The sound of clinking champagne glasses were heard the other night as new innovative bar-restaurant The Beech House opened its doors in Bucks.
The Beech House received an entusiastic welcome from locals as it opened its doors on Amersham’s Hill Avenue last weekend.
The Mayor of Amersham, Councillor Clive Morgan, officially opened the 140-seat bar and restaurant which is an innovative re-development of a row of shops and a former motor service station by award-winning pub group, Oakman Inns.
Within easy walking distance from Amersham Station, the first thing you notice from Hill Avenue is an open-air terrace with al fresco-style seating in front of the glass-fronted bar area, which will doubtless prove a big attraction in warmer weather when shoppers and locals will watch the world go by over a drink.
The imaginatively designed interior offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere and is made up of several different areas - some quiet and discreet and others to suit larger parties. The gleaming aluminium-topped bar wraps around one side of the large space, almost guiding you to the choice of lounge and dining areas and then on to a raised mezzanine level with more seating and a private dining room, which can be booked for meetings and special events.
The original, warehouse-high, ceilings have been retained as have the original concrete supporting pillars. The industrial feel from the raw materials, brick, steel and glimpses of concrete mingle with a suspended ceiling “raft” of wood fibre panels that run above the key public areas - a system which creates an acoustically quieter environment by absorbing sound.
The bar is well stocked with an extensive range of hot and cold drinks to suit every occasion – from hot chocolate made with Callebaut shavings and Rainforest Alliance certified coffee prepared by their Baristas to cocktails, wines, beers and smoothies. Installed next to the bar are four striking copper tanks, each containing over 1,000 pints of craft beer delivered fresh from Greenwich – unexposed to the air - from the popular Meantime Brewery.
From breakfast through to dinner, the seasonal, Mediterranean-inspired menus flex through the day and children are welcomed with their own menu as well as an activity pack. Whether you’re tempted to try an authentic Neapolitan pizza, hand-crafted by one of their pizzaiolos in the wood-fired oven, or one of their outstanding British meats grilled in the Josper charcoal grill, you’ll find freshly prepared dishes to suit all tastes and dietary requirements.
General Manager, James Stanton, until recently the GM at The Beech House in Beaconsfield, is delighted to be back in his hometown again. “I really think we’ve managed to create a perfect blend of traditional pub comfort with a rich, contemporary feel and, with our wide-ranging all-day food and drinks menus, our offer is pretty unique. This is Oakman Inns’ fourth Beech House and having been part of the of the opening team at the first one in Beaconsfield; I’m proud to to be leading the opening team of 60 here.”
Head Chef, Andrew Kolvin, is thrilled with his state of the art, open kitchen. “I think our guests were initially surprised they could watch us preparing their dishes – it adds to the theatre - but then we also get the benefit of seeing them guests enjoying their meal - that’s what it’s all about for us.”
The Mayor of Amersham, Cllr Clive Morgan, declared: “The Beech House is a spectacular development in Amersham on the Hill. Providing congenial surroundings for visitors who want to relax, wine and dine with attentive and friendly staff and imaginative food, it’s suitable for all kinds of occasions. A most welcome addition to the town and I wish Oakman Inns every success in this venture.”
Peter Borg-Neal, CEO, Oakman Inns added: “Last year, we celebrated the company’s 10th anniversary and the opening of this magnificent site is a demonstration of how far we have come. By the time our new places, in Olney, Welford-on-Avon and Ascot are open we will have 23 amazing pubs in our portfolio. I am particularly delighted to get the Amersham Beech House open as it has been a long time coming. The good news is that the people of Amersham absolutely love it and we have been packed from day one and have smashed all its targets. We are hoping that the Beech House will be seen as a place for the whole of the local community to eat, drink and meet friends. Finally, I would just like to recognise James Stanton, our General Manager, and his team. They have done a great job getting it open and coping with some very busy shifts despite all the challenges that the poor weather brought to us.”
Will Phelps, Head Teacher at Beacon School, Amersham: “It is wonderful to have a quality restaurant that has a truly contemporary and modern vibe - a place to entertain both professionally and personally.”
Stephen Binks, Director, Binks Estate Agent: “It’s good news to see that the long-awaited Beech House has opened in Hill Avenue. Amersham has needed a modern gastro pub in the heart of the New Town for many years now. If the level of service and fare offered at other venues within the Oakman Inns group are anything to go by, this new modern style bar-restaurant will be a sure-fire winner.”