I was very fortunate this week to be a part of a wonderful event at The Lancaster Hotel in London — The London Honey Show. Famed for being the first hotel in London, if not the UK for keeping bees on the roof this seemed a very apt location and, wow! What a success!
The room from start to finish was filled with people and Jo and her team got it spot on with a healthy mix of exhibitors and excellent speakers — though sadly I missed every single one of them and so am going on third-party reviews, all of which were excellent. Of particular note was that of Tim Baker, a Head Master who has encouraged his school to take up beekeeping with superb results; more on that later. There was a real mixture of exhibitors as laid out here below:
- Apimaye (hives)
- Let’s Go Let’s Grow (Charity)
- BeeCraft Magazine
- French Flint (glass jar company)
- Valerie Littlewood (artist and infamous blogger about all types of bees)
- The Gift - lovely bee gifts (and a lot else)
- Gilchrist & Soames - offering lovely toiletries
- Elvin Roberts of Major Bees
Throughout the evening there was a wonderful atmosphere and one that was very relaxed and friendly (helped along with a little alcohol and nibbles)
There were several speakers including the popular bee journalist and blogger for the Telegraph, Ian Douglas. Tim Baker sounds like he won over a lot of people during his speech and I believe he even brought along some of his students for the evening. Lastly there was Christopher Beale, another long term beekeeper talking about marketing of bee products. I am devastated to have missed them all but if you would like to know more about the presenters, the London Honey Show website has more information.
Then there were the actual awards themselves which I had the honour of presenting. Personally I think it was because I was the tallest beekeeper there who could actually see over the crowds of people rather than the beekeeping DVD that I was there to promote alongside Charlie Dimmock!
Before I talk about the honey awards I must give a special mention to Barnaby Shaw who started up Bee Urban in Kennington. He won the "Best Beekeeper" award and I was interested to hear that it was a completely subjective award given to a deserved beekeeper rather than one who achieved the best honey yield. It sounds like he is doing a great job down there and I really want to get along and take a look.
There were some amazing categories and apparently for the 12 awards there were 66 entries. I am convinced that next year this will triple as news spreads. The obvious winner of the evening was Peter James from the Chelsea Physic Garden (an amazing place that I now absolutely have to visit) whose honey scooped 5 awards. Below is a run down of the Award winners.
- Best All Rounder, was a public vote won by Peter James
- Best Restaurant Honey: Dale Gibson of Delfina, which offers a honey menu
- Best Home Honey: Nikki Vane of London, SE1
- Best Legal Honey: Alexander Rhodes
- Best Rooftop Honey: Julie Hogarth of Artisian Honey
- Best Business Honey: Lancaster London
- Best Honey from Educational Establishments: Peter James
- Best Honey from first year Beekeeper: Karnik Tarverdi
- Best Packaging: Peter James
- Best Colour: Peter James and Dennis Berry
- Best Regional London Honey: James Hamill
- Honey from Most Unusual Location: Peter James from Chelsea Physic Gardens, a 16th century garden with over 5,000 varieties of plants.
All in all it was a fabulous event and I got to meet lots of people who I have been conversing with in the online world for some time now. It was much enjoyed by all that were there and I am sure it will be a great success from a hotel that is obviously proud of its "Green" credentials and one that wholeheartedly supportive of the bee movement. It was evident from all there present from the staff in the hotel that they are really behind the campaign to save the bees and one that I look forward to learning more about in the future. Learn more about the Lancaster Hotel and their environmental pledges.