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London on screen: the shop from ‘Paddington’

By Thomas Hobbs
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Did you know that the antique dealers in ‘Paddington’ is based on a real shop in west London? Here’s where you can find it…

The location: Alice’s Antiques, 86 Portobello Road.

The scene: In the first ‘Paddington’ film, the furry new Londoner befriends local antiques dealer Samuel Gruber. Later, in ‘Paddington 2’, our hero has his eye on a unique pop-up book for his Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday present. Unfortunately, Hugh Grant’s narcissistic actor Phoenix Buchanan breaks into Gruber’s shop, steals the book and frames Britain’s favourite bear for the crime.

Then: The bright colours and Notting Hill location of Alice’s Antiques made it the perfect spot for exterior shots of Gruber’s – which coincidentally sits next door to Michael Caine’s flat from ‘The Italian Job’.

Paddington antique shop in real life

Now: The shop attracts endless hordes of young Paddington fans, according to its manager Jill Boden: ‘Even toddlers recognise it! It’s given the business a new lease of life.’ The shop has been owned by the same family, now in its fourth generation, since 1887, and Boden hopes it will once again transform into Gruber’s for ‘Paddington 3’. Fingers (and paws) crossed.

For more of the city on screen, check out our list of the 30 best London movies.

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