. The Ritz, Fortnum & Mason, Hilton Bankside, The Chesterfield and The Royal Lancaster have all added urban beekeeping to their repertoire to name but a few.
Did you know the Queen Bee can lay 1,500-2,000 eggs per day and lays 200,000 eggs per year making a colony of up to 60,000 bees at the height of summer! Busy lady!