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August 30, 2010

InterContinental Boston Abuzz with First Honey Harvest

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Boston, Massachusetts – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

A roof deck at the InterContinental Boston, a luxury AAA Four-Diamond hotel located on Boston’s glistening waterfront, has been abuzz with Boston’s first hotel rooftop apiary. This September, National Honey Month, the InterContinental Boston will be harvesting its first crop of honey. And in honor of this first harvest, Miel “Brasserie Provençale”, a Provence-inspired brasserie (Miel means ‘honey’ in French) located in the hotel, will be offering a four-course ‘Honey Harvest Dinner’ ($75 per person including wine) on Tues., Sept. 21, 2010 incorporating the hotel’s own honey.

In late June 2010, the InterContinental Boston introduced at first 10,000 honey bees onto its roof deck apiary and the colony has since grown to more than 40,000! For the past few months, the bees have been hard at work pollinating the flora of an approximate 4 mile radius of the hotel which includes Boston’s expansive 21-acre green space, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, upon which the InterContinental Boston sits and InterContinental Boston’s own waterfront floral and herb gardens. Once home – and they always return – the bees begin producing honey. September will be the harvest for the work these busy bees have put in over the past months. It is anticipated that approximately 40 lbs of honey will be collected.

“Bees are an important element in the sustainability of nature and we are proud to do our part in helping nurturing the local environment,” say Didier Montarou, Executive Chef at InterContinental Boston. “Not to mention, we are excited for our first crop of urban Boston wildflower honey and anticipating it to be a good floral mix of flavors. In addition to its reputation as Mother Nature’s nutritive sweetener, honey’s unique composition makes it a healthy antioxidant and an ideal complement to Miel’s Provence cuisine.”

InterContinental Boston has been working with a local bee expert to set-up the apiary and train InterContinental Boston’s Sous Chef, Cyrille Couet, on urban bee keeping. And, just installed in Miel “Brasserie Provençale”, is the new “Bee T.V.” which showcases a live camera feed from the rooftop apiary on a flat screen for guests to glimpse the honey bees in action.

Miel “Brasserie Provençale” specializes in the organic wonders of Provence highlighting the area’s indigenous products such as aromatic herbs, lavender, olive oil, and of course, honey. On Sept. 21, 2010, Miel will feature a special four-course “Honey Harvest Dinner” with wine pairing. The dinner will highlight Miel’s Provençal cuisine with each course infused with the hotel’s own honey and seasonal ingredients. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 617-217-5151 (limited seating is available). The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with a short tutorial on bees, bee keeping and overview of honey followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

The four-course “Honey Harvest Dinner” is $75 per person (includes wine pairing)
While not ready to sell the hotel’s own honey yet, Miel also sells an array of artisanal honey made in France and throughout the US. Local honey comes from Boston Honey Co. in Holliston, Mass in addition to raw honey from Honey Gardens Apitherapy in Ferrisburgh, VT. A variety of French honey flavors such as acacia and chestnut are made by Michaud Ours Burn that stem from Provence and the Pyrenees.

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