Notting Hill is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and popular boroughs in London. The main reason for that is the film Notting Hill, starring the charming Hugh Grant. Since its release, the district has become one of the top tourist destinations, attracting people from all around the world. When we think of things to do there, we think of the famous Portobello Road, with its bi-weekly market and its beautifully pastel-coloured houses. Indeed, these are great and definitely worth a visit. However, these can be slight tourist traps and very mainstream. In this article, I will show you all the other amazing things to do in Notting Hill!
I Westbourne Grove
Granted, this is also quite well-known, but often a lot less busy than Portobello Road. Westbourne Grove is a very long road, filled with cute cafés and shops, connecting Queensway to Notting Hill. It is the perfect spot for a little shopping session or to get some work done in a really cute environment. For this, I very highly recommend a coffee shop named “BEAM”, which, in my eyes, is the perfect place to study in. They serve great coffee and cakes, have Wi-Fi (which is a must if you want to work), and are relatively affordable. What more can you ask for?
Westbourne Grove also has a really nice charity shop named “Traid”, where you can very easily get clothes from high-street or upmarket brands at unbeatable prices. If you would like to update your wardrobe whilst being sustainable, that’s the place to do it!
Also, if you would like something aesthetically pleasing for your Instagram feed, I very highly recommend the florist “Wild at heart”, placed right in the middle of Westbourne Grove. Their arrangements of pastel-coloured flowers are always a highlight on my Notting Hill walks. Thank me later!
II Explore the area around Ladbroke Grove
For a very long time, I totally dismissed this part of Notting Hill. How wrong I was! Around Ladbroke Grove railway bridge are usually numerous stands serving food from all around the world, if you’re feeling peckish. There is also stunning graffiti in the area, often with political messages, which is very interesting. If you want to properly sit down there are a few very cosy cafés, such as the “Bluebelles of Portobello” café, which you should definitely check out.
In addition, Ladbroke is the main route of the Notting Hill carnival, which is a core part of London culture. A must-do for the summer!
III Have an incredible brunch
It’s so good that I needed to dedicate an entire part to it! I would genuinely say that Notting Hill has the best brunches. In my opinion, the most iconic and Instagrammable spot is “Farm Girl”, which has undoubtedly made the most appearances on people’s Instagram feeds. From avocado toasts to rose lattes, “Farm Girl” has everything to have a delicious and healthy brunch. However, it can sometimes prove quite hard to find a seat since it’s very popular.
If you can’t find a space, you can go to another brunch place called “The Good Life Eatery” which, in my opinion, makes the best coffee in London. They also serve delicious cakes and pastries.
IV Have a stroll along Kensington Park Road
Kensington Park Road is another road that is slightly less popular than Portobello Road but has so many hidden gems that it is definitely worth a walk though! One thing I find particularly nice is the countless independent shops. My favourite is a little store called “Books for Cooks”, which sells, as the name suggests, cookbooks. As an absolute foodie, this is my definition of paradise! There is also a café at the back of the shop, with a very interesting concept: every day, they pick a recipe from one of their cookbooks and sell it in their café!
For the foodies, I also recommend “Biscuiteers”, which is also on Kensington Park Road, where you can find biscuits in all shapes and sizes. Also perfect for gifts!
For all bookworms out there, I highly recommend having a look into “Lutyens & Rubinstein”, one of the nicest bookshops in London!
V A slightly different museum: The Museum of Brands
This is a little niche, but definitely worth a visit! This museum deals with the history of advertising and packing since the Victorian era. They also have regular temporary exhibitions, on numerous topics or on the history of specific brands. At the moment, they have an exhibition on the “charismatic characters” in advertising. Perfect for a trip down memory lane and vintage vibes.