Notting Hill and Portobello Road
The romantic comedy Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, increased the international fame of this fashionable and wealthy bohemian neighbourhood in the west of London.
A short walk from Notting Hill Gate underground station, you'll find some of the hippest of London's shops: Bill Amberg for leather goods; Sheila Cook for vintage clothing, some of which date back to the 18th century; Aime for French fashion and home furnishings; Emma Hope for hand-finished mules; and designer stilettos at boutique Scorah Pattullo.
Notting Hill's most celebrated street is Portobello Road, visited by thousands of people from around the world, who come to buy, browse and enjoy the buzz and atmosphere of its market. People go to Portobello Road for its eclectic and multi-cultural character.
Portobello Road is a web of smaller markets which stretch for over a mile. The market's best and busiest day is Saturday, when the choice of goods displayed in some 2,000 stalls is beyond imaginable.
The southern end, the more genteel area, concentrates the famous antiques market. Over 1,500 traders trade in silver cutlery, antique furniture, collectibles, ancient maps, new and rare books, and art deco pieces from shops, stalls and trading booths that spill out on to the street.
Open: Sat 7am-3pm.
The further you walk towards the north, the scruffier it gets. This is also where you'll discover one-offs and the best bargains that are to be had.
The north end concentrates garments and accessories by upcoming designers, second-hand garments and bric-a-brac. Under a roofed market, used leather jackets in a range of styles and wonderful party gowns hang from rails. Music albums arranged on long tables sit beside them.
Open: Fri-Sun 7am-4pm.
In your stroll through Portobello Road you'll come across food markets offering fresh fruits and vegetables, olives, fresh breads and spices – to take home to your own kitchen.
Open: Mon-Thurs 9am-1pm. Fri-Sat 7am-6pm.
Organic Food market: Thurs 11am-6pm.
Food stalls, selling crepes and sausages, collide with a serious selection of pubs, cafes and restaurants – there to provide sustenance for some more shopping and browsing.
Notting Hill Carnival
This corner of West London is also the outdoor venue for the famous Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place in August. It's a celebration of mostly West Indian and Caribbean culture, inspired by the carnival that takes place in the island of Trinidad.
The carnival has become one of Europe's biggest outdoor parties, with an estimated two million visitors over three days. Address: Portobello Rd, Westbourne Grove, Golborne Rd, W11. Tube: Notting Hill Gate/ Ladbroke Grove/ Westbourne Park.
BBC site: Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill/Portobello local website
Notting Hill Carnival
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