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  5. Hay-on-Wye
COTTO Restaurant at Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Powys

COTTO Restaurant at Hay Festival

3.4
3.4
29 Reviews
£26 to £40
Italian
This year the culinary delights and indulgent atmosphere of COTTO is being transported to the famous Welsh ‘town of books’ Hay-on-Wye, to host their restaurant at the annual Hay Literature Festival. Diners will enjoy a grandly decorated space, the food and wine will, of course, be distinctly Italian. Think fresh and seasonal bruschetta, crispy calamari or rich and melty arancini, paired perfectly with a cold glass of Gavi di Gavi that just seems to magically refill itself. All in the company of classically English period-pieces it will be the contrast you never knew you needed. Come as the sun shines, and the feasting and merriment spills onto the decking to the fore, with expertly balanced Negroni’s and Aperol Spritz’ to-go only aiding the stimulating intellectual debate. Come and eat a Neapolitan margherita amidst English Neoclassical sculptures in a poetic reminiscence of Europe’s latin roots. Come to Hay and come to COTTO.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 p.m.


Booked 4 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    £26 to £40
  • Cuisines
    Italian
  • Hours of Operation
    Daily 12:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Phone number
    01432 264836
  • Payment Options
    Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress Code
    Casual Dress
  • Neighbourhood
    Hay-on-Wye
  • Parking Details
    Public Lot
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cafe, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, High Tea, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 29 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

3.4
3.4 based on recent ratings
  • 3.9Food
  • 3.1Service
  • 3.2Ambience
  • 3.1Value

NoiseEnergetic

29 Reviews
  1. Sylvia

    South Wales

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 4, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    We were eating on the final evening of Hay Festival. Food was lovely but we did feel that we were "in the way" as a lot of movement in putting down tables etc was going on around us. Fair enough - they were dismantling because it was the final evening - but we were guests and felt like we were in the middle of a building site with tables being taken apart around us etc. Staff were lovely and the food was tasty.

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  2. Constantgardener

    Gloucestershire

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 3, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Fantastic effort for a pop up. Only slight niggle was they could have done with some cooking smoke extraction from the kitchen area.

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  3. YvonneB

    Mid Wales

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 3, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We were sptable of 6, who nearly all turned up at different times. This must have made it more difficult for the staff on a very busy evening. The service was excellent, nothing was too much trouble. The food and wine were very good and all our guests had a great evening. Thank you everyone!

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  4. Roguejumbo

    Herefordshire

    8 reviews

    3.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on June 3, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    A good effort if this was their first time as the main Festival restaurant. I'm sure they will learn of lot of lessons and improve a lot if they come back next year. Food prices acceptable but wine prices very much OTT!

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  5. JanetS

    London

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 2, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    Great to have Cotto at the Hay Festival - we ate their twice and the food was very good. But the staff were struggling to keep up - very long waits to get served, pay bill etc. Realise this was a one off venue which the staff were not used to - but needs work to get right for next year's Hay Festival when I hope Cotto will be back. Will certainly go if they are.

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  6. SteveK

    Mid Wales

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 2, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Rather disappointed as had been looking forward to eating at Cotto (Hay). Service excellent but food not quite what we had hoped for. Perhaps our choice on menu was the culprit.

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  7. DianeC

    Norfolk/Suffolk

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 2, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Really enjoyed our meal in the pop up restaurant at Hay festival. All the food was delicious and the atmosphere was really relaxing. Staff all friendly and helpful. Thank you Cotto

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  8. LucyW

    London

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 2, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 2
    The quality of the food was very good, the service friendly, but not very efficiently managed I'm afraid. Drinks only arrived late in the meal, after several reminders. Hope this was a one off.

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  9. PhilipO

    Mid Wales

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 2, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    If you have company and you want to talk then it's the place to go to eat at Hay Festival. The fast food stalls also charge astronomical prices and offer less value.

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  10. AndrewG

    London

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 31, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 1
    The night we had booked Cotto at Hay it was extremely disorganised. Drinks took 30 minutes to arrive and the main course arrived just as we had to leave. I’m sure the restaurant in Hereford is lovely but it felt like the Hay festival offering was being done on a shoestring.

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  11. RachelC

    London

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 31, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Lovely meal (freshly made on site) and a great atmosphere. Staff were clearly stretched but handled it well. Good value for money.

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  12. LouiseR

    Worcestershire

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 31, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    The staff were lovely but service was poor - probably due to the challenge of working in a temporary kitchen with new staff. The food was fair.

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  13. RogerP

    South Wales

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 31, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    Evidently, the shortage of trained staff and the lack of organisation or defined roles resulted in a queue of people left unattended and unaddressed, waiting to be greeted and seated, whilst the few staff scurried by, clearing and laying tables. Reading the room, it was obvious that levels of service had been and would continue to be poor. After being kept waiting for 15 minutes we made the call to leave and go elsewhere. What a shame, as we had been looking forward to sampling your lovely menu. Very disappointed.

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  14. MICHAELJ

    London

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 31, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    The food was good - the open kitchen appeared to be organised and professional. The risotto was excellent. I had it on two evenings. The service was appalling - not nearly enough staff- and those they did have - had absolutely no clue about what they should be doing. Appeared to have received no training - no organisation - they didn't even remember the numbers of the tables - just wandering around with plates of food looking lost. We waited almost an hour for a bottle of wine - as did our neighbour for a glass of white wine. The service did not improve over the duration of the Festival. I hope they get it eight before next year!

