By Tom Walsh, Director of MICE Sales at St Ermin’s Hotel, London
The plight of the British bee is something we feel passionate about addressing at St Ermin’s Hotel and to celebrate the hard work of our 300,000 Buckfast bees, housed in hives on the roof of our hotel, this September we are hosting ‘Honey Month’.
The initiative gives us the chance to give back to the environment. It also provides us with a delicious, signature honey which we use within our catering. Throughout the month, day delegates will be served a selection of delicious honey themed items as part of their breaks, such as lemon polenta and honey cake, honey and butter flapjacks or sultanas and honey granola bars. Alternatively guests can round off their event with a decadent honey-infused cocktail. Caxton Bar will be serving honey-based cocktails that have been carefully designed to showcase the bees’ hard work, such as ‘G&T for my Honey’ – an ambrosial take on the classic.
Head Chef will also be putting honey centre stage at Caxton Grill, as special dishes will feature on the menu throughout September, from honey parsnip soup, to organic lamb in honey and thyme dressing with honey-infused goat’s cheese.
As well as bees on our roof, we now have three beehives and a ‘bee hotel’ happily ensconced on our third floor walkway, surrounded by a small wildflower garden. This year we are able to offer small groups a special urban bee keeping workshop run at the hotel by our beekeeper, Camilla Goddard of Capital Bee.
Workshops can be individually tailored, but principally are for groups of up to 12 (from £15 per head), they last two hours and they involve active learning about colony establishment and regular care, handling of the honeycombs, plus reference materials. All beekeeper suits and equipment will be supplied and the course is followed by a honey cream tea or cocktail for participants. Give me a call on 0207 227 4816 to discuss your requirements or for full details and prices, please click here.
No.11 Cavendish Square is now the proud holder of Carbon Smart’s Carbon Silver Certification for its CSR and green policies which are designed to reduce the carbon footprint of the business.
Jonathan Morris, Commercial Director of No.11 Cavendish Square, said: “We have taken comprehensive, effective action to reduce our impact on the environment. We are delighted that our achievements have been recognised and we are thrilled to have been awarded the Silver Certification by Carbon Smart. We are working towards improving our environmental impact further by integrating carbon and energy management solutions across the organisation, including a new communication campaign to boost efforts in recycling and saving energy. We hope to achieve the Gold Certification soon.”
No.11 Cavendish Square is fully committed to continuous environmental improvement and heightened carbon performance is a part of the long-term business lifecycle. An environmental impact group regularly reviews sustainable practices and implemented initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint adopted by No.11. The venue has a water purification system in place to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles, everything that can be recycled is recycled, LED lighting and low energy light bulbs are used wherever possible, suppliers are encouraged to minimise their packaging and remove it from site and biodegradable packaging is used in the onsite café.
The Carbon Smart Certification recognises and promotes organisations of all types and sizes which have taken clear practical action to reduce their impact on the environment. There are three levels to Carbon Smart Certification: Carbon Smart Blue, Carbon Smart Silver, and Carbon Smart Gold. Each level has differing levels of commitment and action.
By Kate Meehan, operations director, 76 Portland Place
Seasonal produce is something which is often talked about and seen to be promoted but isn’t all that often upheld. Is it really important or is it just another one of these fashionable things to be seen to be doing?
76 Portland Place advocates the promotion of seasonal and sustainable produce and outlines a number of reasons why it is something you should consider when booking a venue for an event.
Food and drink is incredibly important to clients today when booking an event, from the taste, to the look and where it has come from. With growing concern over food miles, genetic modification of so much of our produce, and the increasing desire to help British farmers keep hold of their livelihood, it is something well worth considering when booking an event.
Here are some top reasons to make sure that the food on offer at your venue of choice is seasonal and locally produced.
- Clients who have in-depth corporate social responsibility policies will want to know that the food they will consume at meetings is seasonal and British wherever possible. The less distance the food has travelled, the less food co2 will have been emitted therefore making it more sustainable and better for the environment
- Food is fresher and healthier. The less processed food is, the better it is for you, packed full of vitamins and usually far tastier too. If food is fresh and hasn’t had to travel too far there isn’t the need for the amount of preservatives that are so often found in food and drink and fruit and vegetables have a chance to ripen before they get picked which improves the flavor without a doubt.
- Today, people are far more aware of the decline of British agriculture and the importance to try and sustain this where possible. British produce is appreciated more now than ever before and people want to help local farmers where they can rather than relying on food that is distributed by large manufacturing companies.
- Believe it or not seasonal produce as well as being tastier and healthier, is often cheaper than buying in produce from overseas. Shipping costs continue to rise astronomically as the price of fuel increases and there is also the additional cost of preserving the food.
So there you go, some food for thought – next time you’re booking an event why not ask about the catering and see what is on offer? Whether your client is concerned about corporate social responsibility, their health or just tasty, fresh food – they will be delighted you are one step ahead and already thinking about the finer detail.