I just have to mention again how brilliant the area of Covent Garden is if you are a visitor to London. The location is just superb. Walking distance to practically everywhere you need to go, with a cool vibe that is truly alive. This enclave is better than I anticipated. The shopping, the cafes, the pubs, the everything. I am happy to ‘bang on about it’ (insert pommy accent) because it truly is a wonderful spot. Ok..I’m jumping down from my soapbox.
After an early morning run across the Jubilee Bridge over the Thames, in the glorious London sunshine, I was ready to tackle another day as the consummate tourist. And what better area to hit than Notting Hill.
Immortalized on-screen in the eponymous 1999 romantic comedy film, Notting Hill is much more than just a backdrop for the famous Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts’ love affair. The West London district, stretching over Ladbroke Grove, Portobello Road and parts of North Kensington is one of the city’s hippest destinations, lined with vintage boutiques, bijou cafés and indie music venues. Notting Hill is also home to the world famous Portobello market, where one of the largest antique markets in the world is held alongside stalls selling everything from vintage and alternative clothing to handmade crafts, jewellery and music.
Thursday is the only day when the market is open until 1pm, so make sure you get to Notting Hill Gate by 10am, so you can get through the stalls and stores without rushing. You can take a tube (Londons Underground train system) and then it is just a short walk to the top of Portobello Road. Aside from the shopping, the terrace house are just divine. Mostly painted pretty soft pastel colours, it is a beautiful sight.
After some great shopping we heading to Westbourne which is a 10 minute walk South, (unless you have no sense of direction and it takes 30….because it is actually North) for lunch. We stopped in at a modern gastro pub called 65 and King on Westbourne Grove. A very cool, newly renovated space that was grey on grey on grey on oak. With a cream subway tile thrown in for good measure. The layering of the palette was subtle and it worked well. Understated and classy.
The food was bold and tasty and we stayed on well after we had finished eating to rest our feet and put the shopping bags down. A pleasant place to map check.
After lunch we were off again, this time to Selfridges on Oxford St, to check out their annual sale. I have never before seen so many people lining up at Prada and Gucci, but with the 40% sale on..crazy not too? Even the Louboutins were 40% off! Crazy sale London. Crazy good.
What happens when the World Cup is on and England is playing? You head straight to the local pub for a large pint and a little feigned interest, in what is sure to be a typical English night out. The Crown and Anchor was just the place. Just down the way from our apartment, it was an easy choice…and it was jam-packed. Faithful supporters and nonplussed tourists mingled and came together as one to cheer on England. Unfortunately it was not Englands’ night and the celebrations were cut short when Ururguay won 2-1. Oh well…here’s hoping for the next round. Of drinks that is….
Day 3..done and done…