West London is known for being the center of the rich and famous. It is the hub of shopping centers, galleries, museums, and entertainment centers.
Notting Hill is one of the trendy neighborhoods in West London. It is the perfect mix of the old lifestyle with the modern.
You can see different Victorian-style homes beside buildings covered with beautiful graffiti and colors. Notting Hill is also the center for fashion, the market, entertainment, and much more.
There is a lot that can be said about this neighborhood as it has gone through many changes throughout the years. In these years, Notting hill has formed its iconic color and rare mix of everything.
So below is the complete guide and everything you need to know about Notting Hill.
Where is Notting Hill located?
Notting Hill is one of the districts of West London, within the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Notting Hill is closer to the North Western side of Hyde Park.
History of Notting Hill
Since the 1300s, the area of Notting Hill was initially part of the Parish of Paddington. But up until the 19th century, the area had no distinct characters of its own.
But in the 1800s, the Notting Hill was flourishing with different trades; especially Pottery Lane was growing to become a brick-making area with many workers and traders flooding into the neighborhood. Following this, many pig farmers also settled around the same place.
In the last decades of the 19th century, this small rular area was expanding quickly and had caught the attention of many developers.
Thomas Alison had played a significant role in bringing Notting Hill forth to the eyes of the wealthy families during that time. This architect worked with a wealthy family at the time to portray Notting Hill as one of the fashionable destinations for residency and recreation.
The wealthy families smitten by the private gardens and paddocks all came quickly to invest in the area.
But after the war in the 20th century, Notting Hill had its most immense fallout, and poverty was prominent in the area.
Only with the government’s help with the National housing trust was Notting Hill starting to bounce back. In the 1960s and 1970s, once things started to get better in Notting Hill, the community was replaced with vibrant immigrants from the Caribbean, Portugal, and Morroco.
Around this time, the popularity of the Notting Hill Festival was on the rise, which affected the economy positively. And the area has been on the rise ever since.
Things to do in Notting Hill, West London
Notting Hill is now one of the hottest places in West London. It is full of places to visit and activities or events to be part of.
Notting Hill has one of the rarest mix-ups you will see between the old world and the modern-day. The neighborhood has various historical sites, old buildings, and shops molded perfectly to fit the modern-day living styles.
So, without any further due, let us see some of the must-visit places and activities here in Notting Hill:
Participate in the Notting Hill Carnival parade.
The Notting Hill Carnival was first celebrated in August 1958. At the time, there were several racial attacks happening specifically targeting western Indians.
To abolish those attacks and unify the community, the human rights activist Claudia Jones came up with the idea of gathering. This gathering has now grown to become the biggest street festival in Europe. And it represents the diversified culture of London.
Notting Hill Carnival takes place every year at the end of August during the bank holidays. This festival lasts three days, on the last weekend of August and the following Monday.
The biggest event and celebration occur on Monday for the closing, with different performances and bands.
For this festival, more than a million people come from around London and from all over the world. The theme of Notting Hill Festival is west Indian and Caribbean. The streets of Notting Hill get covered with colorful decorations, and people dress in different cultural or costume outfits.
The parade occurs with varying floats of the parade, steel and march bands, and other sound systems blasting music.
If you are coming to Notting Hill to visit this festival, here are some things you should be aware of:
- Get the map of the route of the parade.
- Some stations close because of the festival, so plan your way of transport ahead.
- Get all the necessary information about public restrooms, medical centers, restaurants, and bars.
- There are no entry fees, but you should have some cash for food and drinks.
- Last but not least check the weather in London, before going out.
Shop at Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market is the biggest road market in the neighborhood and is also one of the oldest street markets in London.
There is almost nothing you can’t find in Portobello Road Market; from vintage clothes to antiques and household items, from artworks to different vegetables, everything can be found in one place.
The Portobello market is open every day of the week, but many market stalls and stores do not open until Friday. From Monday to Wednesday the market is open from 9 am to 6 pm. On Thursdays, it is only available from 9 am to 1 pm.
Then Saturday is the highlight of the market, with all of the stalls open and a huge crowd buying and selling. On Fridays and Saturdays, the market opens at 9 am and stays open until 7 pm.
If you are in Notting Hill and love vintage items, or just want to find something for a lower price, if you are looking for antiques, or want to experience a second-hand street market at its fullest, then make sure to visit Portobello Road market.
Visit the Museum of Brands
Visit the unique and multi-colored image presentations of more than 12,000 iconic brands and their ads over the decades, all in one place.
With more than 150 years in advertising, the Museum of Brands is one of Britain’s longest-running advertising companies. This place is a time tunnel to see the growth of ads and consumer culture practically.
