It all started with us kicking rubbish about down a dodgy back-alley in Brixton. I wasn’t sure about this, it all seemed a bit shady. We spotted three little bees sprayed onto an almost-luminous yellow door and decided that that must be it. Heading up some dark, rickety little stairs, all those back-alley vibes-of-old suddenly melted away and instead this huge, awesome, light-flooded Victorian loft with oak beams, a glass ceiling and a relaxed atmosphere replaced our Brixton side-street nightmares.
I suddenly changed my tune and settled right into Beehive Place. The chilled music, the meeting-and-greeting at the door, that comforting sound of cocktails being shaken – the latter of which became a beautiful reality as a Somerset Smash was thrust into my hand. A few sips in, I was feeling jazzy. We were shown to a rustic wooden table with our names on it – and lots of other strangers’ names too. Beehive Place helped me realise that I’m really into this whole communal eating thing. Sure, sometimes initally it can all seem a bit forced, but one drink in and we were all chatting away like old mates.
The thing I love about this place, is it’s essentially serving high-end cuisine, with its white plates and drizzled jus and impeccable presentation, but it remains effortlessly cool and unpretentious. They got permission from Damon Albarn’s sister Jessica to use her incredible artwork for the branding. Oh, sure. The whole place looks like a wedding but the coolest wedding you’ve ever been to with the most mind-blowing food. The dudes serving you aren’t just wait staff. They all have other amazing occupations and include an actress, a tattoo artist and a stunt man. It’s in a beautiful setting, with awesome food and innovative cocktails, but minus the pretence. The perfect balance. Yes, Beehive Place. YES. British cooking across five courses. As with any tasting dinner, the portions aren’t huge but you’ll realise they’re definitely big enough as you arrive at the final culinary chapter and close the book on that masterpiece. Courses included a Brixham wood trout medley, a heritage tomato number and a wood pigeon creation which was so awesome, I threatened to invest in a pigeon-hunting net to catch my next meal in Trafalgar Square. All the food was so tasty and as we enjoyed it, the lively atmosphere soared and the booze continued to flow.
We went that extra mile and ordered the paired wines to go with the food. Rude not to. As each course arrived, so did Jeff; lover of wines and waxer of lyricals. He talked about each vino at length as if each one was his Juliet. We learnt all about the backgrounds, the flavours and the vineyards who were responsible for producing such beautiful grapey children. As we supped ourselves deeper into the wines and ate ourselves fatter into the foods, our love for Beehive Place grew stronger and stronger as the clock ticked on and our words slurred about. It’s everything you’d want from dinner and drinks, but like all good things, its days are numbered. This is a pop-up, so if it sounds like your bag, don’t waste any time. The menu changes every week, it’s only open Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets sell out quickly, so be sure to get in there and get involved. After it finishes at the end of June, Beehive Place will be back sporadically through the year so keep your eyes on their website for news.
We were last to leave Beehive Place, as we sat with our third -or maybe it was our seventh -cocktail, chatting to Danielle (the founder) and to Jeff. If they’d’ve let us, we probably would have stayed there all night and woken up under one of those huge tables the next day, but alas those rickety stairs were calling. Apparently, this place very often turns a bit ravey, post-dinner, as the Danielle’s hubby is a DJ. Well, it didn’t on the night we were there, so we’ll just have to go back and visit again, won’t we?