Notting Hill is so much 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 London’s best markets: Portobello Road Market.
Attracting countless 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 just people watching, it’s a great area to lose a few hours (or even a whole day and night) in.
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
Bars and pubs in Notting Hill
Hotels in Notting Hill
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
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Prime Burger St Pancras
This once-roaming burger stall was clearly keen to lay down some roots – not only is it now in situ here at St Pancras station, there's a second branch over at Euston, too. They could, of course, just love train stations. It's mostly about the burgers here, with their patties made with prime cuts from the forequarter and rib of Charolais, Limousin, Hereford and Angus cattle. Options range from the simple (the 'original' is just beef, tomato, lettuce, onion and house ketchup) to the busy (the 'bad boy' features two patties, double cheese, bacon, onion strings, lettuce, ketchup and gherkins). Veggie options also feature, as well as kids' meals, breakfasts, shakes and coffee.
Venue says: “Brilliant food for busy people on the move. Burgers are served in eight minutes or less, or you get your money back. Guaranteed.”