All about the bling
Is this the most OTT restaurant in Bucks & Oxon? Feast your eyes on The Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield.
Whoop, whoop! Lock up your men ‘cos it’s Friday night and the laydeeez are hitting the town! Well, the rather upmarket old town of Beaconsfield to be precise. Destination – The Crazy Bear’s restaurant. Mission – to locate the ultimate girls night out buzz. Agent – Muddy’s Nicky Richardson.
The Crazy Bear hotel opened in Beaconsfield Old Town back in 2008 to much fanfare because, aside from its sister hotel in Stadhampton, there’s really nothing like it in the area. Well, can you think of another place with zebra heads on flock wallpaper?! Basically it’s totally over the top, with a bling-tastic interior, outdoor swimming pool and more mirrors than even Kim Kardashian could use. Lead on, we’re all for it.
Glam, buzzy and dripping with champers and chandeliers, it’s like Footballers Wives meets Made In Chelsea. For pre-dinner cocktails we were escorted to our table through the main bar and into a souk-like cavern draped in gold lamé (be warned, the tiled floors are an accident waiting to happen when in heels though we managed to stay upright). It was too chilly to sit round the snazzy pool area but I dare say after a few drinks, or on a hot evening it would be a fun place to hang out.
There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore at The Crazy Bear with private dining areas and party rooms for hire. Put on your sunglasses and feast your eyes on this lot…
We were booked into the Thai restaurant which meant we had to exit the hotel and walk down the street. Fine on a May evening but be prepared with a brolly in winter.
SCOFF & QUAFF
A raspberry Moscow mule, a Mojito and Peach Bellini were required to power us down the road to the Thai restaurant with its bizarre distressed lace curtains (think haunted house) and comfy leather banquettes.
There’s an extensive menu but we opted to start with a sharing selection of chicken satay, veggie spring rolls, baby squid and chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves. Nothing out of the ordinary here but very tasty and beautifully presented.
The vegetable tempura was excellent – light batter with crunchy vegetables. Most starters are under a tenner, but the likes of sesame prawn toast with foie gras and wagyu beef tartare (neither of which we tried) cost more.
For our mains (by the way we needed to use our torches on our phones to read the menu, such was the seductive lighting) we went for a beef sirloin Panang curry with lychees and cherry toms, a chicken green curry with white aubergine and bamboo, the traditional stir fried chicken with cashews and capsicums and an aubergine curry with baby courgettes for the vegetarian amongst us. Sides of a papaya salad, Gai Lan with braised garlic, noodles and rice left the table groaning with grub. Most mains came in just under £20 and sides less than £10 and it was delicious – beautifully presented too.
By now and a few glasses of Burgundy later, there was very little room for puds but we innocently ordered the lemongrass panacotta with caramelised banana to share.
OUT & ABOUT
Beaconsfield Old Town is very pretty, with rows of Georgian houses to ogle and plenty of fancy shops so if you’re staying at The Crazy Bear it’s worth making some time to have a stroll around and flex the credit card. The Old Town is mostly restaurants and interiors shops, while the New Town has more shopping but less character. You’re very close to Amersham (excellent boutique shopping and another gorgeous market town) for a trip out.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
GOOD FOR: Girls’ night out, parties for friends and partners, special occasions.
NOT FOR: Families – this kind of camp OTT delight is wasted on the very young.
££: It’s not a cheap night out (cocktails are about £15 which feels a bit pinchy). However The Crazy Bear does offer something very different and in my book that’s always worth paying for.