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Review: The Beehive, New Eltham
In my experience pubs a stone’s throw from railway stations tend to be rough and ready affairs – fights won’t always break out, but it often feels they will.
So, finding myself outside New Eltham station with time to spare and not really knowing the area I wasn’t sure what I’d find.
Well, I had no need to worry. A matter of yards from the tracks I spied the welcoming sight of a quite superb looking place -The Beehive.
Once through the spectacular entrance porch, complete with hanging baskets, I was faced with a wonderful Victorian bar that was spacious and well decorated, with wonderful high ceilings.
The atmosphere was as warm and welcoming as was the barman who served me.
Dressed head-to-toe in black, complete with a waistcoat and ponytail, he was both charming and cheery.
Not that I needed help to choose a drink – unashamedly ignoring an excellent range of ales and lagers I opted for an old favourite.
The Doom Bar was as good as ever, a creamy indulgence that simply slipped down.
Having downed the first half pint in one wonderful gulp, I leant back on my bar stool to take closer note of my surroundings.
There is an interesting and imposing bar right through the centre of the pub, but at one side a separate seating area behind glass creates a more secluded section.
I also spotted a number of promotional posters offering a wide range of entertainment.
Having already spied a number of speakers being humped into one corner of the bar, I wasn’t surprised to see Adrian Fraser was due to start warbling in about 10 minutes.
However, seeing a line of about 10 tambourines I suddenly feared audience participation might be encouraged.
Other interesting vocalists on the bill for future evenings included Glynn the Soul Man and Nicole Jenkinson, who had developed a fascinating poster.
Then I realised that if I’d been just 24 hours later I would have witnessed an entirely different act.
Tara, medium/clairvoyant, is available on the first Thursday of every month from 5pm with a taster session offered for just £20.
Interesting, but at that price I’d want at least a couple of guaranteed Lotto numbers.
My reverie was broken by the entry of a group of guys who met up with three mates at a table in the window.
Seldom have I seen such heartfelt hugs and backslapping, you’d have thought they hadn’t seen each other for years.
But looking around I realised this good natured behaviour is typical for The Beehive.
This is a great pub, where good friends meet regularly and it shows.
But, just as I was settling in to order another pint of pure joy, I remembered my train was due.
So, I missed out on a second drink, Mr Fraser’s tambourines and knowing my future.
One thing’s for sure though, the Beehive’s future looks good.
Address: The Beehive, Footscray Road, New Eltham
How The Beehive rates:
Decor: **** (classy and comfortable)
Drink: ***** (great choice, a perfect Doom Bar – frozen shots aplenty if that’s your thing)
Price: *** (£3.40 for my pint)
Atmosphere: **** (hugs all round, an excellent buzz)
Staff: *** (chatty and cheerful)