10 amazing things about Notting Hill!
Notting Hill, Portobello or North Kensington, which is it to be?
I normally switch it up depending on whom I'm talking to and how posh I want to sound (naughty I know). But they all equate to the same thing- the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea!
Notting Hill is a perfect place to visit for a zillion reasons but here are my top ten...
1- Alfresco dining i.e snooping AKA Pose-a-holic. Portobello Road was a hot spot in the Sixties to get your fashion gear and strut your stuff. Anyone who's anyone would be hanging out to show off their new attire and not much has changed. Whether it's yummy mummies sitting outside Daylesford sipping green smoothies looking uber skinny or divas having champagne cockies outside the Electric, it is a road to pose, preen and shake your feathers on. Which leads me onto my next one...
© Stylecard http://style-card.co.uk/daylesford-organic/
Darling, it is awfully vulgar to talk about celebrities or even react if you see one, but if you must insist on rubbing shoulders with Sienna Miller or Claudia Schiffer, and like to feel that they too are eating at the same restaurant as yourself, then it's the perfect place to hang out in (just don't scream or ask for their autograph).
You can also see them in their normal 'garb.'
The other day I saw the worlds best know fashion designer jogging in the latest yoga apparel with two children, a pushchair, a chocolate labrador, talking on her hands free- (brings a whole new meaning to multi-tasking) whilst a recent dim sum expedition lead me to sit next to a v. famous director (who made the local area renowned with his film of the same title).
3- Pastel coloured houses. I don't know how they decide on the cutesy shade but their just dreamy and make you feel like your living in a macaroon coloured dream.
© AB Kellow
4- Roses- I know roses are quite Victorian but they seem to like them in Notting Hill. Nearly every other house has a rose bush, ranging in colour from peach to crimson. Here I have matched my lipstick to the bloom, you see?
© AB Kellow
5- Posho versus boho. It wasn't long ago, even up to the late Nineties, that Portobello and Notting Hill were rough as sin. A friend tells me she wasn't allowed to play out after six, whilst the Victorian mansion houses had about forty people living in them, often a family of four sharing one room. Then some clever clogs decided the houses were cheap as chips (check out the BBC documentary on Portland Road which shows it's evolvement) and then boom! Takeover time! Now it's Russian oligarchs and Saudi Royalty with Victoria and David Beckham chucked in for good measure.
6- "It's your carnival, it's my carnival!" Sorry, was just having a flashback of last year from the drum and bass stage on Ledbury Road! But the Notting Hill carnival is rich with culture, diversity and revels in a two-day celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture in the city.
The only downfall is all your friends want to use your toilet and last year a teenager puked on my doorstep then fell asleep in it.
© Milesdavies | Dreamstime.com
7- Plaques. An amazing amount of artists, writers, musicians have congregated to the area over the years. Jimi Hendrik and Cat Stevens wrote songs. Paddington Bear visited Portobello on a daily basis. And George Orwell lived at the top of Portobello Road which ironically has a security camera guarding his plaque (Big Brother is watching you?)
© AB Kellow
8- The Best Bakeries in the world! Red velvet, Victorian sponge, cute blue cupcakes, someone help me! My favourite is Hummingbird or the long-standing Portuguese patisserie Lisboa on Golborne Road.
9- The Market. The vintage market is every Friday and Saturday whilst fruit and veg most days. The crazy trinkets you can find, the bohemian people selling them and the unique gifts all contribute to the experience. The Notting Hill end of Portobello Road sells the diva antiques and paintings, the middle is vintage clothes, but if you want rock bottom prices hit Golborne Road on a Saturday- I mean where else in the world will you find shoes that say, 'call me a bitch again and I'll pee on your leg?!'
© AB Kellow
10- A village in the city. The community around here is strong. From the market sellers to the artists to the businesses. People even sell jam outside their house whilst trusting the public to put the money through their letter box (how sweet!) I have never felt as safe as I do here, and I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than putting on my finest vintage, eating alfresco and strutting down the Portobello Road!