In Praise of Slowness- A Brunch Collaboration with Kinfolk Magazine

Although we love living in London the pace can be pretty hectic, so we were honored (and excited!) when we were asked by the lovely people at Kinfolk Magazine to host a collaborative brunch highlighting the benefits of slow living and mindful eating.

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Gathering on a Saturday morning in our hayloft in Brixton, the brunch attracted a mixed and wonderfully creative crowd, all who had come to explore what the concept of slow living means in our increasingly fast-paced urban lives. Serving a four-course brunch prepared by our very own Sam Hodges, the food was a journey through the British summer season, dotted with talks on everything from mindfulness to textile dyeing. Our partner Toast provided some of the beautiful table lines and aprons, and lovely Sophie from Grain & Knot hand carved the most striking wooden knives for our guests to take home.

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And now to the really important stuff: the food. We started the morning with Beehive Place homemade heritage grain granola made with rare British grains. Topped with raspberries from Oakchurch Farm in Hereford and raw honey from our friends at The London Honey Company.

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No June food event is complete without at least one asparagus dish, so the second course of the day was beautifully thin sprue asparagus topped with a blue legbar egg from Clarence Court, accompanied by rye bread from E5 Bakery in Hackney and organic buttermilk from Netherend Farm in Gloucestershire.

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This was followed by slow cooked heritage tomatoes from The Tomato Stall in the Isle of Wight, wild wood sorrel and cows curd from Blackwoods Cheese.

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The final dish of the day, wild yeast sourdough pancakes was served with our very own strawberry jam, roasted cobnuts from Potash Farm in Kent and yoghurt from Neil’s Yard Dairy.

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As we can’t help but be a tiny bit cocktail obsessed, our bartender team couldn’t resist coming up with a special Beehive Place brunch cocktail. A grapefruit and fennel shrub with bee pollen infused gin and Hindleap sparkling wine, the ‘Bees in the Shrub’ was pretty good if we may say so ourselves.

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A morning of talks on slow living, inspiration, community and reflection as well as the very best of British seasonal food, we kind of wish we could start all of our Saturday mornings like this…

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Capezzana Vin Santo

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No one’s really got to the bottom of how Vin Santo got its name: because the harvest’s brought in on a saint’s day? Because it was a wine favoured by the Russian Orthodox Church? Some legacy of a Santorini labelling system? Well friends, we can put all that to one side today because we have the answer: Capezzana’s Vin Santo Carmignano is a truly religious experience. One sip and you’re in heaven. I’ll stop now; you get the gist: this stuff is seriously good.

This was one of the stand-out wines of our recent visit to the Capezzana winery in Carmignano, Tuscany (introduced to us by our friends at Liberty Wines). Their Barco Reale has been a staple of the Beehive Place wine list since we opened but we hadn’t had the pleasure of trying their sweet wine until last week. It was worth the wait. It’s a rampant prize-winner, with delicious sweetness, not cloying but clean on the pallet, a golden amber in the glass. You’ll taste the figs, warm caramel, candied fruit and then a faint spiciness at the end, creating a wonderful lasting finish.

The producer’s website details the facts: the grapes (mainly Trebbiano), how long they’re dried for (several months on cane matting) and how they’re fermented and matured (over four years in cherry-wood, oak and chestnut 100 litre kegs.) What it doesn’t say, and you only get to understand in the dim light of their ancient, frescoed, drying room (pictured), is that this is a truly beloved wine, coaxed out of the grape by the gifted winemaker Benedetta Contini like a baby taking its first steps. Hardly anyone but Benedetta herself touches the grapes, which she checks several times a day, they’re cradled on beds of cane cut from the estate (pictured), and it is she who caps their barrels off with clay. Long may that continue and don’t even think of dipping a cantucci into it.

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