TOAST Magazine

Nourishment. Steve Benbow

FOOD & DRINK

The second of twelve people, men and women, all of whom in their various ways work with food and all of whom are passionate about what they do. It's a truism to say there has been a revolution in food - but these twelve have all taken fresh approaches: all have a sense of rootedness and authenticity. It was a great pleasure meeting all of them: from the lovely Jeremy Lee working in a down-to-earth way at his grand and history-imbued Quo Vadis to the three artisan producers at Spa Terminus: extraordinary people working enormously hard at what they love. Our great thanks to them all.

From early spring to late summer Steve Benbow becomes itinerant. We photographed him at Spa Terminus on a sunny late afternoon and, as we wrapped up, he headed off unhurriedly to the Kent coast, the back of his small and aged white van full of sealed hives in which the bees were drowsily objecting to their confinement. Having tended his hives he settled down for the night beside them, returning to town - and more hives - the following morning.

Steve first started keeping bees in Central London fourteen years ago - on top of an ex-council block near Tower Bridge. By the following year he had hives tucked discreetly into all sorts of locations around the city. His bee empire continues to grow and he now looks after hives across the UK. He sells really fine honeys, both his own production and that of a selection of beekeepers who, like Steve himself, choose to produce from particular and unusual nectar sources.

www.thelondonhoneycompany.co.uk

Photography by Neil Gavin.

View the men's autumn winter 2013 collection here.

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