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Discover: Notting Hill

  Why move to Notting Hill' There’s an easy route to the city for the 9-5 but a relaxed, neighbourhood vibe at the weekends. The creative and bohemian heritage of the area gives it a distinctive New York feel too. Need to know The Notting Hill Carnival first started in 1966 to celebrate Afro-Caribbean culture and traditions. It takes place on the last weekend of August and is now the largest street party in the whole of Europe. Notting Hill is divided into two separate boroughs, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. Both have their benefits. A Kensington and Chelsea parking permit is a treasured item, covering everywhere from Notting Hill to Chelsea. But Westminster has the second cheapest council tax in the whole of London. A bit of history Before entrepreneur John Whyte built the Kensington Hippodrome racecourse here in 1837, rural Notting Hill was known for its piggeries and potteries. The racecourse was a failure but it lead to the building of the crescent shaped roads encircling Ladbroke Grove that are still there today. Architect Thomas Allason developed the area for the Ladbroke family, with large private communal gardens shared by surrounding homes. Notting Hill still boasts London’s largest community garden. The area began as home to wealthy middle class residents. In the 1900s the grand houses were split into multiple dwellings to accommodate an immigrant workforce from the West Indies. This planted the seeds for the area’s bohemian and multicultural roots. Today the area has gentrified, with the once grand homes restored to their former glory. Shopping One of the most enjoyable ways to while away a weekend afternoon in Notting Hill is wandering around the world famous markets, independent boutiques and delicious delis. Hunting for antique and vintage clothes, jewellery and furniture at Portobello Market on a Friday or Saturday morning is a must-do. But if you’re more ‘next season’ than ‘last century’, local designer boutiques include Paul Smith’s flagship store, London’s first outpost of Californian designer James Perse, Twenty8Twelve, Maje, Temperly and Ralph Lauren as well as high street favourites Whistles. Make sure your fourlegged friends look as good as you with a trip to the trendy Mutz Nutz pet shop on Westbourne Park Road. If all that shopping leaves you in need of a sugar fix pop to The Hummingbird Bakery for one of their famous cupcakes. For the more practical side of shopping, Lords in Westbourne Grove is a good reliable hardware store. Baywood chemists are a friendly local chemist. Planet Organic will keep your larder stocked. Jerobeoams in Elgins Crescent is a wine buff’s paradise. The Kingsland Edwardian Butcher has, as the name suggests, been around for eons and with good reason – this is an extremely friendly and reasonably priced family-run butchers. And upmarket fishmongers James Knight of Mayfair has a branch on Notting Hill Gate. Otherwise, to find everything in one place, at Dalesfords on Westbourne Grove. Things to do You only need to open a copy of Timeout to see how much there is to see and do in Notting Hill. In the meantime, we recommend you check out The Print Room Theatre on Hereford Road for plays, exhibitions and concerts and an extraordinarily varied programme that has included everything from holographic opera to dance and sculpture collaborations. Enjoy comedy and theatre at The Tabernacle. Film addicts are spoilt for choice in Notting Hill. Independent cinemas The Electric, The Coronet and The Gate Picturehouse are great for nestling in a comfy seat with a glass of wine and enjoying everything from art house to Hollywood blockbusters. Meanwhile, the Odeon’s new ‘boutique cinema’, The Lounge, in Whiteleys offers ‘fine food and film’ courtesy of chef Rowley Leigh, as well as luxury reclining seats and waiter service. Eating and drinking Excellent cafes, restaurants and bars in Notting Hill are too numerous to mention, but our must-tries are as follows. Tom’s, part of Tom Conran’s portfolio is a long established deli and café and our favourite place to pick up lunch. The Ledbury where Chef Brett Graham stormed to success clocking up two Michelin stars and a 14th best restaurant in the world ranking is jaw-droopingly reasonable with a three course set lunch menu setting you back just £33. Australian Celebrity Chef Bill Granger opened up Granger Notting Hill in 2011 and it swiftly became one of the most renowned spots for breakfast, brunch or dinner. It’s absolutely delicious and again, pretty good value. Daylesford Organics and 202 London are popular coffee and lunch spots with competitively sought-after tables on the pavement of Westbourne Grove’s most fashionable stretch. Osteria Basilico is Notting Hill’s most established Italian, a charming, romantic and authentic Italian. A few doors down its sister restaurant Mediterraneo is equally good. Durbar, open since 1956, is Notting Hill’s best known Indian restaurant. The Star of Bombay in Westbourne Grove is another firm Indian favourite. Mr Christian's on Elgin Crescent is great delicatessen which is good value considering the quality of food, plus the local staff are lovely too. Finally Taqueria is our favourite for a quick bite to eat. Authentic Mexican tapas with excellent Mexican ales and cocktails. Pubs and Bars The Cock And Bottle on Artesian Road is the finest pub in town. A proper, old school pub which is packed with locals and still stubbornly resisting the temptation to become a gastro pub. The Westbourne at Westbourne Park Villas is one of the area’s most fashionable pubs. Get there early in summer for a spot on the south-facing patio. The Walmer Castle is Notting Hill’s most vibrant pub owned by a sweet Thai lady who's got the place serving Thai as well as your run of the mill British food. They also do takeaways. The Oak is fantastic for Bloody Marys and proper thin-based Italian pizzas. Tom Conran’s Irish pub the cow offers pints of Guiness and pints of prawns downstairs, or fine seafood dining upstairs. Bar / restaurant Beach Blanket Babylon (aka BBB) is a Notting Hill institution famous for its sophisticated Boho chic décor. On weekends the DJ at the Metropolitan on Tavistock Road spins big soul, funk and hip hop. Sip cocktails and dance away to 70s soul at funk at Trailer Happiness on Portobello Road. Or head to old school basement Caribbean club, The Globe on Talbot Road, for reggae, Red Stripe and a really warm welcome. The Notting Hill Arts Club, Notting Hill Gate is the main nightclub within the area offering an eclectic schedule of live bands and DJs. Schools We think Notting Hill is a magical place to grow up, and we’re pleased to say there are also fantastic local schools here. Private schools and nurseries include St Peters Nursery on Portobello Road, Mynors Nursery school on Chepstow Villas, Acorn Nursery in Lansdowne Crescent, Norland Place on Holland Park, Wetherby School in Pembridge Square and the popular Montessori school in Ladbroke Square. The most sought-after state primary school remains Fox Primary in Kensington whose catchment area runs through the south-eastern segment of Notting Hill. But there are plenty more great state schools in the area, including, Colville Primary School on Lonsdale Road, Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School on Treadgold Street, Avondale Park Primary School on Sirdar Road, St Clement and St James CE Primary School in Penzance Place. For older children there is Holland Park Community School in Airlie Gardens Campden Hill Road and Cardinal Vaughan Memorial Secondary School on Addison Road. Transport It’s not just its association with the infamous Notting Hill set that make Notting Hill so well-connected. There are also great transport links. Notting Hill Gate tube will take you to Canary Wharf in 30 minutes, London Bridge in 23, Bank in 17, Oxford Circus in 8 and Sloane Square in 20. Other tube stations include Queensway, (Central line), Bayswater, (Circle and District lines) and Westbourne Park and Royal Oak, (Hammersmith and City and Circle lines). There are also hopes of a new Cross Rail station just off Ladbroke Grove and Canal Way. Main bus routes take you to the City, West End, South Kensington and Chelsea. There are also black cabs aplenty and banks of Boris Bikes. Travelling further a field' With Paddington train station and the Heathrow Express just 5-10 minutes away, you can get from airport to home in well under an hour. Paddington also has rail links to the west of England and Wales.

