What: Golden Bee, cocktail bar
Where: Singer St, near Old Street tube
When: Sept 2012
Price: About £8 per cocktail
Rating: 4 stars
Golden Bee is a fairly new bar in Shoreditch, very close to Old St tube. I’m not usually one to stray that far of a weeknight, but the offer of nutella martinis and Haribo cocktails was more than I could resist. It also happened to be a really beautiful Friday evening on the day of our review, so the lure of their roof terrace was like a siren song. I had hoped Golden Bee would offer a pleasant sort of evening, but truth be told, I hadn’t given it a huge amount of thought before hand. Which was nice actually, because it meant the wonderful evening we had there was something of a surprise.
Golden Bee’s roof terrace is gorgeous. And not just gorgeous in an ‘ooh we’re up high’ kind of a way, but in a ‘they’ve really laid this out beautifully’ kind of way. A series of winding staircases twist skywards and lead you to a of couple of different levels before you reach the bar at the top. The ambience is buzzing (see what I did there?) and the air hums with conversation. I tried a nutella martini for my first drink, while The London Lad went for a honey bee (?), which is one of their signature cocktails. The nutella martini was spot on – perfectly creamy and sweet with a heady tang of booze – while TLL’s honey cocktail was sweet and aromatic. For round two, TLL went for their take on an Old Fashioned (top marks) and I went for their alarmingly brightly coloured haribo cocktail, which came complete with gummy bears. Despite the colour, it was refreshing and very drinkable.
Later, we headed down to the indoor bar (with its honeycomb motif where actual jars of honey make up the decoration) and tried Golden Bee’s bespoke cocktails. Golden Bee employs several world class mixologists, who happily cook you up a cocktail of whatever you fancy. I asked for something with gin and elderflower and was presented with a freshly made cocktail of gin, elderflower, and strawberry puree. It was quite simply, the most beautiful cocktail I’ve ever had. It was so sublime that you couldn’t even really detect any sharpness in the alcohol – it was an absolute joy.
I would go back to Golden Bee in an instant. We had a very pleasant evening there on a gorgeous September evening, though I imagine the roof terrace will be equally lovely in the coming cooler months (I spied standing outdoor heaters) and there are rumours they might make the nutella cocktail a hot one come winter… I’ll take two please!