One of London’s most famous neighbourhoods, largely due to a certain 90s film starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, Notting Hill is undoubtedly worthy of the hype. Though it’s not quite the place to be it once was, it’s still the crown of west London with countless restaurants, pubs, shops and some beautiful houses to fantasise about living in (but never will).
There’s some seriously high end restaurants including The Ledbury and Core by Clare Smyth, both with two Michelin stars, plus Caractère a new restaurant from Emily Roux. It’s not all fine dining, however, with Boom Burger, Egg Break, Rum Kitchen, and Cocotte being some of our favourite casual joints.
Saturday is the famous Portobello Road antiques market, although there’s also quite a few stalls out on Fridays too including a good range of street food alongside the bric a brac. On any day of the week there’s a great range of stores including Rough Trade records, The Notting Hill Bookshop (yes from that film), Wolf & Badger, and the world’s poshest charity shop, The Oxfam Boutique which specialises in designer clothes.
Not forgetting of course what Notting Hill is really most famous for; the incredible Carnival which descends upon the area each August and is one of the highlights of London life.
Eggbreak, a collab between Ennismore, the peeps behind The Hoxton, and Soho House, is a laid back little joint located just around the corner from Notting Hill tube station on a quiet residential street. Inside it’s pretty simple and light, but it’s the menu that makes it worthy of a trip. Themed around eggs (yep the clue really is in the name) there’s a good selection that ranges from pure filthy to healthy and light – hey this is Notting Hill people, they don’t all want deep fried and dirty! The McMuffin is the one though especially if you’ve got a hangover you need to shake. Get down for some eggs-tremely tasty dishes…and you thought we’d gone pun free.
Jackson Boxer’s Notting Hill restaurant, Orasay, is inspired by the Hebrides (it’s named after a tiny island within the Inner Hebrides) with a strong focus on seafood – lobster, crab, scallops, oysters, razor clams and langoustines and the like. Must orders from the starters include ‘fried bread with anchovies’ – warm pockets of dough topped with anchovies and a sort of zingy caper mayonnaise (you could eat these by the bucket load and leave feeling very happy indeed) and the round potato flatbread topped with smoked whipped cod’s roe and pomelo kosho. A lot of the other produce – leaves, vegetables, honey, and eggs – comes Jackson’s organic farm in West Sussex. Orasay is a great experience overall, with the quality of ingredients and cooking being very apparent throughout.
Husband and wife team, Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari, are behind Caractère which opened in Notting Hill in the autumn of 2018. Emily of course is the daughter of Michel Roux Jr, and Diego has been head chef at Le Gavroche for the past three years, but this is their first independent venture together. In reference to the restaurant’s name, the menu is divvied up into six character traits – curious (small plates/starters), subtle (veg-focused small plates), delicate (fish mains), robust (meat mains), strong (cheese) and greedy (dessert). Style-wise it’s a mix of classical French with elements drawn from Diego’s Italian heritage. You can go a la carte and choose dishes at random but they also have a tasting option that will hit all six sections for £78. As part of of what’s probably the UK’s most revered restaurant family, the pressure was certainly on for Caractère – and we’re happy to say that Emily and Diego have smashed it.
The KPH has long been a Ladbroke Grove fave and has quite the history, having hosted Tom Jones’s first ever gig and being a regular haunt for The Clash’s Mick Jones. You will find a pub on the ground floor with range of draft beers, cask ales, wines and cocktails at the bar, and a first-floor dining room. Henry Harris and Head Chef Ruairidh Summers (formerly of St. John) arein charge of the food, creating menus that are inspired by their shared love of Parisian bistro food plus influences from Montreal. Expect dishes like octopus carpaccio with almond and green sauce; turbot with peas, elderflower and lardo; roast Aylesbury duck with fennel and peach; and creme caramel. It’s not unusual ;)
Mazi, run by husband and wife team Adrien Carre and Christina Mouratoglou, takes inspiration from traditional Greek food – tarama, tiropita, prawn saganaki, grilled octopus, stifado and loukoumades are all on the menu – but gives the dishes a modern spin, both in terms of flavour combinations and presentation. The wine list is all-Greek too so you’ll find bottles here that you likely won’t have seen before. On a sunny day, you’ll want a table in the garden…that way it’s much easier to pretend you’re on holiday in Greece.
