Author’s talk at Fairlight Hall to be more than just a taste of honey....

Food writer Hattie Ellis SUS-160531-100653001
Food writer Hattie Ellis SUS-160531-100653001

“Honey is far more than just another pot on the shelf,” claims local food writer Hattie Ellis and to prove her point she’ll be dipping into her collection of 100 pots of honey for a talk at Fairlight Hall next week.

Hattie, who lives in Hastings, has become an expert on honey and says many people are not aware of its benefits. “The nectar from two million flowers goes into a single jar of honey,” she said. “Bees pollinate the plants that produce a third of our food and help keep the planet alive.

“Honey and other products of the hive, such as pollen and propolis, have been used for health and healing for at least 4,000 years. Today, manuka-honey wound dressings are used in NHS hospitals.

“Bees and honey have been loved and even worshiped by us from Stone Age honey hunters onwards, Anyone who’s anyone has been fascinated by bees. Writers, philosophers, musicians, architects - from Aristotle, Shakespeare and Darwin to Winnie-the-Pooh. We see bees as powerful and important.”

On her honey travels, Hattie has been to New Zealand to talk to the man behind the popularity of manuka honey for healing. She also discovered the New York City illegal beekeeping movement and the growth in urban honey around the world, and says Sussex has strong connections with beekeeping. “The University of Sussex is a centre of bee science, currently trying to save honeybees from disease.

“The best honey comes from flowers from within three miles of the hive, making it the ultimate local food. Look for them in health food shops, delis, farm shops and even garages.”

Ellis, who trained as a journalist at the Wemstminster Press training programme in St Leonards, is the author of two books on bees and honey; Sweetness & Light: the mysterious history of the honeybee and Spoonfuls of Honey a recipe book and guide that takes the reader around the world in 80 pots.

Local beekeepers Jill Sale and Josh Dean from Mantel Farm, Catsfield, will also be at Hattie’s lunchtime talk entitled ‘Honey: history, culture and taste’ at Fairlight Hall, Martineau Lane, on June 10, 10.30-2pm. Tickets, which include lunch and a tour of the garden and apiary, cost £40.

Fairlight Hall’s hives produce a delicious honey, on sale after the honey harvest in autumn at events held in the house.

Hattie’s talk is part of a series of lectures and lunches or teas. For bookings visit: or call 01424 814132.