In a large, nonaluminum saucepan, combine honey and wine; bring to a boil.
Lower heat and cook, stirring constantly, until honey is completely dissolved. Add lemon peel, lemon juice, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Place figs in wine syrup and poach over low heat, uncovered, for four minutes, turning figs every minute. Remove figs with a slotted spoon and place in a ceramic bowl. Reduce poaching liquid to about 1 1.2 cups. Spoon over figs and chill. Serve figs with some of the poaching liquid in individual bowls, topped with whipped cream or creme fraiche.
Note: From Kitchen Herbs by Sal Gilbertie. Downloaded from Compuserve food forum December 30, 1991.