One of London’s most sought after areas, Notting Hill makes for a truly fantastic place to stay during a trip to the city. The district is an attraction in itself, what with its delectable mix of celebrity residents, affluent types, creatives and real Londoners, and many flock here as a part of their itinerary. But why not make it easier for yourself and just book a hotel here instead?
The Notting Hill neighbourhood combines the artistic side of the city with the past incredibly well, as the many stunning gardens and renovated Victorian town houses that line the streets will show you. Notting Hill has a little bit of everything, making it an ideal place to base yourself during your stay in London.
Once one of the most rough and ready of London suburbs, Notting Hill has now been gentrified into an upper-market area known to house the city’s fashion professionals and other yuppies.
Find out all you need to know about the area with our handy Notting Hill Neighbourhood Guide.
Get your bearings
With its wide, fairly traffic free streets, Notting Hill is ideal for exploring on two wheels. Why not rent a few Boris bikes and take in this stunning part of London? It’s a great way to get your bearings in the area and is good exercise! Ask your hotel for a map of the district and plan out a little route.
The charming, cobblestone streets of Notting Hill are lined with fantastic places to breakfast, brunch, lunch and indulge; It just depends what really takes your fancy.
For a meal of the highest order, the Ledbury is the most sought after ticket in town. This Michelin-starred restaurant specialises in modern European fare and is incredibly popular with the foodie elite.
Something more traditional is offered at Sun in Splendour, with specialises in traditional roasts – a British must on a Sunday afternoon. Cafe 202 is open all day and brings fashion and food together in true Notting Hill style.
If you are after Japanese food, you can take your pick from Eat Tokyo and Feng Sushi, both of which are highly-rated. For something a little different, check out the Rum Kitchen, a wonderful restaurant bar with plenty of Caribbean flavour and, the best bit, lots of rum.
Whether you are after a traditional boozer or a trendy cocktail joint, Notting Hill does not disappoint. Here are a few of the best.
Beach Blanket Babylon offers great drinks in a cool Georgian townhouse. For modern cocktails and great DJ sets, check out the Portobello Star. For cocktails with a difference, head to the fabulously tacky Trailer Happiness.
For pubs, take your pick from Hillgate, Ladbroke Arms and the Castle. They all sell a great pint and are the closest things you’ll get to to a real London boozer in the area.
If you are feeling up-market and want to rub shoulders with the monied bourgeois of Notting Hill head to First Floor for a taste of excellence.
Portobello Road is lined with trendy little independent shops and is the ideal place to pick up something nice for yourself or a thoughtful gift for a loved one back home. As you stroll down the cobbled streets, you’ll see fabulously middle-class places selling spices, gourmet tea and coffee, one off fashion stores and all manner of kitsch shops.
Of course, the best shopping experience in the area is the Portobello Market, which we talk about below.
Portobello Market: This frenetic antiques market is the largest of its kind in the world and a must for anyone staying in the Notting Hill district. Every day, except Sundays, the market is open for business and lined with over 1,000 stalls, each peddling their quirky wares.
As well as antiques, you can get your hand on new goods, fashion gear, second-hand bargains and even fruit and veg. Friday and Saturdays – the latter is the main day – are the best times to visit the market. It opens at 9am and closes at 7pm on both days – don’t miss out on this tremendously fun day out on the city.
The Electric Cinema: This is a movie experience like no other and is completely typical of the Notting Hill area: it’s quirky, unique but wonderfully chic. A fusion of art-house and modern blockbusters has seen this cinema grow popular with all types of film buff, but it’s the decor that really makes it stand out. Dine on tapas-style snacks as you recline on the theatre’s plush recliner chairs (there’s sofas at the back for couples to enjoy).
Rough Trade West: This legendary record store is the birthplace of the iconic Rough Trade label and is a must for any music aficionados visiting the area. Best known for launching the Smiths and the Libertines, this is the place to hunt for a new sound – its collections are extensive. Anyone who loves spending time hunting for the perfect record will be right at home in this London institution.
The Tabernacle Arts Theatre: Once a Victorian church, this renovated building is now home to a trendy venue that hosts everything from art displays to exhibitions. The art gallery is an interesting place to check out if you have time to kill one morning, while you can always look out for theatre in the performance space.
Notting Hill is very well connected to the rest of the capital, which is another reason you will find it a great place to stay. Getting to London’s major attractions is no issue at all. You are also very close to the likes of Shepherd’s Bush, Holland Park, Hyde Park, Kensington, and Knightsbridge, which are areas all worth visiting in their own right.
The Kensington and Chelsea route is the main one that runs through Notting Hill and this is served by the 27, 28, 31, 52, 70, 94, 328 and 452 buses. There are three main tube station in Notting Hill: Notting Hill Gate, Bayswater and Queensway. Notting Hill Gate is served by the Central, Circle and District lines while Bayswater is on the Circle and District lines and Queensway is on Central.
If you decide to stay at our conveniently located Notting Hill hotel, then you can easily walk from each of these stations. From Notting Hill Gate follow these instructions: Head north out of the station and walk on until you get to Pembridge Square. Take a right here past Pembridge Square Gardens and keep walking until you merge onto Moscow Road; the Prince Edward Mansions are your best marker here. Next, turn left up Hereford Road. Keep walking on to Prince’s Square; turn right here and continue on. Your hotel will be on your right.
It is possible to drive around Notting Hill’s streets as the area is largely residential. There is no congestion charge here, but we would recommend leaving the car here and not straying into central London with it.
Enjoy the setting
Notting Hill resembles a movie set in its own right, what with its brightly-coloured houses, cobbled streets and tree-lined boulevards and this is one of the main appeals to the area. As you stroll around this pretty part of London, you can’t help but feel like you’re in a movie yourself.