The Hawk’s Nest | Alfresco boozing and pizza under a railway arch in Shepherd’s Bush
You know what they say about the hawk’s nest?
It’s technically called an eyrie.
Those who’ve ventured out west to Shepherd’s Bush, however, might say something entirely different, like… “The Hawk’s Nest has one of the best alfresco terraces in London.”
And that’s not an exaggeration: this Hawk’s Nest is located under the shadow of a railway arch on Goldhawk Road and is something of a generously-sized outdoor pizza and drinks hangout – generous as in it can seat around 120 people – richly decorated with ferns and greenery. London’s much-discussed, notoriously-unpredictable weather isn’t a factor thanks to a retractable glass roof, and as soon as any talk of ‘being cold’ starts, heaters and blankets are brought out in large supply.
You could compare the general vibe to venues like Mercato Metropolitano or CRATE Brewery in the sense that long wooden benches dominate the table arrangements, allowing groups to slide in together, trade pizza slices (we’ll get to that soon) and mediate a constant flow of craft beer and cocktails. Come nightfall they turn the fairy lights on and there’s a touch of twinkling magic to the atmosphere, while things get considerably noisier (and looser) when DJs enter the fold on weekends.
In getting caught up in all the visual stimulation around you, it’s easy to forget that there’s food here too. Great food, in fact. Arancini and courgette chips cover the small bites and then rest is left to a pizza oven that churns out gourmet Italian pizzas, stone baked with crusts sporting the ideal amount of char and served on a sourdough base. Don’t expect anything crazy, toppings tip towards the traditional: funghi; parma ham and mozzarella; one with chorizo and hot cherry bell peppers; and another spread with speck, stracciatella, heritage tomatoes and pesto.
Strictly speaking they’re all top-notch and the only way you might be accused of going wrong is by not partnering one with a drink. Those include all your usual suspects: cocktails, a majority made with fresh fruit (say a passionfruit mezcalita or a lychee martini), wine (starting at £6.50 for a glass) and a respectable range of draught beer and cider. They also do an extremely enticing £12 margarita deal – available from Monday to Friday, before 7pm. Stay with us… that’s the drink with a margherita pizza.
For all you eagle-eyed bargain hunters out there…
NOTE: The Hawk’s Nest is open Tuesday-Saturday. You can find out more and make a booking on their website, here.
The Hawk’s Nest | Goldhawk Rd, Shepherd’s Bush Market, W12 8DF
While continuing your carefully thought-out preparations on where you’ll be for most of spring and summer… check our guide to London’s best beer gardens