1. The Hero
    Photograph: The Hero
  2. The Hero
    Photograph: The Hero
  3. The Hero
    Photograph: The Hero
  4. The Hero
    Photograph: The Hero
  5. The Hero
    Photograph: The Hero
  6. The Hero
    Photograph: The Hero
  • Restaurants | Gastropubs
  • price 3 of 4
  • Maida Vale
  • Recommended


The Hero

4 out of 5 stars

A wilfully posh gastro resto on the fringes of Notting Hill

Leonie Cooper

Time Out says

What looks like a pub and sounds like a pub, but isn’t really a pub? 

The Hero might have many hallmarks of a proper British boozer (beer on tap, a slightly eerie painted sign swinging in the breeze, The Clash creaking out of the speakers) but you couldn’t just come here for just a pint. There are no stools at the bar, for starters. On a sunny Friday lunchtime everyone here is ordering food and most of them are drinking wine. 

It’s a savoury version of a chocolate lava cake, oozing ogleshield out of pastry that is essentially, nothing but crust

What The Hero is though, is a great restaurant. And a beautiful one at that, with peachy plaster walls, stripped wooden floors, and a moneyed cottagecore aesthetic that give it the same aspirational energy as an extremely scrollable listing on The Modern House

The latest opening from the team behind the ever-so-swanky and similarly pub-not-pub outings The Pelican in Notting Hill and The Bull in Charlbury, The Hero used to be the slightly more long-winded The Hero of Maida and before that, The Truscott Arms, and so on and so on all the way back to the 1870s, when it was built as the grand Victiorian lodging known as the Shirland Hotel. Which is to say that change is inevitable, authenticity is but a construct and we should just sit back and enjoy the cod cheeks. 

Which we do, and enthusiastically. There are sizable snacks of sticky lamb ribs and a toastie bursting with dense ogleshield and a tart Branston-esque pickle. Better still is the cheese and onion pie, a sturdy and robust thing with pastry shorter than my attention span when someone tells me that I simply must listen to Charli XCX. Which brings us to another question – when is a pie not a pie? When it’s a savoury version of a chocolate lava cake, oozing yet more ogleshield out of pastry that is essentially and incredibly, nothing but crust. Pie purists might baulk at such a thing, but I would quite happily lick its many crumbs off of the floor (after all, this isn’t a proper pub – it’s far cleaner). 

A smoked eel and bacon salad was hilariously large, and dressed so deeply with a creamy sauce it was as if the lettuce was wearing white camouflage. Barnsley lamb chop comes with a tangy mush of gooseberries, boldly flaunting The Hero’s commitment to seasonality. We can find no scrimping on flavour anywhere on the menu.

The Hero might not be the pub it says it is, but with food this great, it’s easy to forgive them for such deception. 

The vibe A posh restaurant masquerading as a pub in leafy Maida Vale. 

The food Elegant pub-coded grub, spanning scotch eggs to elevated ham, egg and chips, sausage and mash and fish pie. 

The drink Glasses of wine start at £6 and bottles at £32 aka pub prices for restaurant wine. Decent. 

Time Out tip The ‘snacks’ portion of the menu is something of a red herring, with the £8 cheese toastie a perfectly adequate meal for one.


55 Shirland Rd
W9 2JD
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