The New Buzz in Boston

Miel Brasserie Provencale
Miel Brasserie Provencale

Lovers of both honey and environmental preservation should make a beeline for the InterContinental Boston. Two new beehives have been added to Boston’s first hotel apiary at the 4-diamond hotel on Boston’s waterfront. This July and September, the hotel will be harvesting honey for use in the restaurants and spa.

SPA InterContinental, the hotel’s 6,600 sf spa and health club, uses honey in select treatments fit for a Queen Bee. Two sample treatments incorporating honey include La Peau au Miel (skin of honey) to exfoliate the skin and energize circulation, and Barefoot en Provence, an organic foot treatment. Apitherapy, treatments with honey, have been used for hundreds of years not only as a natural sweetener but also as a therapeutic agent. Research shows that honey aids the skin in retaining its moisture.

New 2011 spring/summer cocktails feature house-made syrup crafted from the hotel’s honey. Try L’Orange Miel at Miel Brasserie Provençale, (Miel means honey in French). The honey adds earthiness and balances out the acid of the citrus in the blend of clementines, cognac and Grand Marnier.

Similar concoctions include the Honey Ginger Caipirinha at RumBar, the hotel’s popular and award-winning rum and champagne bar, and Lights Out Over Boston, a tweaked margarita at the hotel’s Sushi-Teq.

Miel is also adding several new honey dishes to its Spring/Summer menus. On September 20, Miel will feature a special three-course “Honey Harvest Dinner” with wine, highlighting its Provencale cuisine with each course infused with the hotel’s own honey and seasonal ingredients. In addition, tasting the raw floral honey from the hotel’s apiary is also included. Something you can customize for private dinners at InterCon Boston.

Sous Chef Cyrille Couet
Sous Chef Cyrille Couet

The hotel has been working with a local bee expert to set up the beehives and train Sous Chef Cyrille Couet to be the hotel’s Urban Bee Keeper. The first colony of honey bees grew to 40,000+ in late 2010, survived Boston’s harsh 2010/2011 harsh winter and, in April, two additional beehives of 10,000 bees each were added  to the apiary. By late 2011, the colony will grow to an estimated 120,000+ bees and more than 180 pounds of honey will be harvested over the season. Miel’s 24/7 “Bee TV” gives you a glimpse of the bees in action, showcasing a live camera feed from the apiary. Just in time for National Honey Month which occurs every September.

The bees’ honey doesn’t just taste great and soften your skin. It also pollinates the flora of an approximate 4-5 mile radius of the hotel including Boston’s expansive 21-acre green space, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, upon which the hotel sits and InterContinental Boston’s own waterfront floral and herb gardens.

“We have been an active member of Pollinator Partnership, a national nonprofit organization working to protect the health of native pollinating animals vital to our North American ecosystems and agriculture and bees are an important element in the sustainability of nature,” says Tim Kirwan, General Manager. “We are proud to do our part in helping to nurture our local environment in addition to helping the plight of bees. Not to mention, our chefs’ creative juices are flowing as they develop new dishes and drinks using our homegrown honey and our spa director has cleverly incorporated honey into two therapeutic treatments at our spa.”