You might have seen some Eggslut dishes appear on our social feeds over the past few years (they are one of our top foodie picks in LA) but now we can all get one a lot closer to home, with the launch of its first UK site, in Notting Hill. Don’t miss the signature dish, the Slut, made with a coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar, topped with gray salt and chives, served with slices of baguette. Or the Fairfax, a sandwich made with soft scrambled eggs and chives, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and sriracha mayo in a warm brioche bun (add extra avo!). The small chain now has six locations, most of which are on the West Coast of the US, but we hear they have serious expansion plans in the UK.
Patty & Bun have conquered East London and extended their empire to West London back in 2017. The Notting Hill site sits 60 people and includes bookable tables for large groups. When it comes to the food, you can expect all the classics alongside some new sharing plates including ‘The Chicken Feast’; a medley of all their fried chicken and sauces. And with a full drinks menu, you can wash your burgers down with beers, cocktails, happy hour specials and milkshakes. Sounds like a winner.
Asian fusion joint Uli is a real neighbourhood gem. It’s been around the block, first coming onto the scene in 1997 and their twists on Chinese, Thai, Malay and Singaporean favourites has kept Uli as a staple for locals and visitors for years. We love the Thai sea bass fillet steamed with chilli and lemongrass and the stir-fried beef fillet with spicy black pepper sauce, again with lots of red chilli, is also a beaut – sticky parcels of juicy meat drenched in a sweet and fiery sauce. For great, simple Asian food in Notting Hill, Uli is a great shout.
If you’re in need of some new furniture, swing by the Loaf Shack. Located just off Ladbroke grove in a beaut 1930s art deco building, the shack is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Notting Hill. As well of plenty of pieces to browse and buy, there’s a cinema in the basement and a super-soft Mattress Testing Area for you to bounce around in.
Even at the best of times, charity shop shopping can be grim. So for a charity shop experience that doesn’t feel like rifling through dead people’s clothes, whilst still giving back to charity, head to the Oxfam Boutique in Westbourne Grove. It specialises in both men and women’s designer clothes, as well as accessories and some homeware.
The site on which the Portobello Star now sits has been serving up drinks and good times to Londoners since 1740. Nowadays it’s taken the form of a stripped back, contemporary bar that serves a damn good cocktail. If you’re feeling peckish, or need to line your stomach, they also serve snacks, sandwiches and bar food.
A guided tour of the history of branding, there are around 12,000 different items in the Aladdin’s cave that is the Museum of Brands. Amongst other things, you can check out Rimmel cosmetics from the 1890s, First World War Oxo cubes and a 1970s chopper bike.
Over 300 years old, Portobello Road Market is the world’s largest antiques market. However, it’s not just antiques that you can buy – you can pick up fashion, both old and new, fruit and veg, collectibles, bric-a-brac and much more, and although Saturday is the main day there are stalls open during the rest of the week too.
For over 150 years, The Mall Tavern has been a mainstay of The Notting Hill community. It has changed hands numerous times and been through many incarnations, and the current Mall Tavern is a gastropub that takes great pride in its menu with old favourites sitting comfortably alongside more innovative dishes. The pub is divided in half with a very busy bar area in one part with the other being reserved for diners. The atmosphere is fun – the after-work crowd enjoying a drink gives the place a buzz that carries into the relaxed dining area. You can choose from pub classics, like fish & chips, beef & ale pie and ribs, and more restaurant dishes like pan fried sea bream with orzo, and they serve up a bangin’ Sunday Roast too.
The Notting Hill Arts Club is a basement events space that holds everything from art exhibitions to club nights to movie screenings. They also have a bar, serving a wicked selection of cocktails and shooters, as well as ciders, craft beers and wine.
