Explore London’s trendy Notting Hill

When it comes to trendy spots in London, Notting Hill is right up there with the best! It is home to the very popular and famous Portobello Market and renowned for playing host to the biggest street party in Europe.  If you are a culture lover then a visit to Notting Hill is a definite must. The place has evolved remarkably over the years. In the 1800s it was popular for its brick kilns and later thrived during the Victorian era. Later it saw a downturn with it becoming a slum and home to migrants from the Caribbean. Gentrification that came later saw Notting Hill develop into an area with Victorian era homes and gardens.

If you have planned a visit to the city and are wondering where to stay in London, the hotels in the area are a good option. You will find a diverse variety of accommodation and finding a suitable hotel in Notting Hill is never a problem.

A great place to stay in the area that is reasonable in price with top notch facilities and amenities is the Premier London Notting Hill hotel, ideal for business travellers and visitors to this part of London. If you are in the city during the last week of August you would be in time for the carnival at Notting Hill.

The carnival is a fun filled extravaganza with over a million visitors to the event. It is organised on the bank holiday weekend with the first event on Sunday, which is relatively calmer than the fiesta on the following Monday, when the main event is held. It celebrates Caribbean culture and the streets teem with partygoers, sound systems, numerous food stalls serving authentic West Indian fare including curries and the famous jerk chicken. The event began in the 1950s as a small affair and has since grown into one of the biggest street fiestas in the world.

Monday is when you will the revelry at its peak with bands, floats and dancers traipsing down the areas of Notting Hill, Westbourne and Ladbroke Grove. While entry is free you will need to carry cash for drinks and food. If you do plan to join the party you better arrive early as there are disruptions in the bus and tube service in the carnival area.

Portobello Road Market: The Portobello Street Market stretches for two miles with buskers, shops, antique stalls and lots more. On Saturdays the fashion and antiques markets are at their busiest. One of the biggest attractions in the area is the produce markets with veg and fruit sellers soliciting their wares, akin to Victorian times. There is an amazing variety of street food from all corners of the globe ranging from paella to burritos. While the street stalls add a grungy feel to the place it is well worth a visit for great bargains and deals. Also take the opportunity to visit the Portobello Wall that displays public art creations commissioned by the local borough council.

Shopping in the area

There are plenty of shopping options off Portobello Road. For music you could visit Rough Trade located on Talbot Road that offers the best in alternative music. It offers a fabulous selection of music of the alternative genre. If you have a passion for cooking a visit to the Books for Cooks located on Blenheim Cres is recommended for a vast selection of cookery books. They also have a cafe at back for cooking demos and to grab a bite. Just across the road is the Spice Shop that houses an extensive collection of condiments and herbs.

For the best of fashion visit Ledbury Road and Westbourne Grove both of which are home to upscale boutiques and chain stores like Maje and Sandro. Also in the area is the flagship outlet of Paul Smith spread over three-storeys and is a great place to shop.

Food in Notting Hill: There are plenty of independent cafes and restaurants spread over Notting Hill and the famous Michelin two-star Ledbury, which offers a fine selection of avant-garde European fare. If you enjoy Italian pastas and pizza head to the end Kensington Park Rd. For the best Sunday roast in Notting Hill the Sun in Splendour is the place to dine and for exquisite gourmet classics Walmer Castle is the place to dine. Other fines places to dine in the area include E&O, 202 Cafe and Granger & Co. You will need to make reservations or be prepared to queue up for these three spots.

If you want the best street food in the area try Acklam Village on the weekends. The place is abuzz with activity and offers terrific live entertainment. On Saturday to get the best of poultry and organic produce pay a visit to the Farmer’s Market. It is located close to the Tube station in a car park and offers an excellent selection of food related items. For the best of meat products there is the popular Provenance Butcher shop located on Kensington Park Road selling the best of meats and also educating buyers about the art of carving meat.

Notting Hill’s famous Blue Door

Notting Hill shot into the limelight with its eponymously titled movie that starred Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant and was filmed in the area. There is Rosmead Gardens where Hugh and Julia took a stroll (you can only peek through a fence as its private property), there is the bookshop that was inspired by Blenheim Cres and of course the most prominent attraction in the area located at 280 Westbourne Road – the famous Blue Door!  Notting Hill has also appeared in other movies like Performance and The Italian Job.

The area is also home to some fantastic cinemas like The Electric (one of the oldest in Britain) and the impressive The Gate cinema. A tour of the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising is also well worth an experience, which features products from the Victorian era to contemporary times.

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