July 22, 2019 by Tori Flower
This summer see the opening of The Humble Bee Café,run by ex Hawksmoor chefs Alice Wilson and Matt Hall, at Stepney City Farm. Uniquely located in one of the only working farms in London, the café sources crops and meat from our farm and creates delicious breakfast, lunch and snack options.
“‘Field to Fork’ has become a cliché in food circles,” says Alice Wilson, “But here at Stepney CIty Farm, the Humble Bee Café can genuinely offer this to visitors: Delicious food inbeautiful surroundings, sometimes metres from where it was produced.”
The menu features simple staples (such as egg and soldiers, cheese toasties and open sandwiches) and fresh, seasonal options such as their 5-a-day salad or daily tart/quiche. Local suppliers, including Powters Suffolk Bacon and E5 Bakehouse, are favoured. They serve a selection of cakes, teas and coffees and homemade iced teas. On Sundays they offer an all-day community breakfast.
Alice and Matt are part of the Chef’s Manifesto community, which means there are eight goals that underpin their work, from reducing waste to ensuring affordability, protecting biodiversity to improving animal welfare. So, whether it’s a bacon sandwich or their herb pesto, customers will be enjoying local food that has been ethically farmed.
Stepney City Farm Is a working farm that grows crops and breeds animals for meat. We give visitors the opportunity to learn where food comes from and promotes ethical farming practices, showcasing sustainable mixed farming and demonstrating an alternative to environmentally unsound and low welfare industrial farming. Visitors are able to feed the animals, which currently include, pigs, chickens, goats and sheep.
Alice and Matt have a wealth of experience between them, working together as chefs at Hawksmoor, Borough, before starting the Humble Bee. Matt has 15 years kitchen experience from Michelin stars to community cafes, and, before cheffing, Alice worked in communications and strategy for businesses and NGOs including Tower Hamlets foodbank.
The Humble Bee Café aims to create a welcoming space for people to sample their seasonal menus. Customers are invited to share their ideas and even organise events, ensuring the venue is at the core of the Tower Hamlets community.
The café is open Tuesday-Friday (8:30am-4pm), Saturday (9:30am-4pm) and Sunday (10am-3pm). Alice and Matt can be reached on café@stepneycityfarm.org and if you’d like to find out more about their innovative farm-to-fork approach you can view their menu here.
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