It’s a little bit terrifying when you stop and think about how much time has passed since Hugh Grant brought fame to Notting Hill London. That floppy hair and those awkward yet adorable advances towards the gorgeous Julia Roberts put this London district on the map and now groups of adoring fans take the walking tour
in the hope that Hugh might still be there.
There is a lot more Notting Hill than just Hugh Grant!
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Head here to discover great restaurants and bars, a happening nightlife, high-end shopping and one of London’s best markets. Despite a sordid history, Notting Hill has transformed into one of the fancier, more desired districts of London with an influx of some of the city’s rich and famous.
Notting Hill really is a hill with its summit around Ladbroke Grove. So if you feel like living the high life, check out the scene in Notting Hill. A comfortable, fashionable place to live and a fun place to visit – there’s something for everyone.
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On a Map
Notting Hill is located in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in the north-west of the city. The main tube station is Notting Hill Gate, which is easily accessible via the Central, Circle and District Lines, or you could catch one of the many buses that frequent the area. It is a short walk from Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park and you could even nip over a visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
A little bit of history
Notting Hill hasn’t always been a hangout for celebrities and politicians – less than 50 years ago it was one of the most run down areas of London. During the nineteenth century, Notting Hill was a rural and industrial area known for its clay and pig farms, earning it the nickname “The Piggeries and Potteries”.
A decline in industry during the twentieth century saw most of the houses in the area transformed into multiple occupancy dwellings and after the Second World War the standards of living were so low that Notting Hill became a slum.
Notting Hill was populated by many immigrants from the West Indies plus artists and creative types also began to move in, making it one of the most diverse areas of London.
Since the 1980s, the area has become incredibly gentrified and is now considered to be one of the most exclusive areas of the capital. Gentrification has unfortunately forced out many of the former residents and creative types, pricing them out of the area and thus losing some of its former diversity and “credibility”. As older businesses closed, the demand for new businesses, restaurants and boutique shops began to create a different type of Notting Hill.
The area is still known for its colourful houses and famous Notting Hill Carnival (now a gathering of all Londoners, generally peacefully, from every class, race and creed) which is a staple in the diary of most Londoners!
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Cost of living
Since its upgrade, Notting Hill has become one of the most desired areas of London to live in. As a result, prices have risen but as has the quality of housing. There is a large mix of accommodation options in the area from apartment blocks to beautiful Victorian terrace houses. It is a largely residential district with a lot of families living in the area.
Lowest rental prices for a decent two bedroom flat cost around £450 per week
Highest rental prices for a two bedroom flat cost around £1,300 per week
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Where to Eat and Drink
One word: cupcakes. Big ones, small ones (no wait, who wants small cupcakes?), icing, sugar, sprinkles, sugar, sugar… Hummingbird Bakery’s delicious goodies have become world famous and you can visit their original store in Notting Hill’s Portobello Markets. Go and treat yourself – cake is good for the soul.
Address: 133 Portobello Road
Notting Hill, London
W11 2DYTelephone: 020 7851 1795
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For those looking for something a little bit special and wanting to sample some of Britain’s most prized gastronomic delights, book a table at the two Michelin starred Ledbury restaurant. Head chef, Brett Graham, and his highly skilled team present a menu that will impress even the choosiest of taste buds.
Address: 127 Ledbury Road
Notting Hill, London
W11 2AQTelephone: 020 7792 9090
Come here for an after work pint and stay on for a bite from their interesting and exceptionally tasty Thai food menu. A great range of curries, noodles and rice dishes are whipped up and served in their butterfly-themed conservatory. Yes, butterflies.
Address: 119 Kensington Church Street, Notting Hill, London W8 7LNTelephone: 020 7727 4242
You can start your day here with a hearty breakfast, stay for lunch, and keep on going for dinner and party into the wee-hours with drinks and a bit of dancing. The Electric Diner caters for all of your eating and drinking needs, no matter what time of day. Serving Franco-American style food and a great range of drinks, this ain’t your average diner – it’s electric!
Address: 191 Portobello Road,
London, W11 2EDTelephone: 020 7908 9696
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It is hard to go past these handsome brothers, Oliver and Richard Gladwin, with their homely and wholesome food. Their regularly changing menu consists of dishes featuring ingredients sourced from their younger brother’s farm in Sussex and other local suppliers. Everything you eat and drink in this restaurant is grown, prepared and served with love. And that’s why so many people love The Shed.
Address: 122 Palace Gardens Terrace Notting Hill, London, W8 4RTTelephone: 0207 229 4024
For some people, the word ‘tequila’ brings up horrible memories of that night in first year university. For others, it just sounds like a seriously good time and that’s where Crazy Homies is the place to be. Serving a huge selection of tequilas, plus your usual array of alcoholic beverages, this is where the party’s at. You can soak up some of that alcohol with some Mexican fare – tacos, enchiladas and burritos are on offer with a wide range of fillings and spicy flavours.
Address: 125 Westbourne Park Road Notting Hill, London, W2 5QLTelephone: 020 7727 6771
Australian restaurateur and food writer Bill Granger has brought his talents to London with his immensely popular Granger and Co, where there is always be a queue outside the door for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Granger and Co is situated on Notting Hill’s beautiful Westbourne Grove, amongst cool designer shops and cute cafes.
It’s almost impossible to find better pancakes in the city and the famous ricotta pancakes with banana and honeycomb butter bring brunchers from far and wide. Their popular whipped scrambled eggs certainly look incredible (but can be a little bland) and everything else on the menu is fresh, interesting, healthy and cool – just like a good Australian should be.
Address: 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2SBTelephone: 020 7229 9111
The owners of this wonderfully kooky establishment have – oddly – encapsulated the three unrelated words of their name in the design and feel of their Notting Hill bar. It’s been decorated in a playful way and will transport you far from London with its colourfully tiled interior, sucessfully mixing Middle Eastern decadence
and classic French sophistication. The lower levels are cosy, like entering a secret jewelled
cavern with comfy chairs and wooden walkways, and the cocktails here are definitely
Address: 45 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2AATelephone: 020 7229 2907
Shops in Notting Hill and other things to do
Every year since 1965 over the August bank holiday weekend, Notting Hill comes alive with Caribbean colours, music, dancing, food and vibes. The Notting Hill Carnival is one of London’s most popular annual events, celebrating Afro-Caribbean culture in the city. Get out your feathers and glitter – this street party is not to be missed and it is guaranteed to get your hips swinging.
When: Sunday and Monday of the August bank holiday weekend.
Be sure to check changes to public transport as some Tube stations are closed during Carnival.
Portobello Road Market
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Dating back to the 1800s, the Portobello Road Market has evolved and changed throughout the years and is now one of London’s hippest markets. You will find a little bit of everything here – antiques, posters, vintage clothes and food – with over 1000 dealers there is a great assortment of shops and stalls. The main market days are Friday and Saturday but there is a smaller market open throughout the week.
Address: Portobello Road, 72 Tavistock Road Notting Hill, London, W11 1ANTelephone: 020 7727 7684
Bankrobber Gallery is an independent, small, cosy, edgy gallery showcasing the art of some of the best young talent London has to offer. It’s particularly known for displaying works of elusive street-graffiti artist Banksy. The nearest tube stop is Ladbroke Grove
If you need some retail therapy then Notting Hill is a great place to go. From favourites like Space NK
for beauty and Kurt Geiger
for shoes, you’ll find up-market boutiques along Westborne Grove
and other popular retail outlets like American Apparel
mixed in with charity and vintage shops.
Do you have any more favourite hang outs in Notting Hill? Well LET US KNOW in the comments below and why. We’re always updating the blog so it’s great to get some tips 🙂 thanks guys!