1366111166_Notting Hill

 

Why move to Notting Hill' There’s an easy route to the city for the 9-5 but a relaxed, neighbourhood vibe at the weekends. The creative and bohemian heritage of the area gives it a distinctive New York feel too.

Need to know The Notting Hill Carnival first started in 1966 to celebrate Afro-Caribbean culture and traditions. It takes place on the last weekend of August and is now the largest street party in the whole of Europe.

Notting Hill is divided into two separate boroughs, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. Both have their benefits. A Kensington and Chelsea parking permit is a treasured item, covering everywhere from Notting Hill to Chelsea. But Westminster has the second cheapest council tax in the whole of London.

A bit of history Before entrepreneur John Whyte built the Kensington Hippodrome racecourse here in 1837, rural Notting Hill was known for its piggeries and potteries. The racecourse was a failure but it lead to the building of the crescent shaped roads encircling Ladbroke Grove that are still there today. Architect Thomas Allason developed the area for the Ladbroke family, with large private communal gardens shared by surrounding homes. Notting Hill still boasts London’s largest community garden. The area began as home to wealthy middle class residents. In the 1900s the grand houses were split into multiple dwellings to accommodate an immigrant workforce from the West Indies. This planted the seeds for the area’s bohemian and multicultural roots. Today the area has gentrified, with the once grand homes restored to their former glory.

Shopping One of the most enjoyable ways to while away a weekend afternoon in Notting Hill is wandering around the world famous markets, independent boutiques and delicious delis. Hunting for antique and vintage clothes, jewellery and furniture at Portobello Market on a Friday or Saturday morning is a must-do. But if you’re more ‘next season’ than ‘last century’, local designer boutiques include Paul Smith’s flagship store, London’s first outpost of Californian designer James Perse, Twenty8Twelve, Maje, Temperly and Ralph Lauren as well as high street favourites Whistles. Make sure your fourlegged friends look as good as you with a trip to the trendy Mutz Nutz pet shop on Westbourne Park Road. If all that shopping leaves you in need of a sugar fix pop to The Hummingbird Bakery for one of their famous cupcakes. For the more practical side of shopping, Lords in Westbourne Grove is a good reliable hardware store. Baywood chemists are a friendly local chemist. Planet Organic will keep your larder stocked. Jerobeoams in Elgins Crescent is a wine buff’s paradise. The Kingsland Edwardian Butcher has, as the name suggests, been around for eons and with good reason – this is an extremely friendly and reasonably priced family-run butchers. And upmarket fishmongers James Knight of Mayfair has a branch on Notting Hill Gate. Otherwise, to find everything in one place, at Dalesfords on Westbourne Grove.

