Birthday meal number 3 rolls round as, quite frankly, so do I. Still, this is a legitimate reason to be eating and drinking on a par with Henry VIII minus the legs of mutton, tankards of beer and err, beheading of wives, so I’m all on board to take full advantage of it.
The Beehive Pub in Marylebone has been on my ‘to visit’ list for a while. It regularly pops up on Top Table which means it’s bargainous, the menu always looks good and the fact that it’s a mere 10 minute stroll from the office confirmed it as the location of choice for a dinner with the lovely C. Last year’s birthday dinner involved a lot of French food, a considerable amount of free wine and a ridiculous amount of giggling on the tube home, exactly the way it should be on a Friday night. Except it was a Monday and the following day was, unsurprisingly, quite horrendous. Therefore, definitely a year older and questionably a year wiser, we took it down a notch, and a set menu and bottle of bubbly was our reward for making it to Thursday which is nearly Friday which is practically the weekend so hurrah! Happy weekend feasting!
Sitting on a small street in Marylebone, the Beehive is clearly a local favourite. All the outdoor tables were full of happy chappies starting their weekend early and inside, there was lively chatter. Four starters, four mains and three desserts made up the Top Table set menu and with vegetarian, meat and fish options all catered for, it provided a decent amount of choice without being either overwhelming or stingy.
A smoked salmon roulade served on toasted bread with salad kicked things off and what I felt it lacked a little in terms of quantity, it made up for in quality. I appreciate that if you’re having a set menu, you’re going to be eating at least 2 or 3 courses therefore enormous portions aren’t always wanted, however I did feel that within a few mouthfuls, it was sadly over and that was a real shame because the salmon was fresh and silken on the tongue and I’d really have enjoyed maybe one more piece of it. C’s halloumi-topped and pesto-drizzled rocket salad looked lovely with the cheese being captured at the perfect marriage of golden charring and soft squidginess.
Pan seared sole with mange tout, chive mash and mustard dill hollandaise sauce was a delightfully fresh and wholesome main. The sauce was fantastic with the bite of mustard balanced out by the creaminess of the hollandaise and a dollop atop each bite of fish and vegetable made for an utterly satisfying dish. The service throughout each course was good too, striking the right balance between wanting to ensure everything was good and not wanting to intrude.
Two courses and half a bottle of Prosecco each in and dessert was a shared affair. Dark, gooey, rich chocolate fondant went down a treat – at the risk of stereotyping here, there aren’t many women out there who would find fault with or not want to eat a good chocolate pudding and hands down, that’s exactly what this was.
This was a really lovely way to finish a stretch of birthday feasting and if your office was round the corner, I could imagine you becoming so comfortable and familiar with this place that you’d end up being one of those who mutter ‘…ooh…err…stranger…’ and nod their head to their friends when someone unknown comes in. Don’t go expecting Michelin stars because you won’t get them. What you will get is a casual, relaxed atmosphere and good uncomplicated food. I can’t guarantee your company will be as delightful as mine but I’m happy to loan out the gorgeous C…
…actually no, that’s a lie. You’ll have to find your own awesome person to share it with because this one’s mine.