We Visited The Hidden Garden In Shepherd's Bush With Killer Cocktails And Pizzas

I'll level with you - nothing piques my libation-loving interest quite like a good ol' alfresco area. Especially pretty, foliage-adorned havens off the beaten track. The Hawk's Nest in Shepherd's Bush had been on my 'need to go' list for quite some time - I mean, have a look for yourself, it's beautiful, isn't it? So, on a balmy, late-summer evening, I decided to head its way, with cocktails and pizza on my mind.

Hawk's Nest In Shepherd's Bush London | DesignMyNight

Cocktails and gorgeous decor? Count me in.

As I was a little late for my booking (apologies, Hawk's Nest), I'd sprinted my way from Shepherd's Bush Market station. So, there I arrived, a red, flustered mess - but what I found? An absolute stunner of a spot. At the front, there were cute tables and what looked like a flower-entwined entrance into a magical, faraway land. But no, it was something much better - a seriously cool cocktail bar. Once through, there were a few long, green benches, covered by what seemed to be more plant than pergola. I felt immediately calm; the smell of incense flowed towards us, while upbeat reggae tunes played in the background. And better yet, there were lots of adorable pooches around. Was I in heaven?

You make your order through QR codes on the tables. Once scanned, a menu pops up, showcasing cocktails, beers and a load of tasty pizzas. As you can imagine, after my brief jog, I was pretty thirsty, so I kicked off with a Passion Fruit Mezcalita (£11), a mix of Koch Espadin Mezcal, El Sueno Blanco, Cointreau, passionfruit, lime and agave. It was sweet yet smoky, with a punchy, tropical edge. My friend went for the Summer Negroni (£11), which was a lighter version of the classic cocktail (tasting a bit like a grown-up Aperol Spritz), combining Tanqueray Flor de Seville, Belsazar Rose Vermouth and Aperol.

Hawk's Nest Shepherd's Bush | DesignMyNight

You'll also find pool tables, board games and fun events at one of the best bars in Shepherd's Bush.

While we sipped merrily away, we eyed up the Hawk's Nest's menu. The truffle mushroom arancini (£4.50) sounded so good, we had to give it a go. It arrived piping hot and beautifully crispy on the outside, with a gorgeous balance of truffle and garlic - complemented nicely by the generous slices of mushroom. Alongside this, we ordered a bowl of courgette chips (£4.50). These came as big slabs of deep-fried courgette served with a deliciously zingy dipping sauce.

Next up? The Hawk's Nest Margarita (£10.50), a blend of El Sueno Blanco, Cointreau, Chambord, lime, agave and homemade oleo. It packed a heady kick, with a smooth, sweet edge. My pal went for the Picante (£10.50). Phwoar, this one was an absolute winner, mixing El Sueno Reposado, chilli, coriander, lime and agave. After a long time choosing which pizza to get (the selection is totally drool-inducing), we opted for the speck and stracciatella (£13), topped with heritage tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella and parmesan cream. The stone-baked crust was fluffy and flavourful, and the marriage of ingredients was simple yet oh-so-perfect.

Hawk's Nest Bar Shepherd's Bush | DesignMyNight

I'm definitely going to have to come back to check out the rest of the pizza menu.

As the hours passed, the vibe of the venue became a bit more upbeat - high-energy tunes started blasting from the speakers and there was a lovely, friendly buzz to the whole place. We decided we need to get on this wavelength (especially after our accidental carb-loading) and ordered a couple of espresso martinis (£11 each). Let's be honest, you can't go wrong with one of these bad boys, but this was a perfectly balanced combo of Sapling Vodka, Kahlua, coffee and gomme. It was exactly the pick-me-up that we needed. And to finish? A couple of pints of Brixton Reliance Pale Ale (£6.20 each), which offered a refreshing end to a very lovely evening indeed.

The DesignMyNight Digest

What an absolute gem. An unpretentious yet undeniably cool watering hole, The Hawk's Nest is everything I've wanted in a bar. The cocktails? Delicious. The pizzas? Even better. And don't get me started on the decor, we'd be here for hours. If you're looking for a lovely local in West London, make sure to to give this one a try.

  💰 The damage: About £77 for food and lots of drinks for two.

  📍  The location: Goldhawk Rd, Shepherd's Bush Market, W12 8DF.

  👌 Perfect for: Casual catch-ups with friends and unique date nights.

 ⭐ Need to know: The pizza is seriously top tier.