Being right next to the green in Lake Hayes Estate The Hayes is a great spot to hide from the elements or enjoy the sun on a nice day. The team has made a huge effort to cater for everyone in the community with a beautiful airy restaurant which can be booked for larger functions and a separate bar that is great for smaller occasions.
There is also a convenient deli, open from 7.30am till 8pm daily, which stocks all your household needs as well as the best Allpress coffee, cakes, sandwiches, pies and yummy ice cream for the kids.You can tell instantly that the owners Brad and Jackie Rule and Mark and Erica Latham have put a lot of love into the interior design of all three spaces, but the greenery and huge windows in the restaurant are absolutely Insta-worthy.
Everyone at The Hayes aims to provide more for locals than just amazing food, service and atmosphere; they want to be a place where the whole community comes together. The large outdoor playground is really popular with families and a Plunket group meets here every Friday. There’s plenty of heated outdoor seating where dogs are more than welcome and inside are big screens for sports fans.
In terms of events, they’ve been showing the latest Game of Thrones episodes on Mondays, Happy Hour is every Tuesday, and Wednesdays are reserved for their popular Quiz Night and the “Kids Eat Free” special. During the summer months they also hosted weekly Touch Rugby competitions which brought plenty of life to the green and The Hayes.It never gets boring at The Hayes, but to be honest, you don’t really need an excuse to pop down for some food or a drink. The friendly staff know most locals on a first-name basis and the quality of the food, service and atmosphere is reason enough. It was impossible to bypass The Good Start, polenta cakes with poached eggs, mushrooms, spinach, kale, halloumi and hollandaise sauce (bacon optional!), which was a great combination of flavours and textures. From super soft runny eggs to crispy halloumi and a generous portion of vegetables, we really felt like this dish would give you a wholesome and tasty start to the day.
For comfort food with a twist we tried the Seafood Spaghetti Marinara which turned out to be a very hearty portion with prawns, calamari and mussels. The combination of Mediterranean flavours, peppery rocket and flavorful parmesan made this dish way more interesting than your standard spaghetti and is a great choice for anyone who enjoys seafood.We’d also heard rumours about The Hayes’ legendary vegetarian pizza, but nothing prepared us for how good it really was.
We loved the blend of the three different cheeses and again adored the combination of flavours and textures in the toppings. Soft spinach, salty feta, tangy red onions, sweet roast kumara and balsamic vinegar were sprinkled with roast almonds – an unusual but genius addition.Apart from tasty food the team also currently has two amazing drinks specials. We sampled Party with Pinot which worked beautifully with our meals and allowed us to try a great local pinot noir. The brand-new Boozy Winter Warmers also sounded way too tempting and we’ll definitely back to try one of their classic Baileys Hot Chocolates, Hot Jaffas or After Dinner Mints.
Name: Sasha Budd
Job Title: Assistant Restaurant Manager
How long have you worked here? For two years, I was already here when it was Graze.
Where are you from? I was born in Wellington but have lived in Queenstown for 12 years.
What’s been the best thing about working here? It’s been really nice getting to know all the locals. I know pretty much half of the people who come here. We’ve built a proper little family.
Best dish for brunch? Eggs Bene, the hash cakes are so good!!
Favourite meal from the All Day Menu? I love the ribs. They are amazing.
How do you cater for people with dietary requirements? Pretty much everything can be adapted to be gluten free or vegan, the burgers can be burger bowls, and the pizzas can be changed easily as well.
What’s the plan for the future? Changing the menu is an ongoing process and we’re getting to know what locals really want. Many people wanted pizzas to eat in or take a way and introducing those was a big change.
Do you do takeaways? Yes, absolutely. We can do most dishes as takeaway. Pizzas, burgers and our family fish and chips are really popular. We’re also on Food on Q!
Visit The Hayes:
1 Onslow Road, Lake Hayes Estate