From Victorian times ads, the decade by decade changing way of advertising and promotions can be seen here at the Museum of Brands.
Depending on how much time you take to see everything, a personal visit to this museum can take up to two hours. From motor cars to TV ads, music to household items, you can find almost every kind of advertisement here at the Museum of Brands.
You would get to discover the original ads of brands that you know or never even heard of.
Museum of Brands is located at Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, and the prices of the tickets to visit are £5 for kids and £9 for adults.
Catch a show at The Gate Theater
If you enjoy live performances and theaters right before your eyes, The Gate Theater is an ideal place for you to visit.
This place is a home for renowned artists Jude Law, Stephen Daldry, Katie Mitchel, Sophie Okonedo, and Ian MacNeil. Though these people are not performing daily here at The Gate Theater, there are so many new and upcoming talents that you can see in every show and theater.
For more than 30 years, The Gate Theater has produced a wide variety of shows. And there is always something new at The Gate of Theater.
This place is a 70-seat hall, so if you happen to catch a popular show there, getting your ticket early is recommended.
Enjoy a movie at Electric Cinema Portobello.
The Electric Cinema on portobello road was opened in 1910 and is one of the oldest working cinemas in the country. It was renovated in 2001 for more than £2 million while preserving its original architecture.
The Electric Cinema now has the most luxurious experiences while watching movies. The leather seating, the footstools, the food, and the drinks mentioned like this might seems normal and not luxurious, but Electric Cinema has more.
The big comfy sofas and leather seating come with armchairs and a cashmere blanket. The other option is a velvet double bed right there in the cinema! There is also a full bar serving various drinks, from pure hard liqueur to cocktails, from wine to beer and champagne; it is all available at the Electric Cinema.
The Electric Cinema is an ideal place to bring a date and have all these experiences while watching a movie. If you are also a fanatic of mainstreams and classics, it is a great place to pay a visit.
Visit The Coronet Print Room
The Coronet Print Room, also known as The Print Room, is an art venue and a performance place. It is a nonprofit organization creating space and supporting artists, musicians, and other performers.
This place has a long-run history of more than a century now, and it can all be seen in the architecture, walls, and ceilings of the building.
This Coronet Print Room was opened in 1898, with 1143 seating, and it was the central place to screen different films in 1923. This place was taken over by Gaumont British Theater in 1931 and was reopened again. By 1950 the place was renamed the Gaumont Thearter and only screened Gaumont and Rank releases.
In 1977, this place was again renamed the Coronet Cinema. After that, it was sold to the church in 2004, then to an organization called The Print Room, which is now the owner of the Coronet Print Room.
The Coronet print room now showcases different performances, experimental theater, visual art, music, and dance. So if you love any of these, then dropping by The Coronet Print Room is a good idea. You will get to experience the long history of the place while enjoying pleasant performances.
Get a book from The Notting Hill Book Shop.
If you are a bookworm or just enjoy reading generally, you might have just found the place to find your great next read.
From fictional sections to personal development books, technical publications to travel guides, and children’s section, The Notting Hill Book Shop has it all.
The Notting Hill Book Shop was opened in 1979 and only had travel-related publications. But since 2011, they have widened the coverage area for the publications, and now they have several sections of almost every genre of publication.
The Notting Hill Book Store was featured in the movie “Notting Hill,” which is how many know it. Famous for its legendary blue door.
The Notting Hill Book Store is one of the hotspots for tourists and visitors. These days there are a few bookstores in the area copying the signature blue door design of The Notting Hill Book Shop; checking twice before walking in is a must-do thing.
Shop for vinyl at Talbot Crescent Rough Trade in Notting Hill
If you are a Vinyl collector, or you just love how crispy and rough the music sounds when playing it on vinyl, then visiting the Talbot Crescent Rough Trade in Notting Hill is a must.
First opened in 1976 in West London, Rough Trade is an independent record store where mainstream CDs and different leftfield vinyl can be found.
Many people describe this place as the world’s best music shop, saying there is nothing you can’t find going in at Talbot Crescent Rough Trade in Notting Hill.
So, if you are ever in Notting Hill, make sure to visit this one-of-a-kind shop.
Where to eat in Notting Hill?
Being the home to one of the biggest numbers of Afro-Caribbean and Mediterranean societies in west London, Notting Hill has a variety of cuisines to offer.
Some of these places have fusion dishes with the English palate. Below are some of the well-known restaurants in Notting Hill.
1. The Ledbury
127 Ledbury Road Notting Hill
London W11 2AQ United Kingdom
Phone:+44 (0) 207 792 9090
The Ledbury is a fine dining restaurant in Notting Hill. They are known for their various innovative dishes, which they have received two Michelin stars for.
