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What’s it all about?
This part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has been completely transformed over the last 50 years. It’s become some of the most diverse parts of London, rich in a variety of cultures and people as well as things to see and do. Now one of London’s most fashionable districts, Notting hill is now an affluent and fashionable area covering Notting Hill Gate, Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Grove, North Kensington, Bayswater and -of course- the famous Portobello Road. The are is renowned for the annual Caribbean carnival, being a home for all types of artists of all types – from writers to fashion designers, as well as an increasing number of city workers, intrigued by its unique atmosphere.
- Notting Hill is eternalised in pop culture by the film ‘Notting Hill’, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant
- The famous Blue Door from the iconic movie Notting Hill was written into the film by Richard Curtis as he once lived at that location. The original door was sold at an auction and the current owners painted the new door blue to capitalise on the film’s popularity
- The Ladbroke family owned much of the land in Notting Hill in the 19th Century, which is why several streets and locations in the district are named after the family.
- Notting Hill as an area has always been an inspiration to musicians, artists and actors. Jimi Hendrix wrote his Purple Haze here, Withnail & I was filmed in the area, and recently some of the film ‘Paddington’ was shot on Portobello Road
- Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street festival in Europe celebrated every August Bank Holiday weekend. There is a strong Caribbean theme to the carnival with hundreds of performers and floats along the parade route, attracting some 2 million people every year over two days from around the world
No matter where you are in the area, you’re guaranteed to find something that tickets your fancy. The restaurants in the area truly cater to every cuisine, restriction and special dietary requirement with the likes of ‘Uli’, a local restaurant specialising in Asian cuisine and ‘Farm Girls’, which known for its vegetarian food. There are coffee shops such as ‘Grocer on Elgin’ and ‘Mr Christian’s Deli’ spotted all over the place, perfect to pop into whilst strolling past the rows of pastel-coloured houses. And if its a special occasion, The Ledbury is a Michelin star restaurant where Chef Brett Graham offers innovative cooking, paired with fine wines in a smart, modern setting.
The Ladbroke Arms, Earl of Lonsdale and The Mitre are all lovely pubs to go for a drink no matter the occasion. The Portobello Star, however, is a unique gin bar known for its famous Portobello Road gin (you can also do a gin tour in the distillery to see it made!). If you’re looking for a place that has it all – dancing, drinking and dining- Rum Kitchen is the place for you.
Notting Hill is full of diverse culture. There are three theatres; the Tabernacle, The Gate Theatre and The Coronet, as well as two traditional cinemas; The Gate and The Electric (where you can book a sofa to watch your movie and eat beforehand). If you’re looking for slightly more traditional mediums of art such as paintings and photography, the West Bank Gallery on Westbourne Grove is where you’ll find it. The rough Trade record store is one of the oldest vinyl record shops in the world located just off Portobello Road.
- The main Notting Hill shopping street is the famous Portobello Road, which, even when it’s not teeming with competing stallholders peddling their wares on Saturdays, is a shopping hub
- For designer stores, locals make for Westbourne Grove and will use any excuse to pop into Daylesford Farmshop & Cafe to stock up on healthy ingredients.
- Notting Hill Gate Library on Pembridge Square offers a wide range of books, CDs and DVDs and classes for all ages.
- The Library is an unusual gym come private members club where expert trainers offer personalised exercise and nutrition programmes.
Notting Hill is lucky enough to benefit from numerous, sought-after garden squares and boasts the largest private garden in London; Ladbroke Gardens Square. If that’s not enough, the vast open spaces of Holland- and Kensington Gardens just a short walk away. Apart from theses and private communal gardens scattered around the area, Hyde Park is also nearby with facilities such as the Serpentine Lake and Gallery, Albert Memorial, and the Italian Gardens.
Gyms are also well represented in the area with Bodyism, Body West Works as well as a Virgin Active on Lancaster Road. There are pilates studios scattered around the area such as Form Studios and Heartcore for a more mindful workout too.
Tube: Notting Hill Gate station is between Zones 1 and 2 on the Central (Ealing-Stratford), Circle (central west London) and District (Richmond-Barking) Lines
Bus: Local bus routes serve Wandsworth (28), South Kensington (70), Golders Green (328), and Kensal Rise (452). Notting Hill Gate also has several 24-hour bus services, including the 27 (to Chiswick), 52 (to Victoria), 94 (to Piccadilly Circus), 148 (to White City), and 390 (to Archway)
Road: Notting Hill is a short drive from the A4, leading to the M4 and the West of England in just half an hour
Cycle: The 20-minute cycle from Notting Hill to Oxford Circus
Getting away: Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes to reach the airport
The quality of Notting Hill’s schools is a key reason why so many families choose to relocate here. Favourite options for Primary school includes Colville Primary School and Avondale Park Primary School and as for Secondary school, Holland Park School (which became an academy in 2013) is often favoured. Independent schools include Notting Hill Preparatory School, Wetherby Pre Preparatory School and Notting Hill and Ealing High School. There is something for all different types of students at Southbank International School.