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Relais & Châteaux and Bompas & Parr present The Joy of Bees 6th – 8th October 2016

Relais & Châteaux has announced The Joy of Bees, an immersive experiential art installation launched by the prestigious brand in collaboration with design creators and culinary innovators, Bompas & Parr.  
The fused gastronomic tasting and art installation will be the world’s most extensive exhibition dedicated to some of the rarest honeys in the world. The experience, curated by Bompas & Parr, will afford guests the opportunity to come and savour the glory of eight exotic honeys collected from Relais & Châteaux properties.

These honeys are produced in extremely limited quantities, which will be revealed to the public over the course of the 7th and 8th October in choreographed tasting experiences.  

The immersive tastings will be conducted by award-winning honey experts from Bermondsey Street Bees, who will be directly connecting the terroirs of Relais & Châteaux with the tasting notes of each respective honey.  

In recent years it’s been hard to ignore bees’ plight, dying in their millions across the world. Faced with destruction of their habitats, it’s a well-known fact that, without bees, the natural cycle of life might well fall apart, and indeed Albert Einstein once reportedly said:“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left.” Environmentally, the world relies on bees as pollinators. Pollination is an essential element of seasonality and plant life cycles.  

The Joy of Bees will come to London on the 6th – 8th October 2016, held over four floors in the heart of Soho, at 19 Greek Street, and will be a ticketed event, open to the public. Visitors can expect a veritable honeypot of experiences including a wondrous fragrant indoor garden, a buzzing live honeybee observation hive, honeycomb-inspired contemporary art, honey tasting from around the world led by a honey sommelier, hands-on chef cookery demos and more.

Relais & Châteaux is a collection of over 540 individual hotels and restaurants around the globe, with cuisine at their very heart. Ground-breaking yet rich in tradition and history, the brand and its properties are dedicated to the preservation of local cultures, local produce and local biodiversity. One perhaps unexpected way in which many of the properties and hotelkeepers demonstrate this is to become beekeepers, giving these vital pollinators a habitat in which to live and produce their own delicious local honey – from Japan to New Zealand, and from the USA to the UK, Relais & Châteaux properties around the world are honey producers.  

The Joy of Bees will celebrate Relais & Châteaux’s commitment by giving visitors the opportunity to participate in the world’s most extensive art installation dedicated to honey. Winding a fascinating path through four floors of 19 Greek Street, a townhouse-turned gallery space committed to sustainability, the installation will engage visitors’ imaginations, demonstrating the dizzying world of bees and their magical golden nectar. A carefully curated experience, visitors will be invited to reflect on the momentous bee and the path from flower to jar, experiencing a fascinating journey through the interconnected rooms lasting approximately 45 minutes.  

Philippe Gombert, President of Relais & Châteaux said: “I am delighted to bring The Joy of Bees to London. Relais & Châteaux is committed to the environment and the protection of the natural landscapes in which our properties sit – every member of our group is determined to protect, share and showcase the richness and diversity of their locale and our honey producers are the perfect example of this. We are excited to work with Bompas & Parr to bring this entertaining and educational experience to London to celebrate our properties, our beekeepers, the humble but essential honeybee and our heritage of culinary excellence.”  

Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Relais & Châteaux spokesman and winner of 2016’s Sustainable Restaurant of the Year at The National Restaurant Awards 2016 said: “With this exhibition we call to action and show that bees represent our relationship to nature and that we have to care and protect them. Honey should be treasured. I know I speak for all chefs and hoteliers at Relais & Châteaux when I say I am proud to celebrate the way in which we work with our natural surroundings and local producers, and use nature to inspire the recipes and ingredients that we use, such as the honey made at some of our properties. We have just finished planting a 4,000 tree organic orchard; a bee village will be at the heart of it”.  

Harry Parr said: “It's all too easy to get blasé about the issues to our very survival posed by the plight of bees. But by creating a unique design experience, focusing on the sheer taste of these eight exotic honeys and collaborating with Relais & Chateaux's chefs, we have put a new sting in the tail of this issue."

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