Notting Hill… I never knew about this wonderful place, until I saw the romantic film with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts! I assume most tourists go for Trafalgar Square, Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus when visiting – but there is so much more to London! So my mission today is to make newcomers aware of this beautiful little part of my beloved city, that is so vivid and colourful that it shines even on a rainy Sunday.
It was quite rainy this Sunday in January… But living in London, you have to accept this as part of its charm. Bring a warm coat, hat and an umbrella and you are all set for new adventures.
Notting Hill is located north of Kensington within the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. It is known for being a cosmopolitan neighbourhood, hosting the annual Notting Hill Carnival and Portobello Road Market
(Image by Time Out London)
The Notting Hill Carnival was first held in 1964 celebrating Caribbean culture and traditions in London. The carnival has since become the largest street festival in Europe, attracting hundreds of thousands to London, and continues to grow in popularity. Expect to see some 50,000 performers in the parade with more than 1 million people attending over the carnival weekend. (In 2017 the carnival is expected to take place on 27 and 28 August. I am definitely going!)
This is Portobello Road in Notting Hill. Every Saturday you can enjoy its quite famous antiques and flea market – although there are also stalls from Monday to Friday. Remember to bring cash and a curious mind. Hidden treasure troves are often to be found here.
Even on Sundays you will be greatly entertained by the amazing finds at Portobello Road
Heaven for old record collectors
Second hand fur coats
Just how adorable is this little red London bus?
Souvenirs wherever you go… Some are actually quite cute!
Or a yummy crêpe to keep you warm…
Paddington watches the world go by…
I particularly fell in love with these beautiful hats. Perfect for a trip to the country-side!
But there is much more to Notting Hill than Portobello Road Market. Do yourself a favour and explore the surrounding areas. Frenchie and I were a bit hungry, so we decided to go to Electric Diner for Eggs Benedict (I just can’t get enough of them!)
Electric Cinema and Electric Diner
Electric Diner is a French-flavoured American diner with all-day menu, long bar and red leather booths. The Diner is part of Electric Cinema – one of the oldest cinemas in London, so it is the perfect place to go before watching a film
We were placed in the bar as we didn’t have a booking – but it was fine. I was quite pleased being able to watch the busy boys in the open kitchen
Electric Diner is a very relaxed place. The staff is warm and welcoming and made lots of fun with me, when I tried to look good on my pictures with messy and wet hair (so I kept my hat on)
Menu card… I already knew what I wanted!
My beloved Eggs Benedict…
(with very crispy fries…) No January diet for me!
Sprinkles on top of Frenchie’s delicious hot dog!
We didn’t go to the cinema, but this is certainly something, that is going to happen in the nearest future! This cinema is quite something. It has sofas, beds and leather armchairs…
– and on top of that there is a bar serving wine, beer and champagne. Even snacks are also available prior to each film. Yes, please!
Out in the rain again, we went for a bit more exploring before it became too dark to takes pictures
“Don’t forget… I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her…” Yes, this is the very popular Notting Hill Bookshop made famous by the movie “Notting Hill” (which I have watched about ten times and still counting)
In this area there are many great places for shopping and eating. Everything is so charming – and honestly it is quite nice to be in a big city without all the noise… and that is how I feel, when I am here…
As pretty as it comes…
Bring you pet and have a coffee!
Walk-in tattoo shop!
The Distillery, a four-storied mecca dedicated to gin, has just launched along Portobello Road.
Discover street art in all shapes…
– and sizes…
Very run-down until the 1980s, Notting Hill now has a reputation as a fashionable area known for attractive terraces of large Victorian townhouses
I love the rainbow colours…
No wonder why George Orwell chose to live in this place! (Keep an eye on the blue plagues around London! The capital boasts over 900 official plaques, nodding to notable figures and important historical sites.)
And remember to look up… You never know, what you might find!
Last but not least… If you want to take your beloved out on a romantic date, this is the place to go! Beach Blanket Babylon… It is probably the most adventurous and beautiful restaurant in London!
Beach Blanket Babylon from the inside (image by Visit London)
I hope you enjoyed my trip to Notting Hill. The most popular areas are within walking distance, so you will be able to see it all within a few hours. I truly love Notting Hill, but if there are some places, I have forgotten to mention, I would be delighted to hear from you in the comment box.