Notting Hill is one of my favorite neighborhoods in London. From the sherbert-colored houses covered in flowers to the A-plus antique shopping, what’s not to love?
Although I’ll probably never be able to afford to live here – the famous house from the film Notting Hill is worth about £5 million! – it’s always nice to dream.
Let’s take a quick tour around my fave places to shop and eat in Notting Hill!
When to go:
Portobello Road is known for its famous market. Whilst Saturday is the main market day, you can shop seven days a week as there are tons of stores along the road. Just don’t expect stalls out on the streets unless you go on a Friday or Saturday. I actually visited on a Monday last year, and most of the antique shops weren’t open and there were no stalls.
We went on a Friday when I was there for the royal wedding and there were plenty of stalls open and it was WAY less crowded than Saturday, when getting through the tube station can be a nightmare. I’m talking shoulder-to-shoulder people.
If you’re dead set on seeing the full market, by all means go on Saturday morning but get there no later than 8:30 a.m. Otherwise, go on Friday right after breakfast. It started to get busier at lunchtime, which is right around when we left.
First stop: Alice’s! This is a well-known and very old antique store on the Portobello Road. In the Paddington 2 pop-up book my little boy has it doubles as Mr. Gruber’s shop, so he was excited about that!
My husband spotted this teapot on a table outside Alice’s and it was a must-have. It’s such a cute addition to our kitchen!
Inside, the shop is TINY and crammed from floor to ceiling with random finds, so there are some things scattered around the sidewalk as well. I tried to convince my family it was a great idea to bring this massive coat of arms home. They did not agree.
As you stroll down Portobello Road, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Other than the stalls, there’s everything from shops selling postcards and cheap souvenirs to antique stores to typical British chain stores. There’s a branch of Cath Kidston that I always pop into, as I’m somewhat of a Cath-a-holic. They have several stores in London but this one always has a great selection.
You can find some fun clothes on the cheap in the market stalls. This fox-print dress was £10 and perfect for the crazy hot weather we experienced on our trip. Plus, POCKETS! I regret not buying one or two more dresses there, but live and learn.
In terms of antiques, you can find nearly anything you’d want. Just remember you’ll have to transport it home! Years ago, I bought a beautiful marcasite brooch from the 1920s, and I’ve found some great-quality vintage royal china and books. You can see the 1937 coronation plate I found on my most recent trip in this post.
Some of the shops/stalls are just brimming with things and it can seem overwhelming, but it’s worth digging for something amazing.
Just strolling down the street and people watching is fun in itself!
A few minutes walk from Portobello Road is the Decléor spa and boutique on 187 Westbourne Grove. The Duchess of Sussex is a huge fan of Decléor products and I know why! I attended the grand opening party of the shop last year (read my blog post here) and have become hooked on their products ever since.
Where to eat:
My favorite restaurant in Notting Hill is The Sun in Splendour. It’s cozy and colorful inside, and the food is delicious. It’s definitely a nice break from the typical pub fare, plus, they’ve got a kid’s menu. If the weather’s nice they have a courtyard beer garden as well.
Last year while eating dinner there two women actually walked up to tell us how well-behaved and pleasant our son was to dine next to. We’d struggled with his behavior on our previous vacation so the compliment felt like a huge win! Isn’t it funny how a random comment from a stranger can stick with you?
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, Biscuiteers is always a good idea. A key scene happens here in my friend Jackie’s book, so this place always makes me smile. You can even have afternoon tea there. It’s at 194 Kensington Park Road, just a street over from Portobello. Sadly I didn’t make it there in May, but I’ll return next time.
Or if you’re in the mood for ice cream, Gelato 3bis is right on Portobello Road. The floral cone display cone drew me in, of course.
Before you finish your day exploring the neighborhood, stop by the famous blue door at 280 Westbourne Park Road. If you’ve ever seen Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, this was his flat in the film.
Do you have any favorite spots in Notting Hill? Feel free to share in the comments!