When I embarked upon my solo trip to London this Spring, I got to enjoy full days of doing exactly what I wanted. I was on my own schedule, with no one else to answer to. While the first few days were largely spent in the centre: the City of London proper, Soho, and South Bank, I saved the best for last.
Prior to setting foot in Notting Hill, I stared adoringly at photos of classic Victorian houses painted in pastel shades, or bright-coloured doors, and perfectly manicured hedges. I tried not to let my excitement and anticipation get the better of me. Luckily, Notting Hill did not disappoint.
I had a long list of places to visit, things to eat, even urban wall art to see. Each new discovery cemented my love for the area further. Can I just move there now please?
One day in Notting Hill
If you can’t just pack your bags and move here right this second, spending a full day in the area will have to do.
Here’s what I’d do for a perfect day in Notting Hill:
Coffee @ Farm Girl
If I could, I’d start every day with a Rose Latte. Farm Girl, an adorable Australian cafe is a must (if only for the ‘gram). Stick around for breakfast if you’re also looking for a fresh & healthy meal like the Açai Bowl, Berry Buckwheat Pancakes, and of course, avo toast.
Breakfast @ Granger & Co
Even on a weekday morning, this place was packed. I took one of the few outside tables and enjoyed the eggs with soldiers, before setting off to explore. Also, be sure to take a moment to admire the stores next door, as well as this whimsical mural just around the corner.
Portobello Road Market
This infamous market is open year-round, selling everything from antiques, vintage pieces, cheap clothing, art, and eats. This is a touristy hotspot, so keep in mind that 19th century teapot you’re eyeing as the ultimate souvenir, may very well be from China circa 2015, or at the very least, very overpriced. Still, its a great street to walk down and admire the bustle around you, as well as the adorable storefronts.
Biscuiteers Biscuit Boutique & Icing Cafe
Yes, you read that right. Biscuit Boutique and Icing Cafe. As if a place couldn’t get a cuter with a name like that, it’s storefront is equally as fantastic. Once inside, you’ll become overwhelmed with choice of cookies in every shape/colour/theme imaginable. It’s the perfect place to grab a little treat for everyone back home, with gift boxes for every occasion. Parents retiring? There are cookies for that. Sister graduating? Check. Friend’s house warming, has a baby on the way, or just loves Star Wars? Yes, yes, and hell yes.
Go Door Exploring
There are few favourite pastimes of mine than admiring doorchitecture (door architecture; I think I just came up with that?). I love a good brightly painted contrast door, especially within a historical context. Notting Hill has some of the best I have ever seen, and I could spend days walking up and down every street, even every alley, seeking out the most outlandish ones.
Lunch at Ottolenghi
With a cult following, English/Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi has a number of restaurants that support his impressive cookbook collection. The one in Notting Hill is particularly perfect for lunch, with a small seating area in the back that almost feels like a courtyard thanks to the large skylight (read: ideal diffused lighting for taking food shots). I loved that all the dishes were displayed at the front, piled high in a rustic manner, and made for ordering so hard – bet you can’t choose just one! Everything was also delicious.
There’s chocolate and then there’s chocolate. When some family first introduced me to Melt Chocolates, I was blown away by the creaminess and rich taste, even in the darkest forms, which were never bitter. The flagship store in Notting Hill is just as fabulous.
Powis Gardens Mural
I first discovered London’s incredible urban street art movement via the fabulous blogging duo behind Belle & Bunty, who mapped out all the best wall murals on #STUDIODIYWALLCRAWL. And hooray! There’s one right in Notting Hill.
If you’ve still got time on your hands, make your way to the adjacent Kensington area for a change of pace. It’s the same same, but different!