Named in honour of the Museum's much-loved working beehive, which has fascinated generations of children, the cafe is situated in the beautiful Victorian part of the Museum building, surrounded by parkland and opening up onto a rose terrace. Builders have stripped back to display the beauty of the original Victorian architecture and the cafe walls are fittingly decorated with a gold bee motif.
The Hive is the first part of the Museum to open its doors following a major redevelopment, funded by Chelmsford City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will completely transform the experience for visitors, using the very latest audiovisuals and special effects to take people on an emotional journey through time from an Ice Age plain to the modern city of Chelmsford.
All-new artefacts will appear in the Museum, including the oldest piece of gold jewellery in Essex - the Danbury Diadem - which the people of Essex crowdfunded last autumn. Artwork and objects will also be on display in the Hive, providing an intriguing conversation-starter for visitors to point out and contemplate while they enjoy delicious food and drinks.
Councillor Susan Sullivan, Cabinet Member for Museums, said, "The Hive is a really lovely place to spend time. With a warm, Victorian-fireside feel and stunning views, it's ideal for afternoon tea, lunch with someone special or a quick bite with the family. Together, the Museum and park have always provided a wonderful afternoon out and the new cafe completes the experience."
The cafe contract has been awarded to Kellie Elicin, who has also successfully run The Lemon Tree in Moulsham Street, Chelmsford. The menu will feature local produce at good value, alongside seasonal specials. Kellie said, "We are so excited! Oaklands Park and the Museum have always been a favourite destination for our family. When the opportunity arose, we grabbed it with both hands and have been overwhelmed with
interest and support. We are privileged to be part of such an amazing project and can't wait to share our beautiful new cafe with you all."
"Looking at the thought that has gone into The Hive," added Councillor Sullivan, "I think we should all be getting very excited for the big reveal of the rest of the Museum this summer."
Find out more about Chelmsford Museum and the big redevelopment at http://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/museums
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