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Notting Hill area guide

Check out Portobello Road Market and discover great cinemas, restaurants, bars and pubs in W11

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 restaurantsbars 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
Blog

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
Blog

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

Notting Hill highlights

Portobello Road Market
Shopping

Portobello Road Market

Portobello is actually several markets stretched out up one long strip of road: antiques start at the Notting Hill Gate end; further up are food stalls; and emerging designer and vintage clothes are found under the Westway flyover and along the walkway to Ladbroke Grove. A visit here is as much about soaking up the vibe as it is about shopping. Saturdays are manically busy so head out early, especially if you’re serious about buying antiques. Friday is less hectic and one of the best days for sourcing clothes from up-and-coming fashion designers. Best of all are the fantastic shops lining the surrounding streets; escape the crowds with a browse round Ledbury Road’s boutiques.

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising
Museums

Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising

The Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising spans a 120-year period in the history of consumerism, culture, design, domestic life, fashion, folly and fate. It is presented as a magnificently cluttered time tunnel of cartons and bottles, toys and advertising displays.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Hotels in Notting Hill

The Laslett

The Laslett

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.

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6 Portobello Road

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.

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The perfect weekend in Notting Hill

Buy: Portobello Road Market
Shopping

Buy: Portobello Road Market

Sift through antiques, vintage clothes and fascinating bric-a-brac

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Eat: Boom Burger
Restaurants

Eat: Boom Burger

Chow down on burgers with a Caribbean twist and cocktails

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
See: Trellick Tower
Attractions

See: Trellick Tower

Gawp in wonder at one of London’s most famous brutalist buildings

Drink: The KPH
Bars and pubs

Drink: The KPH

Grab a drink in one of the area’s oldest pubsand theatre bars

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars

Heading to Notting Hill Carnival?

Notting Hill Carnival guide
Music

Notting Hill Carnival guide

Dancing, music and masquerade – join the Carnival fun in Notting Hill this August bank holiday weekend

Notting Hill Carnival soundsystems
Music

Notting Hill Carnival soundsystems

Plan your party route with the Time Out Notting Hill Carnival soundsystem A-Z

A spotter's guide to Notting Hill Carnival
Music

A spotter's guide to Notting Hill Carnival

There are those who dance and those who get danced on. Win seven points if you spot a copper who’s perfected the bogle

Our top 10 Carnival anthems
Music

Our top 10 Carnival anthems

We pick ten tunes that have defined Carnival over the years…

Love London Awards: last year's winners

Fez Mangal
Restaurants

Fez Mangal

This compact, no-frills Turkish BYO on Ladbroke Groveis dominated by a huge charcoal grill. Deft hands move a line of hefty meat skewers (the main draw) hypnotically across its blistering surface, while billows of smoke disappear up into the cavernous copper hood. A spotless glass fridge, displays the daily variety of seasoned lamb and chicken, as well as whole sea bass or bream, and own-made doner kebabs make slow revolutions behind the counter. Scoop up simple vegetable dishes and dips, with heated slabs of flat bread while your meats sizzle. The succulent skewers come served on rice with a colourful trio of raw veg – carrots, purple cabbage and wild rocket (this is Notting Hill), or on bread, smothered in tomato sauce and sharp yoghurt. Turkish tea and baklava round off the meal. Tables turn fast with a friendly efficiency here. Though it can get busy even on a weekday evening, waits to be seated rarely last long, and a black board highlights an occasionally enforced table share policy.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Lowry & Baker
Restaurants

Lowry & Baker

The northern branch of the Notting Hill Tribe loves Lowry & Baker – so much so that one local advises against even trying to get in at the weekend. This is the kind of local café most people dream about: warmly welcoming and with a laid-back attitude that makes you feel immediately at home. Indeed, our local informant said: ‘It’s like being in your living room – staff talk to customers and customers talk to each other.’ L&B (which opened in summer 2010) has established itself as the leading local independent coffee shop with a small, reasonably priced menu of uniformly high-quality food: good soups, sandwiches, salads and sweet things worth crossing town for. The blueberry cheesecake and banana bread are heavenly. Food is served on a delightful jumble of unmatched crockery, while the expertly brewed coffee, made with beans from Monmouth, comes in well-warmed white cups.  

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Provenance
Shopping

Provenance

Provenance is a butcher’s shop in Notting Hill run by a bunch of young enthusiasts who gave up desk jobs to train as butchers and charcutiers. Struan Robertson is the founder, an alumnus of the School of Artisan Food in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. The rest of the team – Tom Gibson, Guy Gibson, and Erin Hurst – are all Kiwis, which partly explains the grass-fed wagyu beef burgers from New Zealand that are flying out the doors in barbecue weather. A lot of the meats are value-added, such as marinated whole chickens and lamb kebabs, to offer what Struan calls ‘meal solutions’ for local shoppers (well, he is a former advertising man). The meats are all free range, the charcuterie supplied by British makers. Give it a look.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
The Muse Gallery
Art

The Muse Gallery

A gallery working specificall towards promoting the work of emerging artists.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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See the full results of last year's Love London Awards

Comments

2 comments
Richard C
Richard C

I thought you might be interested to watch the film, which shows how a group of passionate social reformers set about tackling the appalling housing conditions found in Notting Hill in the mid-1960s. Their vision led to the formation of Notting Hill Housing, an organisation which for the past 50 years has worked to provide decent and affordable homes for people in the area and beyond. Here’s the link:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1vcLoJnmsQ


Alex B
Alex B

The Portobello Print and Map Shop is easily the best store in London's most famous antique market. With original antique prints and maps dating back to the seventeenth century, you can spend hours browsing their shelves and are guaranteed to find something unique and stunning to decorate your house with.