Nico Tregeur & Gareth Thomas, The Culpeper, Aldgate
It is of the utmost importance for the team at the Culpeper to use the rooftop area. The Culpeper is named after Nicholas Culpeper, the great 16th-century herbalist, Botanist and Astrologer, who spent his days cataloguing hundreds of medicinal herbs and whose pharmacy was in Spitalfields.
In his honour the team have grown medicinal and edible herbs, vegetables and flowers on their rooftop, that they later use in their food and cocktails.
Recently, the rooftop has been re-designed in collaboration with London based Studio Stilton and renamed PICULPEPER, as preservation has become the theme of the season. Across cocktails, dishes and workshops, the modest pickle has been elevated to a new height. Quite literally as they've also unveiled The Culpeper's resident gherkin at the bow of the pub – a totem to celebrate the power of the pickle in physical form for all of East London to see. As well as having a seated area for food and drinks, a greenhouse that allows customers to enjoy the space and grow produce all year round, a charcoal grill, a bar, and planters full of vibrant edible plants that boarder terrace, they also host a whole range of different events such as Rooftop Astronomy nights, Saving the Season (where guests learn how to preserve, pickle and dry their summer picking), Rooftop to Tabletop (where guests learn how to create and manage an urban veg plot) and many others.
Hotel guests can enjoy the space exclusively for breakfast, inside the greenhouse or on the terrace depending on the weather.
They also work with local charities and associations, teaching them how to grow and maintain an edible garden. Finally, in line with the Culpeper's sustainable values, they have a specified area where they compost our remaining organics, with the aim of reducing waste.