Dazzling it is, but London’s St. Ermin’s Hotel doesn’t just pour all its efforts into looking good; its management and staff are keen to push the hotel’s green credentials and make the most of its location in the centre of London.
While the hotel’s interior design and exterior architecture is stunning, not so many guests realise that hidden on the hotel’s roof, far above the city streets, thrive an ever-growing colony of 200,000 Buckfast bees. Hus Vedat, the head chef at St. Ermin’s, is very proud of the fact that the hard working insect army store up enough nectar to provide his restaurant – the Caxton Grill – with enough honey for a variety of their most popular dishes, such as a starter of Bosworth Ash goats cheese, St Ermin’s honey, beetroot and raisin oil and crushed walnuts. Delicious!
And with the hotel’s position near the capital’s three biggest central parks, there is plenty of green space in which the bees can gather nectar and guests can also find tranquillity in the middle of this vast city. Take a walk to Buckingham Palace through Green Park, perhaps feed the ducks in St. James’s, or wander a little further to circle the Serpentine in Hyde Park.
Bee populations in Britain and elsewhere in the world are in a dramatic but largely inexplicable decline dubbed ‘colony collapse disorder’, in which bees are dying prematurely and in large numbers.
The continuing loss of meadows and green land, as well as the increased use of chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides are likely to be a big part of the problem. Experts have also pinned the blame on the spread of the varroa mite and other viruses.
However, even some of the world’s biggest cities, including London, are capable of supporting bees in their urban environments. St Ermin’s is pleased to be doing its bit to help support this vital part of our ecosystem.
As well as playing an important role in the food chain, bees are even thought to contribute to the reduction of exhaust fumes in cities like London by helping filter tem out of the atmosphere – amazing!
The bee project is just part of the hotel restaurant’s dedication to ‘eating local’. The Caxton Grill’s menu lists organic beef, salad leaves from Secretts Farm – a short distance south-east of the capital – and Label Anglais Chicken from Temple Farm in Essex. Head chef Hus is passionate about the ‘field to fork’ movement and selects every single ingredient for not only its quality but its sustainability.
St. Ermin’s hotel can be found at 2 Caxton Street, London, SW1H 0QW. 020 7222 7888