Culinary artists Bompas and Parr celebrate the honey bee with a new immersive and experimental art installation at Relais & Chateaux in Soho. Running from 7-8 October, the exhibition will combine honey tastings and bee-related art to help raise awareness of the importance of bees to our diverse ecosystem
Words: Andrew Zuccala
Taking place over four floors at Relais & Chateaux’s townhouse-turned gallery space in Soho, The Joy of Bees exhibition will combine honey tastings and art installations, focusing on some of the rarest nectars in the world. And if Bompas and Parr’s previous successes – The Jelly Parlour of Wonders and British Museum of Food, among others – are anything to go by, we are all set for a ridiculously fun experience.
The exhibition celebrates Relais & Châteaux’s commitment to bees and sustainability – an increasing number of member hotels keep bees and produce their own honey – allowing guests to wind through four floors of the townhouse-turned gallery space and discover more about this magical ingredient.
Grab an aromatic honey-based cocktail created just for the installation before marvelling at an onslaught of honey and bee-related artwork. A fragrant indoor garden awaits you in the next room, bursting with bee-friendly botanicals such as Echionops Taplow Blue, Peacock Lilac and Pink Yarrow. Here you’ll meet Mellifera, Queen of Honey, who will dish out sips of a bespoke Pomaceous Primer, an apple-based elixir designed to reboot the taste buds ahead of the raw honey tasting which is yet to come.
The finale takes place in the Saloon of Honey, a honeycomb clad space where you can taste honeys from all over the world under the guidance of honey sommeliers – yes that’s a real profession – Dale Gibson and Sarah Lewis from Bermondsey Street bees.
And while the installation is intended to indulge the senses through intense smells, flavours and visuals, it has a main purpose of promoting sustainability. Globally decreasing bee populations may be old news but Bompas and Parr want to increase awareness through their new project, hoping to fuel people’s love for bees as they understand their important role in our diverse ecosystem.
To further this cause, all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to The British Beekeepers Association. You’ll have a fun a quirky day out with friends and family while helping a good cause. It’s a win, win. Visit The Joy of Bees for only £9. You won’t ‘bee’ disappointed.
Tickets are £9. Pre-books are sold out but a few spaces are held back for walks ups. See bompasandparr.com