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Waltham Road, White Waltham
“How reassuring to find a restaurant that takes pleasure in making its customers feel welcome”, notes a visitor to The Beehive – a solid-looking redbrick village pub on the other side of the M4 corridor. Chef Dominic Chapman made his name at The Royal Oak, Paley Street, and all his familiar trademarks are here: “peerlessly professional” cooking based on top-class ingredients plus a daily-line-up of “expertly balanced” dishes bursting with bold flavours. Top picks from our recent visits have included a “properly crispy” tart of beetroot and punchy goats’ cheese, and a winning plate of Cornish cod with intense red wine jus, wild mushrooms and gnocchi, although the chef’s signature wild rabbit lasagne with wood blewits and chervil continues to vie for top spot. The level of enjoyment is maintained by first-rate desserts including a “brilliantly conceived” modern take on a toasty baked Alaska. The Beehive is still a genuine local boozer, so also expect draught beers, quiz nights and bar snacks, not to mention views of the village cricket pitch over the road. “I’ve never had a bad meal here”, affirms one regular.
SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2018 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2018. Thousands of readers took part and the results were moderated by SquareMeal’s editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The UK survey does not include any restaurants in London. Click here for the full list of SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
UK's Top 100 Restaurants
Waltham Road, White Waltham
Maidenhead Station 4km
Twyford Station 6km
Bird Hills Golf Centre 3km
Castle Royle Golf & Country Club 3km
Mon-Fri 11am-3pm 6-11pm Sat 11am-11pm Sun 12N-10pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
How reassuring to find a restaurant that takes pleasure in making sure that its customers are made to feel welcome in a well laid out dining room, where the service is properly friendly and expert and the food well-presented and delightfully tasty. The Beehive, with Dominic Chapman at its helm, provides a super dining experience without resort to fashion or unnecessary trendiness, just peerlessly professional cooking of top-class ingredients in expertly balanced dishes. With our aperitif we had some very good rosemary and sea-salt bread rolls piping hot from the oven and, as we tend to when we are faced with an attractive à la carte menu, we selected different dishes for all three courses. My wife’s starter was a properly crispy tart with excellent sweet beetroot beautifully balanced against fairly strong goat’s cheese and with fresh apple slices, frisée and radicchio salad providing a mouthwatering accompaniment. I chose wild rabbit lasagna, the chef’s signature dish; this was a delicious mix of perfect shredded meat in a lovely pasta with a sprinkling of chervil in it and wood blewits pointing up the tender rabbit and contributing to the tasty sauce. Brixham is an excellent source for the best fish, and the whole lemon sole, on the bone of course, was a splendid example of classy freshness, beautifully seasoned, allowed to speak for itself, and complemented by splendid brown shrimps, dill and lemon butter sauce bringing out the tastiness of the fish, and even some super mash. Cornwall can also be relied upon to provide good fish and the perfect roast cod with its intense red wine jus, wild mushrooms and nicely browned gnocchi was another winner. The level of enjoyment was kept up by the first-rate desserts, a brilliantly conceived, modern take on toasty baked Alaska, and a luxurious chocolate fondant with almond biscuit, a real toffee sauce and indulgent coffee ice cream. We really enjoyed the meal and we were wholly in agreement that The Beehive is yet another example of a restaurant which is easily of the same quality, if not better, than many on the Michelin one-star list but sadly not recognised as such by the tyre maker.
Food + drink: 3
First visit today, with friends, on a busy lunchtime. I'm often disappointed when I eat in pubs, but this was a clear exception , and it seems much more like a restaurant than a pub. The menu though does have a foot in both camps, with an interesting a la carte, and a good value set lunch, but there's fish 'n chips and burger for those that want them but that doesn't seem to mean that the more complex, adventurous dishes aren't cooked well.
Three of us chose the set lunch, with fishcake and cauliflower soup starters and goulash and moules frites mains. No complaints from anyone and quite a few positive murmurs, especially for the mussels which were held to be notably better than the usual. I tried the wild rabbit lasagne ( more like a very large ravioli truth to tell) with wild mushrooms and a sauce that might have been better with a touch more flavour. Nevertheless the dish worked well and I'd gladly eat it again. My main was roast cod on a cassoulet containing morteau sausage. Again this worked well, and again I'd have preferred a bit more flavour in the cassoulet. The cod was cooked very nicely.
The star dessert was without doubt a very large and tasty baked Alaska. Coffee and petit fours were good too, though some round the table found these too much after a substantial lunch. All told I think its fair to say that we were all impressed with today's lunch and indicated that return visits might not be far away.
A quick word on value. The bill worked out at £85 per couple including coffee & service and we felt that this was decent value. Its an easy drive from home and they can reckon on us going back.
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