Beehive, W1U 6BF
- 020 7486 8037
- 126 Crawford Street, W1U 6BF
- noon-11pm Mon-Sat; 11am-10pm Sun
Note: According to the Oct/Nov 2015 London Drinker magazine, the Beehive was temporarily closed following a fire in August 2015. As of December 2016 it remains closed, and Spitalfields Life reports that it's looking somewhat derelict.
The website may be keen to call it one of London's oldest pubs (though 1884, however quality a vintage, doesn't really qualify it as that) and highlight its olde worlde charms, presumably for the benefit of the plentiful tourist trade around these parts, but in reality this is a recently refurbished and somewhat continental-style gastropub just south of Baker Street Station. Of course, compared to some of the nearby competition (of the JD Wetherspoon and Spirit Group variety), it's certainly a good deal more welcoming.
Outside, and always reliably busy when it's sunny, are several tables with canopies for shelter. Inside, tables with benches run the length of the front window, with another ring of tables around a tall leather banquette seating area photo of interior. A couple of small tables with lamps sit at the side, one of which even has a rocking chair (not perhaps the most comfortable seating option).
There aren't any 'cooking lagers' here, just premium-quality imported ales and lagers, including a good range of bottled beers and a decent wine list. Prices are taped prominently to the front of the taps, perhaps to minimise shock at the prices. There are two handpulls, one of which was off on a June 2009 visit, and the other dispensing RCH Pitchfork for £4/pint. The Greenwich-based Meantime brewery accounted for three of the draught taps (all likewise £4/pint), with their London Pale Ale, Stout, and Helles. The final two taps had Brugse Zot and Erdinger Weissbier (each £5.50/pint).
Food is served, again European-influenced, and with only paltry vegetarian options (a pasta and a salad on Ewan's visit). However, my drinking companions were very much taken with the quality of the steak sandwich (around £8), served between thin slices of toasted bread, and with some decent chips on the side. A bowl of chips on their own was a proper basket size, making it good value at £3.50. Peanuts are sold at £1 and there are other bar snacks (such as hummous & pita) available.
Accessibility: There's a ramp up at the entrance, and a separate accessible toilet on the same level as the bar and seating (though it's somewhat blocked in by furniture). Other toilets are down stairs at the back, and very pleasantly kept at that.
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