Having relocated from Holywell Hill to a far larger premises in Christopher Place late last year, popular St Albans eatery HATCH is as successful as ever.

Taking up the former Honest Burgers and Carluccio's unit, HATCH moved closer to the city centre after outgrowing its former location.

Owner, Chris Evans, told this paper "on a Saturday we were consistently turning away as many as we were seating", prior to the move.

To check if the restaurant has maintained its success, The Herts Advertiser visited yesterday morning (Tuesday, February 27) to taste test the eatery's brunch options.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Bacon and waffles was ordered on the day.Bacon and waffles was ordered on the day. (Image: Pearce Bates)

On entering the rustic-style location, welcoming and friendly staff showed us to our seats.

The new restaurant is split into two sections, with an initial café area ahead of the larger dining room.

This dining area was surprisingly busy for a Tuesday morning, a testament to the work that Chris and the team have been putting in.

Long tables allowed for groups of varying numbers to be seated comfortably, and a positive and cosy atmosphere filled the space.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: A well-decorated coffee was served, along with a complimentary bottle of water.A well-decorated coffee was served, along with a complimentary bottle of water. (Image: Pearce Bates)

As it was brunch time, what better way to test the restaurant than to order waffles with bacon and maple syrup from the attentive waiters at the site.

These waffles came charmingly decorated, with a dusting of icing sugar on top. They were also soft and flavoursome, which complemented the slightly crispy bacon on top.

A coffee was presented professionally, tasting smooth and refreshing. 

St Albans & Harpenden Review: HATCH's owner Chris Evans, outside the Christopher Place site.HATCH's owner Chris Evans, outside the Christopher Place site. (Image: Pearce Bates)

Each table was given its own bottle of complimentary tap water, not something seen at every restaurant in modern times.

HATCH's bid for a larger site, featuring the same ethos as Holywell Hill, has been a successful one.

Subtle nods to the former location have been included, to ensure that returning customers feel at home.


Pictures of HATCH's former sites on Holywell Hill and The Maltings adorn the walls of the Christopher Place eatery, while the café's original wooden decorations have also been incorporated.

Reclaimed wood has also been utilised, as was used in the kitchen of HATCH's old site in The Maltings.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Original wooden board's from HATCH's former location.Original wooden board's from HATCH's former location. (Image: Pearce Bates)

Overall, HATCH has kept the essence of a small and personal coffee shop, while expanding into a larger restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere.