Thanks to a certain ’90s movie, Notting Hill has been permanently etched on every tourist’s map as a fashionable and quintessentially London destination. Whether you want to peruse chic boutiques, rummage for that ideal antique or simply have a go at icing a cupcake, there is plenty to do in the area.
This vibrant street forms the backbone of Notting Hill and is flanked by colourful terraced houses on Lancaster Road, contemporary murals in Codington Mews and luxurious boutiques on Westbourne Grove. Portobello is home to the largest antiques market in the world, with more than 1,000 dealers tending to hordes of tourists and shoppers every Saturday. In the 1940s, vintage sellers joined the traditional food stalls and rag-and-bone men. The market hit a dip for a bit thereafter, but it began to thrive again in the 1980s and has been a popular destination for shoppers since. It is still a fantastic place to pick up one-of-a-kind items, even at the plentiful permanent shops and eateries that now line the street.
Biscuiteers Boutique & Icing Cafe
This shrine to confectionary creates every conceivable type of sweet treat, from elaborately iced cakes and personalised chocolates to an incredible selection of lavishly decorated biscuits. Not only is Biscuiteers the perfect place to pick up a special gift, they also offer afternoon tea, as well as the Biscuiteers School of Icing, where you can learn to create your own icing masterpieces.
This specialist gallery represents work from some of the greatest urban artists in the world, including Banksy, Stik and The Dotmaster. They host exhibitions and special workshops that give groups the opportunity to try out graffiti and stencil processes for themselves. Graffik Gallery is instantly recognisable by the specially commissioned three-storey mural that adorns the shop front, which was painted by The Dotmaster.
Graffik Gallery, 284 Portobello Rd, London, United Kingdom, +44 020 8354 3592
Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop
Founded in 2009 by literary agents, Lutyens and Rubinstein is a wonderful bookshop that features hundreds of fiction and non-fiction titles, including children’s stories, art and poetry. With a commitment to considered and expert service, they offer personal shoppers for anyone with a gift voucher of more than £100. Bibliophiles can look into their mail order services, including A Year in Books and Boarders’ Book Club. There are also plenty of wares on offer beyond the printed page, including a crockery range and tote bags.
The Sussex-born Gladwin Brothers have employed the farm-to-fork principle at their seasonal modern restaurant, the first of three West London establishments. All of the dishes are created using fresh British produce, much of which comes from the farm of one of the brothers. The menu changes daily and is divided into slow and fast cooking.
The Shed, 127 Ledbury Rd, Notting Hill, London, United Kingdom, +44 020 7229 4024
The original Rough Trade record shop opened in 1976 in the midst of the punk revolution. It remains today, just off Portobello Road, though there are now additional sites across the U.K. and one in New York City. The store continues to champion independent record labels and emerging artists, and they stock a host of rare and limited-edition vinyl offerings.
Rough Trade, 130 Talbot Rd, London, United Kingdom, + 44 020 7229 8541