Back to all Posted 14/12/18

Area guide: Notting Hill

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Westbourne Grove

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It’s been almost 20 years since Richard Curtis’ film Notting Hill popularised this leafy district dotted with pastel properties. Back then the West London neighbourhood was seen as the bohemian and arty choice. The East London of its time, it was still a little rough around the edges, an ‘up and coming’ gem. But gentrification moves fast in the capital and a lot has changed since the 90s. Notting Hill is now an address for the super-wealthy and a must-visit destination for gawping, shuffling tourists. Its streets are brimming with high-end boutiques, independent cafes, and restaurants and, at the weekends, everywhere is heaving with crowds.

Situated to the north west of Hyde Park and the east of Shepherd’s Bush this easily accessible area falls just on the Zone 1/Zone 2 boundary. Connected by the Central, District and Circle lines (via Notting Hill Gate), it is also serviced by good bus links to north, south, east, west, and central London. There are also four locations for Santander Cycles, each accommodating up to 30 bikes. 

Home to the popular Portobello Road market with its treasure troves of antiques and vintage finds, and host to the annual Notting Hill Carnival, this is a vibrant, colourful, bustling, always-busy location.

Restaurants, pubs, and cafes do well in this area – and particularly well at weekends. There are always hungry – and thirsty – locals and day-trippers to sate.

Foodie heaven

Snazzy restaurants are sought after in this neighbourhood of moneyed, discerning clientele. The Ledbury is a two Michelin-starred restaurant located on Ledbury Road, just off Portobello Market. Chef Brett Graham rustles up innovative and interesting food – think tartare of sea bream or smoked eel. There is an emphasis on British produce and a well-thought out wine list to accompany each dish.

Elsewhere, the Electric Diner – with its old-school booths, exposed brickwork and comfort-food menu – draws a more relaxed crowd. This is a burger, chips, and shakes kind of joint where what you see is what you get. Adjacent to the Diner, is Electric Cinema – one of the oldest working cinemas in the UK, it’s now owned by the Soho House Group, and offers unparalleled comfort with its armchairs, sofas, and double beds. The unique, romantic, and stylish cinema experience also includes cashmere blankets, and a fantastic food and drink offering.

For the health-conscious, there’s Farm Girl Café. Located right on Portobello Road it offers a saintly alternative to the ubiquitous fast food or rich French fare. You’ll find fresh smoothies and juices, and a menu catering to almost every dietary requirement under the sun. Also in this vein, is Granger & Co, the location of which is Australian Bill Granger’s first. You can expect queues at the weekend for the exceptional brunch, while the dinner menu offers punchy flavours and pairings, sure to excite the senses. For vegan and vegetarian options, Farmacy, on Westbourne Grove, offers plant-based dishes from around the world. The menu delivers thoughtful and exciting pairings through its free-from dairy, meat, refined sugars, additives, and chemicals list.

Core by Clare Smyth opened in August 2017 to much fanfare – and rightly so. The restaurant was eagerly-awaited, with Clare Smyth receiving three Michelin stars under her tenure at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Core by Clare Smyth celebrates British produce, using the UK’s most dedicated farmers and food producers, ultimately creating beautifully crafted dishes. We were incredibly delighted to have acquired this site for Clare, and look forward to any new ventures of hers in the future!

Tourist Trap

According to the last census the population of Kensington and Chelsea (of which Notting Hill is a part of) is approximately 51% female and 49% male. And, the average age of inhabitants is 38. Lots of media types and celebrities have taken up residence in fashionable Notting Hill, making it an attractive prospect to move in to.

As well as well-heeled locals, Notting Hill’s relative proximity to Kensington Palace and central London means it is firmly on the map for tourists. Bougie hotels like the Laslett and the Portobello Hotel, have cemented Notting Hill’s reputation as an aspirational, sophisticated postcode.

Every weekend, the streets of Notting Hill swarm with people. So, rest assured, whatever venue you plan to open here, the audience is ready.