There are fewer places in London as wonderful as Notting Hill. With its colourful houses and stylish boutiques, it’s quaint and full of diversity. Yet just 50 years ago…..things were rather different…..
The last 40 years have seen an incredible transformation and today we’re left with the most incredible cultural hybrid: a diverse and affluent neighbourhood, a safe and welcoming place for every ethnic minority, a vibrant atmosphere, inviting white-washed terraces and pastel coloured houses, and a bustling market that we vintage lovers like to call home. If you’re here for the weekend, take a few tips from Style By Portobello‘s founder, former vintage stall holder and long term resident, Nzinga Russell. She’s got all the insider tips to make your weekend a memorable one. Here’s a little guide to exploring Notting Hill in a weekend…
Nzinga says: “Start your Saturday morning off like a local and grab a bite to eat at Ottolenghi on Ledbury Road.”
Ottolenghi is a great place to pick up a delicious pastry or a healthy breakfast. Nzinga tells us that it’s always packed but totally worth it.
Once fuelled, head to Portobello Road and indulge in some fab shopping – vintage of course! Great jewellery to be found at the top of the Bello just after the junction with Westbourne Grove. Divine clothing on the stalls under the white canopy at Portobello Green (junction of Portobello Road and Cambridge Gardens). Our current favourite stalls are Natalie’s and Charlie’s. They are pretty much next door to each other on the Cambridge Road side. (If you can start your weekend early and get to the market on a Friday then Sarah’s stall is fab. She’s on Instagram @london.vintage).
Nzinga says: “If you’re looking for vintage shops then 282 Portobello Road is the place. Owner, Claudia, has the best eye for what will suit you.”
By now it’s lunch time so you just have to sample the global street food at Acklam Village. They’ve always got great live music playing too. Then it’s off to Graffik Gallery for a bit of contemporary street art at its best.
After your culture fix comes your coffee fix. So on you walk back up to Notting Hill Gate and make a little pit stop at The Farm Girl Cafe. We love it in there.
Nzinga says: “So Sunday is chill day. And there’s no better way to chill than at a matinée at the Electric Cinema.”
The Electric Cinema is a historical wonder and the interiors of the cinema room feature 65 leather armchairs complete with side table and footstool, as well as three double seater sofas and six double beds with cashmere blankets. Now that’s what we call “chill”.
For another shopping fix, Nzinga tells us that the Sunday Market is a real undiscovered gem; so after your film, head back to the white canopy at Portobello Green. After your last bit of vintage bargain hunting you can finish off ‘Scandi style’ at Lisa’s Kitchen & Bar.
Nzinga says: “Don’t miss Lisa’s; we love the interiors as much as we love the food.”
WHERE TO STAY / NIGHTLIFE
At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than relaxing and putting your feet up, wherever your digs may be. But here in Notting Hill, hotels and guesthouses aren’t the only option for visitors.
Nzinga says: “I recommend booking with Air BnB so you can really get a taste of our ‘hood’.”
And let’s not forget dinnertime in Notting Hill either. Because the Notting Hill neighbourhood is a brilliant place to wine and dine, especially if you love gastronomy, quality local ingredients and amazing, diverse food from all corners of the globe.
Goode & Wright on Portobello Road has a lovely bistro feel. Then cap the night off at Notting Hill Arts Club. Great music, great crowd.
We hope you enjoy your visit and have a fantastic time in Notting Hill. If you follow our recommendations and love your experience, then we want to hear about it! Tweet us on @stylebybello or share your Instagram snaps with us on @stylebyportobello – we’d love to see what you’ve been up to! And please don’t forget to share this Notting Hill visitor’s guide with anyone who may be coming to Notting Hill in the future…
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SBP Team x