The Ledbury menu has several dishes and full-course meals. The menu ranges from a lunch menu to a lunch set, vegetarian tasting to dinner and dessert.
Among their popular dishes are the baked candy beetroot with Exmoor caviar and the Herdwick lamb with salt-baked turnips can be mentioned.
The interior of this restaurant is beautifully decorated, and it has a very relaxed ambiance to it. It is an excellent place for anniversary dates, celebrations, or when you want to dress up and dine at a good restaurant.
210, Kensington Park Road Notting Hill
London W11 1NR, United Kingdom
Phone: 020 7792 1066
Essenza ia a small Italian restaurant in Notting Hill. They are known for taking the traditional dishes of Italy and adding their touches to them. They make various fusion food with English cuisine as well.
Many people love the pasta menu among their dishes because it is homemade. Some of their other popular main menus are grilled shellfish, beef carpaccio, and others that can be mentioned.
After the main course, you will be treated to their delicious house-made desserts as well.
Essenza is an excellent place for a casual meetup with friends or family.
3. Caractere Restaurant
209 Westbourne Park Road, W11 1EA
Phone: 020 8181 3850
Caractere Restaurant is one of the independent, contemporary restaurants found in Notting Hill.
One of the things that make Caractere unique is the way its menu is presented. The menu at Caractere has six sections labeled as “curios,” “subtle,” “delicate,” “robust,” “strong,” and “greedy.”
As a first-timer at Caractere, understanding this can be challenging. But you will immediately be welcomed and assisted by the waiters. They explain what each section has, and you can proceed to order.
The inside of this unique restaurant is decorated modernly, with a warm yet very class interior. The vibes and ambiance of the place are immaculate; an excellent place to come with your loved ones.
The feedback Catcatere has been receiving from their customer is very supportive; even many wonders how this place hasn’t yet received a Michelin?
4. Books for Cooks
4 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill,
London W11 1NN, United Kingdom
Walking into this book shop, the one thing you wouldn’t expect is for it to be a full-functioning restaurant during lunchtime.
This bookshop is packed with food-related books from the ceiling down to the floor of every shelve, and in the open kitchen, they have in there they make the perfect meals. The menu is a different dish every day from the many cooks booking in the shop.
Besides main dishes, they also serve dessert menus; some of their customers’ favorites are the raspberry & pear cake, lemon Victoria sponge, and chocolate and orange cake. In addition, they also serve coffee to their reading customers.
And if you want to take a cooking class, there is one that takes place on the upper floor of the building.
5. Orasay Restuarant
31 Kensington Park Road,
London W11 2EU, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 (0) 207-043-1400
Orasay Restuarant in Notting Hill is Jackson Boxer’s restaurant. This is a contemporary restaurant with seasonal British food, with a touch of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Orasay restaurant is known for its seafood dishes, mainly oysters and mull scallops. Other than the seafood options, there are also different vegetarian options. Portions sizes of the meals can be a bit confusing, so make sure to ask clearly about it.
The restaurant has a warm yet modern setting, and it is an excellent place for a family to eat out or for simple dates and celebrations.
Pubs and Bars in Notting Hill
Notting Hill is one of the areas in west London that has many pubs and bars. People come here to unwind and relax after a long work day or after a long work week. Hence these pubs and bars are fully packed every evening and on weekends.
Especially in summer, when the weather is warm, the crowd overflows the streets as outdoor seatings are available.
Pubs and bars are one of the must-have experiences, especially if you are visiting Notting Hill. Now among the many, let us see a few pubs in Notting Hill:
- Trailer Happiness: This pace is one of the best cocktail bars around Notting Hill. It is decorated in Californian style and is the perfect hideout to have a good time.
- The Porchester: an ideal place for casual drinking with colleagues and loved ones. They also serve different British bar foods along with a British tap beer.
- Sun in Splendour: it is one of the oldest pubs in the area, known for its classic British drinks. This place has a very relaxed vibe, ideal for quiet or solo drinking. Food is also served, so if you want something casual to eat with drinks, Sun in Splendour might be the place for you.
- The Mall Tavern: It is one of the biggest pubs in the area. They have 28 beer taps serving different beers from different parts of Britain and from all over the world. If you are not a beer person, other than beer, Mall Tavers has different wine selections. They also serve different seasonal British foods along with drinks.
This has been your guide to Notting Hill. We hope this article was informative and that you have gotten to know something new about Notting Hill.
Tell us in the comments what you have found to be the most exciting thing about this neighborhood. Also, make sure to give this article a thumbs up and share it on your socials.