The Hayden: Cocktails, Risotto And Westbourne Grove Al Fresco

The Hayden, Notting Hill ★★★☆☆

The Hayden: Cocktails, Risotto And Westbourne Grove Al Fresco The Hayden, Notting Hill 3
The Hayden, Notting Hill: just don't expect to ever find it looking this empty

The Hayden's heaving on a sunny July evening — every pavement table taken, every banquette inside full, the gaps between tables filled with standing drinkers.

We're not surprised; if you live or work locally, The Hayden's going to tick a lot of boxes. It's big, airy and polished in a very Notting Hill way. There are some obvious date nights in progress; there are some big work groups talking property market stats.

Strong vegetarian game at The Hayden. Photo by Lydia Manch.

The Hayden's not reinventing anything. It's straightforward gastropub stuff — burgers, steak,  — but done well. Chunky portions, strong vegetarian offering, dishes chillied and salted like they mean it. Risotto primavera comes rich with enough cheese to counteract any green veg virtuousness; sweet potato soup's lemongrass-fragrant, and the squash and goat's cheese salad's a generous pile-on of spice and fat and roasted flavours.

And they're strong on non-alcoholic options, with a better selection than we've found in most London bars. 0.0% ABV cocktails, summery and long with soda or punchy with The Bitter Note vermouth, fruit pressés and a well-chosen range of alcohol-free beers and ciders.  

Prices are on the steep side of gastropub — £10 for an (admittedly fancy, coffee-bean sprinkled and orange infused) G&T, and salads and burgers starting at £14  — but some pretty expansive happy hours and an early evening set menu mean there's a more affordable path through The Hayden on weekdays.

Gastropub standards done well, decent-sized portions, outside seating, vegetarian-friendly, low-alcohol-friendly (the whole place is generally friendly). You might not cross London for The Hayden, but you can see why Notting Hill locals keep it packed out.

The Hayden has 2-for-1 cocktails from Monday - Friday from 5 - 7pm, and a two course set menu from Monday - Friday till 7pm.

The Hayden, 65 Westbourne Grove, W2 4UJ.

Last Updated 05 August 2019