As one of the very first areas of London I visited some 5 years ago when I first set foot in this pretty city, I thought it fitting that my first post about my beloved London be set in Notting Hill.
With its pastel coloured houses, vintage shops and Portobello Road Market its no wonder it captured my heart, like so many before me. Though it might not be my absolute ‘favourite bit of London’ (shameless Notting Hill: the movie quote!) it is a tied number one with about five other areas!
I was introduced to my now favourite brunch spot in Notting Hill by a friend who adamantly insisted I come with her, just so she’d have another excuse to order an avocado smash. Farm Girl is located on the walk to Portobello Road, so perfect for an early morning breakfast before exploring the rest of the area. The food is amazing and the tea selection is large enough to please even the pickiest Brit!
Just down the road from Farm Girl is likely the main reason you have been planning to visit Notting Hill: Portobello Road. If you’ve never been to Notting Hill during the Portobello Road markets and are wondering just how busy it gets-
-it gets pretty busy. But that’s just London (this is also Oxford Circus every day around 6pm- of course right when I and the other 2 million commuters in the area get off of work). Also let’s hope the girl centre front isn’t pick pocketing the guy with the back pack…
Aside from crowds and possible pick pockets, Portobello Road has some beautiful fixed shops that are open every day of the week (not just market days). Alice’s Antiques is probably the most photographed, and for good reason.
Inside is a jumble and mishmash of crazy and gorgeous vintage bits and pieces from classic suitcases and tea cups to monocles and even a life-size alligator. Although insanely out of my price range, weaving through the ups and downs of this store can make a girl dream big for the day I might live in a pretty mansion filled with antiques!
Of course Alice’s is not the only vintage store on Portobello Road.
And if vintage and antiques aren’t your forte, perhaps the pastries will satisfy…
Or the legendary Nutella crepes.
And for every Banksy or street art enthusiast, there are countless prints, magnets and wall stickers to sift through to add to your new London flatshare (guilty).
If you ask any of my friends one store I’ve recommended to them when they visit London, they’ll say Hummingbird Bakery – specifically the Notting Hill branch. That alone should show how serious I am about my red velvet cupcakes, of which is the Hummingbird Bakery’s specialty. Do yourself a favour and try one of these velvet drops of heaven.
After an extensive look at the antique market and of course a little peak at the ‘Notting Hill Bookshop’ (which incidentally, does not only sell travel books, as the film so implies) it’s inevitable that a wander around the idyllic streets of Notting Hill is required.
You might even be lucky enough to spot an adorable vintage car in front of an adorable white-house-with-blue-door creating the perfect Notting Hill experience!