Beagle is a new restaurant, bar and coffee shop, stylishly and very east London-ly housed in 3 brick railway arches under Hoxton Station. We stopped by for an after work cocktail followed by dinner, to see just what Beagle brings to the edible entertaining scenery.
Beagle was another one of this year’s most talked about openings (April 2013), taking over 3 large renovated railway arches on Geffrye Street, Shoreditch. Each arch offers something slightly different. The arch closest to the station takes advantage of the commuter trade by housing a coffee shop, the other two arches home the cocktail bar and restaurant with framed open restaurant pass. A ‘hero’ feature of Beagle is its large south facing outdoor seating area; a perfect after work, straight off the train, stop for a cocktail or two in the fleeting sunshine. Hoxton’s new hotspot is brought to us from brothers Danny and Kiran Clancy (of Bonnie Gull) and a head chef with a great reputation – James Henderson, previously at the highly regarded Rochelle Canteen.
The space is undeniably impressive, there is a wow factor when you enter; the high ceilings of the arches, the epic amount of brickwork enveloping you, the fixtures and fittings radiate understated great taste (London-based designers Fabled Studios over-saw the interiors). There is brushed blackened steel to contrast the clean brickwork, a wooden floor made exclusively from reclaimed railway sleepers. This is all balanced by large front windows letting in enough natural day light, ensuring these old arches don’t feel claustrophobic or like you are in fact under an operating train station (rumbles of said trains can be heard sporadically throughout the venue – we didn’t find these bothersome at all).
The bar at Beagle offers seasonal cocktails alongside aperitifs; restorative blends and a British led spirits selection served up by Mixologist Myles Davies (and team), formerly of Viajante and Hix. The list has some quintessentially British tasting cocktails including the Pine, made with Douglas Fir Infused Beefeater Gin. Alongside the cocktail list there is also a reasonably priced, substantial wine list.
James Ferguson heads up the kitchen, taking centre stage in creating and presenting wonderfully colourful, seasonal British and slightly Mediterranean inspired dishes. James has quite a reputation, having trained for 3 years under Angela Hartnett at the Connaught. James was part of the team when it received a Michelin star in 2004, then headed off to work as head chef at the critically acclaimed Rochelle Canteen in Bethnal Green in 2008.
The dishes change daily at Beagle. We encountered a small menu; some great sounding plates but it did feel a little limited, especially to my vegetarian non-dairy eating guest. When ordering we asked if it might be possible for a few of the dishes not to have the diary content (curd and cheese), the waitress did come back to us a little sheepishly saying the chef could accommodate but ‘wasn’t very happy about it’. The honesty was quite amusing but had our request been turned down we would have had no choice but to have left and found somewhere that my guest could dine comfortably.
With the small menu, it does make us feel a little wary to recommend this as a spot for demanding clients or fussy eaters, but if you are an easy eater or hosting a bunch of ‘foodinistas’ that will eat what they are told, then this is a great place to check out. When team Delicious went to Feast earlier this year, Beagle had a pre-opening stand and we tried a few bites then and really enjoyed every bit of crisp polenta rabbit.
Overall we had a most pleasant meal. We are not entirely sure if this is currently a ‘will travel to’ destination eat, time will tell. Although, if we are in the area, then we would most definitely come back and that terrace is very appealing for those rare sunny days.
Beagle/ 397 – 399 Geffrye Street/ London/ E2 8HZ
Restaurant and Bar: Monday – Friday: 6pm – 12am/ Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 12am
Coffee Shop: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 7pm
We ate a 2-course dinner with a glass of wine and a cocktail for approx. £35-40 pp.
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