It seems like Notting Hill has been on everybody’s radar since that movie came out in the '90s. Even now, almost 20 years later, you can still find hordes of people clamouring for a photograph outside the bright blue door, quipping memorable lines, and hoping for a peek of someone famous. While there’s no doubt that rewatching the film brings about a certain nostalgia, the modern-day Notting Hill certainly isn't stuck in the past.
Instead, the area has somehow managed to retain its bohemian charm while leading the forefront of cool, effortlessly combining vintage and cutting-edge. You could easily spend an entire weekend exploring Notting Hill's markets, boutiques and eateries, without ever feeling like you've even scratched its surface.
Knowing where to start might help though, right? To dig out the best hot spots and hidden gems in the area, we spoke to the team at Mountgrange Heritage, a local estate agency that has been part of the Notting Hill community since 1999. Here's how they suggested you could spend a long weekend.
Treat yourself to brunch at Eggbreak, a hidden gem that's based on an insanely popular joint found in the Grand Central Market in LA. The premise is simple: a relaxed atmosphere in which you can enjoy egg-based dishes at any time of day.
Next, take a stroll up to Lancaster Road to take a look around London's quirky Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising. It holds a fascinating collection of brand paraphernalia dating back to the 1800s and offers a unique insight into the history of modern marketing.
If you find that you’ve worked up a thirst, get yourself down to the Churchill Arms. Not only does it offer a decent selection of beers, but during summer month it hosts a spectacular flower display where the building is almost completely obscured by blooms.
In the evening, catch a new release at the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road, known for being England's oldest purpose-built picture house. Book tickets in advance for the best choice of squashy leather armchairs, two-seater sofas or a front-row bed, and cosy up with a glass of wine under a cashmere blanket.
First thing, head back to Portobello Road to peruse the world's largest antique market. In addition to the permanent shops that line the street, over 1,000 dealers congregate to offer unique trinkets, jewellery, and artefacts. You'll also be able to find a plethora of other treats, from vintage bric-a-brac to world-food stalls.
No doubt you'll work up an appetite, so grab a quick coffee and a cupcake from the Hummingbird Bakery, before heading over to the Music and Goods Exchange. Made up of a collection of shops, it's the best place to pick up second-hand vinyl, tapes, books, clothing, and more.
If you haven't had your fill of edginess for one day, head over to the Graffik Gallery. Their exhibitions revolve around the world's premier street artists, and feature staples like Clet, Dotmaster, and Banksy. If you feel so inclined, you can even take one of their graffiti workshops to brush up on your spray skills.
Later on, check out what's happening at The Tabernacle on Powis Square. Originally built as an Evangelical Christian Church in 1869, it has since been transformed into a community hub. Concerts, festivals, and a variety of performances can provide all kinds of entertainment throughout the year.
Start your morning with a gentle meander around the beautiful Ladbroke Square Garden. Around the outside, that is; you won't be walking through it unless you live at an address overlooking the square. Soak up the stunning architecture, leafy streets, and dream about the day you'll eventually move in.
Once you've taken your fill, head to the delightful Biscuiteers Cafe on Kensington Park Road. Here, you can enjoy a sumptuous slice of cake and pick up some immaculately iced biscuits to remind you of your trip. Or, at least, that's what the tourists might do.
After that, head to Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill's boutique epicentre. Spoil yourself with some retail therapy of only the most discerning brands, like Dinny Hall, Joseph, and Diptyque.
Once you've exhausted the boutiques, stop for a meal at The Ledbury. The restaurant holds two Michelin stars and has been recognised as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world (and the ninth best in all of London). Just remember that bookings are required approximately two months in advance!
Finally, round off your busy weekend with a few drinks at the Trailer Happiness, a basement bar that expertly combines tiki-kitsch dreams with killer cocktails.
Are three days enough to see and do everything in Notting Hill? Absolutely not. Can you whet your appetite for the relaxed, trendy lifestyle of the achingly chic? You bet.
Visiting Notting Hill for a few days? Check out this list of current events in the area.