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  15. PolkerrisAFW

    Hertfordshire

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 30, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 2
    I expected to pay over the odds because we were eating onsite. But I do expect better quality, pizzas were really doughy and the sardine starter doused in vinegar a la Scandinavian cuisine rather than Mediterranean. For excellent Italian food try the three tuns in Hay, delicious, fresh and much better value

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  16. Tinkerbell

    Manchester

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 1
    Food was nice we had large plates and felt that was value for money but the small plates were expensive. The music was intrusive and incongruous in an Italian restaurant

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  17. Disappointed

    London

    4 reviews

    1.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    Good food let down by appalling service. I have never seen such chaos in a restaurant, waiters walking around with plates of food not having a clue who they were for and then returning them to the serving stations. In our case, they got everything wrong - took 20 minutes to take our order (we had to ask), then we were given the wrong wine, they lost our food order (which we had to ask about again), when it was finally delivered after 45 minutes, one of the dishes was wrong, this was all rounded off with an incorrect bill. The people around us were all having similar problems. It was so farcical we were crying with laughter. Cotto must be losing money hand over fist with this pop-up. Good chefs let down by total lack of front of house management and expertise. Will stick to the food court tomorrow.

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  18. BarbaraH19

    Yorkshire

    23 reviews

    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Lovely site within the Hay Festival - great menu and friendly staff. Quite pricey and a little chilly as we were sited within the direct line of the door that kept opening. But otherwise all lovely.

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  19. Sgarled

    Warwickshire

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Perfectly acceptable meal. Took nearly an hour between ordering and receiving food but we weren’t in a rush. Pizza was nice but the aubergine pasta was definitely not a large plate- more like a child’s portion. Ate the pasta and then went to the food hall and bought something else to fill up! Nice quiet environment on a busy day though.

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  20. ColinB

    Worcestershire

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    The food was well presented, but the service was slow. We had a long wait for the food following the placing of the order. The witing staff were friendly. The background music was okay, but not appropriate to an Italian setting

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  21. NigelK

    Birmingham

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 29, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    food good. restaurant was not busy and loads of staff on, yet service was very poor

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  22. GrahamB

    Herefordshire

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful venue for lunch at the Hay Festival. Nice spacious table seating, good food and a haven from the hurley burly outside.

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  23. LesleyE

    New York City

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Very small portions for the price and a very small selection of pretentious menu. The young waitress recommended a particular wine to us and it was superb

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  24. ChrisM

    London

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 28, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    The food was fine, the service deplorable in a fairly empty space. No-one allocated to our table, no-one apparently in-charge, staff talking amongst themselves. Disappointing.

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  25. Jenjaw

    London

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 28, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Food was well presented and arrived quickly. Staff, though friendly and enthusiastic, were not fully trained. Overall experience would be enhanced by ‘nibble’ such as olives or bread and good quality dipping oil and some teas other than builders tea and mint tea. Good first attempt though.

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  26. Jenjaw

    London

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 27, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    As a pop up restaurant it worked pretty well. Limited choice but tasty and well presented. Attentive but not particularly knowledgable staff. Not all four guests meals arrived together, long gap for final one. Bread and dipping oil for 4 order arrived as one piece of bead spread with oil. Overall, however, these were minor issues and we were all happy with our meals.

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  27. TaraM

    London

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 27, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 2
    The food was fine…..when it arrived one hour after ordering. The waiting staff were, mostly, trying to be helpful but appeared to be running about chaotically. We had to hassle to get the water ordered and then again hassle to get the drinks delivered to the table. Thankfully we were not in a rush. When we came to pay 2 bottles of wine not ours , added to the bill but staff accepted our saying what it should be. Overall impression food good but no effective management in evidence.

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  28. ChrisH

    London

    20 reviews

    4.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on May 26, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    A bit unusual as this is the pop up at the Hay Festival. Restaurant nicely laid out. Staff pleasant, helpful, but appeared stretched (it was busy) and perhaps lacked a bit of organisation. This resulted in quite slow service which wasn't critical for us but some adjoining tables were less accepting. Quality of food was excellent and Italian wine list good. Value okay given the location. Would definitely try the main restaurant if in Hereford.

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  29. AnnC

    London

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 26, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    We enjoyed the ambience at the Hay Festival and chatted with the owner - a really nice evening - the food was mainly good but we had to wait a bit especially for a drink when we got there.

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FAQs

COTTO Restaurant at Hay Festival offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at 01432 264836.

COTTO Restaurant at Hay Festival is rated 3.4 stars by 29 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 p.m.


Booked 4 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for COTTO Restaurant at Hay Festival

Brecon Rd, Hay-on-Wye, Powys HR3 5PJ

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Neighbourhood
    Hay-on-Wye
  • Hours of Operation
    Daily 12:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Price
    £26 to £40
  • Cuisines
    Italian
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress Code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking Details
    Public Lot
  • Payment Options
    Mastercard, Visa
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cafe, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, High Tea, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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  • Terms of Use
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
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