Pub Review - The Beehive

By Mark Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Tomato Cheltenham

The Beehive, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

The Beehive

1-3 Montpellier Villas,

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Tel: 01242 579443

There is something deeply satisfying about walking into a pub for the first time and seeing the chef chalking up the day's menu. There's the immediate realisation that this is a pub that changes its menu daily, buys fresh ingredients and therefore follows the seasons.

I had only popped into the Beehive for a swift pint but as head chef Dan Richards was writing the lunchtime menu, the promise of dishes such as smoked salmon, caper and leaf salad, poached egg and herb oil (£6.25) and whole mackerel rubbed in harissa with roasted new potatoes and lamb's lettuce salad (£8) meant that a longer pit-stop was required.

The Beehive is tucked away in the more bohemian quarter of Cheltenham, close to two-Michelin star restaurant Le Champignon Sauvage and around the corner from the excellent Brosh restaurant, run by ex-River Café and Moro chef Raviv Hadad.

With its stripped wooden boards, aubergine paintwork and wood-burner, it looks like a smart city gastro pub, but attracts a large number of local drinkers lured in by three real ales, two real ciders, a decent wine list and 10 or so whiskies.

With a well-kept pint of the tawny coloured (and locally brewed) Goff's Jouster in my hand, I took a window seat and waited for the rest of the menu to be scratched on the large board.

As each line of chalk revealed a new dish, my choice kept on changing. Should I have the loin of cod served on braised Puy lentils with plum tomato and salad (£8) or the braised blue cheese leeks with roasted onion, spinach and cream pasta (£7.50)? Then I spotted the cider-marinated Gloucester Old Spot pork chop and cassoulet (£8.25), and what a great dish it turned out to be.

The enormous chop had been supplied by a local butcher and it displayed all the character and flavour of a rare breed pig. It had been grilled to juicy perfection, had a fair amount of crispy, sweet fat on the edge and was well seasoned with freshly-ground black pepper. It was resting on a bed of chickpeas, tomatoes, chunks of spicy sausage and pancetta, all immersed in a dark, rich tomato sauce.

As lunchtime winter warmers go, it was spot on and a good indicator of why the Beehive is now a buzzing honeypot for Cheltenham foodies.

Mark Taylor

PubChef rating (out of 10)

Ambience 8, Value for money 8,

Flavour factor 8, Overall impression 8.

BEERS: Goff's Jouster, Wadworth's 6X,

Marston's Pedigree

MAIN COURSES: Gloucester Old Spot

sausage ring, spring onion crushed new

potatoes, onion gravy (£7.50), rib-eye steak,

sautéed potatoes, peppercorn sauce (£15.50).

WINES ON LIST: Seven whites, seven reds,

two rosés and six Champagnes and sparkling.

ANOTHER THING: The Beehive is popular with horse-racing fans, who often use it as a base during the big race meetings at Cheltenham racecourse.

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