Review: The Beech House (Beaconsfield)
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Well looky here! I’m becoming rather fond of Beaconsfield on my little jaunts to the south of Buckinghamshire. Being so close to London, it has that urban tingle about it, and there’s the sense of investment and affluence that comes from being in the stockbroker belt that filters through to the shops and design.
The Beech House launched last year but reopened just weeks ago after a major revamp. I didn’t go to the ‘original’, but am told it was quite traditional, serving Mediterrean-style food. The new version is no doubt much funkier, and owes quite a debt to the likes of Jamie’s Italian, Cleaver and Byron, with its industrial lighting, open plan and tastefully quirky touches and styling. Even the staff’s look has changed, their original black formal waiting gear now wry staff slogan t-shirts and their own black jeans.
It’s quite a the shock because from the high street it looks fairly unremarkable, particularly in winter when the awning and outside chairs look less inviting. There is no hint of the sleekness within, which makes it all the more fun when you’re confronted by chesterfields, brightly coloured bottles on the bar and banquets around the walls. It’s exactly the kind of proper hybrid bar/restaurant space that I hanker after in mid-Bucks, and travel regularly to Oxford for.
I ate here yesterrday (Tuesday) and although it’s a vast space, the way it’s carved up makes it feel welcoming too – there were at least six tables filled for a late lunch – a couple of mums with babies, a couple of women catching up after too long, and a bigger party too. The food was exactly what I thought it would be – good quality burgers, steaks, slow-cooked meats (they have a natty indoor BBQ) – basic crowd pleasers that would suit a group of mates catching up somewhere buzzy or a family on a Saturday night. Nothing too fancy – foods are grouped under headings like ‘Things that swim’ and ‘Comfort food’ which gives you an idea of the informality – but everything is done well.
I wanted to try the indoor BBQ because it’s a new piece of kit and quite unusual to have one around these ‘ere parts, so I went for the pulled pork with chips and coleslaw. The pork was tender, the chips lasted seconds. For dessert I had fig pudding with ice cream that I had no intention of finishing but, um, did anyway.
Then it was double espresso and a power up the M40, but I’ll definitely be back, next time with the whole family.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Groups of friends looking for somewhere relaxed but buzzy. Families wanting to treat the kids, relaxed business lunches.
Not for: Those who like things a bit more formal, or serious foodies – the food offering here is good quality basics rather than a soupçon and amuse bouche.
££: Very reasonable. Mains between £10-12.
The Beech House, 17 Penn Road, Beaconsfield, HP9 2PN. Tel: 01494 842166. beechhousebeaconsfield.co.uk