neighbourhood guide:

Notting Hill

From the vibrancy of the Swinging 60’s, to Hugh Grant scuffing his feet along Portobello Road, to the whirlwind of music, dance and culture which vibrate through the streets during its renowned annual carnival, Notting Hill has been a kaleidoscope of colour and creativity in London for generations. Whether searching for a rare antique camera, the perfect green-juice pitstop or to wander along a quintessential Mews, the neighbourhood has so much to offer, even beyond the striped market stall awnings. Let us guide you through Notting Hill’s incarnations – from bohemian epicentre to polished West-London haunt, whilst the houses turn from green, to pink, to blue.

Restaurants

CORE BY CLARE SMYTH // corebyclaresmyth.com
The debut restaurant for, quite simply, one of the best chefs in the world, Smyth’s tasting menus have won wide-spread critical acclaim – and it’s earned Core two Michelin stars in the process. This is fine dining at its pinnacle.

THE COW // thecowlondon.co.uk
The real spirit of Notting Hill is a little rough and ready, which is why Tom Conran’s irish pub is a true local haunt. It may seem a little scruffy from the outside, but this is the kind of place where the barman knows your name, shakes your hand and hands you your regular gin-tonic-and-two-cubes-of-ice before you’ve even had time to blink. And as unusual as it may seem for a pub, they specialise in seafood, so it’s undoubtedly one of the best places in London to eat oysters.

GRANGER & CO // grangerandco.com
This Australian brunch spot opened to only moderate fan-fare when it launched back in 2012, but with queues for a plum spot spilling into the streets week after week (and indeed, year after year) it’s clear local residents can’t get enough. It’s light, airy and spacious interior makes for a lovely mid-morning stop-off. The ricotta banana pancakes are a particular brunch favourite, as is the “full Aussie” breakfast.

THE LEDBURY // theledbury.com
One of the best restaurants in the world (yes, really), head to The Ledbury if you want a meal you’ll remember forever. It is undeniably a little pricey, but once your order arrives it will become abundantly clear why they are so deserving of two Michelin stars. The tasting menu is superb and full of fresh, seasonal ingredients.

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Portobello Road / veeve.com

Vintage Finds

PORTOBELLO ROAD MARKET //
Quite different from other popular markets in London (such as Camden or Brixton which sell mostly clothes, trinkets and food), fine antique jewellery, 19th century Wedgwood china, vintage Rolexes and historical medical, marine and scientific equipment can all be bought and sold at this world-class antiques market. The market traders here have have seen all sorts of people peruse their goods; if you’re lucky enough, the traders in the Rogers Antiques Gallery – many of whom have had a stall since the 60s – are particularly happy to regale you with tales of the opera singers, football players and movie stars who have bought from them. The market is open Friday to Saturday, but the best antique stalls are open Saturday only.

RETRO WOMAN // mgeshops.com
It may look a little rough-and-tumble from the outside, but this excellent vintage and second-hand store is a designer gold-mine. Close to Notting Hill Gate station, RetroWoman (and two numbers down, its companion store, RetroMan) is bursting with pieces you might not be able to leave behind from both heritage and modern fashion-houses: you may even find yourself rubbing shoulders with an off-duty model or two as you peruse the shelves. Even better, the thrifty prices will have your hand inching towards your credit card and asking yourself, ‘really, how could I not..?’

HIRST ANTIQUES //
Described by owner Amanda Wrigley as “a jewellery museum where you can actually buy things” a visit to legendary Notting Hill shop Hirst Antiques is a bit like stumbling upon an Aladdin’s cave. The stores’ jewellery buyers are almost constantly on the look-out for pieces that are striking, unusual or rare, meaning you are almost guaranteed to depart with a piece no one else will have.

OXFAM BOUTIQUE // oxfam.org.uk
Possibly the best thrift store in London, fashion crowds from across the city flock here to find designer cast-offs and pristine vintage pieces. Located nearby Portobello Road Market, the store is as chic as any Notting Hill boutique and as you leave with a new designer bag over your arm, you’ll have given back to an excellent cause.

ROUGH TRADE // roughtrade.com
The original branch of this iconic record store, the staff here seem to have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of music genres from around the world and who are more than willing to help you in your search for that hard-to-find vinyl, or give you a pretty substantial list of recommendations. Now a rather more genteel spot than it’s 70s punk heyday, you’ll find Rough Trade well-organised and well-stocked.

Our Notting Hill favourites

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After Hours

LAYLOW // laylow.co.uk
The after-party location of choice for The Rolling Stones at the end of their recent tour, this sumptuous bar and private members club is much like the band: elegant, stylish, yet undeniably raucous once night falls. With interiors by Bella Freud, its design is a paragon of good-taste, and lies in the shadow of brutalist masterpiece Trellick Tower.

THE LITTLE YELLOW DOOR // thelittleyellowdoor.com
As if arriving for a cocktail-soaked dinner party at your most fashionable friend’s enviable apartment, this intimate bar is happy to host you and your friends from Wednesday to Sunday, every week. Designed to feel as if you’re walking into the home of a group of your friends, its open plan kitchen and living room make up the main bar, with the downstairs “den” doubling as a late night cocktail bar (complete with regular DJ sets) and private function room.

NOTTING HILL ARTS CLUB // nottinghillartsclub.com
The infamous basement bar is still one of the most vibrant venues in London, and niche club ‘nights’ have helped to establish countless musical styles in the city over the last decade, from UK garage to electronica and disco revival. Raw, edgy, and effortlessly cool, grab your dancing shoes and dance until dawn.

Little London

ELECTRIC CINEMA // electriccinema.co.uk
Built in 1910, this grand cinema is one of the oldest and most opulent in the UK. Recently beautifully restored, kids will enjoy feeling all grown-up as they relax on leather sofas while snuggling under luxurious cashmere blankets during Saturday Kids Club sessions. Grown-ups can enjoy waiter-service.

BISCUITEERS // biscuiteers.com
This charming ‘biscuit boutique’ and cafe runs offers little ones (and adults too!) the chance to get creative and ice their own biscuits to be enjoyed on-site or taken home to enjoy later. With drop-in sessions or fully-fledged icing workshops, parents can sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee while budding Bake Off contestants get to work.