Summer is now just around the corner and London is getting greener and more colourful by the minute. Trees are abloom, flowers are popping up everywhere and many a gardener’s highlight of the year, The Chelsea Flower Show, is starting next week. And South Place Hotel has come up with a unique – and very tasty – tribute by partnering up with artisan preserves company, Butterfly and the Bee, to offer a selection of four honey-infused cocktails until May 28th.
We were lucky enough to be invited to the hotel’s open-air Secret Garden bar to experience the ‘Bee’s Knees’.
The Secret Garden is on the hotel’s first floor and has been lovingly decorated to fit the theme. There is a tree festooned with little flower pots of campulana, hydrangeas and primula, honey bees and silk butterflies by London’s premier florist, McQueens and potted lavender and roses on the tables.
The four Bee’s Knees cocktails (and we loved them all!) are:
The ‘Sweet Spritz’, a blend of rhubarb liqueur with white rum, lemon and honey, frangelico garnished with grapefruit zest and mint and, in my mind, the perfect summer drink. Light, with the sweet and the sour flavours complimenting each other perfectly, I could sip that all afternoon.
The ‘Honeycomb Old Fashioned’ is a combination of sweet hand-blended honey and camomile syrup, with zingy orange bitters and rum. I am a big fan of an Old Fashioned and this one is a beautiful blend of flavours. My advice: don’t let yourself be put off by the word ‘camomile’.
The ‘Bee Sting’ is a punch made with rum, mango, lime and honey and is the kind of drink that lets you dream of a Caribbean holiday. Fruity and sweet.
Brandy-based ‘Honeydew’ combines lemon, honey and rhubarb notes with muskmelon-flavoured liqueur. Another fruity little number. I loved the mix of rhubarb and melon. Not as sweet as the ‘Bee Sting’.
But in case you do like it sweet, you are in luck. Guests are served their cocktail with a wooden honey stirrer and can top up the honey in their cocktails from giant pots of different honey infusions along the bar.
At the preview we were treated to beautiful canapés, but there is also a special menu of flower inspired dishes available in the restaurant. What you won’t get (and we did) is a special acoustic performance by singer Joulie Fox.
We had an excellent time at the South Place Hotel, as always. And I strongly recommend having a quick look around, the art on display is pretty amazing.
South Place Hotel
South Place Hotel is an 80-bedroom, luxury hotel in the City of London, just minutes away from Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations. It is the first hotel from restaurateurs D&D London, with Conran-designed interiors, 2 restaurants, 3 bars and 5 private dining and meeting rooms. The hotel is a slice of London’s energy and culture, with strong links to the neighbourhoods on its doorstep – Silicon Roundabout at Old Street; the art, fashion and nightlife of Spitalfield’s, Shoreditch and Hoxton; as well as to business travellers in the Square Mile.
Butterfly and the Bee
Butterfly and the Bee is an artisan food company based in Central London. They create handcrafted preserves and marmalades, all unique and bursting with original flavours. Their products are handmade in small batches using traditional French copper confiture pans, using all natural ingredients with no artificial colours, flavours or stabilisers.