Restaurant Review: Hive, Sevenoaks
Restaurant and bar serving cocktails in the heart of Sevenoaks? Muddy heads to new foodie find, Hive, to see what all the buzz is about...
It has been soooo long since I did a food review, so how wonderful that my first time back in the ring, taking one for the team, was such a goodie – and the sun was shining. Here’s what we found.
Hive is situated in the heart of Sevenoaks, in one of the oldest areas of this beautiful Kent town. You’ll find it tucked away in Well Court (right next to the old well in fact) between Bank Street and Blighs Meadow shops.
It’s the perfect dining space, located in the picturesque courtyard, and the newly refurbed destination for locals and visitors alike.
Over the years this prime spot in the centre of Sevenoaks has undergone a few incarnations – many years ago a steak and burger bistro and after that a Chinese restaurant. And when the previous owner put it up for sale, chef Tom Herrieven saw it as an opportunity too good to miss. He’d already fallen in love with the venue and recognised the huge potential.
Newly refurbed and super stylish (with fully air-conditioned indoor dining) plus a cocktail bar to boot, Hive also has a heated outdoor seating area sheltered by a 70-year-old maple tree.
The restaurant is owned and run by business partners Tom and Dan. Tom is the head chef who has worked in the hospitality industry for 26 years (having started at 16!), and Dan is a seasoned restaurant manager and the reason the operation runs so slickly. Sounds like the dream team combo to us.
Also recruited to the team comes Mixologist Jim Harrison, previously at Verdigris in Tonbridge, which is known for its impressive cocktails – so Jim’s got good credentials.
We started our lunch with a non-alcoholic cocktail, the Clover club, was still incredible, so do try it if you’re having a lunch/dinner and can’t go full-throttle (or are designated driver).
Then we enjoyed a tasting menu perfectly paired with the most delicious selections of wines (one teeny tiny sip of each, honest).
The food here is just how we love it – full of flavour, thoughtfully put together, mouth-watering, yet not in the least bit fussy. Just honest, exceptional cooking.
Hive sneaks onto the Sevenoaks podium as a top option for that slightly special dining experience but with a totally unpretentious, down-to-earth feel. It’s a massive thumbs up from us.
And mainly we’re just looking forward to returning one evening soon to sample those ‘next level’ cocktails!
OUT AND ABOUT
For those that don’t know Sevenoaks it’s the small but perfectly small town in North Kent, near the rolling hills of rural west Kent but within easy reach of London and M25. With lots of Parking and plenty of indie shops to saunter around to work up your appetite.
Or if it’s nature you’re craving then head to gorgeous Knole Park, with its wild deer herd which is just around the corner, in the town itself. Or Riverhill Himilayan Gardens for walks and heaps of kid-friendly activities.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Those after a upbeat change from local pubs or restaurant chains – Hive has plenty of atmosphere as well as an excellent selection of wines, and the pretty outside courtyard is a sun trap – you could easily be on some far flung holiday. Visit in the evening for cocktails with your girlfriends.
Not for: Younger children – no doubt they would be totally welcome but there’s plenty of family eateries in this town and this is more for couples and groups of friends. It’s also worth noting that there isn’t any parking directly outside Hive, but Blighs Car Park is just a minute’s stroll away.
The damage: Foodwise, prices are very reasonable, for the quality for food on offer. The Garden Menu is £6/£7 for a small plate, £15 for a shared plate for two.
Hive Sevenoks, 01732 465827, 1 and 2 Well Court, Bank Street, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1UN