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A newly refurbished landmark pub in Notting Hill.
The Hayden sits in pride of place on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill’s vibrant neighbourhood; this handsome pub is surrounded by chic shops and just as stone’s throw from Portobello Road.
The Hayden recently has undergone an extensive makeover and which has successfully created an elegant and atmospheric bar and restaurant. The interior boasts soft grey panelled walls flanked with statement mirrors, which are complemented by rustic oak flooring throughout, a high decorative tin ceiling, wooden tables and red leather banquettes, whilst the pendant lighting and glistening long bar add a touch of glamour.
Above the pub, and spread across three floors they are also about to unveil eight luxury boutique bedrooms, the modern double and twin bedrooms will come complete with bespoke mirrors, vintage chandeliers and distinctive feature walls. Crisp linens, opulent fabrics and walls washed with calming greys and creams, will make each room a sanctuary from busy urban life. I didn’t get a look but they sound lovely and what a great location.
So with summer all but over and an autumnal chill in the air, it definitely seemed like a good time to try out The Hayden’s new menu and enjoy a hearty meal. Food is served from a central open kitchen which offers an inviting selection of refined British classics and some tempting comfort food including deluxe beef burgers, slow-cooked BBQ ribs, corn-fed rotisserie chicken, steak and blue cheese salad, risotto, pan-fried sea bass and plenty more.
The Mexican barman, we were told, made a mean Margarita, so I gave it a whirl and wasn’t in the least disappointed. It was frosty, limey with a good measure of tequila and a salty tinge. My friend enjoyed a Negroni Andaluz, which was both smooth and punchy with citrus notes. But naturally, there was plenty more to choose from with a carefully curated selection of signature cocktails including an essential gins and things list.
We started an excellent seafood platter to share, popcorn shrimp, freshly battered calamari, smoked salmon, prawns and aioli. This in itself was quite a meal.
For the main event we feasted on the jumbo (it really was huge!) short rib of beef with a BBQ sauce glaze, it had been slow-cooked and smoked for 24 hours. The result was rich, tender and succulent, served on a bed of delicious creamy mashed potato and fried shallots.
The whole lobster looked suitably impressive, and it proved to be beautifully tender, drenched in garlic butter with some tasty skin-on chips and salad.
Did we really have room after such a feast? Well, it seemed rude not to try.
Again some British classics done well – a tiramisu with authentic layers of sponge and alcohol and a creamy Eton mess laced with fresh strawberries.
Dinner was washed down with a bottle of lemony Picpoul de Pinet, Beauvignac, (France 2016) and finished off with coffee and a tipple of my favourite liqueur of the moment, amaretto.
On weekends you can start your day with a hearty brunch or enjoy a good British roast on Sunday, plus it’s good to know that there are some good deals on offer throughout the week (see below). Or, you might like to make a weekend of it and stay in one of the boutique rooms upstairs.
The Hayden, Notting Hill is a cut above the average gastropub, with its stylish décor, welcoming atmosphere, good food and friendly staff. A perfect West London dining experience.
65 Westbourne Grove
+44 20 7229 2233
30% Off Food
from 5pm to 11pm
Mon/Tue/Wed from 5pm to 7pm
& Thurs & Fri from 12noon to 7pm
2 courses for £16.50
or just a main for £13.50
Mon-Fri till 7pm
Looking for more West London options – we loved The Blue Anchor – a historic pub in Hammersmith. Uli pan-Asian restaurant or Buckets seafood restaurant are a couple of other options in Notting Hill that we’ve enjoyed. Or how about The Princess Victoria in Shepherd’s Bush, another recently revamped pub.