Notting Hill is definitely more than just the setting for a famous movie. It plays host to Europe's biggest street festival, is brimming with fashionable restaurants, bars and shops, and is home to one of the city's best markets: Portobello Road Market.
Attracting thousands of people to its quirky backstreets and pretty gardens, Notting Hill is the perfect place to spend a weekend. Whether you're into shopping, eating, film, or plain people watching, Notting Hill is a great place to spend some time.
What are your favourite Notting Hill haunts? Let us know in the comments.
The best bits of Notting Hill
Five historical things to look out for in Notting Hill
You might be tempted to swing by Notting Hill just to snap the colourful townhouses or take a quick stroll down Portobello Road – but history likes to remind us that this affluent area wasn't always this desirable. In the 1800s it was a slum and centre for brick and tile production. Despite the wealthy James Weller Ladbroke starting to develop its rural surroundings, it never took off like Mayfair or Belgravia. In fact, it only really shook off the run-down image in the 1980s, and its popularity was helped along the way by Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts and that famous blue door. Here are five things to look out for the next time you're in the area. Photo by Look Up London 1. Portobello Road pioneers Notting Hill's most famous street began life as a rural lane and gets its name from Puerto Bello, a settlement in Panama that traded treasure with Spain. In 1739 the British Navy were eyeing up this profitable port and it was captured by Admiral Sir Edward Vernon. As a market, Portobello Road only really kicked off when trading hours were extended in 1927. A blue plaque claims Susan Garth, who ran the first antique shop in Red Lion Arcade, was the starting point that made the street 'an international institution'. Photo by Look Up London 2. Pottery Kiln, Walmer Road Once known as 'the potteries', Notting Hill's clay deposits meant it was perfect for making bricks and tiles. The only reminder of this today (apart from the street name 'Pottery Lane') is a rare nineteenth-
Why a foodie should walk down Portobello Road
Portobello Road was once famous for its antique market, but it’s actually so much more. On Saturdays the road goes into full selling mode and party swing – you name it, you can find it: crafts, fashions, music, books, collectables, specialist antiques and bric-a-brac. Navigate through haggling crowds and you’ll also find plenty of food. Popina’s vegetarian stall promises food artistry from the soul Vegan nosh and fresh coconuts Pitches squeeze into the impossibly busy top end of the road and sprawl everywhere under and around the overpass. You’ll find every imaginable kind of food on sale. Popina has good-looking vegetarian and vegan food, but our pick of the bunch is the jelly nut stall. Coco-traders skillfully hack away at the end of the young coconuts and the final chop exposes a hole big enough to poke a straw through and suck up the delicious coconut milk. It’s a great tonic for £3. Burgers and ramen Boom Burger reminds us that Portobello is in the heart of London’s carnival district. Head here for boom tunes and explosive and vibrant Jamaican flavours. There’s also another branch of Honest Burgers worth checking out, while Electric Diner gets top marks for its Americana atmosphere and menu. As for ramen, Tokotsu is just off Portobello Road, and well worth the price for silky-smooth noodles in a rich and unctuous broth. R Garcias & Sons – a Spanish grocer with real character Polpo and paella A cluster of Spanish and Portuguese restauran
Restaurants in Notting Hill
Notting Hill highlights
Hotels in Notting Hill
Right by Notting Hill Gate tube, stuffed with British furniture and artworks, the Laslett was a terrific addition to the area. There's a laudable commitment to local products across the hotel's five interconnecting townhouses (you'll find London-based Sipsmith gin, Workshop Coffee and Joe's Tea), as well as a fine lobby bar and a library of arty books. The rooms have Big - not mini - bars, classic Penguins for bedtime reading and smellies from Neal's Yard Remedies.
6 Portobello Road
Excellently located at the foot of Portobello Road, No.6 is a London-brick townhouse that offers twice-weekly serviced apartments with white-tiled bathrooms and compact but fully equipped kitchenettes. The decor is simple but smart, in black and white, with a few concessions to flamboyance – oversized button-punch headboards, for instance. Room rates are cheaper if you book for a month and reception is just a key code for the door, but you can otherwise use the apartments like a hotel.
The perfect weekend in Notting Hill
Heading to Notting Hill Carnival?
Love London Awards: last year's winnersSee the full results of last year's Love London Awards
Lady Chastity's Reserve, Hackney
This marvellously silly immersive team puzzle (a sort of cross between an escape game and the 'Mumsy' challenge in 'The Crystal Maze') has already spooked and amused many a team at its original venue in Battersea, but will now be challenging the people of Hackney from a dark corner of the People's Park Tavern. It's from the Handmade Mysteries team that does this kind of thing at venues across London. They know what they're doing. Expect plenty of surreal slants to challenges that can be pretty, well, challenging, and don't be surprised to be surprised either - we're told the immersive elements can be pretty interesting. They promise to let you out - or help you out - if you get really stuck but still, it might be best to bring some brains and leave your dumbass friends out of it.
Venue says: “Venture through an hour of hilarious clue-solving as you and your team attempt to win Chastity's fabled aphrodisiac wine.”