Ahh, the gorgeous Notting Hill. Home to the famous Portobello Road…or maybe you know it from the movie with That Blue Door and Hugh Grants floppy hair…this colorful neighborhood has a feel all its own. A day in Notting Hill is always a good one, and is never quite enough! Here’s my list of the top 5 things to do for out a day out.
1. Portobello Road
Portobello road is iconic. I love an early Saturday spent browsing the stands, shops, and picking up a special little treasure for my kids (or myself, ha!). Some of my favorite shops to visit are Alice’s at the top end of Portobello (the antique shop made famous in Paddington as Gruber’s), Rough Trade – a cool record shop, and just browing the stalls filled to the brim with art, antique china, vintage toys, you name it they sell it.
You’ll no doubt have seen the colorful houses that line this street, and feel free to take photos but remember to respect the residents’ privacy, as some have grown weary of people standing on their steps. I really need to share my thoughts on this in a separate post, which I plan to do once I’ve had some time to sort it out!
2. Cafe Hop: Where to Eat
You’re going to need some food for all that walking you’ll be doing. My favorite places for breakfast/brunch are Eggbreak, The Dayrooms Cafe, Farm Girl (featuring THAT pink table), and Granger and Co.
For a snack, swing by Gails for a small cake or my favorite the maple pecan scone or a savory sandwich, or Ottolenghi for well, anything! Pedlars is great for vintage shopping, paper accessories, and they have delicious cakes and small salads/sandwiches.
For sweets, Biscuiteers have the most intricately decorated biscuits, Fabrique has life-changing Swedish style cinnamon or cardamom buns, and Hummingbird Bakery is cake heaven (my fave is the black bottom cupcake).
Grab dinner at the Electric Cinema, Taqueria, or The Chipping Forecast.
3. Shop till you drop
Westbourne Grove has lovely shops, from the newly opened French clothier, Sezane to the more established British brands like Paul Smith, Toast, and Jigsaw. Children’s shopping is great, too. My favorite stops are La Coqueta, BonTon, and Petit Bateau. For something special, Caramel Baby carries gorgeous things from Liberty print onesies to velvet dungarees – a total eye candy shop for me.
4. Colorful Houses
You know I can’t resist a colorful Notting Hill house! You can find houses in every color of the rainbow in this quirky neighborhood, and trust me, I do! I’m working on putting together a guide for those interested in visiting and seeing all these inspiring colorful houses. But a simple walk around the streets just off Portobello Road will take you to some lovely colorful streets.
5. Explore the hidden mews
Notting Hill is known for its gorgeous multi-million-pound mews homes, which were originally built as horse stables. Now, these charming houses are some of the more desirable property in London!
It doesn’t get more charming than St. Luke’s mews, home to the Love Actually pink house and other breathtakingly beautiful houses. Don’t be afraid to explore, but do be sure to respect the privacy of residents. Mews homes don’t typically have gardens, and homeowners make up for it with lavish gardens, including wisteria and jasmine vines, roses, potted trees, and more. It’s really something to see in person, so don’t miss the mews.