When Dominic Chapman revealed long-awaited plans to open his own pub after a career stunning diners and critics alike with his lavish cooking, expectations were high. It’s fair to say Chapman and his team at the Beehive have exceeded them.
The Beehive is nestled in the tiny village of White Waltham, a brief drive from Maidenhead.
The pub is a true labour of love, with its elegant three-course dinners. It is a gastropub equally ideal for a long, sun-drenched afternoon lounge in the garden as it is for a cosy, boozy winter night nestled in its traditional bar.
Menu highlights, past and present, have included wild mushroom, stilton and onion and red pepper tart with dandelion salad; lasagne of wild rabbit with wood blewits and chervil; roast English partridge with chipolata sausage, bread sauce, game chips and gravy; and lemon drizzle cake with raspberries and yoghurt ice cream.
The Beehive also offers a wide selection of cask ales and draught beers as well as an extensive wine list showcasing a wide variety of regions and vintages.
Head chef and owner Dominic Chapman was a contestant on BBC 2’s Great British Menu and turned heads shortly after launching the Beehive with his simple modern dishes.
Those who eat at the pub, which sits opposite White Waltham’s cricket field, will find most mains cost less than £20.
Chapman’s mantra of “feed you and make you happy” has been transcribed into every dish the kitchen creates, such as roast Cornish hake with saffron, roast Scottish grouse and peppered haunch of venison.
The kitchen sources locally, but it also aims to represent what the UK’s larder has to offer as a whole. This means food from the country’s uplands and pastures, its meadows, woods, hedgerows, rivers and seas are all important parts of the menu.
Head chef Chapman, who also worked at The Fat Duck is truly passionate about what makes a pub a true pub – the booze.
The wine list is concise, but varied, and offers good value for money. There are about 12 reds and the 12 whites, rosés and dessert wines. Many of the world’s major wine growing regions feature on the wine list, most of which are available by the glass.
Yet the heart of any pub, the beer, is not forgotten and the Beehive has a range of lagers, ciders and beers, which include local cask ales from Rebellion Brewery, Loddon Brewery and more.
I would certainly say Pub in the Park is up there with one of best things I have ever done, the atmosphere and buzz over those 3 days was just electric and I felt so lucky to be a part of it all. All in all, we served around 4000 dishes over the 3 days, the most popular being the Mackerel Taco which sold out on each session, I couldn’t have asked for a better crowd though as they were all willing to try the other dishes we had to offer. One of my favourite moments had to be that I got to celebrate my birthday which was on the Sunday In such an incredible way, meeting a huge amount of kind and wonderful people as well as watching The Milk who are one of my favourite bands.
Wow - what an incredible, amazing weekend! The vibe was fantastic; the food was stunning, the music outstanding, but above all else, the people of Marlow made the whole event feel very special. It showed off our lovely town to all our visitors and the chefs from all over the country and did us proud.