Never mind what you like to call 'restaurants' and afternoons with tuna sandwiches on tanked up benches, pop ups are the new populaire of edible ploughing. So how is London's most talked about supper club soaring above the rest? Acclaimed for its sustainable plates and cocktail contortion, Beehive Place know all about social dining and sell-out nights, making them primed for a jabber with us here at DesignMyNight. From shrubs to raving, we got to know the team behind the city's most sough after event, including foodie founder Theo Cooper and head barman Jeff Stuit:
- Describe Beehive Place in three words for those that may have never heard of it before.
Theo: British, Unique, Delicious
- Beehive Place has enjoyed amazing, sell-out success since you guys have opened, why do you think that it’s gathered such incredible interest?
Theo: I think it is a mix of things. First and foremost the quality of what we offer terms of dining and drinking. That comes from having amazing people like Sam in the kitchen and Jeff & Kev on the bar. Sam’s commitment to sourcing ingredients borders on obsession, so the menus are packed out with British ingredients you won’t find in other places. We have relationships direct with farmers and producers all over the UK meaning the fairest deals for everyone and the tastiest ingredients. But almost as important as all that, it’s in a beautiful, unexpected space tucked down a side street and above all else, it’s fun.
- East London has been bearing a big brunt of supper clubs this year so far, so why take the trip down South to Brixton?
Theo: Brixton is an amazing community in its own right and over the last few years has established itself as one of the best destinations for foodies in London with the Village, Market Row and recently Pop Brixton. We’re right there in the middle of all that, where could be better?
- Beehive seems incredibly proud of its ethically sourced ingredients and independent suppliers. How has Samuel Hodges helped in this process?
Theo: Sourcing is what Sam bases his cooking around, it couldn’t be more important for him. Every week he scours the country looking for the perfect ingredient that’s perfectly in season and produced with the utmost care. He doesn’t do that just to tick ethical and sustainable boxes though, it means that all the ingredients are at their prime and taste amazing without being over engineered in the kitchen. Our producers are always equal stars in the show.
- We’ve been salivating over tales of a cocktail made of ‘East London dry gin and heather honey with burnt Earl Grey sugar’, but what’s been your favourite cocktail on the menu at Beehive so far?
Jeff: Aberrycano. The original was the blackberry and lavender shrub with East London Liquor Co Dry Gin, Kamm & Sons, topped with British sparkling. We’ve now tried lots of different shrubs so it changes with the seasons. An aperitif style drink with a nod to a Spagliato.
- Beehive Place also has the Beehive Bar this summer with a fresh new food and cocktail pairing concept. What can you tell us about the difference in menu and cocktails?
Jeff: We are aiming for an equal balance within the creative process so the drink is an equal champion to the food. We work with Sam each week to come up with something special and different for guests in the bar and the restaurant.
- And also about the drinks team that’s aboard?
Jeff: Kevin Darcy and myself head up the drinks side of Beehive Place, ably assisted by a team of passionate and talented individuals that are pushing the boundaries of what Great Britain is producing. We share Sam’s commitment to exploring the best British produce and wild ingredients, we just do it with added alcohol
- Infusions, shrubs and mixology. There’s some really unique concepts afoot when it comes to these new cocktails, can you tell us a little more?
Jeff: The amazing thing is these concepts have been around for centuries, we are only taking the processes and applying them in a relevant way that appeals to the modern market. Mixology is another term for mixing a drink and any bartender who calls himself a mixologist…well, let’s just leave it at that. We’ve got different shrubs, infusions and bitters happening every week, I could tell you about them,but it would be more enjoyable for you to come down and try them.
- It’s been mentioned that dining pop-ups are finally fleeing from the restaurant shadows into their own realm. As a restaurateur yourself, what do you think of such a claim?
Theo: I don’t draw a line between pop ups and restaurants. Logistically there might be a few things that have to be compromised when you’re only in a place for a short time, but those things should never be food, drinks or service. Restaurant level quality and service has always been what our events are about.
- If red is the new black, then social dining is the new………..?