It’s August. Things are slowing down in offices all over London, people are going on their annual vacations (er, holidays), and London is finally warming up after an abysmal start to the summer. The recent heatwave has prompted me to spend more time outdoors, and one of the places that I have frequented is Notting Hill.
Most Americans know the neighborhood from the film of the same name. I have to admit that when I first moved to London, I was excited when I stumbled upon the Notting Hill travel book store that featured in the movie.
While I never looked for house with the blue door, I have gotten to know the neighborhood as much more than just a setting for a popular rom-com.
One of my favorite things to do in Notting Hill is visit the famous antiques market. Weeding my way through throngs of people, I love to discover tiny trinkets and long-forgotten mementos from the past. I’m fascinated when I come across a table topped with thousands of old magnifying glasses, or a vendor selling tiny toy soldiers from long ago wars.
The Notting Hill farmers’ market is also a favorite. I usually pass by it on my way to brunch at places like the Electric Brasserie. The mountains of kale, cabbage, and carrots and the plethora of peaches and pears help me work up an appetite before I tuck into my eggs Benedict.
Speaking of food, there are several other restaurants in Notting Hill that I have enjoyed lately. I recently went to dinner at The Ledbury, a two Michelin starred restaurant with an entrance so discreet that you could pass by every day and not notice it. My Hampshire buffalo milk curd with Saint-Nectaire, truffle toast, and a grilled onion broth, and my salmon poached in olive oil with blood orange, crab, and green asparagus on toast made for an unforgettable meal.
Lower down the price scale, I love popping into Gail’s for pastries and tea, Lucky Seven for classic American burgers, and The Oak and The Cow for good pub food.
Speaking of pubs, the Notting Hill nightlife scene is also one of my favorites in London. From pints at The Westbourne and the Walmer Castle to cocktails at the hilarious white trash themed Trailer Happiness bar, there’s never a shortage of fun places to go out.
If the warm weather in London continues through the rest of August, I’m sure I will be spending more time in Notting Hill. And with the famous Notting Hill Carnival taking place at the end of the month, I certainly hope it will.