Not that London is short of cluckin’ chicken joint, Cocotte is one that’s doing it right. The healthy rotisserie serves up free-range birds from La Chapelle d’Andaine farm in France and it defo beats Nandos. With a simple menu, the marinated roast chicken takes centre stage and comes either whole, half or quartered. Succulent and flavoursome, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. But the real dilemma is choosing sides from the HUGE list of healthy salads including our fave, the Fernande salad with barley, pomegranate, feta, baby salad and spring onions to the less healthy truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and THOSE baby roast potatoes with chicken gravy. HUBBA HUBBA.
116 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2PW, United Kingdom
If your looking for some unique homeware, Native & Co is your shop. Specialising in crafted homeware from Japan and Taiwan, they stock a range of tableware, ceramics, kitchenware and other small home accessories, and you can expect lots of clean lines and soft colours.
Well away from the crowds of Portobello, The Prince Bonaparte is a favourite hangout of well-heeled locals. You will likely see lots of people wearing sunglasses inside at any time of year and perhaps even the odd famous face. It’s not hard to see why it attracts such a crowd however, this place is bloody gorgeous with 1920s art deco interiors and a kitchen that has a Japanese robata grill – seriously where else in London would you find a pub with ar robata grill?!
One of the oldest working cinemas in the country, the Electric Cinema’s interior reflects its long history. Plus it’s one of the most comfortable places to watch a film, with double beds, sofas and armchairs for your viewing pleasure!
Granger & Co Notting Hill is the original restaurant in the family opened by Aussie Bill Granger in 2011. There are now two other branches in Clerkenwell and King’s Cross, and they all serve similarly eclectic menus that draw influence from across the globe. The menu is split into several sections – small plates, bowls and grains, big plates, and BBQ – and it’s one of those where you want to order absolutely everything. We find the most winners on the small plates but it’s worth a trip down for brekkie too…those eggs are good.
Any film buffs amongst you may have already guessed the significance of this innocuous-looking bookshop. Yep, you guessed it. It’s THAT travel bookshop from the film Notting Hill. Having expanded its range since the iconic British film came out, it now sells books on a variety of different topics. It also has a blue plaque on the outside to commemorate the film that made it famous. It’s worth the trip for that alone!
The Distillery is London’s very own ‘gin hotel’ with four floors designed for you to drink, eat, and sleep it off! The ground floor is home to a pub called the Resting Room, where you can sample spirits from the barrels suspended from the ceiling; the first floor has Spanish bar & restaurant, GinTonica; and then there’s The Ginstitute; a place where you can learn about the history of the tipple and blend your very own. For the sleep-it-off part, the bright boutique bedrooms are decked out with your very own cocktail bar, with shakers, garnish, ice, glasses and of course GIN!
Expect to feel luxuriously pampered at Taylor Taylor. The salons are dripping in gold with bronzed vintage mirrors and oversized chandeliers…there’s even a brass topped cocktail bar in the Portobello salon. They offer a range of hair services, from cut and colour to straightening and blowouts, and all services are priced based on how experienced of a stylist you prefer so you don’t have to spend loads on a new ‘do’.
Hair Organics is a salon offering organic treatments including colour, semi-permanent watercolour and smoothing treatments with the use of all-natural products. Their colours contain absolutely no dye or colour pigments and are 100% free from harmful chemicals and everything in the salon, right down to the tea and towels, is environmentally friendly.
What do you get when you cross pilates with HIIT? Bootcamp Pilates that’s what. They offer a 55-minute intense class combining exercises both on and off the reformer machine in a regimented sequence of moves, designed to target every inch of your body. And we mean, every inch. We’re talking sets of push-ups, lunges, squats and burpees on the mats and then core and glute stretches on the reformer. If you’re looking for a way to switch up the traditional workout this is it.
