Bookshops, cafes, and pretty-as-a-picture houses make Notting Hill a must-visit.
Quick heads up: we’re going to try and get through this entire article without mentioning the c word… Honestly though, there’s so much to do in the western wonderland of Notting Hill – as we found when we went for a dreamy wander recently:
Whilst we can only dream of living here – and if you somehow do live here, we’re insanely jealous – a day visit is packed with things to see, do, and eat. From antiques markets to pretty pubs, here’s what to do in Notting Hill!
1. Wander around the world famous Portobello Road Market
Did you know that anything and everything a chap can unload is sold here? Well, believe it, because Portobello Road is treasure trove of antiques, curiosities, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
2. Hit up a rather gorgeous pub
Yep, The Churchill Arms and their £25k yearly flower budget and outrageous Christmas display steals most of the focus on this, but the area is full of charming boozers just begging for you to sink a pint at. Read all about The Churchill Arms here.
3. Eyeball an abundance of adorable vintage cars
Okay, so no-one drives in central London unless they’re mad/an Uber driver, but to really up your Insta game, you’re going to need something classic to pose in front of. Also comes in handy for a jaunt to the country now and then – roof down, naturally!
4. Check out the area’s famous filming locations
Yes, that is the famous blue door from Notting Hill. I’d advise you don’t pose out in front of it in your underwear, but it’s nice to dream about living here – although there are some things you should know…
5. Marvel at the ridiculously dreamy houses
Take St Luke’s Mews, for instance. First of all, it’s beautiful enough to drive you wild with house envy (keep dreaming), AND it had a starring role in Love, Actually – remember Andrew Lincoln and those definitely-not-creepy signs? Yep, that happened here.
6. Get a proper eyeful of colour
Even if you’ve never been to Lancaster Road before, you’ll have seen it on Instagram. That stretch of crazy colourful street is like catnip to Instagrammers (and a curse on the long-suffering owners) – all I’ll say if you’re planning on paying a visit is, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want someone doing on your own doorstep.
7. Sip on an Insta-ready coffee
If you like your jolt of caffeine to be picture-perfect, head to the Notting Hill branch of Farm Girl. Boasting “farmhouse meets Californian coast” vibes, this artfully on-trend cafe will serve you coffee in a range of vibrant colours, in the form of lavender lattes, liquid gold latte, and butterfly matcha (pictured).
8. Explore a rather famous bookshop
We’ll get this out there nice and early: the charming little bookhop from rom-com Notting Hill doesn’t technically exist in real life. Yes, we’re disappointed too. Still, there’s always The Notting Hill Bookshop, which heavily inspired the one from the film, and Lutyens & Rubinstein, where you’ll discover modern classics aplenty.
9. Munch down a treat at this lovely little cafe
Put the custard creams down and head to Biscuiteers for a proper biscuit. Handmade and painstakingly iced, these creations are delightful to look at and even better to eat. If you can dream it, they can probably ice it… Find out more here.
10. Head to this amazing street food market
Who doesn’t love a good street food market? Notting Hill has a hidden gem, tucked away at the upper reaches of Portobello Road, and open all year round. Acklam Village Market boasts cuisines from all over the world, and a delicious dish is only a fair reward for a wander through the crowds.
11. Settle in for a film at this ritzy old cinema with double beds in it
For the ultimate in cinematic relaxation, plonk yourself in the front row of the Electric Cinema. Or more specifically, into one of their double beds, preferably with a nice blanket to huddle under. Essentially, it’s a pimped up version of Netflix in bed! See more here.
12. Stay at Notting Hill’s own gin hotel
Double beds in cinemas and hotels dedicated to gin? Can we just live here already please? The Distillery boasts three boutique bedrooms overlooking Portobello Road, meaning you can get an early jump on the antiques shopping and be back in time for a tipple at GinTonica or basement space The Ginstitute – or perhaps both…
13. Or party all day long at the kick-ass Carnival…
Okay, so we said we wouldn’t mention it, but there’s no way you can overlook the whirlwind of colour and noise that is Notting Hill Carnival. Every August bank holiday, the streets are flooded with a spectacular dancing parade, and people really go all out on the costumes. It’s got to be done at least once in your life, and luckily we’ve got the only guide you’ll need.
14. Seriously, can we live here now please?
*Starts saving for 150 years so I can afford a house here* One day, maybe.
Remember, you can spend a happy couple of hours in Notting Hill with this charming 20th film anniversary screening!
Featured image: @Alanisko
Also published on Medium.