The Beehive | White Waltham (UK)

The Beehive defines the true meaning of a gastropub!
Beautiful, packed with flavour, seasonal food in a real English pub. Highly recommendable!

The Beehive is a country pub (and restaurant) in White Waltham (UK), overlooking the village cricket ground and a gentle Berkshire landscape. White Waltham is close to Bray-on-Thames and about 30 miles from London. The pub dates back to 1854 and has been going ever since despite burning down once. It was popular with servicemen in World War II when White Waltham was an RAF airfield base.

Dominic Chapman and his wife Helena took charge of The Beehive in August 2014. It’s their first venture as restaurant/pub owners. Dominic is the Head Chef and Helena’s role is administrative, plus creating the ambience in the restaurant and to manage and oversee The Beehive as a venue for parties and special occasions. Helena’s sister, Alicia Corlett is responsible for front of house.

Head Chef Dominic Chapman is a sixth generation restaurateur. He grew up at his family’s acclaimed Castle at Taunton. From here, his experience took him to some of Britain’s most famous restaurants. Like Rowley Leigh’s London’s fashionable Kensington Place, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck (as Chef de Partie), Bray’s Hind’s Head (as Head Chef) and finally, before moving to The Beehive in August 2014, as Head Chef at The Royal Oak in Paley Street for seven years, during which The Royal Oak was awarded with a Michelin Star.

The Beehive is open 7 days a week (except Sunday evening). They offer an à la carte menu, with 6 Pre-Starters / Snacks (at £3.50-£3.95), 7 Starters (at £6.95-£12.95), 7 Mains (at £15.95-£26), 5 Sides (£3.95) and 6 Desserts ( at £5.95-£10.50) and a Cheese Platter (£10.95). They also offered some daily specials (2 starters and 1 main). We were there last Saturday for dinner.

Bread, Butter and Scotch Egg

Nice, fresh home made bread. And I couldn’t resist ordering the Scotch egg from the Snack menu. To me, a good (Gastro) Pub needs to have a Scotch egg on the menu. And how it’s prepared, says a lot about the Chef!

Scotch Egg (£3.95)

This Scotch egg was spot on. Perfectly seasoned, a runny quails egg inside and a crispy golden crust. Scrumptious and perfect.

Lasagne of Wild Rabbit with Wood Blewits & Chervil (£12.95)

A signature dish of the Chef and you can tell why. Falling apart, slow cooked rabbit, nice and thin lasagne sheet and deep flavoured, silky, creamy sauce with wood blewit mushrooms and chervil. Hint of anise in there. Hits all the right spots. Excellent dish.

Fillet of Burford Hare, Potato Puree, Wild Mushrooms, Melted Onions, Garlic Cream & Sage (£12.50)

From the Today’s Specials, we had the Burford hare. Perfectly cooked hare works so well with the sage. Seasoning spot on again. The jus was to die for. Can we have more please?

Roast Cornish Cod with Parsnip Puree, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Chilli, Rosemary & Hazelnits (£24)

Flaky, meaty cod, silky parsnip puree, crunch from the broccoli and the hazelnuts and a bit of heat from the chilli and a hint of citrus to balance it out. I didn’t taste the rosemary though. Nice flavour package. Presentation a bit too rustic to my liking, but great dish.

Peppered Haunch of Venison, Creamed Spinach, Celeriac Puree & Sauce Poivrade (£26)

This Chef really knows his seasoning. Melt on the tongue venison and a rich and deep flavoured pepper sauce (I call it gravy!). Comforting and delicious.

Chips (£3.95)

Besides the Scotch egg, you also want to check the chips in a good pub. Everyone calls them triple-cooked, but they hardly ever are! This ones passed the test with high scores.

Cox’s Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream (£7.95)

The tart was well made. Tangy Cox apple with frangipane underneath and flaky pastry. Good vanilla ice cream on top. Nothing special, but well executed.

Soufflè of Pistachio, Pistachio Ice Cream (£10.50)

If you order the soufflé, then it takes the kitchen an extra 20 minutes to prepare. But it’s definitely worth the wait. I was afraid that pistachio soufflé with pistachio ice cream would be too much pistachio, but it works really well actually. Good soufflé. Cocoa powder along the inside of the ramekin adds a nice dimension to the dish.

Dominic Chapman knows what he is doing and has the kitchen well under control. Excellent dishes and all well executed. Some of the dishes may be a bit to rustic for me and could be tidied up a bit, but I fully enjoyed every dish and the flavours are bang on every time. You can clearly see how Dominic Chapman earned a Michelin Star at The Royal Oak in Paley Street and I’m curious to see were he wants to go with the Beehive.

The Beehive has a real pub atmosphere. Not surprisingly as half the place is a pub. It can get quite noisy, especially when it’s busy, but this doesn’t ruin the atmosphere. The staff is hospitable and friendly, although some of them are not that experienced yet. In the beginning the dishes came out to quickly, but with the mains it was fine.

The term gastropub is used so often, but most places don’t really hit the mark. The Beehive defines the true meaning of a gastropub! Beautiful, packed with flavour, seasonal food in a real English pub. Highly recommendable!

Restaurant The Beehive
Waltham Road
White Waltham
T +44 (0)1628 822877

Follow The Beehive on Social Media