Things to do You only need to open a copy of Timeout to see how much there is to see and do in Notting Hill. In the meantime, we recommend you check out The Print Room Theatre on Hereford Road for plays, exhibitions and concerts and an extraordinarily varied programme that has included everything from holographic opera to dance and sculpture collaborations. Enjoy comedy and theatre at The Tabernacle. Film addicts are spoilt for choice in Notting Hill. Independent cinemas The Electric, The Coronet and The Gate Picturehouse are great for nestling in a comfy seat with a glass of wine and enjoying everything from art house to Hollywood blockbusters. Meanwhile, the Odeon’s new ‘boutique cinema’, The Lounge, in Whiteleys offers ‘fine food and film’ courtesy of chef Rowley Leigh, as well as luxury reclining seats and waiter service.

Eating and drinking Excellent cafes, restaurants and bars in Notting Hill are too numerous to mention, but our must-tries are as follows. Tom’s, part of Tom Conran’s portfolio is a long established deli and café and our favourite place to pick up lunch. The Ledbury where Chef Brett Graham stormed to success clocking up two Michelin stars and a 14th best restaurant in the world ranking is jaw-droopingly reasonable with a three course set lunch menu setting you back just £33. Australian Celebrity Chef Bill Granger opened up Granger Notting Hill in 2011 and it swiftly became one of the most renowned spots for breakfast, brunch or dinner. It’s absolutely delicious and again, pretty good value. Daylesford Organics and 202 London are popular coffee and lunch spots with competitively sought-after tables on the pavement of Westbourne Grove’s most fashionable stretch. Osteria Basilico is Notting Hill’s most established Italian, a charming, romantic and authentic Italian. A few doors down its sister restaurant Mediterraneo is equally good. Durbar, open since 1956, is Notting Hill’s best known Indian restaurant. The Star of Bombay in Westbourne Grove is another firm Indian favourite. Mr Christian's on Elgin Crescent is great delicatessen which is good value considering the quality of food, plus the local staff are lovely too. Finally Taqueria is our favourite for a quick bite to eat. Authentic Mexican tapas with excellent Mexican ales and cocktails.

Pubs and Bars The Cock And Bottle on Artesian Road is the finest pub in town. A proper, old school pub which is packed with locals and still stubbornly resisting the temptation to become a gastro pub. The Westbourne at Westbourne Park Villas is one of the area’s most fashionable pubs. Get there early in summer for a spot on the south-facing patio. The Walmer Castle is Notting Hill’s most vibrant pub owned by a sweet Thai lady who's got the place serving Thai as well as your run of the mill British food. They also do takeaways. The Oak is fantastic for Bloody Marys and proper thin-based Italian pizzas. Tom Conran’s Irish pub the cow offers pints of Guiness and pints of prawns downstairs, or fine seafood dining upstairs. Bar / restaurant Beach Blanket Babylon (aka BBB) is a Notting Hill institution famous for its sophisticated Boho chic décor. On weekends the DJ at the Metropolitan on Tavistock Road spins big soul, funk and hip hop. Sip cocktails and dance away to 70s soul at funk at Trailer Happiness on Portobello Road. Or head to old school basement Caribbean club, The Globe on Talbot Road, for reggae, Red Stripe and a really warm welcome. The Notting Hill Arts Club, Notting Hill Gate is the main nightclub within the area offering an eclectic schedule of live bands and DJs.

Schools We think Notting Hill is a magical place to grow up, and we’re pleased to say there are also fantastic local schools here. Private schools and nurseries include St Peters Nursery on Portobello Road, Mynors Nursery school on Chepstow Villas, Acorn Nursery in Lansdowne Crescent, Norland Place on Holland Park, Wetherby School in Pembridge Square and the popular Montessori school in Ladbroke Square. The most sought-after state primary school remains Fox Primary in Kensington whose catchment area runs through the south-eastern segment of Notting Hill. But there are plenty more great state schools in the area, including, Colville Primary School on Lonsdale Road, Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School on Treadgold Street, Avondale Park Primary School on Sirdar Road, St Clement and St James CE Primary School in Penzance Place. For older children there is Holland Park Community School in Airlie Gardens Campden Hill Road and Cardinal Vaughan Memorial Secondary School on Addison Road.

Transport It’s not just its association with the infamous Notting Hill set that make Notting Hill so well-connected. There are also great transport links. Notting Hill Gate tube will take you to Canary Wharf in 30 minutes, London Bridge in 23, Bank in 17, Oxford Circus in 8 and Sloane Square in 20. Other tube stations include Queensway, (Central line), Bayswater, (Circle and District lines) and Westbourne Park and Royal Oak, (Hammersmith and City and Circle lines). There are also hopes of a new Cross Rail station just off Ladbroke Grove and Canal Way. Main bus routes take you to the City, West End, South Kensington and Chelsea. There are also black cabs aplenty and banks of Boris Bikes. Travelling further a field' With Paddington train station and the Heathrow Express just 5-10 minutes away, you can get from airport to home in well under an hour. Paddington also has rail links to the west of England and Wales.

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