The Golden Bee cocktail bar by Old Street had been open for a month when in August 2012 I visited on a mild Saturday evening to find mind blowing cocktails and West End flair.
Ambience and Décor
The Golden Bee is best enjoyed from the top down. The third floor roof terrace perfectly combines a French riviera feel with a cool bar, high tables and sofas with the added drama of a breeze in your hair and cosmopolitan views of Shoreditch below. The opulent beach club vibe clashed only slightly with the Christmas-like lit ornamental trees.
Just before sunset at the roof of Golden Bee in Shoreditch
At 8pm on a Saturday the roof was dotted with mainly young professionals, mixed groups of friends, cute girls meeting up for a drink and a chat, dates and middle aged casual gentlemen. The big TV screens were complimentary, not intrusive, broadcasting the Olympic achievements on a discrete volume. The bon vivants who took full advantage of the lovely roof terrace were joined by a well-dressed surge just before the entry fee curfew at 9pm, generating a nice buzz.
That's one happy bar manager serving an Apple Crumble in the rooftop bar
Down the spiral stair case to the second floor is the main clubbing area that consists of a beautiful cocktail bar, a solid DJ deck, seating and table area and another outside smoking and mingling terrace.
The DJ was good and generated a spontaneous dancefloor feeling
The interior is classy but with a cheeky vibe of pink and turquoise velvet curtains and shot glasses sprinkled densely on the ceiling. An original touch is the bars Gold Bee mascot, more often featuring in this bar than natural bees would around an abandoned marmalade sandwich. You are greeted by one at the door in stylish metallic sheer, a bee acts like a clock, and they hover nonchalantly in graffiti style in the smoking area.
Clientele and Atmosphere
The roof terrace was very chilled out, the main bar area more lavish with the funky house music mixed with RnB adding to the cool atmosphere. The clientele was diverse but mainly around the 25 year old mark, out to have a good time, a great drink and maybe a flirt. (No East London Hipsters in sight.)
Food and Drink
The drinks selection is well-rounded and lives up to anyones expectation and taste but the main attraction is the fantastic cocktails. Our favourites were the Apple Crumble (spiced rum shaken with fresh apple, limes and home-made cinnamon syrup)and the Pornstar Martini (vanilla infused vodka shaken with fresh passion fruits, passoa liquor with a shot of champagne on the side). They were both amazing: Not too sweet and sickly, just fresh, getting more delicious by the sip. The only let down was the missing Haribo Bear garnish on the Made in Old Street cocktail according to the manager the staff had eaten them all. The staff were professional and focused yet nice and friendly; doing a little dance behind the bar when a real tune came on.
The Passion fruit Collins and Pornstar Martini were simply perfect
I would refrain from tattooing the striped insect logo on your back just yet (as a sign of love) but I think the Golden Bee bar in Shoreditch will become a force to be reckoned with for cocktails, a touch of class and a bloody good dance a longed for piece of the West End in Shoreditch for young professionals.