188 Kensington Park Road Notting Hill, London, W11 2ES
Couverture & The Garbstore focuses on niche independent labels, collaborations and emerging talent. Stocking menswear, womenswear and homeware, expect to find pieces from Norse Projects, Rejina Pyo, Brain Dead, YMC, Sideline, Kana, No Chemicals and more.
When the market gets a bit too much and you want to sit in the sun in Notting Hill on a weekend, this is the place. It’s round the corner from Ladbroke Grove underground and the outdoor space is right on the street across two sides of the pub which makes for great people watching. Usual suspects at the bar and a few craft ales. Grab a beer and take a seat. It’s that easy.
The Cow Pub & Dining Rooms, Westbourne Park Road, London, UK
Given the plush Notting Hill neighbourhood it’s located in, The Cow is pleasingly ramshackle once you’re inside. Supposedly the name comes from a previous landlady who was a bit of a cow, though now most of the cows are just pictures on the wall. They do a cracking pint of Guinness as well as oysters and some pretty posh seafood – this is still Notting Hill after all.
Young LDN is a salon designed with millennials and generation Z in mind with its cool decor, technology-led treatments and all round fun vibes. Young LDN’s founder Sue first decided to open the salon when she realised that London lacked a salon dedicated to teenagers, where they could discuss issues around acne and beauty with ease. Not only can they get treated professionally by the experts at Young LDN, they can also find some of the hottest beauty brands on the market all under one roof. That said, the salon also knows that being young is a state of mind and not just a number so it’s open to all.
Located on one of London’s most famous roads, the Portobello Road outpost of Blue Tit is the group’s tenth salon to open in the capital. The decor mirrors the salon’s neighbourhood as well as following in the footsteps of its sister sites, with bright colours, striking artwork and a rather cool patterned floor. And we love the fact that it’s open until 9pm on weekdays, making it that much easier to fit that cut into your diary.
This salon in Notting Hill is London’s first independent sugaring company, created with Instagrammers in mind – think millennial pink walls, cactus-lined shelves and wet wipes adorned with “I love my muff”. For those who don’t know what sugaring is, it’s an ancient method of hair removal using sugar, lemon and water to create a mixture that’s similar to wax. It’s said to be less painful because the therapist pulls in the direction of the growth and unlike wax, the mixture only sticks to the hair rather than the skin. It exfoliates the skin as it removes dead skin cells and leaves less ingrowing hairs as there’s no damage to the follicles. That along with the fact it’s completely natural and the most eco-friendly form of hair removal means we’re converts.
If you don’t mind splashing a little colour (and a little money) on the walls of your home, head to the Farrow & Ball showroom. The showroom proudly boasts the entire paint and wallpaper collection, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Don’t get carried away now!
FINLAY glasses are all handmade in the Italian Alps using Mazzucchelli acetate and Carl Zeiss lenses, and with spectacles starting at £100 (prescription lenses from £50) and sunnies starting at £120, you get a lot of craftsmanship for your money. They have a curated selection of frames from 14 independent brands, including Grey Ant, Cutler & Gross, Prism and Kaleos, as well as their own collection of specs and sunnies. And if you need help picking the perfect pair, the in-store specialists are a dab hand at helping you find the right ones for your face shape, and most styles are unisex so it’s even easier to choose. They also offer in-store eye tests using the latest equipment, which is absolutely amazing…compared to Boots, it’s like a stag do in Amsterdam.
74- 76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH, United Kingdom
Clean eating can also be indulgent eating and that’s exactly what Farmacy is all about. There’s vegan and gluten free nachos with guac and refried beans; a millet, black bean and mushroom burger; a spelt sourdough pizza and Austrian Sacher cake with tigernut milk Nice Cream, proving you don’t always have to stick to salads.
Portobello Road basement bar, Trailer Happiness is a proper little gem, and boy do they know a thing or two about rum – they even host a rum club! But for the average joe they put a tiki spin on the cocktail menu and if you really wanna go all in give the ‘Zombie’ a go, it’s got 5 different rums in and a splash of absinthe, for good measure of course!